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Published: April 7th 2011
We got up early this morning and drove our rented 2011 Nissan Sentra up across the Golden Gate Bridge (we had ridden across it with the tour but its something entirely different to drive it your self) and up into the mountains of California to Muir Woods where there is a Coastal Redwood forest. We ended up being so glad that we got there early since when we left the place was teaming with people and tours.
We had a lovely quiet walk through the forest of these peaceful giants. Coastal Redwood's are the tallest living thing on Earth, and it is amazing to see them up close! It was interesting to see that Redwoods grow 2 ways, either from a seedling, or from a dead Redwood's root system. You can tell the two apart by if a Red wood is standing on its own, or if there are a bunch of them in a family circle.
It was quite chilly but absolutely stunning, at the beginning of the trails there was a section of a Redwood that had been cut after it had fallen. On it there were little descriptions detailing how old it was at that
particular ring in the wood. This tree was born in 909 AD and ultimately fell in 1930, there were little descriptions showing how big the tree was when Columbus discovered America, and the signing of the Declaration of Independence (if this doesn't make you feel young I don't know what will).
We definitely left Muir woods feeling a bit smaller (and younger), but with a great sense of peace.
The drive there and back from Muir Woods was awesome! I have a video of how windy these roads are, and with no guard rail to boot! I started to have a little too much fun driving and I think Mom feared for her life at one point, but everything turned out fine and we made it back in one piece.
After one last drive through San Francisco, it was officially time to say goodbye, we had a great time and I definitley want to come back and visit!
We started off to our ultimate destination being Monterey, CA. We drove along the Pacific Coastal Highway (PHC or CA 1), and it is unreal to see the Pacific coast in all of its glory. The
crazy thing is that in most parts that we saw no one lives on the coast and it is mostly farm land (we did see one Taco Bell that has an impeccable view) and to see cows grazing on what would seem to be prime real estate is crazy!
We stopped at a cute little market for lunch where they were selling 10 grapefruits for a dollar! We bought some citrus fruits and some Strawberries, all of which taste amazing and it was so cheap!
We headed back out on the road and arrived at our destination around 1:00. Monterey is the the cutest town and we were happy to be there. We went to the Aquarium and it was (and I would hope it to be) so much different from the Aquarium's on the East Coast, everything from the kelp forest to the jellyfish and seahorse exhibits were very well done. Overall the aquarium was very interactive and lively, we even got to see the penguins and otters being fed!
After visiting the Aquarium we retired to our hotel in downtown Monterey, the hotel itself is small but beautifully restored as having been here since
1905. We rested for a bit then headed down to Carmel-by-the-sea to a restaurant that my Dad had recommend us to eat at because when he was in Monterey forever ago at the Army's language school here he ate at the Hogs Breath. Mom and I were a little hesitant to eat at a pub called the Hogs Breath, but it turned out to be very rustic and nice! I think Clint Eastwood is affiliated or owns it or something and that was another draw for my Father, but overall we really like the place, thanks Dad!
Well, tomorrow we get up and continue driving down the coast on CA 1, we wanted to drive into Big Sur, but they had a land slide a few weeks back and are still clearing the road. So with that information we will see what we can do tomorrow!
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