San Francisco and Big Sur – California

23 May

Author: Steve

We thought it would be fun to spend some time in California so from Hawaii we flew into San Jose, California.  We spent a few days in the San Jose area just trying to get our sleeping cycles down, with the large time change we just went through since leaving Australia it was more of challenge than we thought.  It took much longer than we anticipated but we made it through it, I think the burritos helped —  wow, California makes great burritos!  We headed to downtown San Francisco and spent a few days exploring the city.  The highlight for all of us was biking over the Golden Gate Bridge for Amy’s birthday – that was a beautiful day; slightly windy on the bridge itself but a great day overall.

It was fun to take the trolley in San Francisco – great city and the weather was perfect

We are getting close to the Golden Gate Bridge to start our ride across

Keegan and I took a quick stop to check out Alcatraz – that’s Kendal and Amy on the bikes riding ahead

It was much cooler on the bridge due to the wind gusts but it was a nice sunny day

It was a great way to spend Amy’s birthday

We took a train to the San Francisco airport to pick up a car rental and started driving.  Another change that took a little bit to get used to was driving on the right hand side of the road with the steering wheel on the left, especially after having a rental in Australia for about 3 weeks where everything is opposite but again all is back to the same.  (One thing we’ve learned with all the rentals we’ve had is to simply reserve a car online that is just enough space for you and your luggage. When you get to the counter they will tell you they have a great deal and for $10-20 dollars more a day they can upgrade you to something better and larger.  Just tell them what you have is enough and you just want what you reserved – they most likely won’t have it and will upgrade you for free because they have no choice . . . hardly ever fails. The only chance you take is ending up with the car you originally reserved which should still be a good deal since you reserved it online.)  From San Francisco we headed south on Highway 1 to the Monterey and Santa Cruz area. We rented an apartment for 5 nights right on a fairly private beach – the views completely surpassed all of our expectations. (Another thing we’ve learned when it comes to apartment rentals is that you can get a really good deal by playing the numbers game. For example; I checked out a number of really cool apartments online, and most of them show their calendars of when the unit is and is not available. So I would simply send out a bunch of emails to the owners or rental agents asking if they had any aggressive last minute discounts – I figure they would want some money rather than no money when you have a rental unit; a win-win for all parties.  Out of the 10 emails I sent out we received 2 that were incredibly nice with a great discount – we ended up taking the one on the beach.)  From that location we took a great day trip down Highway 1 to Big Sur.  Being in California reminded us immediately not only that we are lucky to live in the US because of the freedom and democracy that is bestowed to us but how abundantly beautiful our country is.

That’s Kendal taking her last exam for virtual school – she was very excited to get that done. We are in the beach condo we rented in Pajaro, which is a very small community in Monterey County, California

I took this picture of Amy, Kendal and Keegan while I was grilling from the deck. It was so incredibly beautiful; it’s one of those places that if you ever needed months to write a book this is where you would want to do it.

On our way to Big Sur driving on Highway 1 we decided to stop and check out the views. I guess we are all starting to reflect on our trip and accept the inevitable return to our traditional everyday lives . . . and maybe have more of an appreciation for everything.


Posted by on May 23, 2012 in USA


3 responses to “San Francisco and Big Sur – California

  1. Pat N.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    So glad to hear from you all again…I thought the trip was over!! If you have time left, you should drive up the Oregon Coast….THAT is the best kept secret in the US!

  2. Mike L.

    May 24, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Welcome back to the US! Looking forward to seeing you soon! Jason has been asking about Keegan!

  3. Carey

    May 26, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Welcome home….well…almost home! What a great way to spend a birthday Amy! Beautiful coast!


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