The cold is finally letting up here! It’s averaging 40° and up these days so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that spring will be here soon because I’m tired of grey skies and early nights. My summer lust is full-fledged ☀️ and I recently dug up some old photos from a trip to California so I could do some California dreaming about the warm sand & the ocean breeze.
In the spring of 2012 the fam and I finally took a long awaited trip to the West Coast. My aunt had recently given birth so we took the opportunity to stop by for a visit, but California is so big that it seemed like a waste to spend the vacation in one city. We decided to cover a few cities in a week’s time and took advantage of the expansive Highway 1 to get us around.
Friday, April 6
New York City » San Francisco
New York City » San Francisco:
Chinatown, Ferry Building, Pier 1, Union Square, City Hall
Our first destination was San Francisco and I think looking back I can say it was my favorite city! Our hotel was just a few blocks from Union Square so we were right in the midst of the hustle & bustle. In particular, I was so charmed by the hills and trolley tracks! Also very pleasantly surprised by the kindness of all the folks who stopped to help me out when I was very clearly in Tourist Mode.
SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 2012
Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 45, Palace of Fine Arts, Crissy Field Beach, Little Tokyo, Dinner at R&G Lounge
This was the day I got my first taste of a California beach! It was too cold to get into the water, but it was wonderful enough to feel the sand beneath my feet. I’d been having a tough year and even today, I remember feeling so entirely at ease and peaceful lying in the sand. Plus, I ate a lot of seafood! I would move to San Francisco if it meant I could eat fresh seafood for cheap because as much as I fear the terrible monsters of the ocean, I sure love to eat them. I think I loved everything about this day. (I’m sure the Palace of Fine Arts is a tourist cliche, but it was really lovely!)
SUNDAY, APRIL 8, 2012
Lombard Street, Muir Woods National Monument, Golden Gate Bridge, Battery Spencer
My aunt took us on a car tour on our third say in San Francisco so that we could see some of the sights and destinations that were out of reach of public transportation. It’s easy to forget, especially living in New York, how … deprived I am of greenery and fresh air. I’m not a big nature person – not a fan of bugs, pollen, but there is nothing quite like standing beside a towering Redwood – 500 years old – and realizing how profound it is to feel so small.
MONDAY, APRIL 9, 2012
San Francisco » San Jose » San Simeon
San Francisco » San Jose » San Simeon
Intel Headquarters, 17-Mile Drive, Pebble Beach, Lone Cypress, Pacific Coast Highway
We packed up and bid adieu to San Francisco on day 4. My dad had rented a car and we planned to start the drive down to Los Angeles that day. We had a late start with a stop at the Intel Headquarters and then lingered in the scenic 17-Mile Drive… which turned out to be a big mistake because while the drive down the Pacific Coast Highway was beautiful, it was also the absolute most terrifying experience of my life. While we enjoyed some spectacular views of the ocean at dusk, there just wasn’t enough sunlight left in the day for the drive and by the time we hit the Big Sur area, where the road has the tightest unlit one-land one-direction roads with no guardrails, it was pitch black outside and I was convinced we were going to die by falling off the side of the cliff. Thank GOODNESS we stopped for the night just as my motion sickness hit peak vomit levels. A lot of people seem to love this drive so maybe it was just me, but thank goodness my dad’s a great drive & at least I can comfort myself in getting some neat photos…
To be continued!