And, yea. I'm a little behind on the whole "recapping thing." Apologies on that one.
So next up we went to San Fran. I'd like to go ahead and say the Golden Gate Bridge is amazing to me. I couldn't stop staring at it while we drove across. Although we weren't there for too long, we definitely managed to cram a ton into it while we were there. That may be because the people renting the apartment before us left us tickets for one of the touristy open top buses so getting around was super easy. (Side note, while touristy, I really recommend them. Really easy, you don't have to deal with driving, and you may actually learn something while you get to stare off at "the sights." My sister and I did one in Paris as well and it was just as lovely.)
Favorite part of all (aside from the Atlanta Braves beating the Giants while we were there) was the Ferry Building. J. stocked up on Blue Bottle Coffee, we sampled olive oils at Stonehouse, and we had by far one of the best sandwiches ever at Boccalone which we enjoyed outside over looking the water. We also couldn't help ourselves and picked up bread from Acme to go with our Boccalone salami for an "on the road" snack. The rest of the time there was a blur, but we ate at Tartine, wandered around Chinatown, went to Coit Tower (personally I'd find views elsewhere) and pretty much just meandered around. Which is one of our favorite things to do, but may drive other people crazy.
Tunnel view, Mist Trail, and the view after we got lost via via courtney khail
After San Fran, we went to Yosemite National Park which was amazing. The campsites weren't as wonderful as other parks (though we lucked out again and were right on a creek) the views were absolutely stunning. We normally hiked about 7-10 miles a day and stayed 5 days so we were really able to see the whole park. We hiked past some of the prettiest waterfalls ever (the Mist Trail is gorgeous,) ate lunch on the top of Sentinel Dome, lounged in hammocks by a secluded river, and even got lost in the backwoods of the meadows (which ended with us summitting a mountain and witnessing one of the most beautiful landscapes ever.) It was awesome. If you're ever heading that way and would like to know of a hike or two to do, just let me know. I'd be happy to give you more information.
After Yosemite we drove to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. I thought we had seen giant trees before, but nothing came close to the mammoth trees that are there. I felt so small! While we were there we decided to do two super short touristy "hikes" (i.e. short, crowded and paved) that took us to the world's largest tree (by volume,) as well as the nation's Christmas tree and gave us the opportunity to both walk through and drive through a tree (which I was really excited about) so it was worth it. The absolute best part though, is that since the rest of the park is pretty secluded so you can take your time exploring. I would definitely recommend taking the drive through the National Forest as well as Kings Canyon. By far the most spectacular views from the entire trip. We could have stayed there forever.
Of course, Vegas was calling our names so we didn't.