san francisco.

Final stop on the one-year anniversary road trip—San Francisco! 

Still feeling separation anxiety from Big Sur, we bypassed the city (very, very slowly in rush hour traffic), crossed the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and made our way up the winding roads that lead to Muir Woods. It's amazing to think this wooded wonderland sits in its humble, unimposing glory just on the margins of the city. 

We eventually exchanged Sequoias for skyscrapers and painted ladies. We used the app Hotel Tonight to get a last minute deal on a hotel in Union Square, and we returned our fire engine red rental car that had safely carried us up 800 miles of breathtaking coastline. 

Whenever we travel, I love to ask around about the best local coffee. In San Francisco the same three words kept resurfacing: Four Barrel Coffee. We were a bit limited in both time and transport, but I found a cafe around the block that sold the stuff and it did not disappoint! 

Of course, when in San Francisco, we heard you just must bike the across the Golden Gate Bridge. But as southerners with no experience of the June Gloom that overtakes California (and quickly recognizing the wisdom of Mark Twain who claimed "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco") we couldn't bring ourselves to make the trek. We still got some great views of the bridge, but the wind was intense! Please note the photo fail as evidence.

We explored a couple of abandoned military bases along the way, including Fort Point (which you Hitchcock fans may recognize from the film Vertigo). 

We also wandered through Golden Gate Park (which, hello, is home to several lazy bison) and Sutro Baths, which once stood as an expensive cliffside spa but burned down and now lies in ruins. 

On our final evening on the West Coast, we zig-zagged down Lombard Street (the crookedest street in America? The world?!) and made our way over to Fisherman's Wharf just in time for happy hour. I think one of the things I miss most about the city are those colorful row houses bursting with flowers. I mean, how beautiful is that?

Driving the California coast was one of our favorite trips to date, full of new adventures, off-the-grid experiences and memories we'll forever cherish from that first year of marriage. And honestly I wouldn't be surprised if we took the trip again one day. Don't you worry, California darling; we'll be back.

What have been some of your favorite road trips?