In 2009, when David was just seven months old, Mike and I decided to take a family trip. We chose California mostly because it was the farthest our Air Miles would take us. No regrets.
The drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco, along the Pacific Coast Highway, pretty much sealed the deal for me. This was my new favourite place away from home. We spent three days in San Francisco and saw a lot. There were a few setbacks due to having a baby in tow – we didn’t go to Alcatraz Island or ride a cable car and we were back at the hotel early in the evening every night. Despite this, we had a blast and returned to the state two years later – without David. We flew into San Diego and did a loop into Arizona passing through Phoenix, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon. We entered back into California near Joshua Tree National Park and stayed in Palm Springs before returning to San Diego. It was an eye-opener for me because I quickly discovered I enjoyed San Diego as much as San Francisco!
This fall, I was lucky to have an opportunity to return to California. The original plan was to travel with my sister Jill but her job sent her off shore and she had to cancel. Luckily my parents came along and it was great.
This time in San Francisco, I rode a cable car, visited Alcatraz, toured Muir Woods and stayed out past seven o’clock. It is truly a beautiful city with no shortage of hills to climb.
After a weekend in the city, my dad returned home. My mom and I took off in a rental to Yosemite. Yosemite was another destination on my list that did not disappoint. The lovely part about visiting Yosemite in late October is the lack of crowds and the fall foliage. We did a great 9-mile loop that was challenging enough for us. I was slightly disappointed that the climbing cables were down for the hike to half-dome but I guess it means I will have to go back!
After a full day of hiking and a great dinner at The Ahwahnee Hotel, we headed south the next morning to Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. We didn’t anticipate the 2.5 mile hike would be difficult but should of expected nothing less than more hills.
The next day, we drove southwest to the Pacific Coast highway and reached the ocean near Cambria. We drove north and arrived in Big Sur mid afternoon. We were lucky to find accommodations that met all of our requirements: A private cabin… in the red woods… with a restaurant and a hiking trail! We set off on our hike at 4:30, and again, we didn’t anticipate the 2.5 mile hike would be difficult but should of expected nothing less than hills! Just when we began to question if we should turn around and head back before dusk, we arrived at the top and found a breathtaking view of the pacific coast at sunset. The descent was fast and the wine was lovely that night.
The trip concluded with a drive up the coast to San Francisco airport stopping in Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay. As much as I love visiting the West Coast, I know the East is where my family and friends are. xomeg