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August 4, 2004

West Coast Vacation

    This year's summer vacation was to several places we've never been to out on the west coast.   We left Indianapolis on July 27th and headed for San Francisco, California aboard ATA.  We spent a few days there and then flew up to Portland, Oregon.  After an afternoon visiting the the Red Bull Flugtag down on the Columbia River, we drove to Seattle, Washington where we stayed for another three days.  While in Washington, we drove up to Vancouver, British Columbia for a day.  Our hotel caught on fire during one of the nights in Seattle, so we didn't get much sleep that night, but at least it was fun watching someone else work.  We also witnessed two car accidents during the trip.  It was after the second crash that we thought we were bound and determined to have to go to work while on vacation!  All in all it was one of the better trips we've taken recently.  San Francisco rated highest with highlights going to Alcatraz and to the cable cars.

     After five plane rides, 3 rental cars, 1,301 miles driven, 4 cities, and 2 countries, here's a day-by-day breakdown of our trip:

                   July 27 - Arrive in San Francisco.
                   July 28 - Tour San Francisco, Alcatraz, and the fisherman's wharf area near Pier 39.
                   July 29 - Travel 13 hours round trip to the "Avenue of the Giants" and drive through a very large redwood tree.
                   July 30 - A day in San Francisco.  Ride the cable cars, electric buses, and street cars.  See Coit Tower and drive Lombard St.
                   July 31 - Breakfast in San Francisco.  Fly to Portland for lunch.  Visit the Flugtag.  See Mt St Helens.  Arrive in Seattle for dinner.
                   Aug 1  -  Drive to Vancouver, Canada and spend the day.
                   Aug 2  -  Spend the day in Seattle.  Tour the Boeing plant.  Visit the Space Needle, Seattle City Center, and the fish market.
                   Aug 3  -  Fly back to San Francisco.  Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.
                   Aug 4  -  Fly back to Indianapolis. 

(click on a thumbnail to enlarge photo)

San Francisco Bay.  Note the Sea Lions on the dock. One of the cells in Alcatraz. A view of Golden Gate Bridge. Approaching Alcatraz Island. Another view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Driving across the Golden Gate Bridge. Remember the show "Full House"? Driving on top of a fallen giant redwood tree. Standing inside the "drive-through" tree. A view looking up at the giant redwood trees.
Mandy getting ready to ride the cable car. Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the world! You need to look closely. Coit Tower in San Francisco.  It was built to resemble a fire nozzle. Another San Francisco street showing the hills. 47 miles to Mount St. Helens.
Arriving back in the U.S. after touring Vancouver, B.C. A view from atop the Space Needle in Seattle.  Where's the rain? From the observation deck of the Space Needle 520 feet up! The Space Needle in Seattle. A photo from the Golden Gate Bridge with San Francisco in the background.


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