Return to SF

Our road trip is now complete *sad-face*. We dropped the car off earlier, confirmed it hadn’t exploded (he did ask us that!) then were let loose on the public transport. One slight mishap later and we’re settled in our hotel in the Union Square area of San Francisco.
This afternoon we had a look around, then headed into Chinatown for some dinner. We chose a place that looked rather touristy, as we’ve been told that on the streets you can find shops with various “animal parts that you would not see on sale anywhere else”.
After a safe set meal for two, we headed back to Union Square, and on the advice of Sarah’s family friends who’ve been to California a couple of times, we went to The Grand Hyatt Hotel for a drink. The cocktails weren’t too expensive, and the views were spectacular. The shot above is a long exposure taken from our table; this was our actual view. Really amazing.
We’ve got a few things in mind for the next few days, enough to keep us busy and combat the end-of-holiday blues! This part of the trip feels different enough though, more like a city break, so it’s not too depressing actually!
We hear the weather is pretty shocking back home; we’re not joking when we say we can’t even remember what rain is! Other than a little fog in the mornings, the weather is fantastic here. Fingers crossed things will improve by the time we arrive back in England!
Goodnight from us, although it’s good morning to everyone back home!

Elephant Seals

Today we drove up the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH to the locals) from Pismo Beach to Monterey. Had some lovely views of the ocean and cliffs along the journey. We also saw some Elephant Seals!

Once in Monterey we walked down to the pier and went on a boat ride where we saw Sea Lions and Sea Otters! Jon also ate some Kelp (we were told it’s actually good for you!).

We had some American size ice creams after tea, if this is the size of a single scoop what would happen if I’d said yes to a double scoop?!

Off to San Francisco tomorrow for our final stop and time to say bye to the hire car.

Santa Barbara, and Happy 4th July in Pismo Beach

Wow, the days are going by really quickly now! We had a night in Santa Barbara, which was really nice actually. We agreed that it’s like the undercurrent of South America which seems to be present a lot in California really comes through here, and in a very good way. You can easily forget you’re in the USA; it has a very Mediterranean feel!

Today we’re at Pismo Beach, a nice little place just off Freeway 101. We had a walk down to the beach where we saw many many Americans celebrating 4th July (Independence Day!), with barbecues and all sorts going on. Luckily we were a walk away; some locals were charging $50 (no, I didn’t miss a decimal point!) to park in their yards.

One more stopover in Monterey tomorrow, then we’re back to San Francisco for a few days before heading back. Really starting to feel sad that it’s coming to an end now, it’s gone so quickly but we’ve done so much, and really feel settled in here now. Not sure what to do for tea tonight; we had a burger from Jack In The Box for lunch, then snacked on leftovers from the Mexican last night, so we’re not all that hungry. I’m sure we’ll find something though!

Only in LA

We’re now two thirds the way through our journey, with just the drive back up the coast remaining. It doesn’t seem like we’ve been in LA any time at all, but we set off to Santa Barbara tomorrow morning. We were under the impression that LA would be less crazy than Vegas, but it turns out it’s just as crazy, but in different ways. We spent the first day exploring Santa Monica, yesterday we visited Hollywood and the Getty Center, and today we’ve been at Venice Beach. We’ve seen many things “LA style”; a guy casually carrying a bearded dragon down the street, a bus with a bike rack on the front, people rollerblading down the promenade, oh and many “medical practitioners” ready and waiting to “assess” if we qualified for “medicinal” marijuana, in exchange for 40 bucks of course! Despite it being (a lot!) cooler than Vegas we’ve still managed to top up the sunburn tan! Time for a shower, some aftersun, and some food now.

We’re fairly certain that things will get less crazy as we travel up the coast, however it is July 4th soon, so that could influence things!