California Sunshine

We’ve been in Mountain View for 2 weeks now and I’m enjoying many things about life here, especially the warm sunny days and the wealth of fresh food available at the weekend market and the local Whole Foods store. I’d forgotten what fresh veges should be like after so long shopping from Dublin supermarkets. Everything seems to grow bigger and brighter and tastier here as well as lasting much longer (coz its local and fresh!).

Over the 3 weekends we’ve had here so far we’ve done quite a bit of sightseeing:

1) Our first weekend we took a drive along part of the Pacific Highway. I enjoyed walking through the amusement park on the boardwalk at Santa Cruz, it was bright and noisy like a flashback from the 80’s – haha. Of particular note, one of the rides is a wooden roller coaster built in 1924!!! In contrast, Carmel-by-the-sea was a quiet little town with some nice art galleries and lots of refined, old-style buildings. We stayed awhile there enjoying the sun and white sand and watching the many people out walking their dogs on the beach. Our nice day exploring the coast was only marred by some bad traffic getting back to Mountain View in the evening.

2) Our second weekend we spent a day in San Francisco. This was my favourite trip so far!
We started our day in Chinatown, sampling some dim sum and buying some fortune cookies (these snacks were invented in San Francisco). Chinatown here was bigger than I’d been expecting and quite fun to explore.
Next we went on the cable cars. The old cable cars that run up and down the steep streets of the city are a very popular tourist attraction but I think the experience was only improved by having to squish onto the standing platforms and hang off the side for the ride. Good fun and some great views of the sea and Alcatraz as we zoomed down the hill towards Fisherman’s Wharf.
We strolled Fisherman’s Wharf and watched the dozens and dozens of sealions sunbathing on the pontoons at pier 39 – they looked so lazy and relaxed! Using our day pass we took a bus out to the edge of Golden Gate park next. Unfortunately the beautiful beach was very blustery and a bit cold so we walked in the park a bit and then headed over and up to see the ‘painted ladies’, a row of beautiful old wooden villas lined up gracefully with the city skyline behind them. San Francisco seems to be full of steep streets and charming painted wooden villas. I really loved the styles of architecture. After a quick coffee in Duboce we went back into the city center for another round on the cable cars and then dinner at a great place just under the Bay Bridge called Gordon Biersch.

3) This weekend we took another drive out of Mountain View to see Big Basin which is a State Park containing lots of Redwood trees. It was great to walk along the trails and marvel at the big old Redwood trees. We drove home via the Pacific Highway again this time driving up towards Half Moon Bay. Some nice views along the coast there and pit stops for fresh cherries then cookies and donuts along the way! Tomorrow I think we’ll be taking it easy, visiting the farmers market again in the morning and then relaxing poolside for the afternoon. Ahhh such a tough life huh! ;P

Some photos of our weekend adventures:

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  1. Nice! Sounds like you are having loads of fun! Making me miss my travelling again!

    Glad to hear you enjoyed San Francisco! I loved it when I was there! I am missing fresh fruit and veges here too, the staff diner doesn’t really provide.

  2. Nice to get the news and details. Jealous of the sunshine though as we head into winter!