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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

There's No Place Like Home Toto

"There's no place like home". I love to travel, feel and see different sites and sounds; but I think Dorothy was right, "There's no place like Home."

This Traveling Suitcase is taking this brief moment to to your backyard and smell the flowers. Roll in the grass, sniff the air. Lay on your back and look at the sky.

I'm borrowing from a comment on my last post. See what Tweedles says about traveling.
Hello talking suitcase.
I think you should try the Oregon Coast. From the moment you step outside and take a deep breath of air- the feeling starts. One minute it's foggy and misty. The next minute, the sun peeks through the clouds. The air smells like the sea. Salt gets on your lips. The winds start to blow, and tosses your hair. The kites go up in the air. And the next thing you know, your having a good time! And sometimes you find magic!


We travel everyday, to and from work, the library, the dry cleaners. We travel over bridges, through tunnel and beyond; but what do you see along the way? Do you stop and smell the flowers? Do you feel the air? Do you take just a brief minute to take it all in?

  • Please tell me what you see in your daily travels
  • Do you travel with your pets?
  • Do you hire a sitter while you're away
  • Do you board your pets?
  • If you take your pets with you when you travel, how differently do you plan? Things like when and where to stop, where you lodge....Please share. I'll be compiling lots of good tips from all your experiences.
Be safe and see you soon, my little legs (take a look at those skinny legs on the suitcase), should be rested and ready to go again in a day or so.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cayucos, California Coast Road heading North

steep California coastlineThe views were interesting, though obstructed due to the heavy cloud cover as a result of "The fires". We never saw the sun once we left Palm Springs area for any period of time. Several times here on my blog, I've poked fun at the lack of sun--in sunny California AND how I needed to return to Ohio to see the sun and get warm again. These pictures will bare that out.

rugid California coastSteep, rugid coast line as one heads north up the coast road. The water wasn't pretty blue, nor was the sky. People weren't swimming or walking the shore line. Nothing about this coast line resembles the sandy beaches so well known on the other coast. Though interesting, it was not what I expected; and I was a bit disappointed. I had heard many times about how beautiful the California coast was. Much of the time while travel the coast road, you don't even see the water. That was really disappointing. There were pull offs from time to time where you had these views that I imagine might be breathtaking under other circumstances.

Cayucos fishing pierThe Pier was all but deserted. Only a few souls in the water or on the beach. Not really even any fisherman to speak of. The pier at Cayucos is 130 foot wide and 800 foot long. No doubt it's normally quite a gathering place.

wharf resturant schoonersSchooners Wharf is where we stopped for a late lunch. We had to get off the coast road to find this rather then being right on the coast road as we expected. It's old, pretty run down and has a pretty limited menu. The wind was really something the day we were there, with lots of folks crowded inside for protection. We got a table outside so we could see; but were glad of the wind block. This resturant has a webpage and quite a variety of reviews. It's considered to be the best around by some and not even close by others. Didn't notice any middle ground reviews. The food was normal bar food from our perspective, nothing to rave about; though we had a good time there as we planned the next part of our journey. It's probably not what I would classify as a family place, nor a place I would recommend as a must stop location.

hazy coastal view
HAZE...the winds were blowing in the smoke from "The Fires", though we didn't smell smoke at this point.

*previous post The Seals, check it out if you missed it.
**During the boring part of the drive when we weren't really seeing the water, coast etc. I was knitted and crocheting for The Bridge Project

Sunday, June 21, 2009

California Elephant Seals- Barking, Snarling, Arguing, Lumbering, and Snuggling

Traveling north up the California coast line in our rented car, after a wonderful night in Santa Barbara; we stopped to visit the seals. Zalophus Califorianus, California Elephant Seals. Fascinating to watch.

elephant sealsBarking Seals. You should have heard the noise. We heard it from the highway. Really sounded like a bunch of dogs.

elephant seals

Snarling Seals, were really not happy with each other. No clue what the problem was.


Arguing seals. They seemed pretty aggressive. I was glad to be good distance away.


Lumbering Seals, coming ashore. They moved pretty slowly, so much weight to move around. It was a move stop, move again situation. Getting in from the water really took time.

elephant seals

Snuggling and molting seals. They were laying all over each other. Suppose for the warmth, but given their weight I was surprised to see them stacked on top of each other. The molting made them all appear different colors, almost spotted in some cases.

California Seals really aren't true seals. Zalophus Califorianus are intelligent circus type seals. These seals are highly trainable. The navy trains seals, you see seals at the circus performing tricks, you know with the balls on their noises. They weight up to 660 pounds and can be 8 foot long if male, lighter and shorter if female.

**if you missed the previous post about traveling with children, it's not to late, it's still here.
for those who like to know whats up next...scenery still on the coast road check back

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Traveling with Kids, SPECIAL Trip Ticks


"Are we there yet"? "I'm hungry". "Mom, he's on my side........Brings back memories I bet for lots of us. Make travel easier for all. Make your child his or her "special", very own trip tick. You can keep them busy, make them feel special, and the time spent in the car will be more pleasant for all. PLUS, the bonus is your kids will actually learn something while on vacation.

Supplies needed:
3 ring notebook
pocket dividers
colored pencils (not crayons they melt, not markers they're too messy)
Plain White Paper for drawing
Lined paper for writing

Divide by area, or state depending on the age of the child and were you're going AND how long you'll be in the car.

Make a few math problems that involve the kids keeping track of monies spent for gas, food, miles traveled, ...let them figure out how many miles per gallon you're getting. Things like how far it is from point A to point B.

Make hidden word puzzles about vacation, the things you're going to do and see along the the names of cities you'll travel through, the capitals of the states you'll be in, the state bird.

Have pictures to color that are the state bird. See if they can find them or the state flower as they look out the window.

Make a fact sheet about what's interesting in that area, like what famous person came from there, or what sports teams are in that city (if you've got a sports minded kid).

Encourage them to write a travel journal (we left the house at 7 am, and I was the first to see a Cardinal, the state bird of Ohio...), tie it all in together. If your child's a reader, try to find a book appropriate for the area so they'll have something they can tell you. **For helpful tips on how to encourage them to journal, PLEASE visit my SIL's blog.

As you travel ask them what you're going to see next, how far it is to the next stop etc. Make them a part of it.

I did this every year, and after the first year; my daughter could hardly wait to get in the car and see what I'd put together for her. DON'T LET THEM SEE THEIR TRIP TICK BEFORE GETTING IN THE CAR. KEEP IT A SURPRISE.

Turn off the DVD player, car time is wonderful family time...use it. They can watch TV and DVD anytime; make vacation special--make it different.

The picture is just a pretty flower, has nothing to do with the post, just thought you'd all enjoy it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vegas Baby!

Vegas Baby! Now what about that statement doesn't spell FUN in capital letters? That's right nothing. FUN, fun, FUN.

The best website for one stop shopping for all your Las Vegas Deals. Not sure where to stay, no problem 100 hotels available with a check availability calendar at your finger tips. Las Vegas Hotels starting at $22.00 a night. Maybe you're not "into" gambling and visiting the casinos just isn't your cup of tea. Plug in a date for availability and pick a show or two. Las Vegas Shows, with plenty of discounts available. Promo codes, discount coupons. Some shows listed at 50% off. Now that's a deal you don't want to miss out on.

So whats so special about Las Vegas? You're not a gambler, you're not into the shows. There's still plenty to do. Take advantage of the many Las Vegas Specials, rent a car, take a tour, go shopping; or use the hand search tool available and find the best possible pool to relax or play in and simply sit back and enjoy yourself. With these prices you can afford to take the whole family.

Yes, there's plenty to do in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Like art
Like to site see?vegas scenery

Or......maybe the Night Lights are your scene.
night scene in vegas

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Preparing for Summer Travel with Children

mommy and baby elephant
Summer is officially here, kids are out of school in most areas or soon will be. Families are beginning to think and plan for family vacations, and family outings. Vacations in these economic times might be a bit more varied then in other years. Think of day trips, things to see and do that don't involve the cost of a hotel room. Pack picnic lunches and take snacks and save the money you might otherwise spend at various fast foods.

Think outdoors, think fun, think educational, think Family, think Children. Everyone loves to go to the Zoo. Most metropolitan areas have a zoo. Check on line for discounts that maybe available for "special days". Can you gather the neighborhood, the kids of your co-workers and obtain a group discount?

Grab your sunscreen and make a day of it. Remember small children tire and need breaks, they need to be able to keep moving and not wait in lines, they need bathroom breaks, they need good walking shoes for protection and comfort. No one wants to carry a hot sticky child. If one area is especially busy, pass it by and find something else of interest. Engage the children in the conversation. What do you know about animal x y z? Have you seen one before? How big do you think they are? Take pictures, but keep them at a minimum. Children tire of that very quickly. Use sunscreen and find shade when you can. The happier the child or children are the better time everyone will have.

Prepare them ahead of time....if you're traveling to get to the zoo (or other attraction), do a writing exercise about what they'll see when they get there. Children do better when they know what to expect. Older children can write a journal about their day which can include the traveling to and from, as well as what they saw and did while there.

Follow Beco and his mother to visit with their friends on Animal Talk

**if you missed traveling to The Mission with me, see my previous post
****I'll be writing as a quest blogger Sat 13th on Animal Talk, be sure and check it out

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mission San Carlos Borrome'o de Carmel, Traveling in California

San Carlos Barromeo Mission
Spain wished to colonize The California Lands, the Catholic Franciscan order wished to bring Christianity to the Natives, and thus The Mission period (1769-1835) along The El Camino Road was born. El Camino Real, the road to connect the 21 missions along the California coast made traveling from one to the other possible.

Mission San Carlos Borrome'o de Carmel, the 2nd oldest of these missions was named for Saint Charles Borromeo. It is considered to be the most beautiful of all the missions and was the headquarters. Father Junipero Serra built the mission, his favorite and is infact buried beneath the alter. This is a must see, and is just south of the city of Carmel.

There is much to see while traveling throughout the grounds, diorama's depicted it's early history, original bibles, pictures showing the various stages of The Mission, a grave yard, beautiful gardens with statues, and of course an impressive gift shop.


Secularization occurred in 1834 putting an end to the missions. They were all sold to private parties, except the church which fell into terrible disrepair. It stood empty, with a collapsed roof for 30 years. The first attempt at repair/rehab took place in 1884, and the 2nd in 1930.

If you're traveling with children make a point to spend ample time in front of these diorama's. There are several and detail is fabulous. Would also be a great way to introduce your children to making a diorama of vacation once they return home.


Touring this mission is very educational for people of all ages, I highly recommend it. What a peaceful thing to do with the family after a hectic hot day at the beach, or perhaps on a rainy day while on vacation. Encourage the kids to write about their visits to interesting places while you travel.


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