Monday, September 3, 2012

A random trip to Redding,CA

Day 1

This is the labor day weekend. 24 hours earlier, we had no plans. But now I am in Redding,CA in one of the more comfortable rooms in the Hilton. How I happen to be in Redding now, is the aftermath of a decision made on the fly yesterday around 11 pm. We were generally talking, and made a decision to take a drive. While searching for a destination, I suggested a few places, and then decided that visiting the Burney falls might be interesting. So we immediately booked the hotel and decided to start from home today morning at 6 AM. Packing was done in a few minutes and after catching whatever sleep we could, at around 6:45 AM, we started driving towards the Burney Falls State park. This was around 5 hr drive from San Jose. The drive was indeed fun. But the food breaks in between was not.
Our first stop was in a town called "Duningan" at around 8:30, and there was no other place other than "Jack in the box". Having had the breakfast combo here consisting of french toast ( tasteless), scrambled eggs and sausage, I decided that I am never coming back to this place ever for any food. It was even worse for Sree, as he barely could have the eggs alone. We had high hopes of having breakfast in a local restaurant, but with no other options, were forced to go "Jack in the box", which turned out to be disappointing as mentioned above.

We continued the journey and in another 2.5 hrs reached Burney. We found a place for lunch in the small town of Burney 5 miles before the state park. Again, with not much choices, we ordered fish and chips. I must admit that i enjoyed this, as the french fries were crisp, and fish was tasty. But since everything was fried in oil, I could eat only half of the plate and you almost feel greasy the whole time. Same is the case with Sree.

We finally entered the Burney State park, and the temperature was I believe in its late 70's. It was hot, and we had forgotten our caps, so entered the general store there and bought two caps, and the usual magnet that we collect.

We entered the Burney Falls trail and initially Sree was asking  if this is worth the drive, but as we walked down the trail and closer to the falls, we started enjoying the beauty of it. The falls is indeed unique and it is very pretty to watch. We took snaps and walked closer to the falls. Sat down at the foot of the falls for a while with water spraying on us. Later, we both decided to dip our feet in the water, and walked over the rocks to the tip to do that. It was a family friendly place, with apparently very less danger, as I saw many kids dipping themselves in the water.

We then continued walking the trail and on the way saw the falls from different angles. I also found a family fishing in the stream and went to them to ask about their fishing expedition. The small girl in the family had already caught a trout and the father was proudly showing it to us. I was reminded of one such fishing experience I have had with my dad when I was young. I was around 10, and we were then in Kodaikanal I believe. My uncle had sent a new fishing rod from muscat, and we had taken it on our trip. We had caught worms as baits in a bag, and we went to small inlet in the kodai lake where water was coming in. I remember sitting there with my dad, and putting on the worms as baits for the fish, and waiting for one to get caught. We did not catch any, but this turned out to be a nice childhood memory to cherish.

So back to Burney falls now, we completed the trail and as we were both tired with the heat and the lack of sleep, decided to sit in the car with the AC turned on for a while. After a while, we drove over to Britton Lake( just about a mile away) and just walked around watching people playing in the water.

We drove back to Redding around 4 PM and reached our hotel at around 5. The room was nice and the bed cozy. We booked a reservation in Nello's Italian restaurant for dinner at 7pm and slept soundly till then.

The dinner was amazing. Everything that we ordered and they served was very tasty. I was a little disappointed with the Tiramisu alone( it was still tasty, no complaints). After a whole day of bad food, when tasty food was offered to us, we were more than happy to fill our stomachs with it.
Now back in the hotel, just relaxing, watching the TV and soon off to bed.

In front of the falls

Showing off the fish
Dipping the feet in water.

Hot air balloons that we saw on our way to Redding

Day 2
We woke up around 9:30am today. This is the first time during a trip that we are waking up so late and with absolutely no plans. We did another unusual thing , also the first during any trip was to hit the hotel gym. After around 30 minutes of exercise , we freshened up and checked out of the hotel. We asked the hotel for a nice place for brunch and they suggested the Black Bear Cafe. This place was pretty nice. It had the old cafe charm and they are a local chain determined to provide their customers the ambience of an old time, small town cafe.We ordered the usual breakfast items of waffle, omelette, hash browns. When the food came, we realized their portion sizes were huge and had to take the hash browns to-go. The food was great and completely enjoyed the breakfast.

We started off to see the sun-dial bridge of Redding. This turned out to be much better than what we were expecting. The bridge was painted in white and had this tech-feel about it, and was different from the normal bridges you would see. It was a nice scene with the Sacremento river below, with people fishing and rafting in the river. We walked down the path which led to an area below the bridge. Here we saw people getting into water, and decided to do the same. The water was super chilly, but was very clear. We really enjoyed spending the time sitting here, and also walking into the water.

After an hour or so, we got a magnet from the museum store and started off on the journey back with me driving for a change. Of course Sree is not very happy with this. I don't understand why, but husbands all over world tend to share this common feeling of unnecessary anxiety when their wives drive. I have been driving for almost a year now on free ways, and he still has to sit in the car watching my every move. After around 50 miles, my hands started paining( driving the accord for the first time and the seat was not high enough to rest my hands and hence the pain, but readjusting would actually solve this issue) and we decided to switch driving.

We drove back the rest of the distance, chatting all the way and reached our home in no time.
Looking back, I think the best thing about the trip was that it was unplanned. The second best thing about it was that we chose a location which was not crowded and the third best thing was that we just went with the flow and decided not to try doing a lot of things.

So now my magnets are on my fridge, and looking at them will always bring memories of yet another nice trip that we both did.

Few pics from day two is below
At the Hilton Gym

See how clear the water is...

Finally a pic with both of us on Sundial Bridge