Writing about a trip is always so difficult for me because it's almost impossible to truly capture the experience in words. For me, travel has more to do with a feeling than it does anything else. When I travel anywhere, even if it's just a few miles down the road outside of my hometown, I feel a sense of freedom and curiosity. Let's face it - daily life can be monotonous. Travel is the cure.
My husband and I bought a new car over the Summer, and we immediately knew that we wanted to take it out and put it to good use. As I said before, we didn't necessarily have a plan. We knew San Francisco was the ultimate destination, but we weren't sure about what the journey would really look like. So we hopped in our car and drove. This was my first real "road trip".
1. Our first stop was in Los Angeles. Although we've both been there many times (I was born there), we had never been to Canter's deli and wanted to stop and get some grub on our way out of the city. We split a reuben sandwich that can only be described as worth the exorbitant amount of calories. I am still recovering from all of the rich food we indulged in on this trip! Again, worth it though.
2. After leaving L.A., we took the 5 freeway and ended up at Pyramid Lake. The visitor's center offers information on California's water supply. This was a completely random little pit-stop, but my husband and I are always drawn to water and we had to take a look at the gorgeous views.
3. We've had family members rave about their trips to Paso Robles. My brother-in-law brews his own beer, and everyone in our family loves their wine. Living near Temecula wine country, we felt it was our duty to stop and "test" the wines in Paso Robles. We wound up at Castoro Cellars, and had an amazing experience. The service was perfect, and so were the wines. We received the whole treatment on how to properly taste each variation, from dry whites to full-bodied reds. The verdict? Definitely better than Temecula. Firestone Brewery (pictured last) was so good, that we stopped again on our way home from S.F!
4,5,6. Monterey was probably my favorite stop on the trip. It's such a quaint little sea-side town with so much history and character. I wish we could have stayed longer.
We ate and walked our way through San Francisco. We stopped at the typical tourist spots: Golden Gate Park, Fisherman's Wharf, Union Square, Lombard street, Haight Ashbury, the Marina District. But we also ventured off the beaten path quite a bit too (and sadly have no pictures to show for it). I think my favorite area was North Beach. Plenty of little Italian delis and pizza shops, with lots of charm to match. We walked so much that I was sore for two days upon our return. Which really says more about my fitness than anything else ;)
Overall, I loved being on the road. For once I didn't care to pull out my phone too often or check messages. My husband and I talked, sang our favorite tunes, and just kept on driving. California is a wonderfully diverse state, and I'm happy to call it home.