Most things we write come out of a moment of enthusiasm

Cruisin’ USA – SF, Day 1

23 June 2012

Wow, what an amazing day…

The plan was to head off about 10am to go for a drive down the coast south towards Santa Cruz. About 11 Jim arrived at the house and we made breakfast. He made an oatmeal mix that had dried blueberries and cherries in it, and also egg whites. The idea is that the protein from the egg helps keep you feeling fuller for longer. It is a great idea, though not sure I am a big fan of the egg texture in my oatmeal… I suppose putting an egg in a banana smoothie and eating that would yield the same results though, so may try that when I get home to Australia. Jim and I talked for ages over breakfast and he told me a lot about his life and experiences. He is something like a venture capitalist and has degrees in law, electrical engineering, business and a few others that he doesn’t consider important, haha.  His story is quite remarkable, but he is quite a private person so I won’t talk about it here. It is amazing to meet him though, and one of the reasons I love traveling, in particular the “couch” surfing idea. You learn so much more about people when you actually live with them for a few days, rather than just meeting up for a few hours. Maybe the trust builds just a little bit faster so people are more willing to open up quicker.

We headed off on our drive about noon in Jim’s 1998 Mercedes V12 convertible and took a windy road from Menlo Park to San Gregorio. I didn’t mind the late start as I got to Skype my lovely boyfriend and do my blog, yay! The drive was very beautiful, and there is a surprising number of gum trees in the area. They were introduced from Australia as they are quick growing and were going to be used for lumber, but they aren’t really suitable for building with. We got to Highway One which runs all the way up and down the coast and is quite a famous driving route. I can see why. We stopped quite a few times to take photos from different vantage points and Jim showed me some of his favourite places to shoot. I really can’t describe how fantastic it was to see this famous coastline, so I’ll let the photos do the talking for me.

Kite Surfers

We drove inland a little as well and I got to see some of the redwoods. It was amazing simply how tall they get! Jim told me a little about how redwoods survive because they have a burl under the main truck, and if the tree is in distress (from being cut down, burned, etc) then it releases the seeds in the burl, and new trees grow where the old one was. We stopped at a few different places along the road and took lots of photos, and Jim got me to model among some of the redwoods. It was great fun.

Our ride

A little creek that we stopped to take photos of. So very beautiful. Can you see any fairies?

Back on the open road we stopped at Davenport for a snack/light dinner as it was about 5pm now. The oatmeal and egg thing worked great, I hadn’t eaten since 11:30am and was only just feeling hungry now! We started to head back home via Bonny Doon Rd which was so so beautiful. You can see a video of part of it here.

My California Club sandwich with hand cut fries. I ate it looking out over the gorgeous California coast.

We got home about 7pm and I got ready to go to Pier 39 in the evening. Jim had some event on in the evening that I couldn’t attend so he decide to drop me off at Pier 39 to do some sightseeing there. I had a great night hanging out by myself actually. I did put a call out on the couchsurfing forums and got a text inviting me to party. I would have gone, but I would have needed to catch public transport of some kind and I was in no way ready to tack;e that. There are so many options, and the city is so well connected, that it is just damn confusing!

At Pier 39 I got a Banana and nutella crepe for dinner/dessert, did lots of looking around in all teh shops and took photos. I saw some sea lions barking at each other, but they were too dark to get photos of… I saw the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time. I bought a San Francisco souvenir pin, and also got a hat as I had not packed one. All in all it was a pretty good night. Jim picked me up from Pier 39 about 10pm just as everything was starting to close. The plan for the next day was to go for another drive to see the Golden Gate Bridge properly, including a few spots that tourists normally don’t know about, hehe.

The famous carousel from the 1930s that still runs every day. I love it at night with all the lights!

Another Sock market. The Americans sure do like their socks…

I almost wished I was a leftie, simply because this shop exists.

The window of a store called Chocolate Heaven. I got a choc dipped pretzel and a peanut butter and chocolate truffle. Neither were amazing.. 😦

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