Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Grand Tour of California Day 4: Under the Boardwalk, O Christmas Tree, Be True to Your School, and I Left my Heart in San Fransico

Under the Boardwalk:
Today was a lot.  Actually they were all days of a lot.  Today started with a drive up to Santa Cruz.  It was crazy.  We didn't see a single palm tree after Hearst Castle until we got up to Santa Cruz.  Then it was like we were back in Southern California.  (We minus the temperatures typical in the beginning of August)  The boardwalk was everything I could have dreamed up!  The classiest carnival ever right on the beach!
We stopped at watched some volleyball players for a while..... they looked pretty professional so it was really quite fun!  Sometimes I really miss my volleyball days.  I really should practice up and play a city league or something...
We headed out on the pier.  The highlight for Jason was to watch the seals.... which I'm glad I did because I bragged about ALL the seals at pier 39 in San Francisco but when we got there.... only like 6?  Weird.  Anyway back to Santa Cruz.  The seals

We walked around the pier and saw the coolest thing.... well way cooler than lazy seals laying all over each other.  We watched a seal jump up on a board probably 8 feet tall!

They had seafood for sale on the pier......  wonder how much of it actually was fresh from the area?  Either way, it's fun to think it's fresh...

The view of the Boardwalk from the pier.
We then headed over to Natural Bridge State Park... Jason went off to explore, try and swim through the bridge, and do some bouldering (small rock climbing) while I just relaxed.... at first it was super cold... but eventually the marine layer burned off (it burned off WAY sooner at the boardwalk than 3 miles up the road at the state park.... weird).  It was a fun thing to see in the middle of the ocean.
O Christmas Tree:
ok...... they weren't Christmas trees but man I've never seen trees so big.  You think you can understand Redwood trees from pictures... but it something else seeing them in real life.

This tree was "born" around the time Muhammad lived (600 AD)  It went through all the periods of time to present and showed the ring of the tree that was then.

This tree was struck by lightening at least once... (still living!) so you can see the inside.  I know it's ridiculous that I put my arms out, but really it's hard to grasp how big the tree was!

We went on a fun hike through the trees to see the biggest trees in the forest.

The father and mother trees of the forest.... interestingly, the mother is taller at 329 feet.... but the father tree is "wider" over 66 feet around... I guess they didn't want to suggest women are shorter and wider than men.
Next we took a LONG windy slow....... road to Palo Alto.  It was seriously kinda a crazy road.  For like 10 miles it was so narrow it was a one lane road.... but people going in both directions.  Luckily it wasn't super busy or it would be a nightmare trying to pass people coming in the opposite direction.  But it kept both of us on our toes as you were scared about going around each corner hoping the person coming in the opposite corner were on their toes too!

Be true to your school:

I have long dreamed of attending Stanford... maybe for a doctorate? (Pipe dream people... Pipe dream) Anyway I wanted to see the campus.  It was quite larger than I was expecting!  And probably filled with more tourist than students.

Then we finally made our way to San Francisco.  It was SO crazy.  Look at Palo Alto... Perfectly clear skies... a beautiful 83 degrees..... then we drove the 20 miles.  There was seriously a line of clouds directly over the sign that said we were entering into South San Francisco.  It was so blasted cold and windy.... so really the title of the next section should be,
I Lost my warm soul in San Francisco rather than I left my heart :)

We drove through Golden Gate Park and then through the Presido Park *Home of the Walt Disney Family Museum that I will someday visit........... We stopped to look at the bridge.  Of course Jason was dreaming of how to jump off it... then we headed over to Fisherman's Wharf for a hot bowl of clam chowder in a delicious oh so famous sourdough bread bowl.  The sour dough really is something else.

Then we walked around...... looked at Alcatraz.  Jason loved the hot sauce store.... yes a whole store filled with hot sauces you can sit and taste.  I of course being the wimp that I am didn't taste a single hot sauce.  But what was fun to see was this geeky white boy trying to impress his date did the "hot challenge"  This place claimed they had the hottest hot sauce in the world.  If you try three drops of it you get your picture on the wall and a sticker.  This kid did it!  Man did it look miserable.  He started hiccuping as a reaction to the heat?  Tears flowed.  It honestly looked so awful.  Like it totally was going to ruin his entire night.... the things a guy does to try and impress a girl...
until tomorrow San Francisco!


Matthew and Lindsey said...

So jealous of all of this right now, and hate you a little because of it:)

Kennan said...

It's super trippy seeing you at all my old stomping grounds! You're making me homesick for it!!! Central and Northern CA have so many amazing things to see and do!