Monday, May 10, 2010

Road Trip 2010 - Half Moon Bay

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Wow!!! I am a lucky man. These past three weeks or so have just been simply amazing. I’ve seen the forests of the Sierras, the Pacific Ocean, the depths of the Earth, the architectural majesty of skyscrapers, bridges, castles, even modern art…and still the best part was being able to see my friends & family again. Anyway, I’ll probably be getting a little more sappy on a later entry or something…but in the meantime, you came for photos, funny stories, magical insights, sexual innuendo, or just try to find out what a Kwyjibo is…and I’m not going to disappoint. Let’s see, we last left off with all my bags packed and I had just spent a few days with the Wingmans. Now, I was heading out on a magical voyage of self-discovery on my redheaded filly Gretchen, with a suitcase full of clothes (and condoms, because it’s better to have them and not need them then to need them and not have them) and a full tank of unleaded. Oh yeah, you’ll also get to see the distances that I traveled each day…and just so you’re aware, the Jeep is basically the perfect road trip car (except that the gas mileage could be better).

Day 1 – Half Moon Bay – 297 miles

I left my apartment around 9 AM and was feeling the ocean breeze before noon. The stretch of Interstate 80 between Truckee and San Francisco isn’t a bad drive at all (when it’s not snowing). Once you get into the foothills, it’s green…and that’s a big thing for somebody from Utah. We’re not used to it…but that’s because Utah’s a giant salty desert with great skiing. I’d show you some pictures of the drive…but I was driving. Sorry. Maybe when I have a copilot next time. I showed up a little early so my hotel rooms wasn’t ready yet…but there was plenty to do along the Pacific Coast…and my first stop was going to be Ano Nuevo State Park. Why? Because while my mom was riding elephants in Thailand, I wanted to ride me an elephant seal…and this was apparently the place to find ‘em. Now, the weather was a nice 70-75 degrees and sunny. There was a running theme with this trip though. See, that’s about 40-50 degrees warmer than I’ve been used to for the past six months or so. I saw a lot of people walking around in black hoodies complaining about how cold it was…as I’m considering taking my shirt off. It wasn’t horribly hot or anything…but I just thought it was funny that that was the case. Anyway, here are some pictures…
I totally asked the ranger if there were Killer Whales around...

After Ano Nuevo, I received the call that my room was ready…but I wasn’t done just yet, so I cruised along the coast some more and checked out a few other places like Pescadero

Then I checked into the majestic 19th century seaside lodge-inspired Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay where I was hooked up with a fantastic room with a firepit on my patio. I know what you’re thinking…and yes, this is the hotel from “American Pie Wedding” which I know you’ve seen. Enough jabbering, here are some pictures…
They framed a picture of me...and gave me a Stella Artois
First Class!!!
Half Moon Bay Marina
My Dinner...a lobster so fat he exploded

For dinner, I met up with A-Lo & J-Lo for a fancy schmancy dinner overlooking the Half Moon Bay Marina at sunset. I hadn’t seen the Lo’s in a long time, so it was great to catch up…and the food at Crab Landing was fantastic. Afterwards, we went to a nearby bar and had a few nightcaps (and no, I didn’t drive drunk. You know how I feel about that). Thanks for a wonderful evening, you two.

Day 2 – Half Moon Bay – 77 miles

The next day, I woke up and went to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco to check out what I missed out on a month earlier. Needless to say, there were a lot fewer people in the park on a Monday morning than a beautiful sunny Sunday, so I was able to get a great parking spot and wander about the park. It’s truly amazing when you know you’re smack in the middle of a city of a few million people…and yet you can barely tell. It was extremely peaceful, lush, and even with a little overcast was just awe-inspiring. Check it out…

Then there was the Japanese Tea Garden

And then, because I’m a nerd, I went to the California Academy of Sciences. They had a special exhibit about Extreme Mammals, from the prehistoric to the downright freaky. Out of respect for the museum’s determination to make a buck, I didn’t take pictures in their special exhibit…but here are a few teases in the hope that you’ll help support your local museums and heritage…
Something about this seems wrong...
Green Roof
If you have to ask why...
"Everything the light touches...will be yours"
Platypus - Nature's Clusterf**k
Doing it Lizard Style...
G-g-g-g-g-gator ghost!!!
Rain Forest Bio Dome
Animals used to be this big...
"What the f**k???"

After a few hours in the park, I wanted to get back to the ocean, so I took the scenic route back along the Pacific Coast Highway
The view from the above Taco Bell in Pacifica

That evening, I decided to stop by a local Safeway to get a small dinner of strawberries, a few mangos, and some almonds…and then just kicked back and watched the sun set over the ocean & the craggy cliffs of the Pacific next to the hotel’s firepit, sharing my strawberries with a few other guests enjoying the view…

So…that’ll do it for part one. Hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures so far…because we’re only two days into this three weeks trip. Anyway, more tomorrow. By the way, I’m loading all of this while there’s a snowstorm outside in mid-May here in Tahoe. Oh well, it’ll end soon…and then sunshine. Have a great day everybody!!!

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