Friday, December 11, 2009

Cali Trip Journal Part 2 of 3

Cali Vacation

Day 4 ~ Go Cars

We were at breakfast when we started the day off talking about previous trips to California. Greg asked, "Is that when you were married before?" Dad answered, "We didn't bring any other son-in-laws on our vacations. You're the first." Greg asked, "Why?" I noticed my parents and brother didn't offer a reason, so I spoke the truth, "My family didn't like either of the others." I should listen to my family more often, yes, I know, I learn the hard way. I'm forever grateful to have found Greg! When I gave the reason, Rob made a snort sound of approval. Nobody would have actually said it, but it was loud and clear.

So, let me share our Go Car experience! Have you seen one of these bright yellow half the size of a small car, riding down your touristy town? They are a hoot! Basically, it's a 3 wheel motorcycle that doesn't have pedals (brakes and gas are on the handlebars); it can't go in reverse... it's small and you can’t help but laugh! When you turn on the go car, there's a built in GPS guided tour that tells you where to turn and what to see. Only.. sometimes the female voice doesn't tell you soon enough and you find yourself on an adventure! Oh, add to this... the go cars are "open vehicles" - meaning there's no roof..... and it started to rain... and it was cold... (Greg said, "Feels like Father Winter is sneezing on us!") ....then it started to sleet and then... it started to snow! In San Francisco, we had snow, while driving an open car! To seek shelter and dry off, Greg thought he saw a coffee shop, but it wasn't one. It was an indoor swimming pool for kids. Fortunately, they had a heater and allowed us to dry off (and buy towels for five dollars each). It was a needed break.

We got back into the vehicle and made it to the Fort located below the Golden Gate Bridge. Greg and I walked up the spiral staircases to the third floor to take up close pictures of the "International Orange." I thought the area was cool. I took a picture of Greg that cracks me up every time I see it – imagine - Greg and cannon!

After we left the Fort, the Go Car GPS went a little crazy. We couldn't get good directions so we headed where ever and found ourselves going over speed bumps. Now, ummm, let me describe a Go Car seat. Your feet go straight in front of you, there's no bending your knees (don't wear boots, because you'll slip and slide getting in and out of the little bug).. and chair padding? Non-existent. After the first speed bump, Greg drove the Go Car AROUND the future ones. I told him, "My butt thanks you!"

At one point we were waiting behind an SUV for the light to turn. It turned, but the SUV didn't move, so Greg hits the Go Car horn twice. It gave a peep squeak “meep meep” and the SUV moved! I looked at Greg and said, "You have big balls! That SUV was probably looking around to see who was honking!" I really enjoyed the Go Cars; fun experience and we have some great pictures with them!
For supper that night, we went to Pier 39 and ate at Neptune's Palace. Oh my gosh, it was expensive but SOOOO delicious! The clam chowder was better than what we had in Boston! And the prawns (large shrimp) with cooked veggies, sooooooo good! We almost ordered desert, but then Roda reminded us that her grammar school friend, who lives in San Francisco now, brought a traditional Philippine’s cake (layers of purple yam and coconut), to share with the family. How thoughtful.

During supper, we also learned from Rowena calling Roda that the Saints Won - Woo Hoo 10 and 0 Geaux Saints Geaux! Rowena called it a "no stress game." Roda and Mom we wearing red for good luck (I was in pink). When the Saints play, Rob tells Roda, "Wear your red!!"

That night, we browsed around some of the stores. I found a pretty San Francisco ornament for the tree. We also watched the Sea Lions play. Greg barked at them and they barked back. We coined it "King of the Hill" as they battled each other, pushing the loser into the water and off the pier. We learned the sea lions appeared after the 98 earthquake and have been there ever since. Strange how Mother Nature helps you find a new home.

Day 5 - Muir Woods

Greg called the front desk first thing in the morning to research about laundry places. He was told there was a place on Mason Street, about 3 or 4 blocks away. While in the hotel room, Greg walked down Mason Street, San Francisco. How did he do that? There's an app for that! Do Maps, it gives you the address and phone number and touch it to get the street view. From there, you can "walk down" the street and look to the left and right. Greg found "Wash This" Laundry place.

While Dad and I fought over the laptop (I didn't bring my laptop on this trip, so I "borrowed" Dad's from time to time), Greg and Mom walked down Mason Street with the dirty cloths. Instead of going to Wash This, Greg saw a sign, "Green Cleaners." Mom stayed on the corner as Greg went to investigate. She said, "I looked like a bag lady holding all the laundry!" Greg returned with good news, it was a drop off site, where they wash, dry and fold the cloths. The cost was 1.50 per pound. During this time, R&R were already up and about, going to a location in San Francisco so she could update her paperwork.

We all reconvened at the hotel and left for Muir Woods. So, we took a boat ride under the Golden Gate, went under it via Go Cars and into the Fort and now, we drove across it. I don't know why, but I really like that Bridge. It makes me happy.

Greg loved the Redwoods. I've been there before, but my goodness ~ there were so many more paths to walk this time. You could get lost up in the pathways. We learned how the trees grew from boroughs of another. So, you'll see a group of trees together, a "family" of trees. We took pictures upon pictures.... the whispered leaves probably said, "Enough Already." I think the wide angle lens caught the best shots.. especially standing right in the middle and looking straight up. You can sink into those pictures. We could have stayed a day or longer with all the paths. It was lovely, cool temperatures, earthy smells, and hints of sun streaming in.

We got back into the vehicle and drove around the National Park to a look out point. We walked to the end, soaking in the California jagged cliffs. Everyone was getting hungry at this time and Dad said he was positive that there was a little town at the bottom of the cliffs. He was right ~ a quaint town, a small beach and good food. (Though R&R weren’t too happy with what they ordered. Mom said, “When you go to a beach restaurant, you order hamburger and fish/chips. Not the expensive stuff.”) We took pictures and walked in the sand. Greg drove the way back and said he thoroughly enjoyed the turns and twists on Hwy 1, Pacific Coast Hwy. He said, "I'd like to drive that again, in a sports car, with no passengers!" I took pictures of the GPS showing how crazy the path could get.

From there, Dad reminded us of the Golden Gate lookout point. Wow! Now we have shots of the Bridge from above it too! I think I caught some pretty sunset pictures as well. Definitely a nature day, scenic drive and picturesque moments!

Day 6 - No 17 Mile Drive

I say "No" 17 mile drive, because we didn't get there. We started on a scenic drive, heading towards the 17-mile drive, but it would have put us 3-4 hours behind on getting to Los Angeles. We were fortunate enough that our "no 17 mile drive" was beautiful! We stopped at Lover's Point where there was a restaurant called "Latitudes." The pumpkinseed crusted Tilapia was fresh and unique tasting. Mom and Roda split a cool presentation of pumpkin squash, but I don't think they enjoyed it as much. We went across the street, carefully took on the cliff rocks and walked down to the Pebble Beach (not soft sand, but tiny bits of pebbles).

The drive to Los Angeles was long.... and I took pictures of.... Bells. I still don't get what the bells were for, but every time I saw one, I'd point and say, "Bell!" After a while and giving up on guessing WHY there were bells on the Hwy, I started taking pictures and laughing.

The closer we got to West Covina.. hello to traffic! The GPS in Greg's vehicle and the one in Rob's vehicle started to go to war, giving all sorts of different directions. Determined to use the one in Greg's vehicle, it told us to "Keep Left" at every.single.exit. I can't remember how many exits there are in Los Angeles, but yeah, there's a bunch. Greg started getting irritated and said, "It's like a kid pointing and pointing and saying, "I'm not touching you! I'm not touching you!" Every time an exit comes up, where else would I go but to stay on the road?!"

The area prior to the city was pretty though, with rolling hills and fall colors. Greg said, "I'm glad we drove, because it gives me a completely different view of California, outside of what you see on TV."

When we got closer to L.A., the GPS went nuts again, saying, "Due to traffic, your arrival time is delayed by 45 minutes..." Then a few minutes later it said, "A new route was located and is faster by 10 minutes." These "routes" and messages must have changed about 20 times... it was irritating and the traffic, what a mess! Boston has rude drivers, L.A. has TOO many drivers!

Cali Trip - Part 1
Cali Trip - Part 3


Tabitha Bird said...

Oh my that car... LOL

And those pics are just beautiful. Looks like a great trip.

Jules said...

Those cars look like so much fun! Too bad it rained on you. Your other pics are gorgeous.

Lois Lane II said...

I want a go car now, lol!!

Love that pic of you and hubby by the Golden Gate Bridge. Too adorable!

Mommy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan said...

Having lived in No. Cal for 10 years, some of the pictures and places brought back memories. Not enough to make me want to drown in people again, but enough to grin and remember.

septembermom said...

I think I want to hug a tree now :) Looks like so much fun on your trip. Love the go cars. That had to be a blast. All of the pictures are terrific. You and Greg are such a lovely couple. How nice you look together!

♥ Teresa ♥ said...

Wow, what GORGEOUS pictures and that car looks like lots of fun....if it wasn't cold! LOL!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog and for leaving a comment. I really appreciate it. I hope you will visit again really soon! Your blog is SO beautiful. I am going to 'FOLLOW' you and come back to read more when I am feeling a wee bit better.

In the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Teresa <><

Big Girl said...

I wish the weather was better for you! It's been cold and rainy here, so not like it normally is. But it sounds like you're having fun and got a couple nice days in. Enjoy the rest of your trip and I hope you survive your time in LA and ALL those drivers!

Mari said...

Oh Aleta, I am just loving these pictures! The ones looking up at the trees, the ones of the bridge, the beach... Just stunning! It sounds like a wonderful trip, and kudos to Greg, for being loved enough to go along!

Marie-Jolie said...

What a fabulous vacation! I love the Go-Car, too. It looks like a blast. :)

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

Dear, dear Aleta. I'm glad you stopped by my 55, but also sad to even think that you were feeling blue.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

What a lovely post!!! And a lovely trip you had!!! Those Go Cars look fun...but cold is right!!! Brrr...Your photos of the Redwoods are simply stunning!!! And you and Greg are so photogenic! What a handsome and fun couple you are!!! Loved these!! Will look forward to hearing about the rest of your wonderful adventure!! I must admit...I'm a bit envious ;-) Would love to be in Cali. right now! ~Janine XO

LaurAyn said...

I LOVE that photo of your parents looking at each other smiling!

Joanna Jenkins said...

You've visited some of my most favorite places in the entire country!!!! Thanks for the great reminders. It looks like to and Greg had an absolute BLAST!!!!!

Thanks for sharing Aleta and Merry Christmas!


Sucharita Sarkar said...

What a lovely long trip this is. The car was LOL and the bells had me smiling. And you are right, a comfortable bum is a must on a long trip.