The Best of the Best – The First Six Months Pre-San Francisco Part 2

12 February 2012 in Memories, Reviews, Trails/Hiking, Traveling

 

Choosing what was the best of the best (so far) was a little tricky in some areas but in others it was way easy. It has been an honor to do what we are doing and I have no regrets. I cannot wait to see more, do more and eat more! Cheers!

PARKS:

1. Grand Canyon National Park, North Rim – This was definitely my favorite park. I loved the trails, the view and the surrounding wilderness. I wasn’t expecting so many Ponderosa Pines and Aspens! Visit the North Rim because the crowds aren’t as heavy and the people are really nice.

2. Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park – Big trees and big mountains in the distance. Everywhere you drive its amazing! I’m still picking my jaw up off the ground. Watch out for jumping baby bears and the one that has an itchy butt in the campground.

3. Zion National Park – To be in the valley of these giant rock walls is indescribable. It makes you realize how small you really are. I can’t wait to hike more of it.

4. Redwood State and National Parks – The Redwoods are in a world of their own. You feel like you are in a fairy tale just waiting for creatures to come out of the trees and take you to their land beyond the ferns and fog.

5. Bryce Canyon National Park – The land of the hoodoos. Its amazing what mother nature can do to keep you in awe.

CITIES:

1. Portland, OR – This city has a vibe about it that I just love. There is a lot to do and I don’t even know the half of it. Plus the food is amazing!

2. Seattle, WA – Wonderful and inviting people, good food and you get your workout walking up and down all of those hills. Thank you for the great photo ops! I love street graffiti!

3. San Francisco, CA – We were only here for a day but being there for just one nighy, I definitely need to come back.

4. Las Vegas, NV – It was nice to see some family here. Thank you for the Bellagio tour and the great company. And if you enjoy people watching as much as I do, Las Vegas shows you all that you need to see to keep you entertained for hours.

5. Arcata, CA – College town with the right amount of dive bars and you can never get enough of random, wandering guitarists and the dancing hippies.

URBAN EXPERIENCES:

1. Ground Kontrol, Portland – When you can play your favorite old ass video games for a quarter and where the second floor is a ton of pinball machines for fifty cents, count me in!

2. Wine Tasting, Oregon – We only stopped at two wineries on this scenic winery drive. At one winery, we were greeted by a dog with an old Pepsi can and we tried our first white pinot noir. The second winery offered free tastings, good snacks and a dedication of White Christmas to us by the band.

3. The Streets of Seattle – Pike’s Market and the fish goo in the lady’s mouth, good food, good people and lovely street art everywhere.

4. The Streets of Portland – Once you look at a map and know where you are going, you’re bound to have a good time.

5. Wal-Mart Parking lot sleepovers, at Wal-Marts west of the Rockys – We have stayed in our fair share of Wal-Mart parking lots and have some good stories. They are free to stay in but the lights are bright and the parking lot sweepers drive like maniacs.

TRAILS:

1. North Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon National Park – My first backcountry hiking experience was on this trail but you don’t need to hike to the river and back to get a feel of what its like to be in the Canyon. Take a hike down to Coconino Outlook and take your time coming back up because you are going to be out of breath. Bring water, snacks and your camera!

2. Observation Point, Zion National Park – The view of a lifetime. You can see right down the valley of Zion. Simply breathtaking. Be prepared for changes in the weather and don’t forget snacks and water.

3. Widforss Trail, Grand Canyon National Park – A self-guided ten mile round trip hike that takes you on some amazing views of the North Rim. No need to hike the five miles in to feel satisfaction. Keep an eye out for the horned lizard. They are really cute!

4. Damnation Creek Trail, Del Norte State Park – Still one of my favorite trails. Its a strenuous trail leading you down numerous sets of switchbacks through old growth redwoods and at the end is an outstanding view of the ocean where you can sit all day and watch the waves roll in but don’t forget about your hike back up those switchbacks. Bring water!

5. Moro Rock Trail, Sequoia and Kings Canyon – A steep incline to heaven. This view will leave your jaw dropped and your knees shaking because the only thing between you and the ground hundreds of feet below is a guard rail with no net. A must see.

FOOD AT HOME:

1. PIzzas, both Fry Bread and Thick Crust – Fry bread makes a delicious, bad for you crust and my new pizza crust recipe is thick and awesome! I’ll never buy dough again. Put some butternut squash and spinach on that pizza and you got it made.

2. Baked Goods – Welcome to the world of yeast! I simply love to bake. Whether its my bagels, biscuits, breadsticks, tortillas or scones. Flour is my new best friend.

3. Dan’s Amazing Curry Sauces – this man knows how to make a sauce.

4. Seitan Sloppy Sammies – Thinly sliced seitan, mustard, veggies and cheese. Bake until cheese in melted and you are wanting more.

5. Pot Pies, both Traditional and Non – Can’t get enough of Pot Pies whether they are traditional with veggies and gravy or filled with spinach, sauce and cheese. So good!

RESTAURANTS:

1. In the Bowl – Seattle, WA – I wish they delivered to Northern California. I could go for some Spicy Coconut Noodles right about now. Get the steak.

2. The Vegetarian House – Portland, OR – Another amazing restaurant with all vegan mock meats and dishes with plenty of flavor. I suggest the miso soup, shrimp appetizers and the fish.

3. Vita Cafe – Portland, OR – This restaurant had plenty of awesome options to choose from and the atmosphere was great. Good food and will eat here again. The tofu wings are the best that I have had. Sorry Chicago Diner and Palomino.

4. Hungry Tiger II – Portland, OR – Really good vegetarian meatloaf and the portions were huge. Too bad I was a cow and ate it all. Service wasn’t the best but that was made up with good food and cheap beer.

5. Bunny and Aaron’s Kitchen of Wonder – Seattle, WA – There’s nothing better than a home cooked meal. It was like our Sunday dinners at home. Spanikopita + rice pilaf + stuffed peppers = I want more!

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12 February 2012 Memories, Reviews, Trails/Hiking, Traveling

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