took a wine train thru Napa Valley. great scenery. good wine. good company. so-so food. looooong ride!
day two, rented a convertible and hit a couple of wineries in Sonoma Valley. beautiful countryside. great wine. fun day. discovered the Hess Collection winery which will probably be a new 'round the house wine.
went back to hotel that night, had dinner, made use of the pool, sauna, and hot tub. got shitfaced. then collapsed in bed.
day three, took the scenic route to San Fran. stopped at the Muir Woods National Park to see the redwoods. decided to take the grueling 2 hour hike to the top of a mountain for an ocean view. got to the top to realized that you can drive there. legs and ass hurt the rest of the trip. trees were huge and beautiful. saw this deer and his family up close. this is not zoomed in. i was freaking.
next stop, the Petrified Forest. they were big and hard and old. 'nuff said.
then, right down the road, California's Old Faithful Geyser. probably my favorite part of the trip! i had never seen a geyser. sat and waited for 40 minutes playing with goats until......a little smoke, some bubbling, a little spat......then boom! 50 feet in the air. lasted about 3 mins. loved every second of it. it also had it's own little rainbow to the right of the spout. neato.
then on to San Fran. crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. big and neat but not gold. checked into the Fairmont which i highly recommend. it's where they filmed the old 70's show "Hotel" and lots of movies and such. historical landmark with an incredible view of the entire city. very nice. (hotel pic is not my pic)
hopped a cab and caught a boat to Alcatraz. creepy! it was really really cool. they give you some headphones and send you on your way. you get to go almost everywhere. saw the actual cell and hole where the escapees got out as was documented in "Escape From Alcatraz" with Clint Eastwood. i watched that a hundred times as a kid.
we almost froze to death on that damn island. we missed one boat and had to wait over an hour in the freezing wind for the next one. it was down to 50 degrees in the city but the wind out there made it colder. and i was still a little wet from being TOTALLY soaked from a splash on the bow of the boat. it pissed me off that the crew knew about the splashes at the front because when we landed they made jokes by asking, by show of hands, how many people got wet. assholes.
R.I.P. to my camera who was laid to rest on "The Rock." i pour a little beer from my forty on your grave. you were a good camera, but you have already been replaced, bitch!
4th day, almost done. "did" san fran. jam-packed day of tourism.
Chinatown. LOVED IT. just my thang. cheap, junky, and full of Chinese people. best (if not the only good) meal of the trip.
walked these streets with hills that only furthered the hurting of legs and ass.
went to Pier 39 to see the infamous sea lions. they were so loud and stinky and i loved them. for some reason, i started missing Calvin. please excuse the wind noise on the video.
rode the cable car. saw the "turn-around" point where they have to redirect the cars since some of the older ones don't make a circle. if you don't know about how the cable cars operate, you should look it up. it's amazing. and scary to ride after learning.
took the cable car to Lomard Street aka "the crookedest street." it's just crazy. pretty flowers, lots of tourists, good city views.
drove around a lot to see Ashbury Heights (home of the hippie explosion in the 60's), Twin Peaks (where i almost lost my shit being afraid of heights and had to pull over to let michael drive), and the Castro District (the gay lesbian bisexual transgender motherland). found this Medical Marijuana Dispensary. according to the signs, the hours of operation never start earlier than noon and you "must have your Cannibus Card and I.D. ready" upon entry.
well, we also drove way down the coastline to see the tall cliffs and ocean splashing below but the fog rolled in and we saw......well, fog. had a nasty dinner and headed home.