We’re heading up north people.  Tuesday the 17th is the wedding, so we need to make our way from San Fran to Fortuna.

I was going to say sunny San Fran, but the truth is most of the time we were treated to this:

Hey!  Where’s the rest of the bridge?

Remember that planning we did where we determined it would be about a 6 hour drive between the two locations?  Yeah, you can start laughing right. about. now…

See, we also thought that being a vacation and all, we should opt for the scenic route.  So we drove Highway 1 all the way between the two.  We left our hotel at about 9:30 am.  We arrived in Fortuna…much, much later.

First, we crossed that nice foggy bridge.

Then we stopped at our first beach.  Stinson Beach actually – a whopping 15 miles across the bridge.

We raced each other around the beach.  We wrote our names in the sand.  We played on the lifeguard station.  We picked up a few shells and a piece of a sand dollar.  You know, all the stupid tourist “hey look!  The ocean!” things.

(Love my green toes! Someone send a copy of this to Aunt Marge, will ya?)

Some of us even put our feet in the chilly water!

We figured we’d find plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the oceanside view and play on the beaches.  So back into the rental and off we went!

Again with the laughing.

156 miles and 6 HOURS of fog later we pulled into Mendocino and stopped for an overpriced hum-drum lunch.  We couldn’t even say it was worth the view since you still couldn’t see anything.  But on we will go though the weather be foul, on we will go though the Hacken Cracks howled.  Oops, sorry, wrong story. (Oh the Places You’ll Go, Dr. Seuss, for the unfamiliar.  We have no enemies who prowled.)

Shortly after our lunch stop we did find another beach to enjoy, just before Fort Bragg.

It was still foggy, but it had these cool rocks and some cliffs all around.  (And a few seagulls.)

One of my favorite photos of the whole trip.

A nice gal who was spending the day with her young daughter and mother was nice enough to take this photo for us.  We mentioned where we were headed and she commented we still had quite a ways to go.  We figured it was only another couple hours or so (about 150 miles).  She looked at us funny.  If only we knew…

Following our beach stop, the road quickly turns into windy twisty forest with glimpses of the ocean.  The Boy was miserable.  His tummy hurt, he was hungry, he was thirsty, no he wasn’t either of those things.  Truth be told it was probably a bit of car sickness combined with lack of naps combined with being tired of this whole trapped in my car seat thing.

40 miles and 1.5 hours later we made it to Leggett, where Highway 1 ends and rejoins the 101.  We took this opportunity for a small break and a chance to drive through a tree.

No kidding!

We had arrived at the Redwoods!  Only another hour and a half to go…

We finally arrived in Fortuna at 7 pm Monday night.  Not quite 10 hours later.

The one thing I haven’t mentioned is our hotel catastrophe.  Originally we had booked three rooms at the Six Rivers Motel, one for us, one for Josh’s parents, and one for his sister’s family.  Josh’s parents and his sister arrived in Fortuna on Sunday night to find they only had rooms for us Monday through Wednesday nights.  Red flag #1.  Oh, and they only had two rooms, not three.  Gah!  Big red flag #2!  I jumped online back at the Embassy Suites and quickly snatched up a suite at the Comfort Inn instead.  Granted it would more than double our cost, but at least we’d have plenty of room.  Mom, Dad, Jess and family all spent Sunday night on the floor of his youngest sister’s (the one getting married) house, intending to check into the Six Rivers Monday morning….

When they returned on Monday, they discovered the proprietor of the Six Rivers had given away ANOTHER of the rooms and some friends who were also there for the wedding and had stayed Sunday night were quickly baling to find a better hotel.

Upon our arrival in Fortuna we called Jess to find out where they were.  They were standing in the parking lot of the hotel next to ours trying to get a room.  Our suite turned out to be two full size hotel rooms connected together, so we offered to let Josh’s parents stay with us, and Jess picked up a room at the Comfort Inn as well.

And commence the cousin craziness.

Oh, okay, these two are more just cute and cuddly than crazy.  But the other three?  Sheesh.  They were bonkers.  You would be too after that long in a car!

We unloaded all our stuff, the oldest cousin volunteered to stay with the babies once we put them to sleep, and the rest of us headed over to the Eel River Brewing Company for a late, late, late dinner.  By the time we were all seated and had our noshes it was nearly 9:30.

Shortly after dinner…sleep.  Perchance to dream.