Celebrating the 4th of July on San Francisco Bay

How do you like to spend your 4th of July holiday?  Do you visit family?  Do you go to a potluck?  Do you fire up the grill at home?

Us?  We travel.  We’ve passed the holiday at the beach; we’ve spent it with bears.  We’ve even celebrated the long American holiday weekend with Canadians.

© Brianna Shade 2012

And we made a special trip south to our fellow west coast city of San Francisco.

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Visiting San Francisco’s Alcatraz Island

Day 5 brought us to prison, even though we never wanted to end up there. Who knew that going to prison would be so fun! From the staged prison cells, to the one phone call, we got to get a glimpse of what hardened criminals experienced during their time at Alcatraz. What was life like on the rock? More importantly, how did we escape?

Imprisoned Tourist at Alcatraz
Hardened Tourist

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Hiking the Boy Scout Tree Trail in Redwoods

We took Day 3 at a much slower pace than Day 2, and we were fortunately much drier.  We had plenty of ground to cover, but we had a magnificent gem – and something that’s been on my bucket list for some time – ahead of us: the California redwoods.

© Brianna Shade 2012

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Drenched! A Wet Rogue River Jet Boat Adventure

© Brianna Shade 2012

When we drove into Gold Beach at the end of our first day of our amazing road trip to San Francisco, I noticed the sign that read, “Jerry’s Rogue Jets.”  I immediately laughed, thinking this is not a business name that instills trust and reliability.

Little did I know that I wouldn’t have much choice in the matter.

A soggy start

The day rose in good old, gloomy Oregon fashion.  Aaron fretted, and I merely sat back, excited for what the day would bring.  I love surprises, and Aaron had everything all planned out.  I didn’t know our morning plans placed us outside in the increasingly damp day.

© Brianna Shade 2012

We pulled into the parking lot of Jerry’s Rogue Jets, and I had to laugh once more at my remarks from the night before.  Evidently, this establishment directed jet boat tours down the Rogue River; they did not rent out dubious aircraft with questionable loyalties.

And then I wryly laughed at our sorry luck with the weather.

© Brianna Shade 2012

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Southern Oregon Coast – West Coast Road Trip

Day 1

At the first stop on our journey to San Francisco, we stayed in Gold Beach Oregon as we intentionally wanted to go down the coastline to get there. It was about a 6 hour drive down, but we weren’t just racing to get to Gold Beach. We had a few stops before arriving that made this part of the trip special. The southern Oregon coast is magical and it would be a waste if we didn’t stop at some of the viewpoints. We’ve never visited this place in the world.

Cape Blanco State ParkCape Blanco State Park Continue reading “Southern Oregon Coast – West Coast Road Trip”

5 Things to Not Do in Portland

Planning a trip to Portland? Be sure to check out these 5 things you should not do before you visit. | BIGtinyWorld Travel | #portland #pdx #travelportland #pacificnorthwest

So you’ve got your bags all packed and you’ve set your sights on Portland.  You can’t wait to visit – and why not?  It’s a great city!  You have some awesome activities picked out, you know the best restaurants to hit, and you might have even timed your trip for one of Portland’s summertime festivals.

But there are still a few things you should know before you arrive in the Rose City – things others are unlikely to mention when trying to entice you to visit.  To ensure you have the best time possible, here are five things you should not do.
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A Road Trip to San Francisco

This trip to San Francisco was one of our first real road trips. There were many stops along the way that each have their own story. The beauty of driving is that you can see so much more than you do when you simply hop a plane. If you have the time, taking in the details along the way makes the trip special. It is all about the journey, not just the destination.

California Street Cable Car - San Francisco

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Portland: Summertime Festivals

Portland gets a lot of winter rain and even more cloud cover.  Between October and May (and often well into June), the sun seldom makes an appearance.  The moisture certainly makes for beautifully lush landscapes, dreamscape waterfalls, and mystic moss-draped forests, but it can get a bit dreary after so long.

However, our summers are simply to die for.  And suffering the rain only makes them that much more special.

The beauty about living in a temperate climate is we have wonderfully mild summers.  And this is when visitors and locals alike come out in droves to enjoy the many outdoor festivals in our riverside Waterfront Park – a prolific display of our affection for this beloved season.
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Sunrise and Sunset at Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park is a magical place to visit. You feel like you are on another planet with the grand hoodoos, bright orange colors, and contrasting white snow. We most enjoyed exploring this park at sunrise and sunset when the rock formations appear to be on fire. The snow provided a beautiful contrast to the bright red rocks. Here are some of our favorite places we visited while in Bryce.

Hoodoos at sunrise in off the Queens Garden Trail | bigtinyworld.com

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