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Published: June 19th 2018
After leaving our hotel room in Fort Bragg, my husband and I decided to continue on down the coastal highway to San Francisco, California. This was a place we'd always dreamed of visiting and I'm so thrilled that it did not disappoint. We arrived in the city just before sundown. We stayed at La Luna Inn, a quaint little boutique hotel right on Lombard Street. We were excited to book this particular stay, because we'd heard all about the infamous curves of the street and wanted to see it firsthand for ourselves!
After checking in and unloading, we walked down to Fisherman's Wharf. There were merchants setting up shop all the way around the wharf, each selling his own version of steaming clam chowder. Some were in styrofoam bowls, and some were in bread bowls. Some were full of croutons and some were mainly broth. It was so fun to see and sample all of the different kinds!
We settled on a warm cup of soup ladled into a bread bowl and took our seats on a bench overlooking the water. From our vantage points, we could see the infamous Alcatraz prison, and though we knew we could schedule
a boat ride and tour there, we'd opted against it as we only had one evening in the city and wanted to make the most of it.
After finishing our chowder, we walked into Ghirardelli Square, where we picked up bags of chocolate for our family members back home. We spent the rest of the evening just enjoying the city, looking at all of the cable cars, towering buildings, greenways, and more.
The next morning, we had a fun time recreating one of my favorite television scenes, the opening scene from "Full House!" We found the famed Pink Ladies houses and the hill in front of them. Though I don't do the look justice, it was still so fun to see the scene in real life, though we got more than a few concerned looks from curious bystanders.
We took one more last look at the Golden Gate Bridge before making our way back down the coast. If we had just a little more time in this city, we would have taken the time to visit Pier 39, strolled a few more of the gorgeous parks, or even driven a little over an hour away to attend
the nearby Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic, as we so enjoyed the Albuquerque festival we'd attended earlier. As we plan our next trip, we hope to find out more
about related upcoming festivals and events so we can be sure not to miss them. I think that attending local events is part of the fun of traveling somewhere new! We've gone to a state fair in New Hampshire, a First Friday museum crawl in Phoenix and more!
From there, we went to visit the city of Monterey, California. My cousin is actually stationed at an Air Station near the city, so his wife generously offered to show us around the town for the afternoon. We visited Cannery Row, ate some amazing crepes, and took in some gorgeous scenery. Our destination that night was San Simeon. We'd heard that at any given time, you could see a large number of seals lying around sunbathing on the shore, so I made it a point to work this city into our itinerary. It was also near the Hearst Castle. Unfortunately, it must not have been the season for the seals, as there were none to be found. Still, we checked into our hotel
late and grabbed another bowl of chowder from the on-site restaurant before calling it a night.
Although the seal search was a bust, we still managed to see plenty of wildlife during this leg of the trip! The next morning, we woke up bright and early to visit Ostrich Land! Located near wine country, it was about 45 minutes from our drive and worth every second. I had never been so close to any wild animal before, but to actually feed an ostrich from the palm of my hand was both terrifying and incredibly exciting all at the same time! My husband and I took turns feeding and interacting with the ostriches before telling them it was time for us to go, and continue on our journey!
After that, we stopped in for a short time in the city of Solvang, California. This quaint little town has been completely transformed to look just like a traditional Dutch village. From the shops to the restaurants, every entity was carefully created and designed to make you feel like you'd stepped back in time. Of course, we had to grab a pastry while we were there. It was crumbly and warm
and tasted totally authentic if you ask us.
Then, we checked into our hotel in Santa Barbara, where we began the last half of our journey, which I'll continue soon!
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