Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Just Another Day in Paradise...

Why I Haven't Blogged for a Week Confession:  The Dell Netbook I am using has a super-sensitive cursor. If I leave it in a spot for too long it randomly highlights, erases and or sends me to websites that I never clicked. Which means as much as I am enjoying sharing the trip with you all, it is never an easy process.
Confession Part 2: I'm in freakin' Hawaii, for crying out loud! Did you really expect me to sit at a computer and write!!!!  :)
With your patience, I will play the "Catch Up" game again.
Leaving the wonders of Yosemite we headed off to San Francisco. Kelly loved the Sausalito area and we all were craving some good seafood so we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge in a fog so dense we were unable to see the water below us. Amazingly, the wall of fog ended just about as we entered the town.

Sausilito was adorable and the fish dinner we had in a restaurant that overlooked the bay was totally yummy.  I might have to get a small home here with my second million.  :)

We stayed that night in the Hotel Embassy in San Francisco.  Very aptly named, I don't believe I heard another person who spoke English as their primary language.

The night clerk was Russian  and I believe most of the guests were Czech or French. Even the breakfast buffet had a European flair having cheese and Nutella.
From the hotel, we were picked up by our tour bus to begin a city tour of the City on the Bay. A three hour tour, we went all over San Fran.  The bus driver was extremely knowledgeable, but we all wished we could have explored the sites that we drove by.  I was lucky enough to slip away before the tour officially began and see the sight that mattered most to me:

Ghirardelli Square, birthplace of my favorite baking chocolate.  Unfortunately, the factory is no longer there. But they tease us chocophiles with a small demo area.  I had Willy Wonka fantasies of swimming in that chocolate river when I saw this--


Leaving San Fran, we planned on a quick stop north to see the giant redwoods before heading south to San Diego via the coastal road,  When we shared this with our tour guide, he actually laughed at us, saying we should make San Diego by about 3 a.m !!!  He suggested a park to the south were we could see some redwoods and then continue to our destination. Although the trees weren't as huge at Pfieffer Park, the oldest, affectionately named "The Colonel," was about 1,000 years old!

NOT the Colonel, just some privates.  It was too dark for pictures by the time we discovered the Colonel
Highway 101 is really gorgeous--during the day. At night it is twisty and dark and a bit scary. When we left the park, it was getting dark. There were warning signs that the road would be closed up ahead after 9 pm. Thinking we might make it past the closed area by that time, we drove about another hour an a half down the UNscenic nighttime road.  We hit the area a bit after nine and were told, very nicely, that we needed to go back the way we came and that there wasn't a turn off or place to stay until we got back to Monteray, just south of San Francisco! Kelly, with her adrenaline up, drove all the way back on that twisty and dark road.
I believe that in bad situations, grace is always offered if you have the faith to look for it. I was planning on making that my priority on the next day, when Cameron, via Yelp, found the Mariposa Hotel for us to stay in that night. Polished wooden floors, lots of space, a bathroom that lights up as you enter with an anti-fog mirror--definitely the nicest hotel of the whole trip and the night manager gave it to us at half price. A lovely soothing balm for our tired spirits.
Friday, the 13th was a major travel day as we had to make up for the time we lost on the previous day. We stopped in Hollywood and did some of the tourist sites before heading down to San Diego for the night.

Walk of Stars

Chinese Theater

Hand prints in Cement (for you, Kristen)

Saturday--off to Hawaii!


  1. Wow Patti, I was just in California less than 3 weeks ago. So awesome to read about your journey.

    Julia T

    1. Glad you are enjoying it! Hope your CA vacation was wonderful too!