In November 2008, I took a big giant leap ( in my own eyes anyway) and I stepped onto a plane and traveled to California to visit a friend. I looked forward to a much needed break away from my small coastal town in Mississippi. I had never even been as far as Texas, so I was very anxious to see this other part of the country which was so unfamiliar to me and I was very excited.
I have always heard how very beautiful California is and I expected to fall in love with it. However, I did not expect that to happen from the moment that I placed one foot on the ground...which was indeed what happened. I was not prepared to love how California made me FEEL. See, I am southerner, a southern belle, a Gulf Coast native, a hurricane survivor, and a Mississippi girl at heart. Given all of those things, I still was more than happy to be traveling to the other side of the country to experience something new and unfamiliar to me.
I met my friend in Sacramento at the airport and from there we traveled to San Francisco, Napa Valley, and Lake Tahoe. I do have much to say about each one...each very unique, and each are very beautiful places.
My journey began in San Francisco where we went directly to see the Golden Gate bridge, which everyone insists that you must see from every angle and I honestly do agree ! From every angle, the bridge is stunning and the photos which I took of the bridge in the background make up some of my most cherished photographs I have of that visit. Being that it is such a beautiful bridge, and with it's location on the Pacific ocean coast...it is absolutely one of the most stunning sights to see.
I really enjoyed Fisherman's Wharf...a very touristy area, but quite fun and friendly. I also enjoyed the trip to famous Alcatraz, which has a remarkable view of the city from it's small little island. It is definitely worth seeing for the history and for the view. The weather in late November was absolutely perfect for the Wharf and Alcatraz. We even walked what felt like 20 miles around downtown San Francisco in order for us not to miss the local fare, which in retrospect allowed me to see a side of the city that I probably would have otherwise missed.
Even riding the cable car from Union square down to the Wharf, I continued to fall in love with this very unique place with so much to do and see. Although I had imagined eating so much great food during my entire visit, we actually stayed so busy that we didn't make time for visiting as many restaurants as I had once thought possible. However, there are a few good ones to mention, even if I can't honestly compare them to so many of the other places there. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the food of course....one such place was called the Stinking Rose which is aptly named for the garlic which they profusely use in every dish. http://www.thestinkingrose.com/ You should check it out, it was worth the trip and I would highly recommend the Dungeness Crab which was absolutely wonderful !!