Vacation Again in California

20 Aug

Last year we vacationed in California.  We started in Los Angeles and finished in Sonoma, see California Dreaming.  This year, we decided to fly in and out of San Francisco, add more time in Sonoma, a visit to the mountains and a few days in San Francisco.  Our trip experienced a bit of a hiccup middle of the way, specifically we did not get to see Sequoia National Park.  Nevertheless, we had fun.  Highlights were:

Sonoma County

We started our trip with visiting Susie’s old stomping grounds in Northern California.  We stayed with Susie’s friend, Carrie (and her boyfriend), in Petaluma.  We spent our first day out at Point Reyes National Park.  It was beautiful.  The weather was calm in the bay and wild and woolly on the Pacific side.  We enjoyed oysters from Tamales Bay.

Our next few days were spent in and around Sebastopol.  We saw more of Susie’s friends, Danielle and Molly.  We got to see a bit of the countryside, and had a bit of downtime enjoying cool evenings and warm days.  Certainly a great start to our vacation.

w/ Carrie and Eric w/ Danielle and Molly

San Luis Obispo

On our way down to San Luis Obispo (SLO), we stopped in San Jose to see Susie’s brother (Doug) and our sister-in-law (Laura).  We enjoyed bluegrass music at a BBQ joint.  The music was good and so was the conversation, at least what we could hear of each other.  As to the BBQ, let’s just say the extra moist brisket was quite lean.

We spent a week in SLO visiting with our son (Gabriel) and our friend (Wendy).  Gabriel has a summer job, so we saw him when he was off.  We helped him a bit with his new apartment and we got to meet his girlfriend (Anna) over sushi at Goshi Japanese Restaurant.  The meal was fun, especially the live prawn and mackerel dishes.  I think the big win was the unagi and bintoro.  Pearl also got to try sukiyaki.  All around a great time.

We hosted a french toast breakfast, saw the kids return from an afternoon of kayaking and had a surprise lunch with our niece Lena and her boyfriend (Cooper).  We did a lot of cooking at Wendy’s place and got to also meet an Italian grad student (Fabio) boarding at her home.  Lots of fun conversations over a few bottles of vino.

w/ Gabriel's Girlfriend (Anna) Morrow Bay Kayaking Sibling Kayakers

San Francisco

Fabio joined us for the drive up to San Francisco.  We were planning to take Highway One up the coast, to show him the elephant seal colony and views from Big Sur.  Unfortunately, California is experiencing wildfires throughout the central coast, so Highway One was closed around Big Sur.  So, we took the quick route to San Francisco  via 101 and 280, through San Jose.

We stayed at Hotel Kabuki for a couple of days.  The Japanese bath tub was awesome, though not easy to get in/ out of.  Pearl wanted to see the California Academy of Sciences.  Doug joined us for a day.  He and Susie went to see the Rodin permanent collection at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco (Legion of Honor), while Pearl and I explored Golden Gate Park.  During our time in San Francisco, we enjoyed the best Ramen we have ever experienced from Waraku, which happened to be across the street from our hotel.

A great trip and memories we will cherish.