San Francisco

Trip Start Mar 31, 2008
Trip End Jul 14, 2008

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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, May 9, 2008

Hi folks, it's been a while but we've finally managed to put all of our photos up of Alaska, plus our roadtrip so far so check out the previous entries. We're in San Francisco at the moment, we've been here for 3 days and are about to hit the road again. Since we left Alaska we've driven 2000 miles in a Ford Mustang!! We have a few pics of it up on the previous blog entries. The Mustang was a 4 litre turbo charged monster, with leather seats, cruise control and yes, it was as cool to drive as you might think! We had a few hairy moments the first couple of days but both of us took turns each day driving and now we're pros at driving on the wrong side of the road! Also the GPS that we bought (twice!) was brilliant as we didnt have to worry too much about getting lost.
We started the road trip in Seattle, where we visited the Boeing manufacturing plant in Everett (needless to say that was Rob's idea!). We then headed to Olympia, the home of some cool rock bands although it was a Sunday night so there wasnt much action there. We then started out on our trip around the Olympic peninsula which was cold and rainy but we saw some nice scenery and even visited a rainforest! We stayed in a little town called Forks where we had possibly the worst Chinese tea and food ever! Well it is a long way from China.
On we went then to Astoria in Oregon, which is the home of the Goonies (if you dont know what the Goonies is, rent the movie!). We loved our motel there so much that we stayed two nights, as our room was really nice and had a great view of the Columbia river. We visited Mt St Helens volcano from there, which was a bit of disappointment as the roads to the top were closed due to snow and it was really really cloudy so we didnt know if we were actually looking at Mt St Helens or not! The weather changed really quickly from sunny to snow so we had to do a quick turnabout and head back down to warmer parts. We also headed out to see Cannon Beach which is really famous, in lots of photos and films (including the Goonies!).
We left Astoria and headed on south towards California. We drove along the Oregon coast, which was a lot longer than we anticipated. 300 miles after we left Astoria, we were still in Oregon so we decided to stop off in a place called Gold Beach which was lovely, had really nice room right on the beach and had a great meal in a restaurant there. The Oregon coast was beautiful, lots of nice scenery and cool little towns.
From Gold Beach, we were only about 30 miles from California so we headed straight for the Redwood National Parks which are just over the border. We spent a day just driving and walking around the forests which were beautiful. The trees are absolutely huge!! It's hard to do them justice in the photos as you really have to be there to appreciate how tall and wide they are. Rob even managed to drive the mustang through one (Karen attempted but had to give up after some weird scraping noises?! We havent heard from Hertz yet about any damage...). Also along the coast there we visited Point Arena Lighthouse which sits right on the San Andreas Fault - not the place you want to be in an earthquake!
From the redwoods we headed on down to Wine Country! The lonely planet recommended a town called Healdsburg in the Sonoma Valley, so we headed there, found a hotel, dumped the car and went on a wine tasting walk around the town! It's a really nice town, lots of nice shops, restaurants...and of course wine shops! The great thing is, you can walk into a winery shop and taste 5 or 6 of the wines before deciding if you want a bottle. We only made it to two wineries but that was enough! By the time we'd done those we'd bought two bottle of wine and were ready for food and to drink one of the bottles. And what better to accompany a nice bottle of red....chicken wings! We were in a really nice restaurant so the wings were particularly tasty - Rob gave them a  9.5 out of 10 which is the best yet! After polishing off our bottle of wine we stumbled back to the hotel for a bit of rest before hitting the road again.
At this stage we had made it a good way down the coast towards San Francisco so we just cruised for the day and ended up staying in a place called Stinson Beach which is only about 20 miles outside SF which had the floweriest motel ever! Check out the pics to see what we mean!
From Stinson Beach we made the short trip down to San Francisco and drove across the Golden Gate Bridge which was very cool! We then parked the car and walked back across it which was also cool. We then had to say goodbye to the Mustang which was very sad as we had become very attached to our lovely car. We spent the next couple of days walking around SF, we headed to Pier 39 and the Ferry Building, climbed up Telegraph Hill and of course went to Alcatraz! We spent one sunny afternoon sitting outside by the water, with a nice glass of champagne (or two!)...well it was such a nice day we couldnt resist!
We are just getting ready to leave the city again and continue south towards Carmel and Monterey. We picked up our new car this morning...a really nice chrysler convertible! We have 10 days to get to LA so we'll be stopping off in some of the San's (San Jose) and Santa's (Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara etc) along the way!
Until next time, slan!!
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