25th Birthday Trip to San Fransisco and Big Sur


   25th Birthday Trip to San Fransisco and Big Sur

                For my 25th birthday I decided that I didn’t want to be stuck in Orange County and spend my birthday how I do every year. I decided to book a campsite at Big Sur, a hotel in San Fransisco, and invited three of my closest friends to go with me. I had been to San Fransisco when I was seven, and I have never been to Big Sur, but I always wanted to visit. Big Sur is about a six hour drive from Orange County and San Francisco is just a few hours north of Big Sur. 

             When July 2nd came around and I still wanted to celebrate my birthday with my friends and family, so the night before I left for the trip I had a birthday dinner at my favorite Taco Tuesday spot, La Vida Cantina in Costa Mesa. I had such a great time drinking margaritas and eating tacos with my friends that I lost track of time and stayed out way too late.                  

             I got home from La Vida and had to pack up my stuff and load the car for the trip to leave super early in the morning. I barely got any sleep that night!

            My alarm went off at 7 AM and it was time to go pick up my friends. We loaded all of our stuff in my Prius and headed out first thing in the morning. All of my friends got in the car, along with my dog Cash, and we were on our way. One of my guy friends drove my car for me on the way up so that I could sleep since I had only got a few hours the night before. We only made one stop at McDonalds and we ordered all the items from the breakfast menu. As we arrived at the Golden Gate Bridge I played Chris Issac to bring back memories from when I listened to him with my dad and sister the last time I was there.

           We arrived at the Kimpton Sir Frances Drake Hotel in San Fransisco and pulled right up to valet the car. The valet unloaded the car and put our luggage on the bell cart and brought the stuff up to the room. I booked the room through http://Expedia.com so it was already paid for when we checked in. Check-in was easy and the hotel is a dog friendly hotel, so they had treats waiting for Cash, which I loved. One of my friends brought their dog too, so Cash had a friend to play with while we went out for the night.

             The Kimpton Sir Frances Drake Hotel had a free wine hour, so we took advantage of that! They had a few different types of wine, but I’m a red wine girl, so I had their red blend. I loved the wine hour, and it was supposed to be a pregame to go out in the Castro Distric, but I unfortunately developed a sudden migraine so I decided to sleep it off.

              The next day rolled around, and it was the 4th of July. The city was so chilly and white with fog. I definitely  wasn’t expecting it to be cold because it was summer in California, but San Francisco is different. Cash and I went for a stroll around the city and ended up at a Nordstroms. I absolutely love Top Shop and found a great blue flannel that I thought would be great for when we got to Big Sur. I purchased it and then went back to the hotel to get some lunch before it was time to leave the city for Big Sur.

             Since http://Lyft.com started in San Fransisco we thought that would be the best transport system to use to go down to the Fishermans Wharf, and plus we were in a little bit of a time crunch. Fishermans Wharf was my favorite. There were so many seals and you could see all the boats docked in the harbor. We explored the cute little shops in the Wharf and then got another Lyft back to the hotel.

             The Prius was packed and we were ready to start our drive to get to the campsite long before dark– we had a two and a half hour drive ahead of us. We left San Fransisco at 1 PM and got to Big Sur around 3:30 PM with plenty of time and light to spare. There was a camp store on PCH that took us to the campsite check-in. I had reserved the site a couple months in advance because it was a holiday… and we luckily got one of the last spots. To book one of the sites you just have to go to https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=570   — it will show you all the available spots you can reserve as well as some information on the park.

             The spot I reserved was so cute! There was enough room for about twelve people to stay comfortably. We set up an eight person tent and a six person tent for the four of us. One of our friends snored so we brought an extra tent for them to stay in so we could all get some rest. After we set up everything up, we immediately brought out the Titos and lime Gatorade and started celebrating my birthday and the fourth of July. We unpacked, pitched up the tent, and made sure everything was organized. 

             After we got settled at the campsite, we decided to explore before it got dark. We grabbed some chocolate at the camp store for the s’mores because what’s camping without smores?! The scenery was so beautiful, the sky was pink and orange, like nothing like I have ever seen before. We took pictures and played in the stream on the way to the camp store. 

             The store was a cute little wood log cabin with anything and everything you may need for camping. The walk back to our site was a little over a mile and some of us decided to run back. I walked back with my other friend, and when we got there my friend told me that he tried to take my car to pick us up and he accidentally hit a tree. 

           To unwind we made a fire for our s’mores and to get our minds off everything. When we were in the middle of making s’mores the park ranger came over to our group. He wasn’t very friendly about Cash and said that I should have him on a leash. After he scolded me to put my dog on a leash I called Cash over and leashed him up. The Park Rangers talked to us about the car accident and then were on their way. 

          Talking to the Park Rangers was a little draining so we all decided to settle in for sleep. Three of us were in the six person tent and one was in the eight person tent. It was hard for me to sleep in the tent because I normally like my space while sleeping. The sun rose and we packed up everything to get on the road and back home. 

          The trip could of been better but I am glad I took it. I would definitely love to go back and explore both cities again. One of my best friend’s just moved to San Fransisco, so I’m sure I will be there in the near future… so you’ll have to keep an eye out!

                                                                              xoxo Terra Newell

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