Marina and San Francisco, July 6-12, 2008
Trip Start Jun 28, 2008
2Trip End Aug 11, 2008
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
After Morro Bay, we moved to Marina, up the coast. We couldn't take Highway 1 as Tom had planned because of the Big Sur fire but Marina is right on the coast the rv park was really nice. We could walk out the fence and then right down to the coast. It was a bit of a hike and the path was partly hard pack and partly sand. After walking with difficulty through the sand for a long stretch, Tom mentioned that they should pave it to make it easier for old farts like him to get down to the beach! It was really pretty on the beach but so cool! Neither of us were really ready to believe how cool it had been since we got onto the coast.
The next day, we took the 17 Mile Drive. Tom, who is a great tour planner, talked to folks, researched online and found all these great things to do and see
After the 17 Mile Drive, we drove over to Carmel to see the mission there. This mission was MUCH better cared for than Mission San Miguel Arcangel, not surprisingly. They have lots more money to give to it. The folks at San Miguel mentioned that the mission there was much closer to the original because they had no money to renovate and re-do. There you can see the original adobe-not at Carmel. Much of it is a reconstruction and it's beautifully done and beautifully landscaped but hardly original. The basilica seems authentic though and it is really lovely. While wandering around on the grounds, I noticed a historical marker (I try to take pictures of all historical markers I see as Susie can attest). This marker commemorated the baptism of the first 4 Americans in California. I kept staring at it and counting and it seemed to only have 3 names. I was bemused but Tom, as usual, more determined to figure things out. He found the docent and forced the poor woman to come talk to us about it. There were 4 names-I just didn't read closely enough (there is a picture of this marker in the pictures file, of course) but she was really nice and very interesting. We chatted about the mission and the reconstruction of it. She showed us a statue of Fr. Junipero Serra who was the priest responsible for the founding of all the California missions (there is a statue to him at ALL the missions, I think as well as many other things named for him.) He was a tiny little man-she said it was life sized and Tom would've towered over him
After Carmel, I told Tom I wanted to see the lighthouse in Pacific Grove outside Monterey. What a lovely little town. I didn't get to spend enough time there but it is a really quaint, lovely coastal town. Apparently it has a butterfly festival or something-there were butterfly banners and things all over. We stopped and had lunch at a Carl Jr. Burgers. Now I know why Americans are SO fat. We had the medium-fries, drinks. OMG-the burger was very good and HUGE. The serving of fries was huge. The drink was huge-I can't imagine what a large would look like-I'd have to have help to lug out that bucket of Dr. Pepper. Chinese hamburgers at McDonald's come in sizes too and the medium Big Mac (badly named all around) is about the size of a child's hamburger (maybe ½ the size of an American one??) at an American burger place and the serving of fries is about 1/3 of that medium serving. It was a reminder of the difference in eating habits between Americans and Chinese-one good reason why you don't see fat Chinese very often.
The light house was very cool-I love seeing them up close. The docent gave a very nice tour and demonstrated the way the light mechanism worked. It really put a nice ending to a very nice day of sightseeing
The next morning, we left for Petaluma. This leg of the trip had worried Tom for some time, I knew. He'd been worried about the trip through Los Angeles and this leg because this leg would take us through San Francisco and over the Golden Gate Bridge towing the trailer. So, we set off and I could see him getting more and more tense. We were going through San Francisco on a work day well after rush hour. The highway was not bad at all but it does go right through town-I got some pictures of the lovely houses down 19th Ave. Then there was the bridge! Little did we know this was the last time we would see it without fog. So, luckily, I took some pictures of it as we crossed. It went surprisingly well. Tom drove beautifully and once we got on the bridge, he began to relax though he didn't really relax until we were off it. We drove on up to Petaluma and found the rv park which is one of the nicest we stayed at in California.
However, when we got to our slot, we found that once again, they'd given us a 30 amp slot only-normally this is ok if the weather is cool
This is one of the nicest features of the rv park. They have a couple of small tour buses that can hold about 20 folks. The drivers are good tour guides and you get to see a lot of the city without worrying about negotiating San Francisco streets. We gathered in the morning and it was such an interesting group. We were the only two Americans! The other groups were French, Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish
The tour began at the Golden Gate Bridge-we all piled out and could see almost nothing! The fog was so dense the bridge was almost invisible. And it was cold! Texans are not used to cool, windy, foggy weather in July! From there, we went on to Golden Gate Park-what a lovely place. The whole place is beautifully planned (by ??) and the guide told us a lot about it. We stopped at the Japanese Tea Garden and spent some time there. The Tea Garden is really a neat little place-the landscaping is beautifully done and makes the place seem much larger than it really is. The Drum Bridge is a very neat bridge but I didn't climb it-it was too full of other folks posing on it.
From there, we went through the Haight-Asbury district which still seems to be cashing in on the 60s. Lots of tie dye and psychedelic poster about the place. We drove through the lovely Victorian neighborhood there that survived the earthquake and fire of 1906. By the way, if you want to read a really good book on that quake, read The Crack at the Edge of the World. I started that in China and it is a great book before coming to California-Simon Winchester does a great job of detailing the plate techtonics and geography as well as construction of the city that made that quake so devastating and I really liked seeing what I'd just read about.
We then moved on and took the obligatory cable car ride
After lunch we headed back through the financial district and over to the Golden Gate again-still shrouded in fog though not as heavily. If you look at the pictures you'll see that we could see a little more of it. Then back to the rv park. It was a really nice tour and showed us a bunch of places we wanted to see again-that's what those tours do for me.
The next day, Tom was tired and we decided not to try to take the SUV down to San Francisco so we went to Bodega Bay. It was a lovely drive and a nice day. Bodega Bay doesn't really have a lot going for it except salt water taffy and the Hitchcock movie, The Birds
I forgot to mention my favorite part of Californiana (if that is a word) that we saw when we were staying in Morro Bay. We were on our way to San Luis Obispo and there was a sign for the Men's Colony! That sounded quite intriguing. A men's colony-like some transcendental group where they go for enlightenment?? No, it is a prison that for some reason is called the Men's Colony. I thought that was so California-in Texas, we call them prisons-and the growth industry of Texas-we do love to lock 'em up there.
The next day was moving day-we moved up the coast some more to BenBow RV resort near the town of Garberville.