Wednesday, September 7, 2011

West Coast Road Trip - Day 6: San Francisco to Big Sur

Then next morning it was time to head back out on the road, but not without making one last San Francisco stop. 

My favorite place in the city happens to be a tiny little park in the Presido called Battery Godfrey. It's a bit of a hike in, but the views are spectacular on clear days. The last time we visited San Francisco, we came upon it during a walk from Stairway Walks in San Francisco. We had walked for about an hour and a half, passed a lot of creepy abandoned military barracks, and were about 15 seconds away from turning around when we spotted the lookout. We climbed up on the Endicott-era battery, turned toward the bay, and got the absolute best view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Unfortunately for us, the fog was back that morning. The view was still pretty, just a little cloud covered making us glad we had chosen to drive on our way out that morning.

Next up, San Jose and a stop for some world famous ribs at Henry's Hi-Life.

Every meal at Henry's starts with an order of garlic bread, BBQ dipping sauce, and salad. You'd think dunking hot, buttery garlic bread in a bowl of sweet BBQ sauce would be mildly disgusting. Guess what, it's not at all. It's so delicious, I may never go back to marinara.

I decided to try the BBQ chicken, while Alex got the world famous ribs. Both were delicious and came with a baked potato smothered with seasoned butter.

So bad for you, but also, quite delicious.

Then it was back on the road and off to Santa Cruz, where we stopped at the boardwalk. Games, rides, sweet carnival treats, the Santa Cruz boardwalk is officially one of my new favorite places on the West Coast. We spent a few hours walking around, taking in the sites, and of course, doing quite a bit of people watching.

The people watching was particularly funny with Echo and the Bunnymen's cover of People are Strange running through my head on full volume.

When I was in college, we used to go to the Fenway AMC to watch old movies at midnight on Friday nights. One of my favorites was the time I went to see The Lost Boys with Bobby Molloy. Not only did I find Kiefer Sutherland super creepy, but any movie starring the Coreys before 1990 could never be bad.

So it was fun to see in person.

I'll admit, we were hoping to catch a sighting of the buff sax guy.

But he must have retired in the last 24 years

So we took a lot of photos.

Shared a dip cone.

And headed off to the Big Sur River Inn for a peaceful night in the woods of California.

To be honest, when we chose Big Sur, we did not know what to expect. I thought it was a beautiful coastal town with gorgeous cliff-side ocean views. Alex thought it was a forest. We were both sort of right.

Big Sur is a quiet little coastal village tucked in a valley between the Pacific Ocean and the Saint Lucia Mountains. It is sparsely populated with locals, but a favorite spot for romantic getaways and quiet seekers. I guess choosing where to stop for the night based on a Thrills song can work out some times.

When we pulled up to the Big Sur River Inn, we weren't quite sure we were in the right place. The sign out front said Motel, but also Restaurant, and there was a tiny gas station / ice cream stand in the driveway. We drove a little past,  but without cell phone reception or a way to verify that we were in the right place, we decided to just stop in and ask.

Thankfully, we had the right spot and the very nice inn keeper pointed us in the right direction of our cabin across the way. The room was cozy, clean, and perfectly suited for a night in the woods. We were so lucky to find such a sweet stay.

After checking out our digs, we headed over to the main lodge to look around. Behind the restaurant, there was a shallow river, lazily flowing toward the ocean. We took a seat in some porch chairs positioned in the center of the brook and listened to complete silence. Once we were thoroughly relaxed, we hit up the restaurant and a romantic dinner for two.


  1. love how vibrant the photos are. what a great way to spend the time.