Our road trip continued inland with a 190 mile / 305 kilometre trip to Bend, Oregon. The nature in Oregon is just absolutely breath-taking! Continue reading “Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 16) – Medford – Bend, Oregon”
Time to say goodbye to California with a 160 mile / 260 kilometer drive along a pretty scenic stretch of the I-5. We spent the next day and a half in Medford, Oregon. Continue reading “Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 15) – Anderson, CA to Medford, OR”
Our next main stops were in Oregon, but it was too much to drive there from Napa Valley in one go, so we had decided on Anderson to spend the night.
I compiled this post with very mixed feelings. It recollects the fabulous time we had in Napa Valley just a couple of months ago, but my thoughts were first and foremost with those affected by the devastating wildfires that are sweeping through Sonoma and Napa counties, resulting in many casualties – they are deadliest in the history of California – destroyed homes and vineyards…
We hit the most southern point on day 14 of our road trip as we travelled from Monterey up north to Napa Valley that day: a 205 mile / 330 kilometer trip. Continue reading “Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 12) – Monterey – Napa Valley, California”
Leaving San Francisco for a 125 mile / 200 kilometer drive to Monterey. Continue reading “Around the World – Pacific Northwest USA (part 11) – San Francisco – Monterey, California”
Day 3 in San Francisco: Exploring Point Lobos and the Golden Gate Park
Day 2: Quite a walk in San Francisco
After an early rise and delicous breakfast at Le Boulangerie de San Francisco (222 Sutter Street), we walked towards the piers. We encountered the Mechanics Monument on Market Street, which prompted the kids to ask us whether or not metal working is dangerous whilst being buck naked… 😀
After a short stop at The Embarcadero and the San Francisco Ferry Building, we went on to the Exploratorium. The last time we visited in 2001, at its previous location in the Palace of Fine Arts at Piers 15 and 17, it was already great, but its new location at Pier 39 is even bigger and chockfull of great hands-on exhibits that will entertain young and old alike.
You can easily keep yourself occupied for several hours with the abundance of physics, biology or sensory exhibits and experiments, which we did… Consequently, we had a late lunch at Hillstone. A nice restaurant just across Pier 33 (1800 Montgomery Street). Definitely one of the pricier ones we have been too, but definitely high quality and tasty food and great service!
- Hillstone Cheeseburger: freshly ground beef, with tomato, onion, lettuce and melted cheddar
- Texas Burger: freshly ground beef, topped with chili, red onion and shredded cheddar served with a tangy BBQ sauce and quinoa salad
- Pan-Seared Ahi Tuna salad with mango, avocado, mixed greens and a cilantro ginger vinaigrette
What a difference a couple of hours makes!
As we bought City Passes at the Exploratorium, we needed to get bang for our buck (we are Dutch, right… 🤑), so we took the historic tram to Fishersman’s Wharf (touristy to the second degree) and also visited the Aquarium of the Bay on Pier 39. The animals had plenty of room but some reason they still stayed really close together…
Much to the dismay of the kids, we afterwards set out on foot to Lombard Street, one of the steepest streets open for traffic in San Francisco, which obviously turned to quite a hike. As expected there were hordes of tourists, selfie-sticks, and cars that just had to go down the street with the truly spectacular decline. All I can say: don’t mess with SF traffic wardens if they instruct you to drive on…
We took one of the historic cable cars down Hyde Street to Ghiradelli Square – with a great view over the San Francisco bay and Alcatraz – and then took an historic tram car to Embarcadero before heading back to the hotel.
After a try of “the best donuts in town” at Happy Donuts (145 Columbus Avenue) – okay, but otherwise not very special – the kids insisted that we had dinner at Chipotle. We still don’t have a clue how they knew this chain as we don’t have any in The Netherlands, but they found an outlet on the block next to the hotel (211 Sutter Street) where we squeezed in just before their 8pm closing time.
I didn’t think of ever having to quote Ozzy Osborne from the MTV reality soap The Osbornes, but his “Ohhh, this burrito is fucking killing me…” describes pretty accurately how I felt after eating just one third of the delicious calorie-bomb that was a chorizo, pinto beans and cilantro-lime brown rice filled and fresh tomato salsa and guacamole topped burrito. Upside was that I also had a breakfast burrito 😉
Heading to San Francisco today. A 170 mile / 275 kilometer trip via Highway 20 and back on the US-101. As we were meeting up in SF and would be staying in Napa Valley for a couple of days as well, we didn’t have anything planned along the way.
Pomo Bluffs Park
Chantal’s early run around Pomo Bluffs Park was mainly a misty episode.
We skipped breakfast at the hotel and we headed to The Harvest Market across the street to stock up on some fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, snacks, sushi (and wines).
As soon as we hit Highway 20 the mist disappeared and luckily the 30 miles of road to the US-101 was a lot less windy than the first part of Highway 1 the day before. The road to San Francisco was sunny, but changed dramatically in just a couple of miles when approaching the city from Sausalito. We had zero visibility near and on Golden Gate Bridge but luckily it was back to beautiful weather at the Presidio.
After checking in into our hotel, The Galleria Park on 191 Sutter St, and lunch – the sushi and some slices of leftover pizza – we did a short walk in the neighbourhood: Chinatown, Jackson Square and the Financial District. We mainly heard French and Italian tourists, but for the first time in a week and a half we also heard other people speaking Dutch again. After a week of encountering relative few people, let alone tourists, this was a bit of a readjustment for us 😉
We also did a short stop on Maiden Lane to see the peculiar Frank Lloyd Wright’s V.C. Morris Gift Shop building. Back in San Francisco after 16 years and it took only a few moments to fall in love with this city again!
Next post will be about that night’s dinner!
Although the destination of today’s trip was on the California coast, the route was mostly inland, only leaving the US-101 at Leggett to following Highway 1 all the way to Fort Bragg.