Wow what a great weekend I had! I went out to California to visit my aunt and uncle who live in San Jose. I hadn’t been out to that area since I was 5 years old! I think they were starting to get annoyed because I’ve been to Orange County and San Diego like 20 times in the last couple of years but never to their area.
I left Thursday night after work and got there pretty late so I pretty much went straight to bed that night.
Friday was our Santa Cruz day. We started out by taking a hike at this park called Wilder Ranch. If you’re ever in the area, I HIGHLY recommend it. There were nice long walking paths right on these cliffs next to the ocean. It was BEAUTIFUL. People were out there just going for their daily run. I cannot imagine being able to run somewhere that beautiful on a regular basis.
After the ranch, we got to Santa Cruz and there was a surfing competition going on. Big shocker, but living in Ohio, you never really get to see surfing competitions. The waves were huge! Well huge for me, I’m sure they really weren’t that big. They were like 10-20 feet. When I surfed in San Diego, the waves were like 2-3 feet and I was very flustered by that. The announcers at a surfing competition are just as dude-bro as you would expect, saying things like “gnarly” or “yo that move was so MONEY.” Using money as if it were an adjective.
After that, we went to a pier for lunch where I obviously had fish tacos. I mean the ocean is RIGHT THERE, how could I not eat fish tacos? They were amazing. Then I got ice cream because for me, there is a direct correlation between oceans and ice cream. We also got to see the barking sea lions chilling on the pier below us. Our next stop was a little town called Capitola which was right on the ocean and had little boutique-y stores n such. NEXT, we stopped by a winery and did a wine tasting because duh, we were in California? The wine was so good.
On our way back to San Jose from Santa Cruz, we drove through Big Basin which is a state park with giant ass Redwoods, I’m talking height and girth. Seriously they were HUGE. And near the visitor center they had a sliver of a trunk framed and marked some of the tree rings with what year it was. Using tree rings, they said that that particular tree started growing in the year 540 or something. The craziest part was that we saw wider trees than that one in the park meaning they were REALLY old as shit. Big Basin was beautiful with winding mountain roads and lots of trees. At one point, we came around a bend to a clearing and the sun was setting. Of course I nearly shat myself and made my uncle pull over to get a picture. I think it was worth it.
For dinner that night, we went to downtown San Jose and ate at a brewery which is really never a bad choice.
Saturday was San Francisco day! The first place we went was the Japanese Tea Garden which was V pleasant with little walking paths over ponds and cool plants. After that, we went to THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE. I was hype man. I tell you what, I really love a good bridge. We walked half way across the bridge but it was so damn windy so we turned around and went back which is fine, I mean I think I got the gist of it.
Then we headed over the Fisherman’s Wharf which was relatively overwhelming I’m not gonna lie. It was VERY crowded with tourists (including me) and there were like weird street performers every 10 feet. We went to lunch at Boudin Bakery (HIGHLY recommend) which is kind of like a Panera menu-wise but the food is 100 times better. While we were near the wharf, we tried to go ride a cable car but the wait was 45 minutes (hell naw) so I got my picture on the back of it and pretended like I was riding it. We then went over to Ghirardelli Square which was extremely exciting for me. Bought me some chocolate bars!
We left the wharf area and drove around the city, including driving down Lombard Street which is hella curvy and has a great view of the city. We also drove through Haight-Ashbury which was p cool. Then we walked through the part of Golden Gate Park that was next to Haight-Ashbury and it was full of hippies playing music and smoking weed and being so merry.
To finish the day, we went to Top of the Mark for drinks. Top of the Mark is a bar on the top floor of a hotel that’s on a really tall hill so the view of the city is really incredible. I got two drinks there, one was called the Golden Gate and the other was the Bay Bridge. I tasted a lot of bridges that day.
Sunday was Big Sur day. I think Big Sur is a state park? Or like an area? It’s basically a long stretch of road on the side of a mountain right over the ocean. Like seriously, there were very tall and steep mountains leading all the way down to the ocean, and about 100 feet up the side of these mountains, someone decided to put in a road. I mean the road was fine though, it was a paved, two-lane road with guard rails so it never felt unsafe (although my aunt was a tad nervous). At some points you could just look down out of the window and you were looking straight over the edge of a cliff.
The two biggest things we did there were seeing the Bixby Bridge (this was a bridge-heavy weekend) and went to Pfeiffer Park which has a famous waterfall. The Park was probably one of the top 3 coolest places I have ever been. The view there was unlike anything my little Ohio eyes had ever seen! I posted the picture of the bridge and the park below so you can gawk at their beauty.
We stopped at a little market thing for lunch and had burritos which were p good. I also went a little gift shop crazy and bought like 4 stickers and a cool poster that I plan on framing and hanging in my room (it really goes well with the color scheme). After Big Sur, we went back to my aunt and uncle’s house and chilled for a bit before going to see my cousin’s band play at a coffee shop/ bar.
The whole weekend was SO MUCH FUN. We really jammed every single tourist-y thing possible into a 3-day period which I find truly impressive. I really love California more and more each time I go there. There’s just so much to do! And the weather was 70 and sunny the entire weekend! (Although, I do not think that’s normal in San Francisco but whatever it snowed like 3 feet in Ohio when I was gone)
I’ve now been to San Diego, Orange County (including Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, and Newport Beach), Temecula, Joshua Tree, Los Angeles, Hollywood, Big Sur, Santa Cruz, San Jose, and San Francisco. So what I’m saying is, I basically already live there and should probably just move there for good (jk I’m too poor for that). My aunt said that next time I go out there we’re going to go to Yosemite! So stay tuned because I hope that trip is very soon!