S: Golden State Adventure | July 2012
FC: Greetings from | California
1: First Stop: San Francisco Bay Area | On July 16 we flew into San Francisco; this began our exploration of the West Coast. We flew Virgin America for the first time and loved it! After renting a car, we drove to AT&T Park, home to the San Francisco Giants. We ate lunch at Panera Bread -- the Summer Corn Chowder was perfectly warm after walking in the cold, harsh wind! -- and then made our way to the ballpark.
2: AT&T Park, San Francisco
3: View from the Press Box We toured this stadium because the Giants were traveling. Evan liked the openness of the concession area, how it flowed easily into the lowest deck of seats. Keeping an eye on the game while you wait for your popcorn wouldn't be a problem! | A park on the water We think the best seats would be at the end of the first base line. First because of its proximity to the water (mere feet!); second because it would be a great place to catch foul balls! These seats would afford a great view in any direction. We wish we could have experienced a game here!
4: Texas Rangers v. Oakland A's | Tuesday, July 17 - Evan's Birthday! Rangers win 6-1
5: Watching our Rangers warm up before the game! | We might have been out of place but at least we were rooting for the right team!
6: Muir Woods National Monument
7: Hiking in Muir Woods was our favorite part of the trip, hands down. It was cold enough that Ashley needed to purchase a sweatshirt in the gift shop before starting our climb! | At higher elevations, the fog was a beautiful surprise (see facing page). All of the foliage was strikingly green and touched by moisture. It is so lush and beautiful; it's understandable why so many people fall in love with northern California.
8: Golden Gate Bridge | After hiking at Muir Woods we ate lunch at an amazing restaurant in Sausalito, called Avatar. The owner enjoyed being creative and told every customer, "I'll make whatever you want." His specialty, though, was creating vegan, dairy-free, or gluten-free dishes that surprised your taste buds and satisfied a hungry stomach. After lunch we ventured to the many vista points near Sausalito that afford beautiful views of one of most famous bridges in the world.
11: Napa Valley | We toured two wineries during our day in Napa Valley: Beaulieu (our favorite) and Sterling (built to resemble a Greek monastery). We visited, but did not tour, Domaine Chandon and Castello di Amorosa. As we traveled back to Oakland we stopped in the town of Napa to explore Oxbow Public Market. We found lots of gluten-free food and a nice city around which to walk!
13: 17-Mile Drive | We drove through Pebble Beach and stopped at most of the markers on the 17-Mile Drive. The native animals were used to people being in their "home" and would approach just about anyone.
14: Pacific Coast Highway | The cliffs and sharp turns of this drive are worth it because the views are fantastic! God's glory is evident in every aspect of His creation along this stretch where the land ends and a turquoise sea begins. In two spots traffic is reduced to one lane and a traffic light that tells you when to go!
16: Cambria | We stopped in Cambria, a small town about half way to Los Angeles, and stayed the night. We stumbled upon the elephant seals at Leffingwell Landing. So neat! Our quaint hotel had lovely grounds with plenty of spots to curl up with a good book and a blanket (it was cold!).
17: Texas Rangers v. Anaheim Angels
18: Dodger Stadium