My idea to document our trip with cookies was last minute so I contacted Anita from Sweet Hope Cookies in hopes she could help me. She graciously accepted the challenge and created 8 perfect little works of art (1 for each landmark destination) which arrived safely and ahead of schedule.
Side note: Last year I was lucky enough to win a free batch of cookies from Sweet Hope Cookies. Sweet Hope Cookies donates 100% of their profits to the ALS Association. Stop by their website to read more about ALS and the touching story behind Sweet Hope Cookies.
My husband (the driver) and I (the navigator) decided that we would take the scenic routes to our destinations as much as possible. It was going to be our boys' first extended look of California and Nevada and we wanted to be sure to see as much of it as possible.
Day 1, Cookie #1:
And we're off! We started with the drive up the coast and our first stop was the beautiful beaches of Santa Barbara to enjoy cookie #1 surrounded by the sand and sound of the waves.
We continued on HWY 1 and made several stops including, Cambria, San Simeon, Hearst Castle, Big Sur and Carmel until we reached our destination, San Francisco. Most of the drive was on the coastal edge and through the mountains. The views were breathtaking. We also witnessed a gorgeous sunset I won't ever forget.
Day 2, Cookie #2
San Francisco - We started with a trip to Candlestick Park, stopped in at Ghirardelli's for milk shakes and root beer floats and enjoyed clam chowder on Fisherman's Warf. We also drove to the San Francisco Mint, but much to our dismay, it is no longer open to the public.
We then drove through the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges and took a tour of the fascinating Fort Point under the Golden Gate Bridge and enjoyed cookie #2.
|View of the Sunset from a cannon window in Fort Point.|
Day 3, Cookie #3
We started day 3 with a hike through Muir Woods and then got back on the road to our next destination, Sacramento. There we visited the State Capitol building and toured Sutter's Fort. Then headed to Lake Tahoe for the night.
Day 4, Cookie #4:
Lake Tahoe - Day 4 started with a trip down to the Lake to enjoy cookie #4 and kick up the sand after breakfast. Then we rode the Gondola up to the snow and skiing area for an afternoon of snow play. I admit, I was deathly terrified on the way up in the Gondola, but the view from Observation Point was spectacular and well worth it.
Day 5, Cookie #5 & #6:
We kicked off Day 5 with a hike in the Van Sickel Bi-State Park and enjoyed cookie # 5 and #6. We then got back on the road to start our long drive to our next destination. We traveled the scenic route by day and the dessert not-so-scenic route through death valley by night. We stopped by Mono Lake, June Lake and Bishop along the way.
|Driving down the mountain from Tahoe|
|vista point at Mono Lake|
|Another amazing sunset.|
Thanksgiving Day - After our Thanksgiving feast we headed over to Red Rock Canyon for a refreshing hike. The skies were clear and the views were amazing.
Day 7 & 8, Cookie #8:
We spent the the last 2 days of our trip exploring the sights in Las Vegas. We ate, we played carnival games and walked until we couldn't walk any more. We visited Cake Boss Buddy V's Ristorante and shared a cannoli Hoboken style. I was thrilled to see one of my favorite football players from back in the day signing autographs, Jerry Rice from the 49ers!
|View from our room in the Vdara.|
|Atrium display at the Bellagio|
|Christmas at the Venetian|
Home Sweet Home:
We arrived safely back at home base on Day 8, tired but yet recharged by the wonderful experience.
The best part of our trip was spending every minute with my family. We laughed, we cried (actually, I did on the Gondola, but just a small tear of terror) and we explored together, it was great quality family time. The boys were real troopers and didn't complain about the long drives and never uttered the dreaded words "Are we there yet?". They took it all in and I hope they will remember this trip for the rest of their lives, I know I will. Now that our youngest is old enough to travel long distances without fussing, I see lots of adventures in our future!
Thank you for visiting and God Bless!