Honeymoon – LA to San Fran

So after an amazing few days in New York we flew over to California and landed in LA in the early hours of the morning.

After a nice long sleep, we headed over to the car rental place to pick up the convertible we had arranged. For some reason we thought it would be a good idea to walk there – 20+ minute walk in 30ºC heat does not make a happy Mrs D! It took us forever to work our way through the long queue to sort it out, but bonus – we got a free upgrade to a Mustang!!! Totally awesome! It took us quite a while to figure out how it all worked, being an automatic and all. I think I nearly died of stress when we got on the highway, 6 lanes of traffic!!! We headed up Highway 1 to Pismo Beach, where we had lunch at The Cracked Crab. We shared a bucket for 2 – snow crab, dungeness crab, shrimp, potatoes, corn on the cob, and spice sausage, all dumped on the table! It was immense! We had a wander round town, and the jumped back in the car and headed over to San Luis Obispo to find somewhere to stay for the night, and then went over to the Drive-In theatre (two films for $7 each, bargain!) The films were Riddick and then 2 Guns, which when looking them up I wasn’t really fussed by, but actually really enjoyed them. We had the roof down for most of the first film, but then it got chilly, so we got the blankets out and curled up. We had plenty of snacks – I lived on Red Vines for the whole time we were out there, and we bought butter popcorn from the diner there, but it was pretty disgusting!

Although we hadn’t planned on it the following day we went up to Hearst Castle. We’d heard very mixed reviews about it, but Chris wanted to go. I actually really enjoyed it, although I’m sure that’s partly cos we had a really good tour guide. By the end when we were walking around the gardens I’d had enough though as it was far too hot. We drove further up HW1, and stopped to have a look at some elephant seals on the wya. The drive up was incredible, we drove up through Big Sur with the top down on the car. The fog soon rolled in really quick and think, and it got really cold, so the roof went back up again. We finished the day in Carmel, which was a really twee town, with lovely, and very varied houses. Having no idea where to stay we reverted to looking in the Lonely Planet guide, and I’m so glad we did. We stayed at the Horizon Inn, and the only room they had left was a bit more expensive than we’d planned, but we used the ‘we’re on honeymoon’ excuse and went for it! The bed was huuuuge, and had a jacuzzi bath, as well as a normal bath, a gas/log fire, ocean views, etc. It was amazing. We decided to make the most of the room, and got dinner in – this consisted of a roast chicken and some baps from the deli down the roat. We then had a lovely jacuzzi bath and shared a bottle of champagne with the fire going.

The next day we had a drive around 17 Mile Drive, we saw the Lone Cyprus Tree, loads of seals on Bird Rock. Along the way we stopped at some ‘rest rooms’ at a golf club, and there were loads of hummingbirds in the car park on one of the bushes. They weren’t fazed by people at all, and we took loads of photos. We then headed up to Monterey – there was a classic car show on, so it was heaving, and just seemed really tacky. We drove on up to Santa Cruz, booked into a motel, and headed down to the Boardwalk, had a cheap dinner of garlic chips and clam chowder in a bread bowl – wow! It was probably one of my favourite meals of the honeymoon!

After a rubbish night sleep with one of my headaches, we drove over to Anû Neuvo State Park to see the elephant seal breeding colony. We got within maybe 100 metres of them, and there were so many, really amazing. We then drove up to San Fran and checked in to our very quirky B&B. The room was small, but all we needed. We then had to take the Mustang back to the airport, really sad to see it go, it was an amazing car! We spent the evening sat in the laundromat as we were running out of clothes. I love just sitting and watching people, I could do it all day!

First full day in San Fran and we headed over to Alcatraz and did (another) audio tour around the prison, and had a talk on the famous inmates that had been there. It was a really fascinating place. We then walked up to Lombard Street (the crookedest street in the world), then walked through China town. We caught the cable car to the cable car museum, which sounds really boring, but was actually quite interesting. We had to hang off the side of the cable car, which was fun, but quite scary at times! We had dinner and cocktails at Fisherman’s Wharf, then watched the seals/sea lions (I never know the difference!) on the pier.

The following day we hired electric bikes (I’m not stupid you know, have you seen some of the hills in San Fran!!) from Blazing Saddles and explored. Chris said I was cheating whenever he heard me using the electric part of the bike, I just claimed I was getting my money’s worth! You could pick up quite a pace on them, and we often had races along the Marina. The bikes were a life saver going up some of the hills, I’d never have made it otherwise!! We cycled along the sea front and then over the Golden Gate Bridge (and I managed to lose one of my contact lenses as soon as we got on, and hadn’t brought any spares with me! Oops!) We then cycled back along it, and up a mahoosive hill – it was so steep towards the top that even the bikes couldn’t manage it and we had to get off and push them up!) We spent ages trying to find the ‘Painted Ladies’ which we’d see in various guide books etc, they are just painted houses, and not even all that impressive, we saw much more interesting houses on the way to and from them! Once we took the bikes back we then had an early dinner at The Cheesecake Factory  at the top of Macy’s, and did a bit of shopping.

We had a really lazy day after that, went to the Civic Centre, but weren’t impressed by it, so did a bit more shopping, then went up to Coit Tower/Telegraph Hill – loads of steps and steep hills to get there, but the views of San Fran were amazing. We headed back to the B&B for a quick rest, then headed out round Mission to have a look at all the murals around there, which were pretty impressive. We then found an awesome little Burrito place that was in one of the guide books, I was a little apprehensive, but it was definitely the best burrito I’ve ever had! Not spice at all, and there was load so of meat (beef for me), and beans etc, and I got extra avocado.

Again, we managed to fit so much into such a short space of time. I think for this leg of the honeymoon we were very much in the mind frame of ‘sod it, we’re only going to go on honeymoon once, we might as well treat ourselves’. So we did spoil ourselves on a number of occasions, but we felt it was definitely worth it, and just created so many more magical memories.

Stay tuned for the final part of our honeymoon – from San Fran back down to LA.


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