day 11 // red woods, goat oceans, and watermelon taffy

Today just might be my favorite day of the whole California excursion. Not only did I not feel sick, we just did some cool things today. 
We woke up mid-morning and we were out the door after eggs, ham, toast, and a shower. We made a pit stop at Target for some meds and snacks. Thankfully, the meds were not for me [I feel worlds better!] but rather, for Jam as I’d kind of majorly depleted her Exedrin supply [oops…¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ]. 
Afterwards we hit the road to Armstrong Woods, a lovely forest chock FULL of magnificent redwoods. The day we landed in Cali, I saw a truck transporting a reddish lumber exposed to the air and it hit me– those are redwoods! It took some skinny windy roads to get to, but we finally got there and it was incredible. If you ever want to feel puny, stand next to one of these trees. 
LOL we joke about this because J’s little brother ironically “gathered some wood” of his own with a splinter… *weak laughter*
Incredibly tall
There was a hole in this tree we could walk through!
A blackened, charred tree ):
putting the RED in REDWOOD 😀 
Along our trail [the Pioneer trail!] we saw giant redwoods, charred redwoods [from somewhat recent wildfires no doubt!], and redwoods hollow enough to stand up fully erect inside [again, due to wildfire but a resilient tree]. 
Oh, and I tried to hug a tree. 
We then hopped in the car and jet-setted to Jam’s neck of the woods–quite literally in the trees–and beyond to the Bodega Bay area. We passed the Russian River, and ended up at Goat Beach– a spot originally named for the wild goats that would climb the rocks. 
Russian River peep some fog!

Moar russian. Moar river. Moar fog. 

The minute we got close to the coast, even by car, a thick fog began to surround and envelope us in a magical, mysterious atmosphere. The water splashing on / off of the rocks was mesmerizing– that’s something I wish we had on the East Coast. I also found out that apparently tsunamis are a thing on these beaches, due to the earthquakes. 
Driftwood dwelling!

The sand is darker and coarser here. 
And then I was there– ocean-side, and feet away from the water, mildly dreading the temperature of the surf based on various testimonies of Pacific water not exactly being the kind of water you “swim” in. But its touch was inevitable, captured by the picture below. 
We then made our way down the beach to find some awesome sand art and–wait for it– A HOST OF SEALS basking in the sun where the Russian River met the Pacific!!!
We had to stay far from them so as not to disturb them!
Gorgeous rocks and ocean spray!
We then headed back to the car as there was this awesome taffy place nearby that we needed to try. We got stopped along the way by the views though, and so, of course, more pictures. This time, we were kind of up over the water, and there was a rock tower nearby that I wanted to climb. Upon climbing [and J snapping pics of me doing so] to the top I looked out at the water and noticed two little heads, two little noses, of seals floating in the surf nearby. J got a picture of my excitement. 
Cool “holy” rock in the distance!
Swallowed by fog

You could actually look at the sun without feeling like you were killing your pupils!
A very excited Stephanie– see if you can see the little seal noses in the bottom left!
After we’d gotten too many pictures, we climbed back into the car and went to one of the most magical, nautical places I’ve been to– Bodega Bay. There we found a quaint little house-hut of pink and white stripes called “Patrick’s of Bodega Bay”, THE spot for taffy. It was located near this broken down, crumbling, very aesthetically pleasing house/pier thing. It’s weird– I’ve seen tons of abandoned houses and fallen-in barns, but never have I seen a structure crumble on its way out to the water. 
The inside of Patrick’s was LINED wall to WALL with taffy upon taffy in clear little [and medium, and large, and XL] bags.J and I are mildly obsessed with the flavor watermelon, so we went for a bag of those to split. Oh, and we took some pics too. 
BEST. WATERMELON FLAVOR. I HAVE TASTED. EVER. 14/10 would 1000% recommend. 
Jam, J, and Me
We left soon after, which meant it was time to say goodbye to Jam as we dropped her off at her legendary forest-y home. Some tears, lots of hugs, but above all– a promise she’d be by our coast in January. 😀
We headed back to the house of J’s relatives and are about to crash from exhaustion. We’re planning one last brunch for tomorrow morning before our early evening flight, which we’ll probably be leaving Santa Rosa early for, considering the drive time to San Fran. 
For now, gonna rest my eyes.
Until next time,

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