After a long and exhausting day in Yosemite, we were all in need of a good nights rest. The first order of business was the obligatory trip to Starbucks conveniently located just outside our door step. We then treated ourselves to the fine culinary experience that is the Marriott continental breakfast (what more can you ask for?).
The drive to San Francisco is absolutely incredible. The scenery in the city is without a doubt some of the best and unique I have laid eyes on. The character within this city geographically and culturally offers something for everyone to enjoy.
Our first stop was at a beach park near the Golden Gate Bridge.The fact that I was standing in front of an American symbol as iconic as the Golden Gate was enough to leave me speechless. Soon after came the thoughts about the construction process, and how it was built long before some of the technology we have today. All this combined together made this a moment that I'll never forget.
From there we made our was back across the bridge to Lombard street and Fisherman’s Wharf. At the wharf, we indulged in some local seafood from a street vendor, just as any tourist would. Being that this trip was planned relatively last minute, we were unable to get over to Alcatraz Island. This just added to the list of many reasons I’ll be returning to San Francisco one day.
Other random stops of the day included stops AT&T park, the abandoned Candlestick Park, and being that typical tourist hanging off the city's historical trolley car.
Not much in this world excites me more than food and in a city like San Francisco, I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. We found a quaint hipster joint right in the heart of downtown Oakland named "Belly Uptown." This restaurant is a must visit if you are a fan of tacos. Check out our review of the place here.
After three great days already, I was already thinking of how we were going to be able to top it.
I don’t know about you, but growing up in Florida I was always extremely jealous of the California coastline. I had seen pictures of the Pacific Coast Highway and just dreamed about going one day. I just had no idea that it would be so soon in life.
The journey down Highway 1 began just north of Monterrey. Come to find out, there was a car festival called Monterrey Car Week and Concours d’Elegance going on at the same time we were there. It pretty much shut down the entire Monterrey peninsula. At first we were bummed, but we quickly realized that everything would be just fine. We were fairly compensated with seeing a collection of cars on the road that day that I will probably never come close to matching again in my life. To put this in perspective, by the end of the day a Ferrari would pass by and we didn’t think anything of it. There is by no means that I could make a complete list of cars we saw this day, but here goes my best shot. Ferrari F12, Ferrari Testarossa, Ferrari Dino, FF, F430, 458, 360, Lamborghini Aventador, more Porsches than we can count which included all different types of the 911, and many more. Essentially, if you can name an exotic or extreme luxury car, we probably saw it that day.
We made our first stop on the route in downtown Carmel to check out the beach. We parked our Toyota in the company of the Bentleys and McLarens and walked to a beach with chalky white sand surrounded by distant cliffs with the frigid Pacific Ocean water crashing ashore. We took in the beach for a moment, took some photos, and continued our journey down the coast.
For the first few miles of driving down the Pacific Coast Highway, we wanted to stop at every viewpoint. Quickly we realized that if we wanted to get anywhere there was no way we could continue at this pace. To put this day in words is impossible. It seemed that every time we turned the corner, the views just got better.
The most famous of stops along the portion of the highway is the Bixby Bridge and Big Sur. This was another one of those moments where you just have to slow down, sit, not think about anything else, and simply marvel at where you are. Much like the Golden Gate, all I could think about was the process it must have been to build the bridge in the 1930’s in an area like this.
After driving for a little while longer we found a spot where we could make it down to the beach for a quick swim and some relaxation. We walked what was probably about a half mile to get down to the the beach. Just before arriving on the actual beach, you had to scramble down a small rocky cliff. When we all got on the sand, we looked over to the right and were slightly taken aback by the sight of two older topless women. Casually we turned away and enjoyed ourselves down by some small cliffs. Here we climbed some rocks, explored a little, and took in our surroundings until it was the time to go.
From there we made our way down to a beach town called San Luis Obispo. There we cleaned up and went out in the town to an excellent Italian restaurant that was recommended to us by the hostess at the front desk.
We are now four days and a little over halfway through the trip. At this point I’m beginning to think about the end. By now, the three of us had decided that we were going to go into hiding and stay in California for the rest of our lives, but the trip was only half way which meant that there were many adventures still to come.