ROAD TRIP: SAN FRANCISCO TO MONTEREY

Trip Start Apr 01, 2013
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Trip End Jun 28, 2013


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What I did
Rental Car Centre, San Francisco Airport
Aptos, CA
Seacliff State Beach
Monterey Regional Airport
Great Wall Szechuan and Mandarin Cuisine Restaurant

Flag of United States  , California
Friday, June 14, 2013

I got up and went straight to work on my finishing my packing and getting ready for the start of my road trip to Los Angeles.

I checked out of my hostel and grabbed a shuttle to the airport which was where I was to pick up my rental car. I had decided not to pick a car up from the rental car agencies inner city office as I wanted to have as little to do as possible with heavy traffic and one way streets that tend to be synonymous with large cities.

My shuttle driver dropped me straight outside the Rental Car Centre at San Francisco International Airport. I couldn't believe the size of the Rental Car Centre. It was 4 floors and there were people everywhere. Of course, Hertz, the agency I had placed my online booking through, had the longest bloody queue. There must have been 60 people in it !

After an hour of standing in the queue with my back-pack, front-pack and cowboy hat on, I finally reached the front of the queue and got to complete my paperwork with one of the Hertz representatives.

I'm pleased to say, the wait was absolutely worth it in the end. I had booked a Ford Focus when completing my online booking at a cost of around $65 a day all up, including fees and taxes. The lady said she'd put me in something more comfortable since I was going on a long trip. I ended up with a Camaro Convertible - RESULT !!!! It was her second day on the job and I am pretty sure she made a complete balls-up with my booking as they usually rent their luxury class cars out for around $250 per day.

I left San Francisco feeling pretty smug, stylin' and profilin'. I was however driving like a nana to start with as I got used to the car and also because there was a boat-load of traffic for most of my trip out of the city.

After about half an hour I noticed it was getting bloody hot in the car even though I had both windows down. Whilst in bumper to bumper traffic, I checked the user manual and discovered the car had heated seats, both of which were on. Given it was about 22 degrees, I probably didn't require those. I also finally managed to work out where the aircon was. It would have helped if the button on the dash had A/C on it but it didn't. With those two modifications now taken care of, the ride was a lot more comfortable.

It was around 2pm and I hadn't had anything to eat or drink all day so I pulled off the Interstate and grabbed a bite at a small burger joint in the seaside town of Aptos. I got my cheeseburger and a strawberry shake 'to go'. Not 'takeaway', 'to go'. Gotta use the right lingo. I headed to a road that ran along a cliff above the Seacliff State Beach.

The beach below looked beautiful with lots of people playing, sunbathing and swimming. I ate my lunch and spent the next half hour trying to work out how to get the top down on the car. Unfortunately it wasn't a one-button exercise. The user manual was quite complex and didn't help either. I asked a guy who had a mini convertible parked in front of me if he knew. He came over and took a look but couldn't work it out either. Bummer. I gave up in the end.

I carried on my journey and rolled into the town of Monterey and decided to get a hotel as it was a fairly decent drive from here to the next town with reasonably priced accommodation. I checked in at the Best Western and as luck would have it, there was a barbers shop directly across the street.

After dropping off my bag, I nipped over the road and got a haircut so I would look 'top shelf' for the arrival of my girls on Monday.

I decided that since I had this flash convertible, I needed to work out how to get the top down. Bit like your first girlfriend really :) I drove over to the local Hertz Agency at Monterey Regional Airport and the guy came out and was bloody helpful. There was a thing in the trunk of the car (not the boot, the trunk !) that needed to be extended which me and the mini-owner hadn't figured out. Once extended everything worked perfectly. Now I was set !

With the top down, I drove down to the beach, parked up, and took some photos. I was like a kid with a new toy. I didn't only take photos of the car though because that would be a big wank.

Monterey Bay has a beautiful beach and a pretty big fishing industry by the looks. There were lots of geese or large ducks or swans. Some sort of big feckin birds anyway.

After an hour of wandering and taking photos, I drove back to my hotel. I shot across the road to the Great Wall Szechuan and Mandarin Cuisine Restaurant and grabbed a feed and then it was back to my room for a bit of blogging.

Lights out just after midnight - big big day of driving ahead tomorrow.

Over and out !
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