Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spring Break 2003 Trip Report

Just like my daughter and me, my wife, Teresa (T2), and I took a great many trips during our short marriage.  I went through our Trip Journals and counted up 21 documented trips.  This does not include some of the many quick overnighters and weekend getaways, which, due to how short they were, we didn't always think to write about.  But we did write about our many big trips, from our honeymoon to the great Northwest and down the coast from Seattle to San Francisco, to our wonderful New England adventure, from our Christmas-cousin's wedding-New Year's at Disney-Terps in the Orange Bowl Florida trip, to our cross-country twenty-one state loop around America, we covered a LOT of ground, and I'm thankful to have those travel journals to read through and experience those incredible memories for all time.

As we approach Spring Break season, I was reminded of our big week-long California Coast road trip, from San Francisco to Los Angeles, when Teresa was just a few months pregnant with our daughter, Melody.  I pulled out our trip report and relished the excitement of that trip, which we called our Honeymoon, Part 2.  Part 1 was our actual honeymoon, which was a trip down the coast from Seattle, over to Mount Ranier and Mount St. Helen's, over to the coast to Arcadia, then down the Oregon Coast and into Northern California, through the Redwoods, and into San Francisco.  It was such a great trip, and created so many memories, so we decided, not too long after we found out we were expecting, to return to San Francisco and continue the trip down the coast, all the way to Los Angeles.  Here is our story written by ME and Teresa...

This is Trip #20.  Eric & Teresa flew to California on 4/12/2003 and plan to fly home on 4/19/2003.
Day 1 - 4/11  Left home at about 5:30 p.m.on Friday.  We took Faithful Pup Scout to Teresa's parent's house and said goodbye. We went to Chick-Fil-A for dinner, then checked into our "wedding night" hotel, the Ramada at Rt. 100-BW Parkway.  We put in a 3:30 a.m. wake up call.  Watched some TV (our favorite show "Ed"), then went to bed at 10.  Lord, thanks!  Please be with my T2 and me on our journey, and keep us safe, happy, and healthy.  Amen
Day 2 - 4/12  (BWI-DFW-San Jose-San Francisco - Rain/Clear/Rain/Clear - 50s)  Up at 3:30 a.m.(!) and we got ready.  The Ramada shuttled us over to BWI where we flew to Dallas/Ft.Worth, then on to San Jose.  Went to pick up our rental car at Budget and they upgraded us to a convertible Mustang!  It was identical to our honeymoon car (make, model, AND color!).  Too bad it was raining and cold.  We met up with our friend Cherish and had lunch at Maggiano's.  The three of us then went to the Winchester Mystery House for a tour.  It was very cool!  We said goodbye to Cherish and went to the home of our friends from church, who moved to San Bruno.  It was great to see them (Phil, Louise, Matthew, and Luke).We had a very nice dinner, then Phil and the Boys took us to Pacifica.  We flew a kite on the beach, but then the rain hit us again, so we went to the nearby pier and watched the sunset (and saw a beautiful rainbow!).  Back to their place and we soon went to bed.
Day 3 - 4/13  (San Bruno-San Francisco-Muir Woods-Tiburon - Clear/Rain/Clear/Rain - 50s)  Up at 8:30 or so.  Feiler's went to church (we slept in).  Feels great to rest!  Feiler's home.  We went for a hike with them, then T2 & I packed up, said goodbye to Louise, then we (T2 & I and Phil & the Boys) went to In-N-Out Burger for the first time and Krispy Kreme for a delicious meal.  Rain hit us again, so we ate our meal in a nearby parking garage.  We said our goodbyes, then T2 and I went on into San Francisco.  We found our friend's (Irene & Stephen) apartment at Lincoln and 9th.  Very nice location across from Golden Gate Park.  Great to see Irene!  We three went to Muir Woods (where it rained on us again!).  Good time despite the rain.  Then we went to Tiburon and we ate at a very good Mexican place, Guayama's.  Back to San Francisco and we crashed for the night (Stephen home late).  To bed at 11:30 p.m. or so.
Day 4 - 4/14  (Golden Gate Park-Half Moon Bay-Japantown-Ghirardelli Square - Mostly clear and cool - 60s)  Up at around 8.  T2 & I got ready and had a leisurely morning.  I went to Radio Shack for a camera battery.  T2 & I walked to Golden Gate Park, thru the Botanical Gardens, had tea and cookies at the Japanese Tea Garden, and walked up to Strawberry Hill (T2 stopped at the waterfall almost at the top.  She was feeling a bit sick, so Eric walked back to the car and came back to pick her up.  Back to lunch with Irene at her apartment.  Very nice.  We 3 took a very nice drive to Half Moon Bay and strolled the windy beach.  Back "home."  Irene and Stephen went to a basketball game.  E & T2 went to Japantown for dinner, then drove down Lombard St. and to Fisherman's Wharf.  Shopped and walked to Ghirardelli Square and got ice cream!  We drove around San Fran, then came "home."  On to bed late.  Lord, thanks!
Day 5 - 4/15  (Alcatraz-Fisherman's Wharf-Chinatown - Mostly Sunny AM/Mostly Cloudy PM)  Up at 8.  T2 and I got ready and hopped on the 71 Bus to Downtown, then the "F" Trolley to Fisherman's Wharf.  We saw the sea lions, then boarded a Blue & Gold Ferry to Alcatraz.  Very cool tour with a Park Ranger, then the audio tour inside the prison.  Headed back to the mainland.  Had lunch/appetizer at Boudin's (clam chowder in a sour dough bread bowl), then had our lunch at an Italian place on Pier 39.  We shopped, then hopped on a cable car to Chinatown.  Found a few souvenirs, then took the Muni "N" back to Irene & Stephen's.  Phoned our parents to check in, then the four of us went to dinner at the Crepevine.  Good food and conversation.  Had gelato for dessert, then headed back to the apartment and crashed for the night.  Chatted until late.  Lord, Thanks!  Bless us as we journey on our vacation and those we meet along the way!
Day 6 - 4/16  (San Fran-Route 1-Hearst Castle-Santa Maria - Partly cloudy - 60s)  Up around 8, dressed and shared breakfast with Irene  Then we packed up the car, and we drove Irene to her sister, Lena's, house for their Passover celebration.  Visited for a few moments and then back to 92 West to Half Moon Bay and south on Route 1.  Amazing vistas!  Saw a car commercial (print ad?) being shot along the way.  Stopped for many pictures (T2 felt a bit sick by lunch at a Jack-in-the-Box).  Pressed on from Monterey to Hearst Castle.  Saw elephant seals on the way.  Hearst Castle was breath-taking - amazing views, Roman pools and ancient art.  On the tour, we were followed by a guard - the collection is that phenomenal.  We'll have to return for another tour (there are four types).  Followed the tour with the IMAX Hearst Castle movie.  Excellent.  Left the castle, put the top down, and cruised to San Luis Obispo for dinner at Mo's BarBQue (homemade potato chips!).  Drove a short distance to Santa Maria and checked into a very nice Holiday Inn Suite.  Whoo Hoo!  Lord, Thank you for your watch-care over us and for blessing us with this trip.
Day 7 - 4/17  (Santa Maria-Santa Monica - Mostly sunny, cool 60s)  Up at 8 or so.  Got ready and hit the road with the top down on our convertible.  On down US 101.  Stopped in Malibu for a short break, then on down Route 1 to Santa Monica!  Had lunch at the Montana Grill on Montana Ave.  Also stopped at the end of Route 66 at Santa Monica Blvd., with a plaque for Will Rogers.  Checked into the Best Western Gateway.  Headed right back out to Universal (through some of the worst traffic I'd ever seen!).  Went through security and over to one of the Stages to see a live Pilot Show ("The Ripples") be taped.  Starred Adam Arkin and Diane Farr.  Pretty cool being in the studio audience!  Poor T2 had a migraine and got sick back at the hotel in the parking garage.  On to bed late.
Day 8 - 4/18  (Hollywood - Clear 60s - Nice!)  Up at 6:30.  Got ready and to Warner Brothers Studios for their VIP Tour.  Very Cool!  Saw a LOT of neat stuff!  T2 was happy to see some of the ER outdoor set, the FRIENDS set, Gilmore Girls, and many more.  Had lunch nearby, then walked along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman's Chinese Theater, etc.  Took a Starline Tour of the Hollywood Star's Homes.  Very informative.  Did a little shopping, then went to Universal Studios Citywalk and had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe.  Drove through the Hollywood Hills and over to Sunset Blvd., on through Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and back to Santa Monica.  Back to our hotel.  Packed up and to bed.
Day 9 - 4/19  (Los Angeles-LAX-BWI-Home - Mostly clear)  Up very early and checked out of our Best Western, drove to LAX, dropped off our Mustang convertible, and flew home.  Stopover at Chicago O'Hare and bumped into our church's Mission Team (on the way home from Arizona).  On to BWI.  We caught the shuttle back to our hotel to get our car, then went to Arundel Mills to eat dinner and get our pictures developed.  Home!  Dropped off our luggage, then rushed back out to T2's parent's to pick up Faithful Pup Scout!  So nice to see her (and T2's parents!).  On home!  Lord, thank you for a wonderful, memorable trip!

I couldn't help but notice that the last day of this trip was April 19.  Exactly one year later, on April 19, 2004, Teresa would pass away from a sudden heart attack, changing our lives forever.  I'm so happy to have these wonderful memories, though!

Have a great evening, everyone!

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