Heading to Sunny California

“As one went to Europe to see the living past, so one must visit Southern California to observe the future.”

It’s that time of year again where families get together for those few days filled with fun and reminiscing the special times you never want to forget. Hours filled laughing over some crazy thing you did when you were 12 and the sweet times you had with loved ones who are no longer with us. It’s time to head to California where John and I both grew up. John born and raised in Malibu and for me it was at one time a small hill town called Tujunga. We both have fond memories of our childhood and always will call these places home even though we have been in Oregon for the past 25 years.


Malibu pier California

The Malibu pier and view from John’s house he grew up in


It’s only December and its been one of the wettest years on record. Portland actually had streets under water and the only way to cross was with a small boat or kayak. A friend posted a cute photo of the Loch Nest Monster swimming through the streets as a joke. Good one! But really its been so bad our horses can’t even get into the barn its so flooded. So with that we are looking forward to palm trees and bright sunny beaches, surfboards and swimsuits, and who knows maybe a trip to Disneyland or Catalina. We will see if it will work out weather-wise  or time-wise.

On the way down we are hoping to check out some of the smaller villages in the Siskiyous Mountains depending if there is too much snow or ice. Let’s see, there is Yreka, Shasta, Dunsmuir and the iconic Weed. For some reason the name alone brings in thousands of tourists each year.  Near Dunsmuir is a place we have always wanted to stay although not this trip although we may stop for lunch there. The Railroad Park Resort opened in 1968 now has 23 railroad cars (mostly caboose’s) that have been converted into luxurious accommodations just below Castle Crags State Park. You can’t miss the view from there the Crag’s are spectacular! They also have vintage cabins and RV parking but its the caboose I would want to stay in.


Mount Shasta Californa and train

Mount Shasta with snow and train passing by at the bottom of the mountain. We sure got lucky with the train being there. It will be much more white when we travel through in the next few days.


Old Town Sacramento California

A stop in Old Town Sacramento is always a good stop along the way


The festive look of Old Town Sacramento at Christmas time!

The festive look of Sacramento at Christmas time!


Other stops will be Redding to see the Sundial Bridge, a glass bridge crossing the Sacramento River, said to be the largest sundial in the world. From there who knows what interesting sights we might haphazardly find. This will be the first time we don’t blast through between states to get to where we have to go. We are looking forward to new discovery’s. Stay tuned and I will hopefully bring you some interesting new places to visit if you are taking a family vacation between California and Oregon!


  1. I’ve been wanting to road trip from San Francisco to Oregon for quite some time! Especially to see Shasta and Lassen! Have a great time!

  2. Looking forward to seeing your tips on a road trip between Oregon and California, we hope to get make that same drive someday.

    • Thanks, and I’ve got my finger’s crossed that you can make it over here some day. In the meantime I will give you a good run down of what small towns and villages are worth checking out along I-5.

  3. Traveling to California slowly and stopping off on the way sounds great. I’d love to travel in USA, there’s just so much there to see and do! Merry Christmas! 🙂


  4. I love California! I can’t say though if I’d really love to spend Christmas there – I love the snow too much 🙂

  5. Nothing like a California road trip – any time of year. I’m a native and you showed me a couple of new things that I need to see – Railroad car hotel! Enjoy your time and I hope the sun follows you.

    • Oh Elaine, you have to see the Railroad Resort you will absolutely love it! Especially if you love rugged mountain scenery. We walked through their restaurant a few years ago, both the food and aroma were above our expectations. Curious, where are you from in CA?

  6. This sounds like such a great road trip! I’ve heard such great things about the road between Portland and Southern California. Sacramento looks so festive and quaint! I look forward to hearing about the stops you guys make on the road!

    • Yes, the drive from Portland to California is real eye candy until you get to Redding then it gets a little bleak. If you are willing to got off the road and explore a little though there are some worthwhile places to check out!

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