On our final morning in San Francisco Omelia and I packed up and headed to Honey Honey for a traditional American breakfast
Calorific but deeeelicious!
From there it was a rush taxi ride to Beach Street to collect our car from Avis. There was a bit of panic that something was going to go wrong here as I didn’t have the paper part of my driving license, but all was well. Not only did they let us have a car but they gave us, in our opinion, an upgrade! We went from a Toyota to a red Ford Mustang, instantly named Sally…what a beauty!!
Honestly, getting out of San Fran was a nightmare. The first drive, from Beach Street to our hotel was fine, everything ran smoothly. I was fine on the right hand side of the road and the left hand side of the car and even managed the hills and remembered stop signs, doing well! But after we collected the luggage we hit traffic, road works and the sat nav (Ronda – ever seen Monsters Inc? She sounded just like Roz, who we thought was called Ronda, oops) had no idea where we were. On top of all this she was determined to take us down Route 101 when we wanted the far more scenic Route 1…it was stressful! And then, to add insult to injury, when we were finally on the right track grey skies and low clouds marred the beautiful views we had been promised. Driving through them made me feel more like a plane than a car! Honestly there were two very dejected ladies in that car to start off. But after a few miles the skies cleared and we were able to appreciate the beautiful scenery California has to offer. It’s gorgeous! But me being the amazing person I am managed to take a grand total of zero photos of it on my iPhone so…sorry folks!
We stopped for lunch in a tiny little town called Pescadera (after it was recommended by one of our many San Franciscan friends purely because of the soup, which of course I tried, and was actually really good!) and then drove up through the hills to Big Basin, a Redwood Forest, where we saw some REALLY big trees, some of which are estimated to be around 2000 years old, wow!
Have you ever wished you were a tree? Omelia has…
It was really great to be totally in charge of where we were going, when we stopped and what we saw. It meant we got to see quaint little American towns like Boulder Creek! I don’t have pictures to do it justice. This place was like something out of a Western! Cute!
By 8 o clock we were in Carmel, only to discover that somehow I had managed to not book us into a hotel. Luckily the place we stopped outside to *ahem* borrow the internet had vacancies at a cheaper rate than we were looking at! Lobos lodge to the rescue 🙂
The next day we were greeted with breakfast delivered to our room and, surprise surprise, grey clouds!
We only had an hour or two to explore this little town but that turned out to be plenty of time to chill by the beach, visit the Hansel and Gretel style sweet shop
and of course buy our ‘staples’, a post card and fridge magnet for Omelia and a tshirt and sew on patch for me. Then we were back on the open road headed south to Hearst Castle.
Working at Atlantic College, which is located in a castle donated by Hearst it seemed rude to be driving so close by and not visit Hearst Castle, but what a let down! It’s not even a castle!! It’s a house, a big mansiony house yes, but still a house!
People of America…here is your ‘castle’
And here’s what you could have won…
Not wanting to arrive in LA in the dark we pretty much put the pedal to the metal for the next 4 hours, stopping briefly when the scenery was too beautiful to ignore.
We visited Santa Barbara to stretch our legs and grab something to eat. Someone was playing the saxophone, quite the accompaniment to an al fresco supper!
Then it was back to a nightmare city. 6 lanes of traffic, in the dark, at rush hour…arghhh! We tried to find somewhere we could see the Hollywood sign, completely failed at an American fuel station and eventually, in one piece with no damage to the vehicle, we arrived, dropped the car off and went straight to bed.
What an adventure, Sally, Ronda, it was fun!!