Elephant seals, bread bowls, and rain…oh my!
Day Two of our spring break was definitely more eventful than Day One. We started the morning early, driving up California Rt 1, along the coast. For those who have not taken this drive, it is a west coast must….the route is beyond beautiful. This drive is not for the faint-hearted, however, as the path is curvy, bumpy, and the road sometimes narrow…right along the cliffs above the gorgeous Pacific Ocean. Little Man and I have driven this route once before, but this was the first time for the Old Man, and he enjoyed it immensely.
Old Man insisted on driving the whole day, so it gave me more time to gaze longingly at the many vineyards we passed in Santa Barbara/Santa Maria wine country. I gave up alcohol for Lent, so we could not stop at any of the wineries we passed. I spent most of the day sighing and weeping. Okay, maybe not weeping, but definitely sighing.
We stopped just north of Morro Bay to walk along the shore, but did not find any of the famous sea glass which washes up on the beaches in that area. Just above San Simeon, we stopped at a place where tourists/locals could watch the Elephant seals. We lucked out-the elephant seal pups were born about six weeks ago, weaned last week, and were entering teenage-hood. There were dozens of babies wriggling around on the beach, and because their Mommy and Daddy seals had taken off for parts unknown, the babies were up to no good…play-fighting and wrestling with each other on the beach. I wanted to take one home, but with all the luggage we had in the car, there was no room. I doubt Freckles would have appreciated an elephant seal in the house anyway!
We took some fantastic photos at a vista point near Big Sur, and then stopped in the middle of the Redwoods of Big Sur/Carmel for gas and a bite to eat. We intended to grab some sandwiches and go, but the Big Sur River Inn and Restaurant beckoned us to stop and have a leisurely lunch (review to come). By the time we left, it was steadily raining, which made the remainder of our drive to San Francisco a little bit boring.
We had such a limited amount of time in San Francisco, so I wanted to make certain I planned our schedule down to every last moment, so we would not miss out on everything we wanted to do. My meeting planning background came in handy for this, and I had everything well-organized, from to the Ferry to San Francisco from our hotel, the BART we would take from the Ferry Building to the Alcatraz Building etc. etc.
The funny thing about exact plans, however, is that one little change can cause chaos. Fortunately, I thrive on chaos. I scheduled us to visit The Walt Disney Family museum in San Francisco the afternoon of Day Two….but….about an hour from the museum, I realized it was closed that day. No problem…I just switched around our schedule so we visited the Fisherman’s Wharf that afternoon, and moved the Walt Disney Museum to the spot where the wharf visit was the next day. To the wharf we drove.
Despite the rain, we had a nice time walking Pier 39, and popping in all the shops. We had a nice warm soup/breadbowl dinner at Boudin’s, cinnamon crepes for dessert, and then made our way across the Golden Gate Bridge, into Marin County, and on to our hotel.
Day Three is our trip to Alcatraz, The Walt Disney Family Museum, Ghirardelli Square, and more wonderful food, so stay tuned!