Finally got to writing this post 🙂 which I was promising for a long time… I’m sorry! We went to California mid-late September so I guess it’s only been a month since we got back but somehow it feels like I have been dragging my feet waaaay longer writing this post LOL!
Buuuut, it’s finally here so here goes. A couple of friends of mine were nice enough (thank you Ula and Ania!) to invite me to go on a girls trip with their girlfriends way back in April or May so naturally I couldn’t say no to this because I do not go on trips like that very often, if ever. So the planning started relatively early, first with booking our flights and later on as the time went by we slowly planned and booked everything else. Financially, I will say it was extremely helpful that we planned the trip in pieces so we could all plan and distribute the costs over time.
When we had first got there to LA, we had a rental car booked with the intention of driving up to San Francisco that same day taking the most amazingly scenic Highway 1 along the coast. And if you’ve been, you know what I am talking about. Yes, it was a long drive but boy was it worth it and something you don’t get to experience very often if at all in your entire life. Literally, you drive along the coast and when I say the coast, I really mean the edge of the coast only a few feet away from the drop. It was the best thing! The views are such that no photo can really do them justice. We stopped as much as we could to snap a pic but you can’t really stop there anywhere you like as the lanes are pretty narrow and there’s stretches of the road where you absolutely can’t stop at all. We drove relatively slowly (hello! driving at the edge of the cliff there LOL!) so we could still soak in all the views along the way.
We had a large SUV to fit all seven of us and the girls rotated who was driving (luckily, I wasn’t). It was a little scary, I will say but oh my gosh it was worth that long 8-9 hour drive. We got to San Francisco after sunset, around 10pm and one more friend met us there as she flew in from Chicago straight to San Fran… yeah, it was late but we still wanted to go out and experience the town which proved to be difficult that first night as we didn’t know where to go so last minute and we ended up driving through the not so safe neighborhood (which we didn’t know we would). Needless to say, we didn’t feel a 100% safe but we managed to still have a little bit of fun. But boy were we tired when we finally got to the hotel for the night.
The next day we drove to a Sonoma winery, MacRostie, where we spent a huge chunk of time. The place had this modern feel but still a little rustic and so tranquil. The weather also couldn’t have been more perfect, around 70 degrees and sunny and so we sat out on the patio outside surrounded by the vines. Seriously, one of the highlights of this trip was how relaxed we all felt there and so we didn’t rush and took our time. In the afternoon we drove to this little cute town just outside of the winery (the town was Healdsburg) where we had an early dinner and then drove back to San Francisco.
But probably my favorite thing about the whole trip was doing the tour of the city the next day with this tour company. It was fairly inexpensive, only about $60 per person and it was the best $60 spent, seriously. The lady showed up in this cute blue mini VW bus (see the first photo) and drove us around San Francisco for about 3-4 hours. She went to all the scenic spots in the city but also drove us through various neighborhoods providing interesting tidbits of information about these. It was informative but not in a boring way. We all had such a great time and we all agreed that booking this tour was such a good idea. I highly recommend it!
One of the things we did was we drove down the curviest street in the city – the Lombard St. And when I say drive down the street, I really truly mean down 🙂 because it is so steep that we drove maybe 5 miles an hour which was an experience in and of itself LOL! So cool!
We had also naturally stopped by The Painted Ladies – the row of the colorful houses mostly famous thanks to the ‘Full House’ show from way back when. But the tour guide did say that none of those houses were the actual ‘house’ in the show. These colorful homes got famous because you would see them in the background as each episode of the show started. Everyone just assumes that one of them was the house on the show, but that’s not the case. The house where the show family ‘lived’ was actually in a completely different part of San Francisco.
The tour ended in Fisherman’s Wharf area where we stayed for a little bit and then just wondered around that part of the city for the next few hours. We stopped by The Saloon, the oldest bar in the whole city established in 1861 where the girls wanted to do a shot of whiskey because why not? 🙂 I mean, who can say that they had a shot of whiskey (or a drink) in a bar that’s been around for over 150 years!? (see the photo with the pink looking alley, fifth from the top. It was taken right outside that bar).
After having spent those few days in San Fran, we then drove back to LA but this time we took a ‘regular’ highway LOL and didn’t drive back taking Highway 1. It was a much shorter drive but still about 6 hours or so. The highlight of that road trip was detouring to the Sequoia National Park where we stayed for a couple hours or so. Totally worth detouring you guys… This is a must in my opinion… nothing can describe the magnitude of the sequoia trees and I am not sure what else to say other than go visit the park once in your lifetime if you can and check out those couple photos up above where we took some pics by these sequoia trees.
We had stayed in LA for just one night as we were flying back home the next day… We hung out in Venice Beach and Santa Monica doing some beach-y stuff and just taking our time exploring the area. The general consensus though was that we all liked San Francisco better but also realizing that we haven’t been in Los Angeles long enough to form an objective opinion of it. All in all though we had an amazing weather and way too much fun. I mean, can you imagine how many good laughs we’ve had over the course of the trip given that there were eight of us for the majority of it? LOL! Some of the best memories were made and I am so grateful for them!
Hope you enjoyed this long read… uff! It’s really long, but thank you for sticking with it if you’ve read the whole thing!