Baggage: Only Good For Vacations, Part 3 of 3

Baggage: Only Good For Vacations, Part 3 of 3

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Have you checked out Part 1 and Part 2 of Baggage: Only Good For Vacations, yet?


8 DAYS │ L.A. TO SAN FRAN │ JUST ME │ BRING IT


DAY 5 - WEDNESDAY

CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA

After 4 days of roadtripping, I woke up in Carmel after a good night's sleep. 

Turns out my AirBnB hosts were in the entertainment industry. You can hear the husband in the background of movies--he's a voice actor--reacting to a punch, having a conversation, and making whatever human noises are required. He gave me and other BnB guests a sample. He's legit.

The waves sounded like bass. You heard and felt them before getting close to them.

The waves sounded like bass. You heard and felt them before getting close to them.

Back deck of Nepenthe Restaurant that overlooks the ocean where I spotted a whale 

Back deck of Nepenthe Restaurant that overlooks the ocean where I spotted a whale 

It was worth the drive back down the coast to Nepenthe to have another go at Big Sur, with it's Christmas smell of crisp air and pine

It was worth the drive back down the coast to Nepenthe to have another go at Big Sur, with it's Christmas smell of crisp air and pine

If you look in the red circle and squint reeeaall hard, you can see the whale's spout

If you look in the red circle and squint reeeaall hard, you can see the whale's spout

After this Swiss burger on french baguette (and a ginormous hunk of banana cream pie), my stomach was so full that it hurt to take a deep breath

After this Swiss burger on french baguette (and a ginormous hunk of banana cream pie), my stomach was so full that it hurt to take a deep breath

I became extremely drowsy after stuffing myself at Nepenthe. A combination of a 4-hour drive the day before, soreness from Monday's workout, and gluttony had me showered and in my pjs by 6:00 p.m. Since relaxing was the whole point of this part of the trip, seemed like the natural thing to do.

 

DAY 6 - THURSDAY

CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA TO SAN FRANCISCO

Before heading to San Francisco...

Pizza from a wood-fired oven at La Bicyclette

Pizza from a wood-fired oven at La Bicyclette

O Magazine with lunch

O Magazine with lunch

This happened. And it was everything I'd hoped it'd be

This happened. And it was everything I'd hoped it'd be

Vanilla panna cotta with blueberry and micro basil

Vanilla panna cotta with blueberry and micro basil

La Bicyclette

La Bicyclette

Went back for one last look, then remembered something about a tsunami in L.A. Bye, beach!

Went back for one last look, then remembered something about a tsunami in L.A. Bye, beach!

 

DAY 7 - FRIDAY

SAN FRANCISCO

Why did I have to go and try Brainwash Cafe, part cafe/part laundromat...no, seriously? I refused to eat breakfast anywhere else!

Breakfast was SO good!

Breakfast was SO good!

Part laudromat/part café

Part laudromat/part café

"Small" coffee. For King Kong

"Small" coffee. For King Kong

First time using Uber. Loved it!

First time using Uber. Loved it!

Rode across the Golden Gate Bridge. An unplanned 4 hours of walking and bike riding. Over 25,000 steps on my Fitbit that day

Rode across the Golden Gate Bridge. An unplanned 4 hours of walking and bike riding. Over 25,000 steps on my Fitbit that day

Umm...food porn?? In China town

Umm...food porn?? In China town

Stopped by famous City Lights Bookstore

Stopped by famous City Lights Bookstore

Damn kids and their selfies

Damn kids and their selfies

I've been properly raked over the coals for owning a selfie stick. Criticism aside, get one. Now. Amazon.

I've been properly raked over the coals for owning a selfie stick. Criticism aside, get one. Now. Amazon.

Bar wisdom. Yup. Deceide :-)

Bar wisdom. Yup. Deceide :-)

Came from Texas to San Francisco to eat tacos. You can take the girl outta Texas...

Came from Texas to San Francisco to eat tacos. You can take the girl outta Texas...

Mocktail on the rocks

Mocktail on the rocks

 

DAY 8 - SATURDAY

SAN FRANCISCO TO HOME

AirBnB condo. Stayed with a friend who was also in town

AirBnB condo. Stayed with a friend who was also in town

Lombard St. before I flew out

Lombard St. before I flew out

Goodbye to my sweet ride and fantastic gas mileage. Hyundai Elantra

Goodbye to my sweet ride and fantastic gas mileage. Hyundai Elantra

California was more beautiful than I'd imagined. I thought I had a good idea of how huge the Pacific Ocean would be, but when I saw it up close with my own eyes, it surpassed anything I pictured. I literally had to force myself to stop stopping the car to look and take pictures. From beginning to end, what a great adventure.

California Love, indeed.


California Roadtrip in 90 Seconds


REFERENCES

If it was a good deal, yummy, fun, worth mentioning, it's all here! If I wouldn't recommend it, do it again, or am embarrassed that I did it, it's not here.

 

WHERE TO STAY

Atterdag Inn, Solvang, CA

AirBnB - Annemarie, Jesse, Jocelyne, Seaside, CA (near Carmel and Pebble Beach)

AirBnB - 2 BR townhome downtown, San Francisco, CA

 

If I did it all over again and could only pick one PLACE TO STAY I'd...

Go back to Solvang and stay at the Atterdag Inn. It's a quiet town, they have pastries by the ton, not to mention many quaint restaurants within a 2-mile radius, a ginormous As-Seen-On-TV store (I'm a sucker for this stuff), good coffee, and the entire town is tucked in by 10 p.m. My kinda place.

 

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GRUB

Big Sur

Nepenthe

You may see a whale. That's reason enough to go, but even if you don't, the view is stunning. Nothing but the Pacific Ocean for as far as the eye can see.  

Carmel-by-the-sea

La Bicyclette

This place strikes me as reliable. Like, every time you go, you're guaranteed a good meal. Their fresh pizza and chef-crafted dessert made everything inside me happy.  

Los Angeles

Blue Plate Oysterette

The shrimp cobb is one of those salads that make you wonder why you love salad so much because...it's just a salad. I can't explain it just as I can't explain love or taxes. 

Caffé Primo (next door to Equinox West Hollywood)

After one sip of the Cinnamon Crunch smoothie, I forgave them for putting an extra "f" in Caffé. I recently tried to make this smoothie. Fail.

San Francisco

Brainwash Cafe 

I was surprised. The breakfast was SO good. The eggs, skillet potatoes, bacon, buttered sourdough bread, and coffee were perfect. I mean perfect!

Fog City

The ambiance. The artful way they plate the food. And the taste. Oh my gosh. Loved the carrot ginger soup with fresh ginger. And the tacos with kimchi. Superb.

 

If I did it all over again and could only pick one PLACE TO GRUB I'd...

It's a 3-way tie. I'd either have breakfast at BrainWash, another Shrimp Cobb Salad at Blue Plate Oysterette, or relax at Nepenthe.

 

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THINGS TO EXPERIENCE

  • Hike Bronson Trail in Griffith Park in L.A.
  • Yoga on the Beach with Brad in Santa Monica
  • Golden Gate Bridge - At Golden Gate, you can picnic or go to the beach at Crissy Field. Bike rentals are nearby at Sports Basement
  • Drive Pacific Coast Highway 1
  • Chill at Carmel Beach
  • Have dinner and dessert at Farmer's Market at The Grove in L.A.
  • Shop at The Grove
  • Visit Equinox gym as a guest - For Equinox, call first to get guest pricing and to check their proximity requirements. For example, West Hollywood Equinox welcome guests staying in a hotel within a certain mile radius. Here's a workaround: all spa guests have access to the gym, so plan a mani/pedi or a massage.
  • City Lights Books (only if you worship books) 

 

If I did it all over again and could only pick one PLACE TO EXPERIENCE I'd...

Sorry, but I can't pick one. I'd hike Bronson Trail, do yoga on the beach, workout with Natalie Yco (and have another Cinnamon Crunch smoothie at the cafe next door), drive the coast, let down my windows to smell the pine in Big Sur, walk and bike around Golden Gate Bridge.

 

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TRANSPORTATION

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

I did my homework and Enterprise had the best rates in the economy car class, so I got a small, clean car for easy parking and good gas mileage. 

Uber

Easy to use on a smart phone. I could track the driver's whereabouts. Super duper inexpensive compared to a taxi ride. My first ride was $25 off with coupon code.

 

If I did it all over again and only picked one SOURCE OF TRANSPORTATION I...

Wouldn't change a thing. Enterprise's rates and customer service are on-point.

I'm in love with Uber after only using them twice.

 

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Photo credits: The Tended Garden