|CW from left: 1. Cute SMS 2. I am not sure if he is even paddling in this picture 3. Bridge over Stow Lake|
After our Redwood stroll, we headed off to San Francisco! First stop- lunch for the best meatball sandwich ever. To be totally honest, the first one I ever had was the best (in 2009 with my co-worker Chris), but this one was also pretty delicious! After lunch, we checked into the hotel and then drove through the Presidio to the Golden Gate Park. We walked around and came upon Stow Lake. There were people paddle boating and it looked like so much fun and quintessential tourist that we had to do it! We rented a paddle boat and had so much fun going around the lake. It was beautiful and wonderful.
|SF Eats! Italian sodas at Mario’s and Oysters at “Rocks”|
Next, we headed to Hog & Rocks for dinner. We feasted on chef’s choice $1 oysters (all day Sunday!), Trotter Tots, ham sampler (Iowa, Spain, Italy) and heirloom tomato salad. We walked around the Mission district for a little bit after dinner and tasted chocolate at Dandelion Chocolate. We picked up a handout on how chocolate is made (magic) and bought a chocolate sampler to do more tastings at home!
The next day, it was on the the outdoors-y phase of our vacation. We left San Francisco and headed out to South Lake Tahoe. We stopped for lunch at Magpie Cafe in Sacramento. So delicious! We split a Banh Mi sandwich and a Smoked Trout and Del Rio Tomato sandwich. They were both so, so good. Sacramento (at least the part we were in) seems like such a cute town. But, no time to dally, we were off on our next adventure!
|CW from top left: Lover’s Leap, Phantom Spires, far away shot of Lover’s Leap, me with rope, me in parking lot where we cooked our breakfast outside the hotel b/c no one was working the “restaurant,” SMS and I at Lover’s Leap|
|Billy Treat’s Business Card|
|1. Waiting underneath the chimney- 3 pitches down! 2. Eichorn’s Pinnacle with climbers on top 3. View from the Cathedral Peak Summit- it was VERY windy|
|L-R: 1. View of Half Dome from Olmsted Pass 2. Rim Fire smoke cloud from the summit 3. Lightening struck tree on the way out from Cathedral|
SMS and I have done a lot of traveling this Summer. It’s been awesome! We’ve seen so many cool, beautiful places and we travel so well together. It’s been an amazing newlywed Summer and I definitely feel very bittersweet about leaving San Diego. But as I told SMS last night on the old Banker Hill apartment rooftop (my front door code still works!), I’m definitely going to be sad and miss him but I’m so glad I have him to miss!
So, yesterday marked our return to San Diego after an epic California road trip. SMS had two weeks off from school after a crazy busy, successful Summer term and I was done with my job ages ago (ha, ha). I checked out from the command on the 14th and on the 16th, we were off.
We got a slightly late start due to an id card appointment and last-minute errands at work. By 1 o’clock, we were on the road to Morro Bay. We hit some LA traffic but missed the worst of rush hour (I think). We stopped in beautiful Santa Barbara for dinner at La Super-Rica Taqueria, which was delicious although the portions were smaller than I thought. Never fear, the delicious cheesiness of our dishes were very sating. I also loved stopping in Santa Barbara since I have a soft spot for the town.
|From CW starting left: 1. SMS sets up his tripod 2. Underwater exploration vehicle dry-docked in MB 3. The Rock!|
That night, we spent the night with 30 of our new closest friends at the Morro Bay State Beach. SMS noted that, “I’ve been to many campsites and this is certainly the friendliest one I’ve ever been to.” He was referring not to the people themselves, but the fact that the campground was essentially a parking lot with tents pitched behind the car. Our next-door neighbors were only six feet away. Awkward when peeing at night, that’s for sure! (Kidding. There were bathroom facilities that were actually quite clean and nice. Although, when camping, clean = nice).
The next morning, we woke up and headed to Frankie & Lola’s Front St Cafe for a little breakfast. It was a cute place with delicious food! We got the French Toast Brûlée, soufflé, flambé and the corned beef hash with poached eggs. So good! Before breakfast, we got a few pictures of the Rock, which was good since the fog rolled in during breakfast and completely obscured it. Gooooooo, good timing!
|Random spots in Big Sur. Bottom left is Julia Pfieffer Burns SP with the waterfall on the beach|
We hit the road and drove up the Coast through Big Sur. We stopped at several beautiful places including Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. SMS took some beautiful pictures and we stopped at the Big Sur Bakery for lunch after trying Nepenthe, which had a CRAZY line. I turned it into a brunch and got the breakfast pizza (delicious!) and SMS got a fish special that was pretty good.
|CW from top left: Cannery building, kelp forest, jellyfish lab, jellyfish!!!|
Speaking of fish, we then headed up to Monterey to see the aquarium. A childhood friend of mine from Rota, Spain lives there now and works at the aquarium. Our tickets were comped and we toured the place. The highlights for me were the jellyfish, sea horses and the kelp forest. I could probably think of even more but I’ll try and keep my favorites manageable! Cat and Joe met us at 5 and we got a brief behind the scenes tour of the rooftop area where the kelp forest receives its sun and wave motion. The rescue seal tanks are also on the roof. We also went behind the scenes of the jellyfish exhibit and saw tanks and tanks of jellyfish. Some were destined for display while others were destined to be the dinner of the other jellyfish. Creepy!
We went to Lopez Restaurante Y Cantina, which was pretty delicious. I had a molé dish that was awesome. It was so much fun to catch up with Cat and meet Joe. I feel very lucky to have rekindled a friendship from so long ago!
SMS and I left Monterey and headed to Big Basin Redwood SP for another night of camping. The stars were amazing and this was real camping in real woods! The next morning, we woke up and walked the .6 mile Redwood trail that hit a lot of the park’s Redwood highlights, including the oldest and largest trees. How courteous that all the highlights are in such close proximity! We stopped by the gift shop where Mark advised me not to actually buy the coonskin hat I modeled. Sad, but definitely the wise fashion choice.
|Not a good look|
To be continued!