Living Life the Wong Way --In Pursuit of Happiness and Food!

Day Trip – Santa Rosa, Ukiah, and Fort Bragg

School starts in about two weeks and we’re all bummed that we couldn’t go on a trip this summer. I didn’t want my daughters to remember their entire summer stuck at home, so I wanted to plan a few day trips before school starts. At least they’ll have memories of our day trips.

To Go or Not to Go? That is the Question.

I learned about Fort Bragg mainly because of Glass Beach. I thought it sounded interesting because the beach is littered with sea glass. When I suggested the destination to my husband, he was all for it. The day before our trip, he was having second thoughts. The long drive didn’t sound appealing to him anymore, the kids will complain about the drive, and why was it necessary to drive so far away just to see some glass bits. To be fair, it was going to take 3.5 – 4 hours to get to Fort Bragg. He instead suggested we save it as a stop on a future road trip to the Pacific Northwest.

I knew the likelihood of us going would be zero because stopping at Fort Bragg would be out of the way. When we’re on our Pacific Northwest road trips, we are always rushing to get into Oregon.

He suggested someplace in San Francisco, but I was upset because I had my heart set on going to see the sea glass, the beach, and the coast. Also, he’s changing his mind the day before the trip. Our youngest daughter was already talking excitedly about going to the beach and she wanted to see what the sea glass was like.

I was in a foul mood so I went upstairs and sulked. I didn’t feel like going anywhere anymore because he just made it sound like it was a chore. The first day of school was about 2 weeks away and I was really hoping to squeeze in some day trip before school started. Well, there goes my plans!

I’m not sure what changed his mind but when I came downstairs after I was done sulking, he apologized to me and suggested we follow our original plans. Maybe he realized how disconnected we were. Even though our family was at home, everyone was doing their own thing–my youngest was on the phone or watching television. My middle daughter had her face pressed up against her laptop screen and my eldest daughter was lost in her little world.

Once the seeds of doubt have been planted, it’s hard to dig out those roots. Because of his doubts, I was starting to have my own doubts. What if Fort Bragg was a dud? What if during the long drive, all I hear are complaints and how they’re captives. Argh… I was really about to cancel it. I was up until 3 am researching if there was enough to do there to warrant the 4-hour drive. My entire Saturday was a day full of sulking and filled with doubt.

To make the long story short, I was so freaking tired at 3 am that I made the final decision! The hell with it! We have nothing better to do anyway if we stayed home. Let’s just do it! Whoever complains can just suck it up!

Santa Rosa

We intended to stop briefly in Santa Rosa just for gas. Since we were in Santa Rosa, I suggested we go look for the Peanut character statues. I read that the statues were scattered all over the city. We didn’t have time to search for all of them so we headed to Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center where they would definitely have some. Unfortunately, the museum was closed but my three girls were so happy to see a few cute statues in the front.

We spotted more statues across the street at Snoopy’s Home Ice. There is also a very cute photo op to take a picture with the Peanuts characters crossing Abbey Road!

I’m so glad we made this little side trip. I definitely want to come back and visit the museum in the future and perhaps go on a scavenger hunt for the remainder of the statues we missed.

For lunch, we ordered takeout from Ippinn Udon & Tempura. We were pleasantly surprised because we enjoyed everything we ordered here—-Tonkotsu Udon, House Special Fried Rice, Dumplings, and Onion Pancakes. We were originally going to eat in the car but navigating hot bowls of noodle soup in a tight van with 3 kids sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. We brought our food back to eat in front of Snoopy’s Home Ice and had a lovely lunch outdoors and felt the light summer breeze as we were slurping on udon.

Because of the pandemic, I was really concerned about finding bathrooms to use along our trip. We noticed that some gas stations blocked off their restrooms for public use and some restaurants did not allow entrance, only food pickup. Luckily, it wasn’t it an issue and we were allowed to use it at this restaurant and also when we stopped at In N Out.


Since my husband spent some of his youth in Ukiah, he gave us a tour of where he lived, worked, and went to school. The girls had fun hearing their daddy tell them stories.

I also wanted to visit the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas but unfortunately, they were closed due to COVID-19.

Fort Bragg

We finally arrived at Glass Beach! My youngest daughter was so mesmerized by the sea glass. She had a grand old time picking them out from the sand. We spent about 2 hours here. The Northern California coastline is so beautiful. We all had fun exploring and enjoying the beautiful views.

As we were driving home, we passed by a lot of B&Bs and some secluded beaches, which I made a mental note to come back to next time.

Final Thoughts

We had a fun day trip. No one complained and everyone had a good time. My husband is a real trouper for enduring the long drive. We were all snoring away while he was concentrating on the twisty, windy roads. Now I’m off to plan our next day trip!

Let me know if you have any suggestions! Thanks for reading!

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