California 2003

une 2003 found us in California for a couple of weeks’ holiday. We started in San Francisco – a very nice, if somewhat hilly place, where the people are very friendly and helpful. Good places that we found for eating were Pompei’s Grotto and Pergaminos and the boat trips on Chucky’s Pride were great fun.
We went up Coit Tower which gave us excellent views of the City and took two one hour boat trips (one per day!) round Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge
From San Francisco, we drove down, and enjoyed the beauty of, Highway 1, (Pacific Coast) as we travelled to our next destination (Big Sur).
We found some beautiful beaches and spectacular scenery (inland very different to the coast) and on one evening and the following morning, it was quite misty.
Whilst staying at Big Sur, we ventured back to Monterey for whale watching where we were lucky enough to find a cow and calf hump backed whale together with a couple of hundred Pacific white sided dolphins and loads of California sea lions.
On the way to Pasadena for the AAW’s annual symposium, we stopped off at San Simeon to look at the elephant seals then went on to Hearst Castle for our “beginner’s” tour.

From Pasadena (where we met some great people and found a couple of excellent places to eat - Dino’s and Foxes (for breakfast)) we drove (and drove, and drove) to Yosemite (via Death Valley).

The green of Yosemite and the relatively normal temperatures (Death Valley reached 52C while we were there) were very welcome and the scenery was spectacular ...
... whether in the Valley, on the Tioga Road or the Tioga Pass or in one of the Giant Sequoia groves
Although we didn’t see a single bear (or mountain lion come to that) there were very pretty butterflies, some mule deer ...
... plenty of “ordinary” squirrels and Douglas squirrels not to mention the odd lizard, coyote and marmoset (the latter two were too fast for me to photograph)
We were told that it is very difficult to get good pictures of sunsets in Yosemite (not enough clouds) but, as we always enjoy a challenge, we gave it a go and here are the results:

We really enjoyed our holiday and think it’s a great place to visit but early June would probably have been a better time to go as the waterfalls in Yosemite would have been even more spectacular, the temperature would have been better for us (ie. cooler) and there would have been fewer mosquitoes – we’ll know for next time

Brian from OutsideHow has provided this link for more up to date info about Big Sur.

Back to Holiday index

Back to main index