S: O'Loughlin California Summer 2010
FC: California | Summer 2010
1: Upon our arrival on July 17th, we saw the famous sea fog rolling in across the Bay as our taxi headed north toward the city. After checking into our room at the Marriott Marquis, we jumped on a cable car for a wild and crazy ride through the streets of San Francisco. We careened over Nob Hill, passed impossibly crooked Lombard Street, and jumped off at Ghirardelli Square. We then made our way over to Fisherman's Wharf, where we caught our first glimpse of Alcatraz and our first whiff of sea lion. It was late and we were tired and hungry, so we hopped aboard the next cable car back to Union Square. After a (very) late snack at Burger King, we turned in for some California Dreamin'. | San Francisco
4: After two nights in S F, we headed north, across the Golden Gate Bridge, to Muir Woods. | Sausalito (right across the bridge) was a neat little town in which to spend a few hours. We strolled, shopped, and ate lunch at a sidewalk cafe. That night we stayed at the oddly deserted and strangely rustic "Mountain Home Inn," a bed and breakfast on Panoramic Highway. We ate peanut butter sandwiches in our room for dinner, but had a lovely breakfast in the morning. | We explored the lush redwood forest in Muir Woods and drove down for a chilly visit to Muir Beach.
5: There was some tree hugging . . . | Well, who could help it? I mean, just look at 'em!!!
8: Yosemite | Our next stop was Yosemite National Park. We stayed at the Tenaya Lodge in Fish Camp (getting there from the center of the park meant driving for 28 slow, dusty, slow, bumpy, slow, road-under-construction, slow miles) at the south entrance. But you know what? It was worth it! | Before heading to the Tenaya Lodge, we drove into the park through the west entrance and came face-to-face with El Capitan & Half Dome!
9: D i n n e r a t t h e W a w o n a I n n. YUM! | that night . . . | Mirror Lake | El Capitan & Half Dome in the distance . . .
10: On the morning of July 21st, we went straight to Mariposa Grove. It was a bit of an uphill hike, but we soon came to the giant sequoias. There's Sean to the left, holding up a gigantic sugar pine cone and a smallish sequoia pine cone. It was surprising to learn that sequoias produce very small cones relative to other conifers. | They laughed at me when I was lying on my back taking this picture. But it turned out well, don't you think? | We're standing at the roots of the "Fallen Monarch"
11: Mariposa Grove | more | The Grizzly Giant is estimated to be 1,800 years old.
12: From Glacier Point, you have spectacular views of Half Dome, Yosemite Valley, and the high country.
13: Yosemite Valley | Bridal Veil Falls | We ate dinner at Tenaya Lodge on our last night at Yosemite. On July 22nd, we left for Monterey, but not before buying a Sequoia seedling to plant back home. Wonder how big it will get?
16: Monterey Bay | The Monterey Plaza Resort on Cannery Row was our home for the next three nights. It was fabulous - and close to everything. We spent a lot of time exploring the town, watching the sea lions, sampling everyone's seafood bisque, and eating at the Fish Hopper & Crabby Jim's. | On July 23rd, we drove to Big Sur via the Pebble Beach 17-Mile Drive and Carmel-by-the-Sea. On the way back, we stopped at Pebble Beach Resort & thoroughly enjoyed cocktails and french fries at the clubhouse while overlooking the 18th hole. There's Pat to the left, setting up his shot. | Did you know that the largest, deepest submarine canyon off the coast of North America is right there in Monterey Bay? It's comparable to the Grand Canyon in depth. We were going to be right over it the next day! | ?
17: We saw humpbacks, blues and risso dolphins! | Whale Watching | Back on land, the sea lions were always entertaining.
18: and to the Hilton Union Square. We weren't done with experiencing this city yet. We rode the cable calls - or walked - everywhere. China Town, Pier 39, the Embarcadero. We drove out to Golden Gate Park and passed the Alamo Park Painted Ladies on the way. We were thrilled to see the landmarks of the "City by the Bay,' but we were saddened at the same time to observe the vast homeless population for which SF is also famous. | Back to San Francisco . . . | That night, we viewed our surroundings from a different perspective - at the Top of the Mark on Nob Hill. | Breakfast at Sears the next morning, then on to Alcatraz . . . | Sean is a great traveling buddy - always in the game to see new sights and try new things!
19: Alcatraz | This is a fascinating, eerie place. We did our homework before we came by watching "The Rock" and "Escape from Alcatraz." | Grrrrrrr!!!!!!! | Dinner at the Tadich Grill, then homeward bound tomorrow!