West Coast Adventures: Part III

Sunset Beach in San Francisco

San Francisco

We arrived to the cutest little condo Airbnb in San Francisco in the late afternoon. We could walk right up the street to Sunset Beach and dip our toes in the chilly Pacific Ocean. After dinner at The Pizza Place on Noriega, we did just that. And what a beautiful evening it was. Dogs running free on the beach while their surfer humans sprinted out for one last big wave. It was like something you see in the movies. Breathtaking. See for yourself! 

Honeymoon at Sunset Beach
Sunset Reflection on Beach

One of our only honeymoon selfies. 

The next morning, we decided we would do the touristy things. We figured out the bus system, which was really convenient right outside our door! However, to get the pass, we had to walk quite a ways to a Walgreen’s. Remember what I said about San Francisco’s steep roads? This was only a taste of what was to come.

This day was rather overcast and dull. The fog hovered over the Golden Gate bridge and Alcatraz, but it was still a site to see. Brooks insisted on lunch at In-N-Out Burger where we watched a flock of birds dive in as the innocent bystander turned away from his food for millisecond. The burger was as delicious as they are rumored to be!

Next, we found our way to Fisherman’s Wharf, wandering through the busy area just taking it all in. The bread bowls of clam chowder were tempting, but by this point, we had already over-indulged ourselves in so much food, we just couldn’t do it. We promised we would get the famous clam chowder before our San Fran stay was over.

We made our way to the Financial District where we found an old fashioned cable car. We got the best seat with our feet dangling off the side and went UP. I wonder just how touristy I looked hanging off the side with my camera and my jaw dropping at every intersection when I realized just how steep the roads were. Once we made it the top, we went down the other side! We passed Chinatown and added that to our list of things to come back to. Once we were down the hill, the ride was over and we had to WALK UPHILL to get back.

I sent my family a picture of these ‘crooked houses’ and they didn’t understand how people could live in them……

Chinatown was pretty hopping and so cool to see. We decided to grab some wonton’s and tea in one of the restaurants that had a tiny little balcony looking over the hustle and bustle. It was a beautiful moment to just take it all in.

Our last day, we knew we had to check out Haight-Ashbury. It was super cool with everything retro/hippy, it was like going back in time. We wandered through the stores of antiques and vintage clothes and found a cute little bookstore, The Booksmith, that we spent a good amount of time in.

We made it to the Mission District to Dolores Park with the best view and the cutest dogs running around. We did a lot of walking, through the stores on the main strip and through the neighborhoods with the most awesome homes.

It was the full San Francisco experience, but something was missing.

SEAFOOD. Delicious, real, fresh, seafood.

We Yelped for the best place and found Hog Island Oysters. A hopping place on the water with a beautiful view of the Oakland Bay Bridge. We sat at the oyster bar watching the chefs prepare some delicious looking food. On a mission to try new things, we ordered a variety fresh, raw oysters.

Let me just pause here.

I never could have prepared myself for this taste.

It was as if I dove into the ocean and swallowed a bunch of salt water. And a few squirmy sea animals at the same time.

It is certainly an acquired taste.

Hog Island Oysters deserves all the highest ratings. Don’t get me wrong. But raw oysters are not for me. I finally got my clam chowder and it was everything I had hoped for. We were both full and we were both tired and completely satisfied with our time in San Francisco.

Terrible phone pic, but you get the idea.

Carmel

The next day, we rented a car and made the most beautiful drive down Highway 1 from San Francisco to Carmel. Driving slowly and stopping several times along the way, it was a several hour drive, but well worth it.

We stopped in Carmel-by-the-Sea for lunch and groceries before arriving at our cozy AirBNB on a little mountainside in the Carmel Highlands. Totally secluded and cozy with a fireplace and view to take your breath away. No TV. Just our new books from the Haight-Ashbury bookstore and some peace and quiet. This was our time to relax. The floor to ceiling windows made for the perfect view of the sunset on the ocean through the woods. A hammock and a sunroom made for a perfect afternoon nap.

The next day was Thanksgiving. We went for a hike through Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. Some more awesome views of cliffs, blue skies, blue waves, wildlife, etc and a good way to walk off some of the food we had been eating the previous couple weeks.

We drove further down the coast for even more beautiful ocean views, bridges, lighthouses and more cliffs.  We made our way to Big Sur for lunch and did some more sightseeing on our way back. Our first thanksgiving dinner as a married couple consisted of steak, red skin potatoes, asparagus and wine

And so ended our honeymoon. The best two weeks of our life thus far and a great sign of what our future holds. To many more adventures as The Claytons!