Winging Our Way to the Coast

[Day 1: The Day where we make our way to the California Coast]

[Better known as The Day we became Four Gurrrrls One Convertible]

Our California adventure starts in the unlikeliest of places: Provo, Utah. We are sitting in the tiny airport waiting area. There is no McDonalds, no news shop full of overpriced magazines and beef jerky, no security line snaking around the corner, stretching into oblivion. There is the most relaxed version of TSA I’ve ever seen, a person who walks you through every step of the automated parking payment machine, and paperback novels [including Goosebumps] for $5 each.

I accidentally paid for seat selection on the way there so I had the very front seat with all the leg room on the way there.

The plane on the runway. Not pictured: I ended up in the front row (the Allegiant version of first class) with alll the leg room and sat across from the classiest woman I have ever beheld. She actually fluffed her hair with an air of dignity and sophistication [Note to self: Master this].

We don’t bring big bags [That costs extra], sit together [That’s extra too], or nibble at complimentary airline pretzels and soft drinks [Take out the complimentary part], but before we know it we find ourselves landing in the Oakland airport.

Our ride for the rest of vacation! We attempted to name her Beep-y which ended up Bebe, which ended with us actually not being cute at all and just calling it "the car" most of the trip.

Our ride for the rest of vacation! We attempted to name her Beep-y, which ended up Bebe, which ended with us actually not being cute at all and just calling it “the car” most of the trip.

So of course we hop into our rental car and speed into the sunset. Or rather we would have. Had we been able to get the top down without pushing every button four times and figure out the mysterious beep that kept going off every 30 seconds, without holding up the entire rental line and backing the car back up to the booth. But the booth holds a convertible guru who in addition to curing our rental car woes warns us that the nearby food smell is actually a well designed trap we should never follow and recommends a dinner place in Japan Town instead.

Driving skills courtesy of Courtney. I played navigator.

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Courtney steers us beneath bridges and over the San Fran hills directly to Pier 39. While my friends are mostly fixated on the “Rock” of Alcatraz looming in the background…

Looking out at Alacatraz

Courtney looking out at Alacatraz

I can’t help but focus a little closer to shore on the cute [Debatable I realize] sight in front of us: the sea lions. Somehow they bobbed and barked their way right into my heart.

Sea Lions!

Just chillin on the pier.

More Sea Lions!

Sun bathing.

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Sea Lions… In Love?

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Ok, I did get some pictures of some things non-sea lion. This gives the illusion that we were able to master the wind blown hair effect <Cue long laugh>.

Out of all the San Francisco food options we ended up eating... French Crepes? Haha we we're going to do seafood, but were on a timeline and the crepe place seemed faster and equally yummy.

The Pier! Ideal for picking up drive worthy knock off sunglasses and French crepes. Yeah, somehow we ended up eating that, haha. There was seafood consumption later. I promise!

We wander around the pier, grab a bite to eat, and then set sail around the bay.

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It was a great ride, but it did get a little choppy around the bridge. I was definitely glad I had a jacket for this part of the trip. The Texas part of me always rebels against the idea of toting around outwear in August, so I almost didn’t bring anything warm.

The boat! We did the Blue and Gold Fleet Bay Adventure. It was easy to get tickets and they got you a pretty good view of everything. If you want to actually go on an Alactraz tour you have to book a few weeks out and we didn't think far enough ahead.

The boat! We did the Blue and Gold Fleet Bay Adventure. It was easy to get tickets and they got you a pretty good view of everything. If you want to actually go on an Alcatraz tour you have to book a few weeks out and we didn’t think far enough ahead.

All of these wind surfers (What do you call this?) were zooming around beside us.

All of these wind surfers [Is that what you call them?] were zooming around beside us. This seems like a hobby that would not end well for me. I seriously don’t know how someone didn’t smack right into the side of the boat; all they needed was one well placed gust of wind.

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Somewhere between the dramatic opening music and the third translation of the tour’s intro speech we realized the recording is too garbled and lost under the sound of the water and wind, so we find other ways to entertain ourselves. Mainly this includes attempting to master the elusive art of a boat with famous landmark in the background selfie and pantomiming an overly dramatic silent movie for Emily to film on her Brownie video camera.

Livin' the boat life.

Livin’ the boat life.

The movie may have gone better had I realize I’d been cast as the escaped Alcatraz convict/villian on the hunt and not scared tourist girl #3 as I’d originally thought [I kept wondering why my “scared” faces weren’t satisfactory].

Alcatraz!

Alcatraz!  Er, um, I mean my view after escaping.

Some close ups of the "Rock"

Some close ups of the “Rock”

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After the boat docks, we stroll through the Palace of Fine Arts, croon “What ever happened to predictability, the milk man, the paper boy, eeeevening TV,” in front of the painted ladies, gaze longingly at the Bi-Rite Creamery…

The Palace of Fine Arts.. also one of the rare examples of the miracle that is free parking in San Francisco.

The Palace of Fine Arts… One of the rare examples of the miracle that is free parking in San Francisco.

Always look up

Always look up!

The Full House House (Or something that closely resembles it at least).

The Full House House [Or something that closely resembles it at least].

Then it’s Goodbye San Francisco, Hello… Watsonville?

Yes, Watsonville.

It’s a little bit of a drive from the city, but Watsonville was our beach home for the next two days. By this point it’s pitch dark, so in true millennial fashion we utilize this long drive time by taking to the interwebs to document the sites so far [I fully admit to excessive Twitter and Vine activity]. We even go as far as designating a trip hashtag. My suggestion of #4girls1convertible with the optional spelling of girls as gurls or gurrrrrls to make it a little more Internet friendly and all over hilarious was rejected in favor of #CAbyconvertible.

By the time we make it to the beach house [Which seems to be in the middle of nowhere] we are that special kind of cramped legs, icky hair, road trip tired, but that doesn’t stop us from running out full speed to the edge of the ocean.

sdgsfg

A glimpse of our beach during the day. Imagine us running like madmen out to the ocean.

A glimpse of our beach condo during the day. The front side of the building has walkways criss-crossing over dunes in between the buildings.

Our beach condo. The front side of the building has walkways criss-crossing over dunes in between the buildings.

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Misty dunes

Even though it’s the middle of the night and the water is freezing we can’t resist dipping our toes in. We fall asleep sandy and happy with the Pacific humming in our ears.

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Stay tuned for Day 2: [The Day that starts with Strawberry Fields and ends with a Failed Quest for Mustard]

Currently: Missing the family already [The visits are never long enough!] and happy I finally saw Austenland this week after missing it at Sundance.

Please note: If you have been over saturated with tales of people’s vacations check back next week. I’ll be done with my trilogy [Yes I’m doing a three part vacation post. Get over it.] and back to normal blog life.
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