Fog + Condors, and California’s Amazing Big Sur

Remember when I ran away from BlogHer14?
(Click HERE to read my sad tale.)

My tugboat man and I headed west to take the 101 back home to SoCal.

We stopped in Carmel for a lovely night to celebrate hub’s birthday, and thought we’d camp for a few nights as we travelled south.

It was obvious that everyone else had the same idea. No open campsites and no hotels meant we drove all the way home, sad and dejected, at 2:00 a.m.

Even though we didn’t camp anywhere and there was heavy fog, every so often the sun would peek through and I was able to snap some amazing pics.

Ultimate optimists, we’re giving it another try.

We figure that everyone is back to school and we should have a road less travelled. Hopefully. Fingers crossed.

Until we return with more pics, here’s some of my faves.

See you soon!

California Condors with attached radio collars. Too bad I couldn’t get closer pics but we could see the collars with tugboat man’s superior binoculars.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Boats hidden on a hillside only seen if you hike down a secret trail (and I’ll never tell)…

bigsurboats bigsurboats2

Weird things hanging off a tree.bigsurcrazytreeFog…
bigsur12
bigsur8 bigsur4 And once in a while, the fog cleared…bigsurtripbigsurfog10bigsurfog9bigsurfog8bigsurfog7bigsurfog2bigsurfog4bigsurflower bigsufog4

There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no…

way I’ll ever go on BART again. No. Way.

That comes a bit later in the chronology of Princess Rosebud and her tugboat man’s most recent adventure.

If you’re going to San Franciscooo, be sure to wear some flowers in your hairrr…
There are sad vestiges of the Era of the Hippie; parts of Berkeley were a huge time warp. I bet hubs if I walked down the wrong street, I’d be pulled back and disappear in a pot-smoky haze of tie-dye and dreads and he’d never find me. 

The tugboat man had a business meeting in NorCal (that’s Northern California) and I decided to tag along.

I packed heavy; my motto is “you never know” and I might need to have an appropriate outfit for lots of different occasions.

Here’s what I brought along for a couple of days. You’ll notice an absence of dresses and heels, and that’s because I knew we’d be doing a lot of walking and it could rain at any time.

  • Black skinny jeans
  • Denim skinny jeans
  • Two pairs of workout pants
  • One long cashmere sweater
  • One short Free People sweater
  • Four t-shirts, including a Yale t-shirt since I’d be in Cal country and felt the need to represent
  • One nice silky blouse
  • Black boots, tall
  • Ugg type boots
  • Athletic shoes
  • Leopard print flip flops
  • Black raincoat
  • Warm fuzzy dressing gown
  • ***A pair of “he might get lucky” silk pajamas
  • ***My Hello Kitty, “I’m tired and going to sleep–don’t even try it” pajamas
  • Chanel handbag, of course
  • Backpack
  • Three scarves
  • And just in case we stopped to hike, I packed all my hiking gear, including my hiking poles.

Rose Garden InnSearching online, I found a place in Berkeley called Rose Garden Inn.

How could we NOT stay there?
I know, right?

We drove up Tuesday morning, had a late lunch with a cousin of mine that lives nearby, and checked in.

It’s a bit funky, a complex of old Victorian homes that’ve been transformed into rooms and suites. The first thing I make hubs do is check for bedbugs before I put anything down. I’m happy to say we were bug-free. (That silly Chanel loves to photo bomb every pic!) I wear flip flops in the shower; I wouldn’t let my bare skin touch any surface unless I cleaned it with a gallon of bleach. (Soz for the bad pic)roomatrosegardeninn

The courtyard is very inviting and quaint.Courtyard

Tuesday night we walked up the street to eat at an Indian/Nepali restaurant called Mt. Everest. It was an absolute treasure. Every dish we had was filled with flavors and fragrance, including the most amazing Naan bread.

His meeting on Wednesday was gonna take a few hours so I was on my own.  The concierge told me about a shopping area called Elmwood that was about ten blocks away, not enough to call it a hike, but a pleasant walk. It was chock full of the cutest little shops and bakeries and cafes.

I bought a couple prezzies for hubs and DIL,  whom we planned to meet for dinner near where she works in the city.

BART = HELL ON WHEELS

Bay+Area+Commuters+Hampered+Second+Day+Bay+zzz3mLm0DmKlHere’s where this BART thing comes in. Bay Area Rapid Transit.  We didn’t want to drive ‘cos there’s tons of traffic and no place to park in the city.  I never took BART, even tho I’ve spent a fair amount of time in SF on family visits — and I never will again. Never. Ever.

As you might surmise, I’m not an aficionado of public transportation — I’ve only been on a handful of buses even, but hubs grew up in the Bay area and I felt safe navigating BART with him.

We had one EXTREMELY unpleasant encounter with a gentleman who was UBER hostile and aggressive and threatening because we wouldn’t give him money; quite a few others appeared like they needed to be in locked facilities rather than freely roaming around.

BART SURVIVAL TIP: NO EYE CONTACT NO EYE CONTACT NO EYE CONTACT

Poor hubs arm is  probably still full of bruises the way I was hanging on for dear life. Our BART needed to go under the water – UNDER THE WATER to take us from Oakland to downtown San Francisco.

It was way too stressful for me;  I swear I’ll never take the Chunnel after this experience, but the worst part was that the stupid train STOPPED half way through its journey — STOPPED UNDERWATER and all I could think of was the millions and millions of tons of water pressure on top of us. I was THIS CLOSE to having a MAJOR MELTDOWN. After dinner and a few very necessary glasses of wine, we took the ferry back, which was a stress-free and quite pleasant voyage.

Chanel photobomb ferry SFMy tugboat man agreed: it’s better to be on top of the water than under it.
See that silly Chanel. Always with the photo bomb, even on the ferry…what an EGO, right?

The Oakland-Bay Bridge is adorned with a beautiful light show that totes made up for our scary ride at the bottom of the bay.Check out the amazing light show.

LA traffic

A loud party at the Inn kept us awake and we got a late start driving home — had to endure rush hour through LA.


A deep sigh of relief at our first glimpse of the ocean near Trestles. Almost home!Trestles

Dorothy was SO right, “There’s no place like home.”