Friday, July 5th – Saturday, July 6th, 2013
We stocked up on food, grabbed coffee, and filled the tank before taking US-101 North to Santa Barbara, CA. We did a little shopping on Haley Street and ended up seeing a homeless guy get arrested for reasons unknown before hitting the road passed many vineyards to San Lois Obispo, CA. From there we hopped on the very scenic Highway 1, and pulled over near Morro Bay, CA to eat lunch near the ocean. I questioned if the canned turkey I was eating might be cat food.
We continued on until we got to W.R. Hurst Beach, CA where we dipped our feet in the Pacific Ocean on last time and took a walk along the beach and the pier.
Across the road, there was the visitor center for Hurst Castle which, of course, was out of the budget. It was $25 per room and there were a whole lot of ‘em! It seemed there were a number of things we’d be coming back for in California. It’s pricey ‘round these parts!
We drove on through the Los Padres National Forest and along the gorgeous views of Big Sur, CA.
We stopped at the very weird Henry Miller Memorial Library then we received some horrible news from home. A friend of ours had tragically passed away in a motorcycle accident and was survived by his newly-wed wife (also a friend of ours), and their 2-week old newborn baby. We felt horrible for her and her daughter, and even though we wanted to be there to support her, we wouldn’t be able to make it home for the funeral.
We made a brief stop in Carmel, CA for coffee before stopping again in Monterey, CA. We walked around Cannery Row and Fisherman’s Wharf downtown. We took the walk past the Spanish-style church back to the van, and hopped in hoping no one noticed. We would be sleeping on the street for the night.
We enjoyed Monterey, but I think it’s fair to say we both were very stunned after hearing about the tragedy unfolding back at home. We were just on the other side of the country, but we felt worlds away.
We got a filling breakfast at “Old Monterey Café” before leaving Monterey for Santa Cruz, CA. We gave our newly widowed friend a call to give our condolences, before walking around downtown. We felt so horrible for her and I wanted to give her a hug so badly. It was tough being on the other side of the nation while your friend’s world is falling apart.
We tried to keep ourselves distracted since there wasn’t anything else we could do. We passed by a very creepy accordion playing clown that was the stuff of nightmares, before walking around the boardwalk which was completely chaotic.
There was a little hut called “Alfresco” which had amazing food! I got the North African couscous bowl and Trevor got the Santa Cruz Wrap. We took our grub to go and ate it in the van. Trevor’s parents gave us a call and informed us that their timeshare had two days in Oakland available for us! That was super generous of them, and we were excited!
We hopped back on Highway 1, making a brief stop to toss the Frisbee around on the beach. Once we got back on the road we passed two road cyclists enjoying a joint during their ride. We grabbed coffee and a cookie in Half Moon Bay, CA, and took a little walk around town before watching the surfers and grabbing gas at Pacifica, CA.
We finally arrived in Oakland, but we couldn’t get a room for the night just yet. The timeshare was not available until the next day and they were booked anyways, so we found free parking nearby.
We wandered the streets of Oakland and quickly fell in love. First we strolled by the water near Jack London Square, then through Chinatown, and then by the harbor to watch the nightlife before returning to the van. We anticipated exploring more of Oakland, and checking out San Francisco in the morning.
Jump Back to Part 61: The Lone Ranger, Surfers & Fireworks
Jump Ahead to Part 63: Parrots, Chinatown & Street Art
Start Over at Part 01: The Blue Bubble, Freebies & A Rude Awakening