Tuesday, October 25, 2011

HWY 1/San Francisco/Napa Valley

Five days on the road with the girlfriend.

Day 1:

LA to Santa Barbara
Stopped at Santa Barbara Courthouse and the old Mission. Both interesting architectural locations. Can't say which one I liked more, but worth the visit. Also the only courthouse I've been to that did not require I go through a metal detector.

Santa Barbara to Morro Bay

Morro Rock is much bigger than I thought it would be. It also seems unnatural somehow. Like it isn't a rock, but a giant egg of some sort. Ate lunch at the Flying Dutchman. Delicious and recommended.

Morro Bay to Pfeiffer Beach

The most interesting natural location of the trip. There was purple sand and wave hollowed rock formations. Took very cool pictures here. Check Flickr. The drive to Pfeiffer was also beautiful, and fun. Lots of cliffhugging turns and cornering.

Pfeiffer Beach to Monterey/Pacific Grove

Ate a gourmet dinner prepared by a world famous chef, then went to sleep.

Day 2

Monterey/Pacific Grove

Visited Lover's Point. The weather was extremely foggy, so was disappointed at photos. Ate at Red House Cafe. Great service, great food. Very highly recommended. Got the Portobello Mushroom Sandwich. Visited Point Pinos Lighthouse(meh) and the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary. So many butterflies, but was too cold for them to be fluttering about. Did you know that if temps are under 55 degrees Fahrenheit, butterflies literally can't fly anymore?

Pacific Grove to San Francisco

Weather cleared up about 1500hrs. Saw an amazing wall of clouds spilling over the mountains to the left of FWY 280. Missed two vista points on the freeway, so did not get any photos. Probably the low point of the trip, that. Made it SuburbanDweller's and let ourselves in. Had a spare key from last time in the car. Lucky that, came in handy later. Ate at German restaurant Suppenk├╝che. Everything is good, try the bratwurst and the lamb chops. And the beer.

Day 3

San Francisco

Ate at Brenda's in the morning, as planned. Been dreaming of the goddamn crawfish beignets for a long time. Went back to Corona Heights for a moment, then to The Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption. Took a shot of the stained glass ceiling that I didn't get last time I was here. Walked over to Japantown, then drove to the Palace of Fine Arts cause the other half wanted to go. Ate at some Mayan place for dinner. Was OK.

Day 4

SuburbanDweller had a gig at the Google campus over the weekend, so he took off after dinner Friday night, leaving his place to our tender care. Lucky I had that key, eh?

San Francisco to Napa

1 hour drive. Stopped by the Oxbow Public Market. Was ok. Ate at Bistro Jeanty's. For the price, was probably the cheapest French meal I've ever had. Also Michelin rated 1 star. Was good, but not the best meal of the trip. Visited the Rubicon Estates, but didn't taste. Saw a bunch of Coppola stuff, an Oscar and an Emmy. Went to the Mondavi vineyard and took the tour. The guide, a old gentleman named Richard, was the best tour guide I ever had. Affable and informative, he seemed to take a real joy in his job. Wine was also excellent, as far as my undeveloped palate could tell.

Roared off to make it to the Hess Collection before it closed taking some back roads. Hess Collection located away from other vineyards, higher up in the mountains. By the time we got there, the museum was already closed(1700hrs), but the tasting room and gift shop was open for another half hour. Wine was enjoyable, and purchased some awesome wine bottle spout and stopper combos. Have not yet been able to locate similar product online yet.

Returned to San Fran and ate at some super hipster joint called Outerlands. Waited a goddamn hour. portions were small but the triambel squash soup was good. Also quite expensive. Would probably not go again.

Day 5

Had an interesting laundry issue in the morning. Went to the market and bought fruit to set up a nice basket for SuburbanDweller as thanks. Plus, he needed fruit; the freshest thing in his fridge was a bag of onions.

San Francisco to LA

Ate at the Pluto's in San Jose for lunch. Meh.

Ate at the Flying Pig in LA for dinner. Yum.

1100 miles from beginning till end.

Was fun. Back to work.

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