California California California

Trip Start Jul 03, 2010
Trip End Aug 01, 2010

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Where I stayed
Jeff's House

Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, July 7, 2010

    It was finally here.  We pulled out the Joni Mitchell song on the Southwest flight from Austin to San Francisco.  It was the first time Stephanie and I flew together, and the novelty was enjoyable.  Steph was much better at making shoelace handcuffs than I was, so I spend 20 minutes of the flight with my hands tied behind my back...

    My brother Jeff picked us up at SFO around 5:30 pm, and we headed down to his apartment, provided by Palm for his awesome summer Co-op there.  A quick bite at In & Out and then we dropped off our stuff.  Jeff has driven to San Francisco, about 45 minutes north of Sunnyvale, pretty much every day, so we promptly turned around and drove north into the city.  It was cool showing Stephanie the city, although Jeff and I WAY overplayed the "we were here" story.  Nonetheless, we walked around the North Beach and Nob Hill / Russian Hill on Hyde Street.  A cool highlight was the George Sterling Memorial - with a basketball court view that seemed to outdo every awesome San Francisco movie seen I've seen.  Every block found us gawking at the sexy architecture and the amazing views.  Plus watching the cars drive so so slow down Lombard was amusing.  But then it was cold (Holy crap San Francisco is freezing during July!) and late so back to Jeff's place.

    On Thursday, July 8, we borrowed Jeff's newly detailed blue Prius (as all Bay area cars are) and drove to Santa Cruz.  The drive there was surprisingly hilly, forested and gorgeous, and Steph even directed me to the Los Gatos Exotic car dealership (which was actually fairly small).  Santa Cruz is surreal, comprised 100% of hipsters of all ages who seem to have no financial constraints or worries.  Folks were friendly though, and we ate at the OK Joe's Pizza and Subs, for lack of another cheap option in the Front St. area.   Sadly, no time to go to the boardwalk, but we headed up the coast to a random beach off HWY 1 and walked down.

   This was Stephanie's epic descent to her first contact with the Pacific Ocean, and I was happy to be back there.  The Florida coast is warm and pretty, but the Pacific is freakin dramatic.
    The spot we found was amazingly picturesque, with a natural bridge, cool rock formations, and a rock outcropping that channeled rushing water from the waves into a tunnel that made a thunderous crashing noise
    We dropped back by Sunnyvale, picked up Jeff, and drove back to the coast towards Half Moon Bay.  (Gerry O'Beirne had a song about it, I assumed it must be cool).  The town felt completely deserted,  but we Urban Spooned for yet more pizza (a common theme in my life) and found a odd looking, but supposedly tasty, sports bar/italian restaurant, Italia Pizzeria Trattoria.  We were among 7 total people in the restaurant, but as predicted by the maps of Italy on the menus, the pizza was AMAZING.  As in, among the best I've ever had.  Finally, we drove south along the coastal highway for half an hour to watch the "sunset," which consisted of the sky simply getting darker... But the cliffs we found to walk around were cool.  The drive back was on what must have been the slowest road in America, with nearly constant hairpin 15 mph turns. 

    Friday is our long drive up to Seattle, and in a way when the trip I had envisioned really starts.

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