Last week Peter and I came back from a trip to San Francisco. Here’s my obligatory Golden Gate Bridge picture. I hadn’t been to the city since I was about seven, a trip where I only have three lasting memories: riding the cable cars, flying down those San Francisco hill streets in a taxi cab and puking on a pier at Fisherman’s Wharf.
Thinking I would be able to see San Francisco with fresh eyes, and take Peter, who had never been, it was certainly a different experience than my deluded expectations. Every other street is sketchy and smelly and the place is swarming with people. Everywhere. Always. But what should I have expected? It’s a city. We just realized that we’re small town Colorado mountain people. Who like some solitude and peace of mind and a nice glass of wine and our favorite chair and a book. Let’s face it, we’re kind of hermits.
That said, San Francisco is awesome. We found hole-in-the-wall coffee shops and Peter geeked out with the baristas about siphon filters and grind types and so many things that were way over my head. We ate brie with truffle filling in Golden Gate Park (yes, I know, we’re cultured). We made the pilgrimage to the infamous City of Lights bookstore (co-founded by beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and location of Allen Ginsberg’s first reading of Howl). We goggled street art in an alley in the Mission. I looked over and saw color and pretty much dragged Peter that direction.
So yes, that was lovely and awesome and colorful and different from what we do in the everyday. But it wasn’t what we spent all of that money on plane tickets for. What we really wanted was this.
Waves and sands and rocks and wide open horizons. Hwy-1 is just gorgeous. When was the last time we had seen the ocean? I don’t even really know. It was probably in Seattle. And probably rainy. Note my future beach house perched up on that rock overlooking the water.**
Probably one of our favorite times of the eight days, this is a stretch of gorgeous (albeit sketchy) driving in northern California called the Lost Coast. About 50 miles (?) and it took us three hours. We also nearly had a Dukes of Hazzard moment in our little Hyundai Accent rental car. Ah, the joys of rural roads. That car certainly took a beating, what with us sleeping in it and taking it all the way up Hwy-1 and all the way back down Hwy-101 to San Francisco.
Post-camping and beach-playing, coming back to San Francisco was a bit easier than the first time around. It was sunny and lovely and we had our fill of sushi and seafood before heading back on the plane home. Our entire vacation happiness hinges upon fried oyster sliders and sand-kicking, apparently.