Road Trip! Day 1 — Driving Up the Southern California Coast

Man, I do love road trips!

We just finished a 10-day one that was fun, funny, tiring, relaxing, beautiful and adventurous all at once.

Our main goal on this trip: Get to Missoula to see oldest son in his college environment at the University of Montana.

But first: We decided to take a detour and go up the California coast this time so we could also see the Redwoods, Oregon, Seattle, and the Seattle-to-Missoula drive through Fourth of July Pass (Idaho) that he’s been taking and telling us about.

So, we were off!

First day: A whole lot of driving. It’s about 9 hours from Orange County to San Francisco, so that was the goal. It’s a long drive, but a beautiful one: the coast was at our left, gorgeously curving up along Pacific Coast Highway (also known as Highway 1). If you’ve never been to California, a great way to see it is to take PCH all the way up or all the way down. It looks like this almost the whole way:

At different times of year, you see different wild plants, like the Pride of Madiera in the early summer (we just missed it), and the wild grasses in the fall (we missed those, too, but we’ve seen them before — really pretty), or wildflowers all through the spring. Even the winter drives are green with unique plants. It gives this drive an ever-changing background that makes it fun to do several times in your life.

We got to San Francisco at about 6 p.m. — just in time for dinner at Boudin Sourdough Bakery at Pier 39! I had clam chowder inside a sourdough bread bowl: an absolute San Francisco must-have.

That night, Nate bought a tripod as his “official souvenir.” (Of course he spent almost ALL of his souvenir money on the very first day — that boy does love his souvenirs!) And we went back to the Golden Gate Bridge at around 10 p.m. so he could take “long exposure” photos of cars going over the bridge. They did come out kind of cool. He sells me his photos now (yep, for 25 cents each! — he’s a budding entrepreneur at 13) but he let me use this one for free, in exchange for full taking-over of my camera on this trip. He’s becoming quite the photographer:

And that ended Day 1!

Next up: The Redwoods!


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