Travel: San Francisco
We woke up early so we could meet with my roommate from college who recently moved to San Francisco. It took us 30 minutes to find a parking space. It was so great to see her. We drank delicious coffee and ate fantastic food on Hayes Street. We stopped by to see the Painted Ladies, then went to Crissy Field to walk around for a bit before the long drive. I've never been to San Francisco when it was bright and sunny. It was wonderful seeing the city without a layer of fog and cold.
We continued our drive through Northern California and childhood memories filled my mind. Unfortunately the sun was going down when we reached my hometown area so Nathan couldn't see all of the Redwoods. We made it to my grandmas in time for a late homemade dinner. She prepared cozy chili for us and her home felt exactly as I remembered. North Carolina has never felt quite like home so to be back where I grew up was so exciting. We slept in her sewing/craft room, the room that used to be my dad's bedroom. The ceilings were vaulted and the walls were covered in art projects. I remembered building forts in that room with my little brother and all of the spots that were great for hide-n-seek. I woke up extra early so I had ample time to visit my grandma. She made fresh brewed coffee (legit grandma) and we talked until everyone was ready for breakfast. She made us homemade french toast and we used blackberry jam she made from the blackberry bushes that grow down the road by the river. Nathan and I went on a walk down to the river where we used to swim (I grew up in a house just across the river). The water was sparkly blue and I recognized the big rocks we would jump off of as kids. Weston and Lisa joined us and we skipped rocks in the river until our shoulders were sore.
We stopped in Fortuna to get lunch with my other sweet grandma at La Costa, a Mexican restaurant with the best tortilla shells. My friends and I would go there in high school and just order the shells. We drove through Arcata and up to Prairie Creek, an area with great trails, wild elk, and old growth. Nathan peed on a Redwood tree. I thought about how much life the huge trees have seen. I'm sure some of them were around when dinosaurs lived. We kept driving to look for more groves then saw a road that said 'Coastal Road' and a sign under it that said 'closed.' Nathan hates to break the rules so I was shocked when he turned around and went down the road, disregarding the sign. We parked our cars and walked up a trail. We could hear the ocean so we assumed it was close, even though the trees were too thick to see through. There was a clearing off to the side of the path and the most phenomenal view of the coast below us. We ate cucumbers, hummus, broccoli and pretzels for dinner.