Journey to an Empty Nest, Part Two

The last adventure was driving down to California from Oregon. And here is the photo replay of the trip back to Oregon, just my mom and I.

Day One: San Luis Obispo
We spent the morning taking a nice, leisurely walk around SLO, including the mission and the riverwalk. 

San Luis Obispo Mission - c 1772.
The Mission Bell.
Then we headed to the Madonna Inn for lunch and a quick tour of a few of their weird hotel rooms. They have some rooms that have an interior made out of rock walls. Like the ultimate man cave. If you are looking for gaudy, they have nailed it in some of the rooms - flowers of all sorts, lots and lots of pinks. A spectacular place though - if you stay in any of the rooms, you will have the most space in a double room of any hotel ever.
The Madonna Inn. Famous for the wacky rooms and waterfall urinals.
We hit the road from there, taking a scenic drive on our way to San Francisco.

We have family that live in Davenport. In Iowa. We had to get this shot!

Spectacular beach views.

Scenic views everywhere.
Crazy highways along the coast. When I first read this sign, I thought it said "Curve Happens" - like a traffic sign person's sense of humor, playing off "shit happens".
We took a stop in Santa Cruz to walk the boardwalk and visit the ocean.
A turnout off of Hwy 1 where people were kite-boarding. So cool to watch!
We LOVE the palm trees everywhere.
Day Two: San Francisco!
We stopped to visit with Andrew's nana again, shared some cake and some stories with her family, and then settled into our hotel in Union Square. We ate dinner with a homeless guy sitting directly outside the window, staring directly at us. Big city stuff!  I woke early the next day thanks to a wonderful protest happening in Union Square that ended around 8:15-which is when I had hoped to wake up.
My mom has never been to San Fran before so we had a really ambitious day planned. We'll pretend that I didn't have a cold the entire trip back, okay?
First stop: Ferry Building farmers market.
Love farmer's market!

The Ferry Building offers a farmers market. I had the BEST french toast of my life here!

I really wish I had bought this bag!
We rode the street car, but missed out on the cable car ride (next time!).

Next stop - Alcatraz!!!
One of the few tourist places I haven't been in the city. I'm so glad we were able to go, it really is a great historic site. It's run by the state as a national park and it's pretty amazing the way they have it set up for tourism. I would guess there were 3000 people who visit a day, at about $25 each. And there isn't a whole lot of staff on the island from what we could tell, so I would venture to guess they are making a fair bit of money from this place. It is well worth the $25 we spent, very educational and the most amazing views of the city.

A lovely place to visit...but I wouldn't wanna live there!
The only known picture of my mom in jail (that I'm aware of).

View of the city from Alcatraz.
Once we were done at Alcatraz, we hit up Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf-a must for any visit to SF.

Next stop was Lombard street - the crookedest (and strangest) street in the world-which we drove down, but it was getting too dark to take photos.

After Lombard was a quick stop at Coit Tower for a view of the city - but we ended up not going in the tower, just looking out from a few vantage points before hitting the road.

Coit Tower - I wanted the blue of the sky, so you just have to accept the dark portraits. But look at that sky!
This was part of every single day in our travels in California. Where are all these people going???

Day Three: no photos - just driving. Lots and lots of driving.

And then I was home. After 7 days on the road, 2350 miles on my new car, over 1000 photos, a lot of traffic jams and a lot of site-seeing...back to the house, where it's just me and the kitties until mid-May.
A whole new world begins....


  1. Mom Taxi Julie said...:

    You were in our neck of the woods! I've been to most of those places but not all. The traffic? Every day commuters!

  1. Vidya Sury said...:

    I am enjoying your journey!.

    Kaylen, is that the Mission bell which the song "Hotel California" by the Eagles refers to? :-D

    So happy you're sharing these photos!

  1. Anonymous said...:

    What a cool trip! For real! The Madonna Inn sounds like an amazing place! I love to stay at random places like that! I'm sure it's way out of my price range though! :o)

    Curve happens. ;o) I totally cracked up at that!!!!!

  1. I've never visited a mission, but the idea sounds charming.

  1. Great shots on both legs of the trip. I remember how windy it was at Coit Tower and the automatic public toilet (i think it was self-cleaning.
    Hope the boy is enjoying school.


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