July 30, 2014 In life, photography

A Few Days in California

Spending time with good friends

Happy Wednesday! We’ve had a crazy last few days… but what else would you expect from us?! Friday morning I drove out into the mountains of Hope, BC (almost two hours from us in Langley!) to capture the wedding of Alyssa and Seiji. It was stunning. A small wedding celebration, just ceremony and portraits. (They celebrated their wedding with a reception the next day.) I loved it. Check out that post here.

After the Friday morning/afternoon wedding, Randy and I had our bags packed and ready by the door. When he got home, we loaded up the car and hit the road. We ran into Seattle rush-hour traffic (dang Fridays) and opted to exit for Chipotle and wait for the highway to calm down. Our plan worked well… but every stop on a road trip takes more time than you think it will. We were back on the road by 8pm headed for Portland. We didn’t have plans of where to stay. We figured we’d drive until we didn’t want to anymore and then pull off and find a room at a hotel.

Wow, doesn’t that sound simple? Yeah. It wasn’t. We decided to drive through Portland to give us a head start on any potential traffic the next morning.We picked Salem, Oregon on our GPS and stopped at the first hotel – Days Inn. We pulled in at 11:20pm and there was a “no vacancy” sign on the door. We drove to the next hotel, no vacancy. “Every hotel is jammed. There’s some sort of race going on, they said.” Randy reported to me back in the car.

We tried three more places. Every parking lot was absolutely packed – a telltale bad sign when looking for a “room at the inn.” Randy came out shaking his head from the fifth hotel and said, “We should head to the next city. I don’t want to waste time driving West to East when we could be making progress.” The next city was Albany, Oregon. We drove another 30 minutes on the I-5 and tried the next hotel. Full. Randy walked out of the lobby, after midnight, with haste. Word on the street was there was a spare room at Econolodge. We rushed out of the parking lot headed for what we hoped would be a room.

We got the very last non-smoking room available. It had a double bed. (Better than a single. Silver lining?) The room also came with very direct instructions to double check all of your deadbolds and locks. I also found Randy inspecting every inch of the bedsheets before he got into bed.

The next morning, we were on the road after Starbucks by 8am, bound for Reno, Nevada. This was a last minute trip of sorts. Randy got some time off work with fairly short notice and we decided to make use of it. I love my husband. He knew our friends Kristen and Caleb Morris were in California/Nevada area for a couple months and he asked, “How long would it take to drive to see them?” I got so excited. “Let’s google it!” I said. We had approximately seven full days to get away. I had a wedding on Friday, July 25th and two weddings August 2nd and 3rd. Let’s ignore the fact we are moving August 5th… because really, time off only comes around occasionally. We decided we could make this trip happen. Even if it meant packing for a week’s vacation in the midst of moving boxes. Srsly.

We arrived in Reno Saturday night and spent Sunday visiting Lake Tahoe with Kristen and Caleb and their baby Rowdy and three of Kristen’s six siblings. The lake was only a forty five minute drive from Kristen’s Aunt and Uncle’s home in Reno and an easy day trip. We loaded up the coolers, packed our beach bags and enjoyed a glorious day under the sun. We love hanging out with this family and seeing new things.

Monday, we drove four hours to Yosemite Park. I loved seeing it for the second time.

We stayed in Stockton, California that evening. Yesterday, we toured San Francisco (I had been before, but it was Randy’s first time!) and today, the plan is San Francisco again before driving home!

We plan to make a hotel reservation this time.