ROAD TRIP to Ashland, Oregon!

ROAD TRIP to Ashland, Oregon! Ten Days “On The Road” and on a mission.

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Cold Rain and Snow! Ashland, Oregon 3-14-18

Los Angeles, California to Ashland, Oregon and now WE ARE BACK!

NOTE: The road trip happened in early March with the threat of winter weather in the north and in the Siskiyou Pass into Oregon, so we had to time our travel and hope for good weather on both sides.

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Monday Morning Road Trip! Los Angeles to Ashland (670 miles) in 10 hours! Instead of stopping, we decided to make a straight shot on Interstate 5 (via the 405 freeway) to stay ahead of the winter weather in the Siskiyou Pass…

A long, beautiful, uneventful drive north with the intent to get there as soon as possible while driving as safe as possible. “No tickets, no accidents, and no encounters with law enforcement” makes for a good trip. We stopped for gas and to stretch our legs (and other business) along the way, and arrived in Oregon in only 10 hours!

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Tejon Pass, California

NOTE: This Blog Post was delayed again because of technical issues. Our primary computer crashed recently and it had the transferred pics ready to upload.

 

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Mt. Shasta in the Siskiyou Pass, California (things start getting blurry)

670 miles and ten hours later we were in Ashland, Oregon!

WE LOVE ASHLAND!

There was beautiful weather all week long. It had snowed the week before, there was snow on the mountains, Mt. Ashland ski resort was open for business, and there was even still some snow on the ground the first day. It was cold and windy at night the first couple nights, and it was raining/snowing in the pass, but the weather stayed really nice during the day (sunny and in the 70s) from Ashland to Medford most of the time.

 

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Ashland Creek in Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon

 

Scenes from the Ranch:

 

 

On The Menu in Ashland:

Lunch at Sesame Asian Kitchen in Ashland

Dinner at The Loft in Ashland
NY steak & prawns, fries, veggies, caesar salad, tuna tartare, bread & butter, an excellent 1993 Southing Sea Smoke pinot noir, and a coke
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Pizza (take-out) from Kaleidoscope Pizza in Medford
Lunch (take-out) from Arby’s
Lunch (take-out soups) from Olive Garden

BBQ Tri-Tip Sandwiches for Dinner at the Ranch
Pasta and Meatballs with cheesy bread and a coke for Dinner at the Ranch
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Pizza and Champagne Dinner at the Ranch with friends
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Ice Cream from Grater’s in Cincinnati, Ohio (via UPS)
pints of black raspberry chocolate chip, cherry chocolate chip,
salted caramel chocolate chip, and chocolate chocolate chip
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Girl Scout Cookies: Tagalongs and Samoas

Dinner (take-out) from La Tapatia in Phoenix (Oregon, not Arizona)
2 chicken street tacos with salsa

Dinner (take-out) from Harvey’s Place in Ashland
roast beef dip sandwich and fries
(Read our previous Blog Post about Harvey’s Place>
)

Sushi Lunch at Bonsai in Medford
sushi, sashimi and cut rolls

Dinner at Beasy’s on the Creek in Ashland
shrimp cocktail, clam chowder, grilled prawns (didn’t eat them, got them “to go”), bread & butter, red wine, a coke, and no dessert thank you

Hand-made Chocolates from Lillie Belle Farms in Central Point

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Oregon Sky 2

 

Walking in Lithia Park on Monday Afternoon (almost alone)
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Ashland Creek in Lithia Park

 

Heading South on Wednesday! Destination: Oakland and then Home!

There was rain and snow in Ashland, in the Siskiyou Pass, and even further south to the Bay Area. And more stormy weather was predicted for Thursday and through the weekend, so when the weather looked clear on Wednesday morning we headed south hoping to get through the pass without incident or chain requirements. It rained a little, it snowed a little, there was a little sleet and then it was clear and beautiful the whole way to Oakland.

We stopped for an hour at the Rolling Hills Casino in Corning, California on the I-5.

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Rolling Hills Casino – Corning, California

 

Going south, we had the choice to “stay on or get off?”: stay on and keep going south on the I-5 with Los Angeles as our destination or get off and take the 505 Winters cutoff to the Bay Area with an Oakland stopover as our destination. We almost kept going, but decided to detour west, get a hotel room, have dinner and rest for the night instead.

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San Leandro Bridge and Puffy Clouds 3-14-18

We were going to stay at a hotel in Emeryville where we got off the freeway because East Bay traffic was jammed, but found a good deal on a room at the LaQuinta Inn near the Oakland Airport online and made a same-day reservation through an internet site because it was easy and we were tired. We had Dinner at the Black Bear Diner in Emeryville on Pi Day and tried to connect with a friend who was local via telephone.

On the Menu: Breakfast for dinner.
2 eggs over medium. bacon (with extra bacon), biscuits & gravy, and iced coffee
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and then a small chocolate cream pie “to go”
We enjoyed it with some “free” coffee from the lobby in our hotel room.

 

 

After we ate, we drove over to the La Quinta Inn at the Oakland Airport via surface streets to avoid the freeway traffic and soon arrived at the hotel without too much trouble.
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We checked in, went to the room, unpacked, took a nice hot shower and shaved, and then got dressed to go and meet our friend. But it was too late (almost 8:30pm) so we got undressed and ate some of our pie and quickly fell asleep.

Thursday 7am: Leftover Pie and a Continental Breakfast!

On the Menu (a nice continental breakfast at the hotel): scrambled eggs, bagel with cream cheese, cornflakes and milk, and coffee. We also took a banana, an apple, 2 blueberry muffins, and a bagel with peanut butter and jelly for the road trip home. We also enjoyed the leftover chocolate cream pie and some canned pineapple juice before breakfast.

Thursday 11am: On The Road Again!
I-5 south (via 580) Oakland to Los Angeles

The LaQuinta loyalty program offers a late check-out to guests, so we could have stayed until 1pm. Instead we enjoyed the “free” breakfast, packed our bags, and loaded the car The early storm passed and morning Bay Area traffic cleared and we left at 11am to get on the road and get clear of the weather. From Oakland we had the choice to take the faster Interstate 5 (east route) or more scenic US highway 101 (west route) south to Los Angeles and so we chose the 5 south, again because of the stormy weather on the coast.

There was a little residual rain as we left the Bay Area at Livermore, but then it was blue skies all day and the whole way to L.A. and it only took 5 & 1/2 hours with one stop for gas.

 

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Los Angeles Again 3-15-18

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Oakland Sunrise 3-15-18

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The Bluebird Inn Motel in Cambria, California

Saturday Night at The Bluebird Inn Motel in Cambria

Set in a creekside garden, this 2-story hotel is just off Cambria’s Main Street, adjacent to Highway 1 and 9 miles from Hearst Castle. 
The homey rooms have country-style decor and views of the gardens or surrounding pines. Upgraded rooms have fireplaces, balconies and patios. Kids 15 and under stay for free.

Public areas include a cozy lobby with a fireplace and flower gardens along the Santa Rosa Creek that feature loveseats, bridges, a patio and lighted stone paths. 

no vacancy neon

NO VACANCY! Saturday evening in Cambria, as we drove down to the ocean to watch the sunset, we were greeted by “No Vacancy” signs at every motel along Main Street…

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NO VACANCY at the Bluebird Inn Motel in Cambria, California

We got lucky and with one phone call got a nice motel room at the Bluebird Inn on Saturday night in a town with “No Vacancy”, then had a nice dinner at Robin’s restaurant and cocktails at the Cambria Pub & Steakhouse (open until midnight) and Mozzi’s Bar (open until about 2am).

A good friend’s parents were the long time owners of the Bluebird Inn Motel and our friend worked there before moving south and getting married (They sold the business to new owners not too long ago). There was an open invitation to come visit but we never made it back to Cambria (another reason for the side trip). After the sun set we tried to call our friend to ask him where to eat in town, but dialed his old work number at the Bluebird. We were surprised when he answered “Bluebird Inn”, but then asked “I know you are full, but do you know anyone with  a room?” He said, “We just had a cancellation, so I have a king bed, non smoking available.”

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NO VACANCY at the Bluebird Inn Motel in Cambria, California

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

Ten minutes later, we were at the Bluebird Inn.

The Lobby and Office is very nice, warm and inviting. There was a fire in the fireplace, 3 nice sitting areas, 3 tables with chairs and hot coffee and water is available all day. The office and lobby is only open until 10pm.

We checked in and checked out the room. Room 8, upstairs on the end, next to Main Street, king bed, non-smoking $149+tax, etc.

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The room was also large, super clean and comfortable, with a real King Bed and a vanity area with a large size mini-refrigerator and small microwave. The new owners “refreshed” the bathroom and walk-in shower and there was plenty of ultra-hot water even though the motel was full.

The room was on the end with windows facing Main Street. However, there was no traffic at night and it was pretty quiet. The windows on the second floor are almost at street level, so people walking past can see into the room if the shades aren’t closed.

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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The room is non-smoking, but there’s a nice area just outside on the covered balcony with an ashtray if you need to smoke.

The Bluebird is very close to everything in downtown Cambria, just one block from the center of the tourist district. There are a lot of restaurants to choose from when hungry and some will even deliver to the motel. They roll up the sidewalks in Cambria about 9pm in the evening, so there isn’t much nightlife. There are only a couple restaurants that have bars that stay open late (until midnight) and there’s one local bar in town (Mozzi’s) that stays open until about 2am.

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Downtown Cambria At Night – 11:05pm Saturday

Continental Breakfast Included (served 7:30am-11am) on Sunday morning

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Continental Breakfast at the Bluebird Inn Motel in Cambria

On the Menu: Continental Breakfast included coffee, orange juice, mini-croissants, pound cake, fruit (bananas & tangerines) and strawberry yogurt.

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The Bluebird Inn Motel and Main Street on Sunday Morning in Cambria

The bed was comfortable and we slept well. Checkout time is usually 11am, but we asked for a late checkout and they let us stay until noon. We enjoyed the continental breakfast  and several cups of coffee, packed up and checked out. We left the car parked at the motel while we walked around Cambria Sunday afternoon after asking if it was okay.

The Bluebird Inn Motel gets a big thumbs up! Big thanks to Ben from Atascadero and Holly from Cayugas for their advice on where to eat and what to do and for being super-friendly and helpful while doing their jobs at the front desk.

Bluebird Inn Motel1880 Main St., Cambria, CA 93428 805-927-4634

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“Do Not Disturb” at Bluebird Inn Motel in Cambria, California