California Adventure Day 7

Day 7 – May 17

We woke up this morning and as I was packing my bags I realized I could not find the charger to my computer. Last night I thought that it was in the car and I basically flipped the car over and shook it and was unsuccessful in locating it. We went to a Radio Shack and they did not have the one I needed but there just so happened to be a Mac store across the street in this small mall type place. They had one left!

After we got the charger, we went to this cute little breakfast place called Egghead’s Restaurant. The place was Wizard of Oz themed and the menu was too. I got a phenomenal pumpkin waffle with almond cream. I LOVE pumpkin and I know I still have a few months before pumpkin goodies are out.
We then headed to the car and it hit me that I should check the hydro pack part of my backpack for the charger. And there it was. I had put it in there by mistake. So I went back to the Mac store and returned the charger. 🙂 It was cool that we went into this mall though because my Dad really liked it and we got my Mom an awesome mug!
We FINALLY got on the road and it did not take us long to see one of the definitions of beauty. The powder blue sky was interrupted by a vast deep blue ocean. I could not have imagined these wondrous colors were hiding behind the fog yesterday. A rainbow was casted along the cliffs in the form of flowers, succulents and other beautiful plants. Nothing was ordinary about what my eyes were witnessing for the first time. The cliffs were a perfect contrast to compliment the blues and the extraordinary spectrum of plants.
We stopped at one of the Coastal Access points and walked the path that overlooked the cliffs. There was a small peninsula that occupied a little pocket of the ocean. Beautiful cliffs adorned the sides of the walkway out to the endless blue. The peninsula had rare plant species sprouting out from the rocks and the dirt. I was mesmerized by the most unique succulents I have ever seen. Green succulents that made the abrupt decision to turn red on the tips of their puffy pointy leaves. The flowers, yellow, orange and purple, all competed for the spotlight. The plants clothed and gave life to the bare, stagnant cliffs. The ocean crashed in trying to get a peek from below. It spat and raged at the rocks and turned white with fury as its waves came in for a ferocious landing.
I walked down a narrow path to further explore one of the cliffs. The loose rocks threatened to take my footing multiple times. I said back, “I hiked the Upper Yosemite Falls…you’ve got nothing on me!” My eyes breathed in deep the sights and my heart released a soft, sweet sigh. God truly is the master artist.
We continued on our journey to a spot my Dad picked out, the Port Arena Lighthouse. My Dad has always had a fascination with lighthouses. One of his favorite trips was to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I hope to make my way over there one day. The curb appeal of this lighthouse is next to none. We drove the coast up to the house and dropped pins in our mind for places we would stop on our way out.
We took the tour and learned a bit about this lighthouse. We walked up the spiral metal staircase. I marveled at the industrial looking grungy interior that lighthouse keepers used to climb every 75 minutes every day. There were five landings, four of them each with a window looking out to a remarkable view. As we reached the top landing of the spiral staircase, we climbed a ladder staircase to another landing that housed the original light. Our tour guide, who grew up in the area and looked to be about college-aged, wowed us with the history.  The huge light is now replaced with a little LED light that flashes every 15 seconds as far as 14 miles.
He then opened the door to an outside wrap around balcony. We flipped our hats backwards so that the wind would not take claim of them in a game of finders keepers. We walked around and basked at the views as the wind tossed our shirts to and fro. The ocean and cliffs on one side and a range of mountains and farmland on the other.
We left the lighthouse and drove past the cabin-like houses they have available for people to pay to stay in. We followed the white wooden fence to an overlook we had pinned earlier on our drive up. Some people are awestruck when they meet a famous person…I am awestruck when I witness God’s infinitely detailed creation that was painted before we were even made. The things we had no hand in creating. “What are men to rocks and mountains?”
We left the lighthouse area and cruised along Highway 1 towards our next stop in San Francisco. We would cruise along the coast and then take a turn and be in between farmlands. We saw cows on top of mountains grazing and gazing upon the ocean. If you are going to be a farmer…I’d say this is the perfect place! We would then take another turn and be in a forest of tall trees. The scenery was constantly changing.
We made one more stop at one of the most deadly beaches in California, Goat Rock Beach in Jenner, before arriving in San Francisco. The reason this beach is so dangerous is it is easy for people to get stuck in an undertow. I saw a little driftwood hut on the beach. I wondered if it was someone’s shelter for the night or just an adventurer’s shield from the wind. Rock formations secluded themselves with moats of angry ocean water. Rock formations on the sand secluded themselves by being unstable. The salty air gathered on my camera lenses making it necessary for a cleaning when I got back to the car.
We kept going towards San Francisco. The GPS showed that we were only miles away and yet we were in forests with beautiful trees. Our car hiked up a big mountain with other travelers on bicycles. We finally came to a descent and watched as the bikers raced around each turn with no reason to pedal. The two bikers in front of us actually beat us down the mountain! Houses began to peek out of the trees on the mountains. It was crazy how quickly we went from the forest and mountains to the city.
We drove to Battery Spencer to get pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge. My Dad dropped me off at the walking trail to the bridge and parked the car down the mountain. Battery Spencer was actually a really cool place too! Completed in 1897, the battery housed guns to protect the Golden Gate Bridge until it was scrapped in 1943. The abandoned buildings are still in decent condition and are really fun to explore.
As we walked up the trail, the sun was setting and it gave the already golden bridge a nice warm glow. It is interesting to think that people gather at this place that used to have three massive guns, to take pictures with a bridge. I love to think about the people who once walked where my feet are currently taking pause. There’s so much history everywhere. Sometimes I like to come up with stories with why something is the way that it is. I wonder how many moments men were running around preparing for an attack. I wonder what memories and stories were told around the lines of ammunition. I saw a picture of one of the soldiers who had shoved his body down one of the guns and just had his head poking out. He probably had quite the sense of humor.
The bridge was really pretty. A sailboat slowly passed underneath and provided an extra little prop for my pictures. The weather was perfect and the sky was beautiful. We began to walk down to where my Dad parked the car and he asked if I wanted to walk across the bridge. Of course that sounded like a wonderful idea! We walked down a narrow little path through some tall grass and more beautiful flowers. We then walked to the other side of the bridge to the pedestrian sidewalk and began our trek across. We stopped many times to take pictures and saw Alcatraz out in the middle of the water. I wish we would’ve had more time to go and tour “The Rock.”
We got to see a beautiful sunset off of the bridge behind the mountain range where Battery Spencer resides. It started to turn dark and we saw a little cart with a traffic cop in it. He stopped us and told us the bridge was closing in 30 minutes (9:00). We made it almost halfway across and had to turn around. It was still a super cool experience!

We got back to the car and made one more pass down the mountain road to get some video of the Golden Gate Bridge at night time. Then we booked our next hotel and headed to Richmond. This hotel is our least favorite of the trip. We got checked in and decided to go to Taco Bell to get dinner. Siri took us through a not so great part of town to get there. Siri strikes again.
Tomorrow we will be flying back to Texas in the afternoon. This trip has been way awesome but we are both pretty tired and ready to be home.
Check back later for Day 7 video!

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