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California dreams thanks forh3elping making the reality great!

Old Sep 28th, 1999, 12:17 PM
  #1  
Jan
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California dreams thanks forh3elping making the reality great!

Just returned from our first holiday in California made all the better by all the useful information supplied by you fodorites,thanks a bunch.High points? Too many to mention loved San Franciso will never ever forget Yosemite... better start saving for the next time!
 
Old Sep 28th, 1999, 12:29 PM
  #2  
lisa
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So glad to hear you had a good trip! If you get a chance we'd love to hear more about it -- where you stayed, what you liked, etc.
 
Old Sep 28th, 1999, 05:36 PM
  #3  
Lynn
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Hi Jan - I'm one that gave you some suggestions and I'm so glad to hear that your time in CA was enjoyable. Please post again with details, if you have the time. I used to live in CA and would love to read about your high points!
 
Old Sep 29th, 1999, 02:11 AM
  #4  
Jan
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Well here goes I will try to be brief, I don't want to bore you folks. We arrived in San Francisco on Sept. 8th after a pretty uneventful journey, that night the bay area had its worst thunder storm since the year Elvis died, thank goodness that wasn't an omen for the holiday! We stayed in The Fishermans Wharf area I know its not a favourite with the locals but it was convenient for the cable cars and the Alcatraz ferry. We walked our socks off for the three days we were there and enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks for all the tips regarding Alcatraz we prebooked tickets for the first ferry on the Friday (audio version), and were the first people in the prison block on that day, a very creepy experience. The trip was well worth it and the audio commentary made the visit.
We left SF, picked up our hire car and north on route1 hoping to see the coast and Bodega Bay unfortunately the fog beat us so we went inland following the Russian River, the scenery there was just gorgeous. We stayed in Santa Rosa that night and had what turned out to be the best meal of the holiday at Josephs in the historic district. We then stayed in Sonoma at a lovely B&B for the following 3 nights, thanks for the tips about what wineries to visit there are so many of them! We loved Sonoma, ate our first Mexican meal there ( don't laugh there are not many Mexican restaurants in our part of England!). One of the highlights apart from the wineries was our visit to the Jack London State Park we spent a fascinating day there visiting the sites and hiking the trails the scenery again was lovely, reminded us of Corsica, one of our favourite places in Europe.
After Sonoma it was the big one, Yosemite, words cannot do justice to the place, neither I fear will my photos. We stayed at Evergreen Lodge at Hetch Hetchy an admirable choice, ( found in Frommers California guide), the cabins were great and the hearty meals in the Lodge restaurant, just what you needed after a good days hike! I will never forget our first view of the valley, I am not too keen on heights but all that was forgotten as I tried to take in the sheer scale of the place. We drove out to Glacier Point another day and that sort of put it in perspective plus we could see the trails we had hiked. I would love to return again earlier in the year to see all the wild flowers and Mirror Lake with some water in it.
The last part of our holiday was not prebooked, we had found it hard to decide between the coast or Lake Tahoe, the weather decided that for us as thunderstorms were forecast for the Tahoe area and one thunderstorm per holiday is quite enough!
We then made for the coast and stayed in Monterey for a night after Yosemite everywhere seemed so busy with too much traffic perhaps it was this more than the place which left us with a less than favourable view of the area. We also visited Carmel and I am sorry to say I hated it. After the natural beauty of the countryside I found it far too ‘twee'. We continued down Route1, what a drive, and spent three nights in Morro Bay, we loved it there (inspite of the power station at one end of the bay), all the birds and seals in the harbour were fun to watch plus we had some great seafood dinners. We visited some of the wineries in the Passo Robles area this was very interesting as they were not as busy as the ones around Sonoma so there was more time to chat with the people who ran them. We also had a hike in the Montana de Oro State Park again knocked out with the scenery and also the rock formations on the coast.
All too soon it was time to go back to SF for our flight home, we spent the last night at a B&B in Half Moon Bay (Cypress Inn),a perfect end to a perfect holiday. Finally just a couple of regrets the first too much to see and not enough time, secondly wish we had been in SF a week later then we could have been there while the Blues festival was on and I could have seen one of my all-time heros John Lee Hooker. This is longer than I intended but it is hard to try and condense such a great holiday into a few sentences. Jan.
 
Old Sep 29th, 1999, 07:32 AM
  #5  
lisa
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Jan -- Thanks so much for posting the details of your trip. My boyfriend and I drove Rt. 1 in July so reading your post brought back some wonderful memories of our own trip and the gorgeous scenery. I have to say, I totally agree with you about Carmel and Monterrey; I simply cannot understand why everyone raves about them so much. The scenery of the coast is much more gorgeous farther south, there are more charming towns elsewhere in the state; and Carmel and Monterrey are too overrun with tourists. The Monterrey Aquarium is very nice but other than that I would tell most visitors to the area to spend their time elsewhere. And isn't it a shame about that power station in Morro Bay, the way it mars what is otherwise a lovely setting? You didn't mention what you thought of your first taste of Mexican food; I hope you'll try it again sometime. Glad you had such a good time.
 
Old Sep 29th, 1999, 10:10 AM
  #6  
jan
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Thanks for your comments Lisa,glad its not just me who feels that way about the Monterey area! As for the mexican food we loved it,I thought it would be too hot but in the event it was just nice and spicey, only problem there was just too much! P.S. Loved the Margaritas as well!
 

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