So John and I got back from the west coast this past Tuesday. We had a few days back to do some laundry, make sure my plants were okay, work a bit... Then, on Friday, we went camping for just a night, followed by a weekend in Amherst at our friends Gary and Elise's wedding. We've had a busy few weeks!
CA was AWESOME. We spent two nights in Santa Monica (just outside of LA). It was a pretty, beachy town, which gave John and I two days on the beach to get ourselves in vacation mode. I love going to the beach, so I thoroughly enjoyed seeing some west coast beach culture for the first time. While in Santa Monica, we visited Hollywood (more entertaining than I thought it would be), Beverly Hills (big, beautiful houses and lots of palm trees!), and downtown LA (not much there). It was neat to just get to see the LA area. We stayed at a Double Tree hotel about 3 blocks from the beach. We were just far enough from the water, that it wasn't wicked expensive.
Next we spent a whole day driving route 1, all the way up the coast to San Francisco. We stopped at a few lovely towns along the way, Santa Barbara being my favorite. Santa Barbara was far enough south to be able to fully enjoy the beach and water, and it was beautiful! Quaint little hotels, beautiful, tall palm trees, mountains in the distance, the beach... It was very pretty! John and I said that we would want to vacation there if it wasn't so freaking expensive to fly to CA. :) After beautiful Santa Barbara, we still had a LONG way to go. All in all, it took us 12 hours to make it to our hotel (doorstep to doorstep, including our stops). We passed through mountains, valleys, lots of farmland, beaches, winding roads on cliffs, forests, traffic, everything! I was glad that I made the trip, getting to see how diverse God has made our creation was a sight to see! I took tons of pictures on the trip of the scenery. I became pretty good at timing pictures in the car after awhile, although I still had lots of shots of bushes and road signs where the timing was a little off. :)
Once in San Francisco, the weather was much different. 60's. cloudy. I ended up wearing all my long sleeve shirts all the time while we were there because I didn't pack enough (even though Marie gave me lots of warnings!). We did TONS while we were there!
-Ride in a cable car
-Go to the Pier touristy area
-Ride bikes over the golden gate bridge!!!!!! I have to write about this one because it was one of my favorite things that we did the whole trip. The bridge was in a huge cloud of fog, but we went over anyway. :) It was a blast and I highly recommend it to anyone going to be in San Francisco looking around. After we went across the bridge, we biked down to a town called Saulselito, a cute, bay town that has pretty water views, and quaint restaurants and art shops. We had lunch there, and then took a ferry with our bikes back to San Francisco. It was a really fun day!
-See Union sqaure
-Go to Chinatown
-See the Japanese Tea Gardens
-See Little Italy
-See the 'Painted ladies'. I liked doing this a lot too. The painted ladies are those pretty houses you see at the beginning of the show "full house". A great view of downtown SF is in the background, and you'll love the houses if you like victorian architecture. We took some good pics of them, it was sunny when we stopped by!
We took two day trips as well. The first was to Napa valley- wine country! We toured the V. Sattui winery, tasted some of there wines, and had a picnic lunch of bread/cheese and grapes there. It was fabulous! I loved it! The tour was neat because there were only a few people on it so it was very personal and I learned a lot about wine. :)
Our last day there, we went to the Monteray Bay Aquarium in Monteray.
Oh, and I need to tell you about our hotel because it was fabulous. We stayed at the Golden Gate Hotel (www.goldengatehotel.com). It's a little place in the Nob Hill neighborhood of SF with a slight victorian style. There are 20-something rooms in the place, and you get a wonderful breakfast each morning of coffee/oj and really good croissants. I was in heaven hehe. The rooms were quaint and homey, you didn't feel like you were in a city! Also, just to make things even beter, there was pip, that cat, who owned the place and was really cute. :)
We had quite a full week! It was fun, and relaxing to be away. Now that I've told you about what we did and saw, I'll have to talk to you later about my running thoughts on life currently. I'll have to save that for another post, however.