San Fran + Big Sur

Flew standby to the West Coast in October, one plane behind Brooke & Jan. Navigated the subway and streets of San Francisco by myself and met up with B & J in China Town - walked the streets with them until we found ourselves at Coit Tower. The views from the tower on Telegraph Hill in North Shore were beautiful- you could see San Fran in every direction. Up and down lots hills we made it back to their hotel. I tried to get out on their fire escape to take pictures, but Brooke wasn't havin' it. She held onto my shirt from inside the hotel the whole time I was out there. 

Met up with dear friends Hilary & Kyle, UGA friends who moved to San Fran this fall, for tacos at Mamacita in the Marina District neighborhood. Stayed in their beautiful loft across the Bay Bridge and chatted on their rooftop patio as they pointed out the different neighborhoods of their new city. Took the bus with H & K into the Financial District in the morning and enjoyed a morning coffee and pumpkin bread at The Blue Bottle before they headed to work. Spent the day exploring San Fran by foot, alone. White shoes may have been a bad choice for my 9 mile trek. 

Cayman picked me up in Golden Gate Park at a cute little boat house and we headed for the The Golden Gate Bridge. Parked at Baker Beach to walk to the bridge - who knew it was a nude beach... oh the things we wish we'd never seen. Back in the car we decided to make another quick stop before crossing the bridge. New friends were made. They had a disco ball (which came from their decked out bus) and Cayman played "Pump Up the Jam" on her cell phone. Dance party beside the Golden Gate Bridge. Yes. Across the bridge we made our way down the winding roads to Sausalito. Barrel House provided yummy burgers and an amazing view of sunset, right on the water. 
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Cayman's new home is in Palo Alto, so that's where we spent most of our time. Fun little college town (Stanford) that almost reminded me of Athens. Lots of great restaurants and fun atmosphere. Local was my favorite spot (excellent dinner & desserts). Holley (our friend's roommate) and Brooke & Jan joined us for our Saturday adventure down the Pacific Coast Hwy to Big Sur. It was as beautiful as I'd always imagined, but it felt like a teaser trip because there were so many spots I didn't get to explore. Big Sur Bakery for coffee and muffin and the little shop next door for sandwiches. The parking lot for the state park was closed so we didn't get to have a picnic on the beach, but one of the rangers directed us to an alternate picnic spot: "You'll see the 'Impassable When Wet' sign and then you'll cross over two cow grates and then just drive up to the top and you'll have the best view around." So we did. On the drive back to Palo Alto we stopped at Carmel-by-the-Sea to toss the frisbee and wait for the sunset. It was one of our favorite parts of the day. The sunset was stunning and worth the wait. 

Sunday afternoon we fought our way through traffic to Half Moon Bay for the Pumpkin Fest with Hilary and two of Cayman's new friends, Charlotte & Aaron (moved to Palo Alto shortly after getting married). Walked through tents of pumpkin goodies and art until we too hungry to continue. After grabbing a bite to eat we walked down to the bay. It was foggy, the waves were huge, and it did not disappoint. I could have stood on that beach for hours. 

Until next time Cali... stay classy and take care of my friends.