San Francisco - Buellton
After a couple of days in San Francisco we were ready to get back on the road. We checked out of the hotel at noon and started with a small detour across the Bay Bridge and out to Berkeley, where we made a short stroll around the campus of the University of California. Then we went back over the same bridge, south through San Francisco (and wow - that city is a lot bigger than we anticipated!) and on to the Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1).
Students in front of one of the libraries at Berkeley
We drove along the coast down to Santa Cruz, where we grabbed a late brunch at Emily’s bakery. Then we got stuck in some light traffic out of Santa Cruz, but got down to Monterey and started out on what is known to be one of the most beautiful highways in the world - the Pacific Coast Highway down the Big Sur.
The Big Sur, Pacific Coast Highway
The scenery was beautiful - although not all that different from what we saw down the Oregon coast. We went up and down hillsides, zig-zagged around cliffs, and stopped every so often to take inn the scenery and get some shots of the landscape. The weather was OK, but the ocean was covered in a gray haze. And a gusty wind made it uncomfortable to stay out of the car for too long.
Sunset at the Big Sur
As the sun started to set around eight, we were getting close to the Hearst Castle, near San Simeon. We stopped to photograph the sun going down into the Pacific Ocean, and then drove towards the entrance to the Hearst residence (it’s a huge mansion in the hillsides, with zebras(!) walking around the lot). The gates were still open, and according to a sign they would close as the last tour was finished. But as we got a bit further up the road, and discovered that we would have to board a bus to go all the way up to the house, we decided to skip it.
The entrance to the Hearst Castle
Somewhere else along the Big Sur is a house that Orson Welles bought for his wife Rita Hayworth. Welles modeled his Charles Foster Kane character after Hearst, and also made a model of the Hearst Castle for the movie - so I guess he ventured the area for some research. They supposedly never used the house, and it has later been turned into a restaurant. We didn’t see it - and wasn’t really looking for it either. (We traveled without Kittys help today. She’s really nice to us, and usually gets us right on track, but she’s an awfully expensive gal!)
Selma and Louis in the car
We wanted to get somewhere near Santa Barbara, and had checked out a few possible hotels in that area. We’ve finally picked up a few coupon guides, which not only gives a nice discount on several hotels and motels, but also serves as a smart directory for finding hotels. As it was getting close to 9:30 in the evening, we made a descicion to head for the Days Inn in Buellton. It was used as a location in the movie “Sideways” - which none of us had seen, but never mind. We found the hotel, got a room (#113, but so far we haven’t discovered any scary effects), picked up some junk food (not too much else to choose from, except from “Pea Soup Anderson” - whose tacky billboards had scared us for the last hundred miles) and settled for the night.
Finally, we were able to upload some pictures to Flickr, so we spent a few hours sorting and organizing, uploading, arranging and giving titles to some 130 pictures. We started organizing the photos from San Francisco, but as we have a total of 1322 photos taken during the two days we spent there, it takes a while to sort out the best ones to put up on the net (but they’re out on Flickr now - it’s taking a while to get these posts out as well).
After all the work, Louis went to sleep (in a bed that was a bit too short for him), and Selma got to write and chat a little with her GF. But at 3am her smart and responsible better half urged her to get some sleep. So she did.
(See more photos at Flickr!)