Days 2-4: San Francisco, Carmel, Pebble Beach
On the second day in San Francisco, I clocked in over 16,000 steps on my tracker. We walked everywhere. We began by having breakfast at Farmer Brown, a nice homestyle-meets-jazzy-blues place, where we all devoured some eggs, pancakes, and waffles. Afterwards, we lined up at the trolley, and the line was pretty long. We waited over an hour to take the trolley, but we were standing next to a family from Los Angeles who was also celebrating their daughter’s graduation from high school, and we became fast friends. One of the things I love most about travel is talking to people and meeting them along the way. When my husband said he wanted to eat at Pink’s in LA, famous for their hot dogs, the husband said, “You won’t regret it.”
When the trolley finally arrived, Anthony and I sat on the seat and let the kids hang off the side as we rode all the way to the park with gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge. I highly recommend the ride, even if the wait is long. It is so worth it. Watching the expressions on my kids’ faces as they hung on to the trolley as it climbed and then descended those steep streets was worth every minute of the wait. After hopping off the trolley, we took some photos in the park and then began our walk around the city, most notably taking the stroll down the famous Lombard Street as well as the steepest street in the city, Filbert Street. We walked to the Italian section and stopped at Molinari Deli for lunch, and ate our lunches in the park with a view of the church where Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe had their photos taken on their wedding day (St. Peter’s). My daughter got a kick out of feeding the pigeons, causing a scene whereby tons of them descended and she was like the Pied Piper. We sampled some outstanding Italian Cookies from Victoria Mara’s that rivaled Baltimore’s Vaccaro’s, which is pretty hard to do. I also got to stop by and visit City Lights Bookstore, where all the beat writers like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg used to hang out. Afterwards, we climbed Coit Tower, the Butterfly steps, and many other streets to become acquainted with San Francisco’s hills, which offer incredible vantage points for photography in the city. We ended our tour by hopping in an Uber and seeing the Painted Ladies, Victorian homes painted in the all sorts of colors. That evening we ate at Fino in Union Square then completely crashed because we were so active.
The next day, we headed to beautiful Carmel-by-the-Sea and stayed at actress Doris Day’s inn called The Cypress Inn. I loved it! Dogs are welcome at this hotel because Doris Day is a dog lover (in fact, one of her many husbands said she loved dogs more than him). It was so charming and quaint, and is located right in town. The service at the inn was wonderful—everyone was helpful and sweet. After walking around the town of Carmel, visiting the charming cottages, and strolling the streets during the early afternoon, clouds were still pretty heavy in the sky, so we waited until four o’clock when the sun started to appear to hop back in the car and do the 17-Mile Drive along the coast. One landmark spot was more glorious than the next, and we all think it was one of our highlights of our trip. From seeing the rocky cliffs of the Pacific to the lone Cypress tree (Pebble Beach Golf Link’s logo), to Bird Rock, we snapped tons of photos and bonded while we soaked in all the views. We ended the night with dinner at the Flying Fish Café, and the owner treated us to complimentary dessert when he heard we were visiting to celebrate our son’s graduation. The end of the perfect day.
The next morning after breakfast at The Cypress Inn, we were all sad to leave, but seeing the Inn at Spanish Bay quelled our sorrow. Part of the Pebble Beach Resort, the Inn at Spanish Bay had just received renovations, and we stayed in a room that was gorgeous! Because we were so busy, however, we didn’t get to use the resort as we would have liked, but the boys played Pebble Beach and loved every second of it. While they were playing, Ellie and I explored Pacific Grove and Monterey, and ate lunch outside at the Monterey Plaza, where waves were crashing beneath us. We finished up lunch the headed back to Carmel for some serious shopping, then caught up with the boys for dinner at Pebble Beach at The Bench. Dessert was delicious in the upstairs restaurant, The Tap Room, known as the best “19th Hole” in all of golf. The night ended as we all watched in awe as my husband took down a massive piece of coconut cake.