November 29, 2007
Today we leave Sonoma and head south to Santa Cruz. We got an early start, checked out of The Sonoma Hotel and decided to grab breakfast somewhere along the way. BIG mistake! Despite the traffic report that said South 101 was clear, we sat in bumper to bumper traffic for miles. We were starving and McDonald's seemed to be our only choice (BLAH). So, that's what we did. Definitely not the best breakfast, but it was alright. After we ate, we hopped back on the highway, and wouldn't you know it, the cars started moving and we were up to the speed limit in about 1/4 mile! Oh well! So, we continued south across the Golden Gate Bridge for the final time :( and hopped on CA Route 1. This was so beautiful. Just seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time was amazing enough, but watching the waves crash against the big rocks and cliff sides was amazing. As we climbed up the winding road we came to an abrupt stop due to some blasting construction on the highway.
It was the perfect place to stop because we were able to get out of the car and look at the spectacular view. It was pretty windy out there, so I got back in the car after about 30 seconds! Lee got the camera out and got some awesome shots.
The cars ahead of us started to move, so we headed on our way again. We came across a strip mall that had a Starbucks, THANK GOODNESS, so we got some coffee and headed down the coast. It is definitely strange to be going south and the ocean is on your right side. We pulled into Pomponio State Park in Half Moon Bay so we could walk on the beach. BOY was it cold!!! I put my finger in the Pacific Ocean!
Back in the car again. This time we pulled off at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse. The wind was insane!! Lee snapped a bunch of pictures there.
It was so beautiful. We found out we were visiting right at the beginning of the whale migration. We stayed to watch for a while, but no such luck. After we got too cold, we hopped back in the car again. This time we made it all the way to Santa Cruz. We went to the visitor center to get information about things to do and places to eat. We were only about 2 blocks from the hotel, so we we headed that way so we could check in. When we turned down the street, the entrance to the hotel was blocked off by a bunch of DEA officers. GREAT, more drama! So we parked around back and asked an officer if we could go in. She said yes, so we headed in and the front desk girl told us it had nothing to do with the hotel. They happened to just pull somebody over in the parking lot. They were searching about 4 different cars. NEAT! So, we brought our stuff up to our room and headed back out to go to the boardwalk for a late lunch/early dinner. Not much is open this time of year, so the boardwalk was pretty empty. So, we headed to the Wharf and parked there. We heard this God awful noise and looked over the side of the pier to see a bunch of loud sea lions.
We watched them for a while, took some pictures and found a place to eat; Stagnaro Bros. Famous Seafood Restaurant. They serve Gordon Biersch Marzen on tap, so we both ordered one. We got the shrimp cocktail for an appetizer, Lee got the prawns over rice and I ordered fish and chips. Both meals came with clam chowder too! Yumm-O! After we were full, we headed back to the car and went to Lighthouse Field State Beach to watch surfers, dogs, and a beautiful sunset.
Of course, Lee got lots of pictures. It started to get really chilly, so we headed back to the car and back to the hotel. We put our V. Sattui Sauvignon Blanc on ice and relaxed to get ready for our drive down the coast to Monterey tomorrow.