Our vacation started late Thursday night when 4 people in 3 groups were to meet at San Francisco’s touristy Fisherman’s Wharf. It was convenient to meet straight at the hotel, considering the weeks of cold, snowy desolation and long hours of flight, work and minor jet lag preceding the trip.
And after changing our initial plans of picking up the car at the airport (we didnt realize how far Fishermans Wharf and SFO airport would seem like on a cool rainy morning) we walked a few blocks closer to the pier at a smaller pick up location and got bombarded with meanness and surcharges. Our reluctance was all but subdued with the sunroof on our cute SUV that was just enough for all 4 of us, our luggage and our high spirits.
Wading through the rain and traffic and getting lost in unfamiliar loops we finally hit southbound Highway 1 near Pacifica. The first view of the roaring ocean was well, as if I’ve never seen the seas before. The wet sand, the moist skies, the rushing water, the foamy rocks were all new, fresh, all the fatigue and sleepless disturbing days right before the vacation were melting away, the enthusiasm, the young nights strangely feeling worth it…and we were just getting started.
But the excitement, the spicy snacks and the ice tea did not put a cork on our bladders, now dancing to the rhythm of rain. We found a nature-stop closeby, one–where the two others in our group enjoyed a closer view of the ocean.
The sky was lighting up from behind the trees. The water splashing looked almost gelatinous and pale. The city, the waves and the feathers of the flying pelicans was glowing alike in the first rays of Sun. Times like these make me want to become a morning person….-click, zoom, click, click, snap.We had dispersed with our thoughts and our cameras into the horizon, only to come back later to the brave 3-some that decided to get their feet wet. Hello, Pacific. Hello, freezing toes….
We stopped at all the overlooks and looked over every stop.
We met the seals and the sea lions basking in the sun in the distance, friendly Nutty and his squirrel friends, Mr. Bone-Beak-in-the-Stone-house, Ms. Haughty Pelican with an itch problem and Little Miss Yellow-eyed Black Bird.
Back to Pacific Grove we spent all afternoon and evening strolling Cannery Row–the “downtown” of Monterey. Being a glass artist I had long before wanted to check out Sand-to-Glass. This artist had an unique way of tight filling sand to make sceneries… sometimes he’s even use dusted glass and fuse them to make plaques, glass fusing and sand art is difficult enough. Imagine combining them. Whoa Physics!
We were advised by some friends we made on the trip (not our wildlife friends, but the ones less hairy, English-speaking kind) that we should definitely go to Big Sur. That the Pacific Coast Highway was nice but the nicest was Monterey to Big Sur. So we tweaked our plans last moment to drive down to see some of the most magnificent coastlines. Rocks, ridges, blues, greens and the Sun and an aimless drive with old friends– music!
3 hours south, we turned back, stopped at Pacific Grove for a late lunch at Fisherman’s Grotto. Enjoyed the good food and great views before we hit the road for San Francisco.
After checking into our downtown hotel we headed straight for the Sunset on the Golden Gate bridge.
The cheesy tourist-ambience was killing us, so we trudged our way up to the Marin headlands after multiple mistaken loops and getting lost we reached there after the sun was down. But the sky was beautiful, now the color of water that Big Sur had.
We stayed there until late, Golden Gate Bridge looked more like a string of cheap golden beads hanging low beside a smoky skyline of a bustling city.