San Jose and San Francisco
After our lovely detour on the Avenue of Giants, we rejoined the 101 and busted butt for San Jose. We were about 5 hours away from our destination. The setting sun was beside us as we wound down through the mountains and came out into the valley. I began to see large spreading trees, sparsely leaved with twisting limbs and light gray bark. I suspected these were the California Live Oaks I’d been on the lookout for. Josh jumped out to take photos in the gathering darkness and we were back on the road in an instant. We made it to San Jose that night about 1 in the morning. We had only been traveling for two days but were so grateful for a cushy bed! The next day we rested and had a great time with the Weils family! They very graciously loaned us their season passes for the Monterey Bay aquarium, so after a day of rest we set out again to Monterey Bay.
Not two minutes into our drive, Josh got a text from a friend from college he had been trying to reconnect with. Katie was in San Francisco and would we want to meet her for lunch? I wasn’t really interested in seeing San Francisco; we had crossed the Bay on the Golden Gate Bridge in our drive from Redwood country, but it was dark then and we did not see much of SF. We doubled back to San Francisco to meet up with Katie.
The hills in San Francisco scare me! The road goes straight up then straight down the other side. Are you sure that car will stop at the stop sign? Can our car stop at the stop sign? We wondered the city a little, visiting the Golden Gate bridge outlook, (too foggy to see anything) the museum circle, and a Starbucks to get directions. In our meandering through the city in the misty fog, we drove along the banks of the bay and saw some really great pine tree that I thought might be Monterey Pines. Monterey Pines are extremely rare, my tree book says they only grow in three locations, San Francisco not being one of them. I am still not certain what kind of pine they are, but will do a drawing of them someday. The sun came out and we found our way to the Market district where we met Katie for lunch. At that point I found I enjoyed SF. I saw a really great boutique that I will shop at when I have a million dollars, and we enjoyed the graffiti on trucks and colorful houses that lined the streets. I even got a little better on the hills; still don’t want to drive there though! The story continues...