What are we on now? the fifth day? I think so. Anyway, the fifth day was a really good day. We had slept very well at our Motel 6 and only had a couple of hours to drive until we reached Carmel. Here's what I can tell you about Carmel - we totally hearted it. It was a really cute, small town full of rich people and white sand beaches. The only bad thing I can say about the town was that I couldn't find Clint Eastwood anywhere. I even texted FMDM to let him know that Clint was hiding out on me. FMDM told me to check the mayor's office. I didn't go that far, because on our way, we ran into this lovely little mall full of really expensive shops. Coadster and Stinky went through a bunch of them and looked at all the stuff we couldn't afford. I'm not super big on shopping for things we can afford, so I distracted them by getting some chai and muffins at a coffee shop.
After that , we walked to the beach and this is how much we loved it.
Each photo of us was spazzier than the next.
I think we could easily have set-up our tent and lived at this beach.
But California being as dangerous as it is beautiful, meant that I got a text from FMDM who works at a radio station and hears the news right away, that there was an earthquake in L.A. We honestly didn't feel it.
After Carmel, we moved up to Monterey. We could only do free things, so we skipped the aquarium, and hit the pier. We encountered lots of marine life anyway. The girls saw many live starfish, which they both loved, but we combed the beach and rocks for a dead one without any luck at all.
We did see lots of seals. Stinky was a little disappointed at how annoying and violent they were. In this photo, two seals were fighting for a rock and the one got shoved back into the ocean. We also saw a sea otter happily floating on its back eating abalone off of its belly, but it was too far away to photograph very well. Then we tried to eat sandwiches on the beach, but were chased away by pushy seagulls and geese, of all things.
We headed toward Santa Cruz, but we all agreed that we were way too tired to stop. Instead we went straight to the Motel 6 in South San Francisco where we would stay five fabulous days and nights before heading back.
The first day in San Francisco was spent orienting ourselves and figuring out the Samtrans and Muni bus systems. I was smart and remembered the buses only took exact change, so I brought a roll of ones and quarters. I ended up helping all the European tourists who didn't seem to understand the concept of exact change or our monetary system, or both.
We headed downtown the first day, and I was struck by how much the city had changed in twenty years(duh, I know). I went to the lower level of Macy's where I used to tend bar, and it was all name branded-out. The restaurant was now a Wolfgang Pucks and there were all kinds of other little chain coffee shops and juice bars. I was a little sad that they lost their own restaurant and lounge and deli and bar. There was also a gigantic mall where the old Emporium used to be. My girls were totally thrilled and Coadster finally got to spend all her hard earned cash on school clothes and a homecoming dress from a store that we don't have in Iowa. Stinky was just happy that they had a Hello Kitty store with pink guitars even. Again, it wasn't how I would have chosen to spend a day in San Francisco, but this trip wasn't just for me, so we all had to do a little sacrificing here and there.