Guest Blogs

Guest Blog:
By Sam J.

PCH Roadtrip San Diego To Seattle—>10 Things To Know

San Diego –> Crescent City

Are you planning a road trip traveling north on Highway 1 up the coast for your next vacation? Here are a few great places to see and explore.

1.Hearst Castle/San Simeon are worth a visit if you have never done it and you have time for one of the tours.  I went on the Main House/Pool tour.

2. Make sure to explore around the town of Carmel, Big Sur, and the infamous Pebble Beach.

3.Wine Country (Napa, Sonoma) is beautiful, even if you do not like to drink wine.  It is a beautiful drive, but a little out of the way if you are taking 101 up to Redwood National and State Park. **Be careful when driving through Eureka.  This is where someone stole my phone at a rest area, it was totally my own fault, but be aware of your surroundings. However, this is a good spot to get gas and get other items from Walmart because there is not much in those small towns heading up the coast.

4.You must stop and visit Jedidiah Smith Redwood State Park.  Take a tube/raft and spend a day hiking around the old redwood trees, picnicking and enjoying the water. The water was so clear when we were there and you could actually see the bottom of the river.
Crescent City –> Portland **** Remember that you do not pump your own gas in Oregon.

5  When we traveled north up the coast we only went as far as Coos Bay.  We stopped in Brookings for fresh seafood (clams/salmon) at one of the docks.  We also drove to a couple light houses on the coast, which was pretty cool.  There are so many beautiful light houses along the Oregon Coast.

  1. The second time that I went, I took the I-5 past Mt. Shasta, which is a really nice drive.  I spent half a day in Ashland, Oregon (google it).  It is a pretty cool little town.  I stayed in Medford overnight because I knew that I was driving to Crater Lake the next day.
  2. From Medford to Crater Lake, stop at Bridal Veil Water Falls (Corbett, OR) and Cascade Locks Marine Park.  Also take a drive across the “Bridge of the Gods.”  It is pretty cool that you are in Oregon on one side and Washington on the other.  All of this is on the way to Crater Lake.  I left Medford at 6am, after stopping at the places mentioned earlier, I arrived by 10:30am at Crater Lake.  I stopped along the way to go on a short rainy hike to the Natural Bridge/Hidden River Trails. On the way back, I drove to the Vista House at Crown Point State Scenic Corridor around 1:15pm.  Afterwards, I drove Coos Bays/North Bend (Sand Dunes) –> I made it there around 3:40pm.  Then I drove up to Newport, OR and stayed there overnight.
  3. The next day, I drove to Cannon Beach, Oregon with a stop at Fort Clatstop National Memorial (Lewis and Clark National and State Park) at the mouth of the Columbia River before heading to Astoria.  I’m a huge Goonies fan, so I had to check out the house.
  4. Drove from Astoria to Portland, which was a pretty crazy drive through the mountains… but beautiful and green.  I saw lots of Elk.  I think I arrived in Portland around 4-5pm. I stayed in a more commercial part of Portland, near a mall and shopping centers because it was cheaper than staying in downtown Portland.  Getting to the cute little neighborhoods in Portland was easy and there was plenty parking. I spent two days in Portland and then headed up to Seattle.

Portland –> Seattle

  1. I stayed in downtown Seattle near Pikes Place Market.  I picked a location that was easy walking distance to the Space Needle, Pikes Place and the Waterfront.  I’m staying in Seattle in July and the prices are insane!  Seattle is nice, but have to remember that it cost WAY more in the summer July vs. September.  There is AirBNB there, which I would do, if it were only me.

Note:   When I stayed in Newport, I stayed in a VRBO home on the water… it was freaking unreal and beautiful.  Plus I had a chance to wash my clothes.

If you have any questions for Sam, please feel free to ask and contact us at
About:  Sam J. is a friend of and is a world traveler and explorer. Sam offered a few tips and insights for us when we mentioned to her that we are road tripping north to Seattle this Summer driving up the coast. This guest blog post is a synopsis of her experience about her roadtrip north on Highway 1 traveling all the way up to Seattle, WA, with many great stops along the way.  Sam has traveled the world, with a companion and many times by herself. She has so many exploration stories to share and will be a contributing guest blogger for in the near future. Here is a list of places where she has visited and will be sharing some of her travel experiences with us.

1. Austria (Vienna)
2. Czech Republic (Prague)
3. Denmark (Copenhagen)
4. England (London)
5. France (Paris, Bordeaux)
6. Germany (Munich, Berlin)
7. Hungary (Budapest)
8. Italy (Rome, Capri, Naples, Pompei, Sorrento and Amalfi Coast)
9. Slovakia (Bratislava)
10. Spain (Barcelona and Madrid)
11. Switzerland (Lucerne, Interlaken, Zurich, Geneva)
12. Netherlands (Amsterdam)
13. Cambodia (Angkor Wat, Siem Reap)
14. Hong Kong (Mong Kok)
15. Japan (Osaka, Tokyo)
16. Qatar – No photos but I spent a day there… meaning I left the airport and spent a day in the city.
17. South Korea (Seoul)
18. Thailand (Bangkok)
19. Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An)
North America:
20. Canada
21. Jamaica
22. Mexico
23. The Bahamas
24. USA (All states except for Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Dakota and Nebraska)
South America
25. Peru (Lima, Cuzco, Machu Picchu)
26. Australia – Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Port Douglas
27. New Zealand (Both North and South Islands – Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown, Milford Sound)
28. Fiji
29. Kenya (Nairobi)
30. South Africa (Cape Town)
31. Tanzania (Zanzibar, Mwanza)

Happy travels and have fun planning and maybe changing plans along the way.

More great exploration stories and hiking here:

Hiking Zion: Red Cliffs Playground of Wow and Wonder:  


The following guest blog I wrote for CancerCare Parcel, a resource that offers comfort, support and inspiration to those dealing with or affected by cancer.


Moms Hands_WEB
It’s Probably One Of The Worst Things For Someone To Be Told: “You Have Cancer,”

It can be devastating for a spouse or family member to hear it as well. I admit it, I felt my stomach fall to my feet when my mother called me on the phone to tell me the horrible news that she has breast cancer.  I felt intense emotions of fear, sadness and guilt because I lived over 2000 miles away from her. I held back tears as she told me she had Stage 4 breast cancer and will be having a mastectomy and up to 9 lymph nodes removed. So, some of you may be thinking well this isn’t too big of a deal, there are people learning they have cancer every day. But you see, this is my mother; my mum, a sweet, kind, and gentle soul.

Well, This Gentle Soul Of A Mother Would Have To Pick Herself Up And Face A Challenge Like None Other She’s Faced Before.

Mum is not perfect by all means, but she is so full of love, kindness, understanding, and did a fantastic job raising 5 kids. And she did it during a time where parents did not read books on how to raise children. She used common sense and did what she thought was best at that time. She is not one who sat down on the floor and played Barbie dolls with me or rolled around on the floor with my brothers. She was busy doing laundry, baking goodies, or preparing a meal.

Mum did most of the daily duties of caring for a family of seven and the other smaller chores were left for us kids to do. This was our way to earn an allowance and so I could save money to buy my own style of clothes and trendy shoes. The duties my sister and I had were dusting, vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms, etc.  My brothers were tasked with cutting the lawn, taking out the trash, and chopping wood in the wintertime.



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