California Dreaming

Trip Start Nov 07, 2004
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Trip End May 20, 2005


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Thursday, May 19, 2005

We drove from LA up toward San Francisco via the scenic route, The Pacific Coastal Highway. The route really opened our eyes to how beautiful California actually is. Our eronious assumption was one of large, uncontrolled urban ooze, connecting all the major cities of the west coast. In reality once you leave the admittedly extensive suburbs of LA, you enter a green and pleasant land (at least until the heights of summer when it all gets parched brown). It is Steinbeck country, as wholesome as described in his books. In fact we stopped off in Salinas and Monteray, and walked along Cannery Row, still with the old buildings intact. Although now its they that have been gutted, and they ferry upmarket hotel guests in the cross-overs rather than sardines.

We intended to stop overnight in Pizmo Beach, but this seemed to be the plan of most of southern California, so instead we went further north to St Louis Opisbo, an oddly named but charming little town with a collection of little cafes and restaurants alongside the creek running through the town.

At San Francisco we met up with Richard (a friend of Caroline's) for a couple of nights and indulged in that great Californian pasttime of drinking Corona beer and eating Mexican food. Also it was a chance to meet up with Paul, Rita and little Blue (Mark's brother and family), and an opportunity for Mark to say "My, haven't you grown" for once. As we have both been to San Francisco before we only went into town for some last minute shopping. Instead we drove a couple of hours north, into some more of the countryside, with forests, creeks and wild flower meadows, not to mention the delights of Napa Valley, California's wine region!

Our nine days in California have really shown us what the area has to offer, we could have easily spent 3 or 4 weeks here, and at some point probably will.

So, just the 10 hour flight home to go!

Caroline and Mark
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