When I visited San Francisco for the first time in March this year, it didn’t occur to me that I’d be coming back again a mere seven months later. This time I’m here for work, but it would be daft to come all this way and not have a holiday. The timing turned out to be hilarious, as two days before our outward flight Chris and I had to move house. We bundled our London life into boxes and left the city with a song in our hearts, heading for our new home in Surrey. I’ll tell you more about this in another post (new sewing room, eep!), but safe to say that much of our California road trip conversation has been about how excited we are about our new home.
Anyway, back to the adventure. As you can imagine, the last few weeks have been a bit mad, so when we finally rocked up at SF International Airport last weekend we had booked one night in an airport hotel, and a rental car. Carrying our Lonely Planet like a talisman, we arranged to head north to Sonoma Valley, and from there wherever the wind might take us.
On a classically beautiful San Francisco morning, comprised of equal parts sunshine and fog, we picked up the cheery Nissan 4×4 that was to be our road trip buddy for the next week and drove north out of the city on our way to wine country. We planned to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge (because), but our sat nav had other plans, re-routing us over the Bay Bridge instead. Which lead to us getting a little bit lost, discovering a fabulous local flea market in Treasure Island (yes really), and delaying our start by a couple of hours. Getting lost is a critical part of a successful road trip!Finally back on track, we headed for The Bridge.
It’s quite fun to drive over the iconic orange lump (although I think the view from Bay Bridge is better, shhh!), but the real beauty is parking up on the other side and looking back over the bay and the city. I’m not a big city fan, give me wilderness and rugged coastline any day of any week, but I can appreciate why San Francisco’s fans are so fanatical. There are very few places in the world where a twenty minute drive from a city centre brings you to a beautiful national park, or where the views are a stunning mix of natural beauty and man-made grandeur.
Also wine. But more on that story later.