Following our redwoods & mountain adventures in Nor Cal, we continued heading south to Napa & San Francisco. We started the next day in Napa by driving the Silverado Trail. It is absolutely a beautiful landscape. It’s too bad we arrived about a week too late to see the mustards in full bloom. They had mostly been cut down once we were there & the vines were still bare from winter. Still, just to see the groves, Italian inspired wineries & layers of hills falling on each other, was enough for us to love it.
We aren’t big winos. I’m more into coffee & Mr. FGK knows his stuff about beer & whiskey but, not wine. So, in the interest of saving time, we settled for just a morning drive & didn’t visit any wineries. However, if you do enjoy wine & have an interest in it, there are plenty of wineries to stop at along the drive. We stopped in town for Italian food since that seemed fitting, then headed on to San Francisco.
We left Napa on Highway 101 again. We drove into San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge. San Fran was an interesting experience for us. We didn’t research it properly. It turns out that what are essentially homeless shelters, advertise online as hotels. We mistakenly booked ourselves into one. We were hurriedly leaving Brookings at the time, I think. Up to that point, everything we had seen in SF had been way out of our price range. I came across something affordable & booked it without looking at the reviews. Once we were in Napa & had wifi again, we looked back at the booking. The reviews & pictures of the “hotel” summed it up as essentially a crack house posing as a hotel. Now, we’ve experienced this once before in New Orleans in a post-Katrina hotel covered in mildew, puke laden elevators & residents of the motel giving each other head shaves on the carpeted hallway. We felt pretty unsafe at that hotel & learned from that experience. We forfeited the cost of the SF hotel & booked ourselves into an affordable hostel in a different neighborhood.
We then began to research SF. Turns out, cars get broken into all the time there. Well, gawwwleeey, y’all! We really didn’t know anything about SF up to this point. We became extremely nervous since we were in a rental car, that we totally didn’t purchase an insurance plan for, with four huge suitcases in the back. We decided our sightseeing would involve Mr. FGK driving up to a sight, me jumping out & snapping a picture & then jumping back in the car. How hokey are we!? Of course, I’m making fun of us for doing this. In our defense, we did see quite a big of glass around parked cars.
I’m not too small to admit, we really didn’t do SF properly. It is a very cool city & we only saw a little of it. We managed to see the Painted Ladies and I sang the Full House theme song. We drove around a lot, especially at night to get a view of the city lights from high up streets. We had dinner in China Town & drinks at a bar by the bay. But the best part, the number one reason we had to include SF on this trip, was to see our friend Mike. He had just moved to SF 2 weeks earlier. Mike was a groomsmen at our wedding & is one of our favorite people in the world. He lived & traveled in Korea with us. We hadn’t seen Mike in years so this time was really important to us. And can you believe, I completely forgot to take any pictures with him?? Oh well, it’s just more motivation for us to revisit SF & give it another shot.
In the meantime, we spent the night in a hostel with 26 pre-teens there on a church retreat. We could NOT wait to leave in the morning.
Next stop: Driving Highway 1 South!