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A Mini Vacation to Ukiah and Fort Bragg, California

Visiting Ukiah, aka the city of ten thousand Buddhas, and Fort Bragg (famous for their Glass Beach) was on my bucket list for a long time. Ever since moving back to San Jose in June, I wondered when I would get to visit these places and knock them off my list.

I wasn't able to make it home for the holidays because I was scheduled for work, so my parents decided to visit me instead. This trip took a lot of coordination because I was in a transition period and finishing up my move from San Jose to Sacramento. After working and finishing up getting settled in, this mini trip was well-received and was the perfect little time of relaxation before starting my new (and very first) job as a nurse practitioner. Our mini vacation/roadtrip started December 27th and ended on December 30th.

Trip Timeline

Friday, December 27th - My husband and I picked my parents up from the Sacramento International Airport (SMF), then we set off to stay the night in Davis. The drive was not bad at all and without traffic since my parents' flight got delayed. We arrived to the Hyatt Hotel UC Davis by 11:30pm.

Saturday, December 28th - Having enjoyed a hearty breakfast, we all set off for Ukiah. The road between Sacramento and Ukiah is paved and easy to navigate for the most part. Because we wanted to maximize our freeway use, our route ended up looking u-shaped. Since we left Davis around 8am, we arrived to the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery with ample time to explore (only a small area of the monastery campus is open to the public). There was on-and-off rain that day, so we kept more nature-y things to a minimum. We had lunch at the vegetarian restaurant Jyun Kang, located on the monastery campus grounds. There were peacocks walking about, but none with their feathers opened. After this, we checked into our hotel The Hampton Inn Ukiah. We spent the afternoon visiting the Grace Hudson Museum, where all of us particularly enjoyed the quilted pieces that were featured. We ended the night with some delicious Nepalese food at Taste of Nepal, and rested the rest of the night.

Sunday, December 29th - We started the day with a breakfast at the Hampton Inn, then we were off to Fort Bragg for a day trip. En route to Fort Bragg, we filled up gas in the city of Willits, as it is pretty much the last stop until Fort Bragg, then we continued on the road to Fort Bragg. The road to Fort Bragg was very windy. There was one lane to, and one lane from. The tall, green redwood trees made the drive scenic. The light splash of rainwater to our windshield and reminded us that the rain could be heavier as we are covered by the trees. There were portions of the drive where you could look out at a neighboring mountain top, also covered with green trees. It was a beautiful sight and most enjoyed as a passenger.

By the time we arrived to Fort Bragg, the rain was pouring. Even an umbrella couldn't keep us dry. We decided against going to Glass Beach at that time and went for an early lunch at Jenny's Giant Burger instead. We hoped the rain would subside during our lunch, but it was still the same. We visited the Guest House Museum next. The rain eventually subsided, so we headed to Glass Beach -- stat! The beach was not as impressive as we thought it would be, but it was still worth the visit. Next, we went to the International Sea Glass Museum curated by Captain Cass. After the museum, the rain came back. Seeing as the weather wasn't favorable for outdoors activity (we were thinking of visiting the botanical gardens) and that we had a long and windy drive back, we started on our drive back to Ukiah. It was the same windy and one-laned roads, except with much heavier rain. We made it back to Ukiah by nightfall, enjoyed a nice warm Thai food dinner at Thai Dish, and rested the rest of the night.

Monday, December 30th - We started out our long journey back to Sacramento by sleeping in a bit and enjoying breakfast at the Hampton Inn. Tummies all full and bladders emptied, we hit the road and were on our way. As my parents' flight back to southern California was around 5pm, the husband and I planned to get them to the airport by 3pm to avoid the holiday rush (if any). We made a pit stop at the Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery in the city of Geyserville for a bathroom break and to enjoy the garden area, although no tulips were in bloom this time of the year. It was a nice little stop, and we enjoyed the fresh breeze and what the garden had to offer. We stopped by Ayemi's Poke and Deli in Suisun City for lunch. We made it back to Sacramento with just about 20 minutes to spare for my parents to check out my new apartment. Then, the husband and I dropped them off at the Sacramento International Airport, and that was the end of our mini vacation!

All-in-all, it was a fun, short trip. I definitely miss spending time with my family for the holidays and am bummed I didn't get a chance to spend New Years day with them. For now, we did what we could with the little time we had. Sometimes I think that the time together being short is okay because it is a reminder to us to stay focused on the moments and to remain present while we are together.

Tomorrow is the first day of my fellowship program. I'm excited, nervous, and anxious, and I can't wait to meet the other fellows selected for the other specialties!

Nicole G.

Added June 14, 2021 -- If you're new to the Sacramento area and are curious about everything driving related, check out this detailed post and guide by Cutter Law, P.C. Let's keep traveling safe, friends!

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