Thursday, June 25, 2009
Day 11: "San Francisco"
"Dude it says go 35! You're going 60!" ... "I know but I'm good at it."
Bucket O' Donuts: 9.50
Hello again! Today started off pretty ordinarily. We awoke on our final morning in Yosemite to beautiful weather, and a four hour drive to Big Sur, California. After a good bit of mountain driving, we reached the coast, and backtracked south down the Pacific Coast Highway to the quaint little town of Big Sur.
Big Sur is known for its unrivaled ocean views from the coastal cliffs. The views really were excellent! Seeing the waves crash against the rocky shore was awesome (hopefully, we’ll be able to post pictures). I felt like I was in some sort of ultra-romantic daydream, just getting lost in the sound of…
Well anyways, we asked one of the cashiers in this local store if there were any showers nearby. She wasn’t much help. All she could tell us was that the townspeople know a place (fittingly called “Grimes”) where some of the locals like to bathe in the ocean, but she had no idea how to get there.
So, on to San Francisco we went! We were all pretty excited to get to “Frisco,” as it’s called out here, as we had been going through big city withdrawal ever since our departure from L.A. We got there in mid-afternoon (after being stuck in traffic for close to an hour) and proceeded to cross the Bay Bridge, which we discovered was not the same thing as the Golden Gate Bridge…who knew? The Bridge offered some great views of the bay and of the local shipping industry, but unfortunately, we had to pay $4 to get back across it to return to San Francisco from Oakland, where the bridge left us off.
After receiving directions from my coworker, Max, we were able to navigate around the city decently well and find our way to the Fisherman’s Wharf area (aka Pier 39). We parked the car and walked in and out of many of the various shops in the area, picking up a few small things as we went (including a bucket of 36 mini doughnuts, which we simply could not resist).
After a bit of looking out at the Bay and Alcatraz(which we did not tour, but looked very cool nonetheless), we made our way through the city in an attempt to find Lombard Avenue (aka “The Crookedest Street in the World”). We walked through Chinatown and Little Italy, both of which smelled AMAZING due to the abundance of restaurants, and eventually found Lombard just as it was getting dark. The views of the city were pretty amazing from the tops of some of the hills, and a bunch of the streets were lined with flower gardens, adding to the beauty of the city. Unfortunately, it was getting late, so back to the car we went!
We left the city via the Golden Gate Bridge, which was pretty awesome! Our plan was to camp on this beach just outside of the city, but upon our arrival, we found out that the beach was closed. In our attempt to find somewhere else to spend the night, we came across this family that was stuck in a ditch, and decided to get out and try to help them. We soon discovered that they were the Chow family and they live in San Francisco. By the time we had offered to help them, they had already called a tow truck and it was on its way, but that didn’t stop us from attempting to help anyways. We stayed and chatted with them for a bit, and they tried to convince us to stay for the Gay Pride Parade on this coming Sunday, but unfortunately, we couldn’t. The tow truck arrived soon after and pulled them out, but before we said goodbye, they directed us to a nearby campsite where we could spend the night. We made our way up into the coastal hills towards our campsite, through clouds that were so think they flowed more like pudding than anything else. We set up camp on the side of this parking lot (which contained a hippie bus and a bunch of RVs), and then slept the night without trouble.