Road Trip Part 8: California! San Francisco, Sequoia, and Los Angeles

We headed out the next morning for the Bay Area.  Both of us have spent time out there over the years, and it's not someplace we're looking to move to, but Adam has a good friend out there and I love San Francisco.  Mat was in the process of moving, so we stayed at an Airbnb in Oakland and explored the East Bay area the days we were there.  Oakland and Berkeley were great, with the exception of crappy (and non-existent at some places) wi-fi.  I did get to eat a Mission Burrito, the food for California and something I had never had in all my visits to see Pam and Brian when they lived out there.  It was...a burrito.  It was great to see Mat and meet (me)/see again (Adam) his girlfriend Tori and to be in a city that was familiar enough to not have to play tourist while we were there.

Mission District


Poboy and torta lunch at an Oakland food hall.

In-n-Out Burgers

When we drove through Yellowstone, we decided to buy the annual National Park pass for $80 instead of the Yellowstone one for $30, figuring we'd hit a couple more and make it worth the purchase.  So, on our drive south, we drove a bit east and went to Sequoia National Park for the day, and it was awesome.  I'd been there with my family when I was a kid - we took a vacation when I was 12 that started at the Grand Canyon, then went to Hoover Dam, Las Vegas, Sequoia, Los Angeles, Anaheim, and San Diego - but Adam had never been there.  The trees were so cool!  We spent a few hours driving through the park, walking around, and enjoying the day.  When I had told my parents and sister where we were going, there reactions were:

Dad: Nice, I remember going there.  They were huge.  And I think it was really curvy on the roads there.
Mom: We went there?  I don't remember that.
Pam: I got carsick on the drive in there, it was VERY curvy.
Mom: I remember Pam getting sick somewhere on that trip.

I meant to put my motion sickness patch on the night before the drive and completely forgot.  I ended up driving the whole time and STILL felt queasy because there were so many twists and turns and curves.

Sequoias are REALLY tall.

Perfect day for exploring.

Sequoia selfie

Standing inside a sequoia that's cracked

Look!  I'm driving through a tree!


Walked this, and so glad we did. 
Adam always points out to me that El Chiflon in Chiapas looked SO high (it was!) and I climbed that - he's right.

View from the top

View from the top

Sunset on our drive out

We spent the night in Bakersfield before heading to Los Angeles early the next day.  We had an awesome lunch at a Taiwanese restaurant, Pine & Crane, then spent the day wandering around LA and Venice Beach before heading to our Airbnb in Redondo Beach.  Friday was spent exploring Redondo Beach and watching both my Yankees and my Clemson Tigers lose.  We headed up to Venice again on Saturday morning so that Adam could go to Eggslut, a place he'd heard a lot about, for a breakfast sandwich - it was good, but Southside Coffee, a local place near our old place in Brooklyn, was better.  We walked around Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach for the day before heading up to North Hollywood to see an aunt of mine and her boyfriend for dinner.  It had been 10+ years since I had seen Livia, and it was SO good to see her and meet Costin.  We had such a nice evening just catching up and visiting, AND the ride back at 11:00pm was the only time in LA that we experienced no traffic.

Taiwanese lunch

Venice Beach canals

Eggslut.  I can't do runny or soft eggs, so I had a biscuit.

One more note about LA.  I consider myself a good driver.  I'm aware, aggressive, safe, etc.  I can handle most situations without a problem - I have driven in NYC regularly, drove in Israel where apparently people think the drivers are crazy (not so bad), in South Africa (on the other side of the road, on the other side of the car, and a stick shift), and, most recently, in Mexico.  I like to drive.  I have never felt like a worse driver or more out of my comfort zone than driving in LA.  I actually really liked LA - but would not want to live there because of the traffic and the drivers.

The Pacific

And on that note, we headed out of LA on Sunday morning, ready to spend a month in San Diego.

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