Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pacific Coast Highway Roadtrip: Day 5-8

yes, it's been a long time, but sooo much has happened.... but first, finishing the PCH Roadtrip....

Day 5: Big Sur, Bixby Bridge, Carmel-by-the-Sea, 17-mile Drive, and Monterey
We woke up and went for a hike to Phieffer Falls in the Big Sur State Park.  We continued to drive over Bixby Bridge, stopped for a photo op, and continued to the cute town of Carmel-by-the-Sea for lunch.
 After Charcuttere and Cheese at a cute little deli in Carmel, we paid the toll to travel along the gorgeous 17-mile drive along Pebble Beach.  We were typical tourists and took pictures at the popular sites, including the Lone Cypress, Crocker Grove, and Seal Island.

We continued to Monterey, were we stopped at the Cannery Row Brewing Co for local brews and appetizers.  We checked into the HI Monterey Hostel, took a nap, and woke up to walk around the Cannery district and enjoy Gharredeli ice cream.  

Day 6: Monterey Aquarium, Santa Cruz Boardwalk, San Franisco
We eat an amazing breakfast at First Awakenings- Coconut Mango Pancakes and Breakfast Crepe, in a quaint courtyard, then we headed to the world-famous Monterey Aquarium.  After spending a few hours looking at the fish, sea turtles, sharks, tide pools, otters, and jelly fish, we started driving up the PCH again. Towards Santa Cruz.  We stopped in a few stores, and strolled along the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.  It was not busy, so we were first (and only) in line for the roller coasters.

Then, we arrived in San Fransisco!  We checked into our HI: San Fran Downtown Hostel and set out to explore the city!
San Fran Day 1 highlights: Lombard St, Ghirradeli Square, Pier 39 and 41, the Seals, Alcatraz from a distance, Coit Tower, China Town, and had dinner at a hole-in-the wall restaurant.  We had the bacon-wrapped dates and goat cheese, per recommendation of a bar tender at another bar. Incredible.

Day 7: Sn Fran, Day 2

San Fransisco Bike Tour around the city and into Sausalito, including an unsuccessful attempt to see the Golden Gate Bridge.  We took the taxi ride to happy hour at Toronados(!) and back up to the City Lights Bay Cruise, where we dropped anchor outside the SF Giants baseball game and made new friends at a locals' bar.


Day 8: San Fran, Day 3 and Napa Valley
We drove over the Golden Gate bridge for another attempt at the view, but was unsuccessful yet again.  The rode to Napa Valley was much less foggy and more sunny.  Napa was gorgeous.  We shot high, and went to three wineries- a one glass $30 tasting at Opus One, a tour through Cakebread Cellars, and a few glasses at Rubicon Estates.  Opus One was the best, most expensive wine.  Cakebread was the most informative and friendly.  Rubicon Estates was the most beautiful, most charming castle-like atmosphere.  At this point in the trip, we were exhausted and had a nap and dinner, and we were out for the count.
Day 9: Rt 5 back to San Diego
It took about 9-10 hours to drive back to San Diego, but we made it time for Tio Ruli's Labor Day party.  And thus ends our first San Diego adventure!  More to come...

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