Our last day (err, morning) in the northern Bay Area was full of shopping around Union Square. We woke up bright and early to start our day, hoping to kill some time before going to the Golden Gate Bridge, which is hidden by thick layers of fog (as seen from Fisherman’s Wharf the previous day
While in the city, we caught a glimpse of the Powell St cable car. The line to ride this up a very steep street (Powell) is usually at least a 30 minute wait, so we just took photos and tried to live vicariously through everyone on it. Even about multiple visits to San Francisco, I still haven’t mustered up the patience to ride this thing up a few blocks.
Once the clock struck noon, we decided to leave the city and head north to the Golden Gate Bridge. Surely by noon, the fog would be cleared right? Nope! We were greeted by this lovely view of a half-hidden bridge. A little hard to see, but still beautiful!
Since we needed to be in Pismo Beach by the end of the day, we scooted along quickly from the bridge and headed south towards Chinatown. We were recommended by SF friends to check out the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory
, which is located just off an alley in the heart of Chinatown. We bee-lined there as soon as we could find parking (which is a nightmare, btw. I would not recommend driving to Chinatown if you can avoid it).
Ok, so it looks a little sketchy on the outside… but it is definitely worth stopping by to check out. We didn’t take any photos inside because, for one, there were no windows anywhere in the building so it was pretty dark, and secondly, each photo costs $0.50. Looking back, I really wish I had just paid the hefty (jk) $0.50 fee for the photo. Imagine a really small ~300 sqft space with iron cast machinery lining the walls. There was exactly one person hand-folding each and every fortune cookie as the flat cookie round came out of the press. There was a little box to her left, full of fortunes which were slipped into each cookie before being folded. Crazy! For $3.75, we left with a big bag of fortune cookies. I honestly wish I could’ve left more money for their cookies. Seeing the working conditions was… a little heartbreaking, to say the least.
We then headed to the Golden Gate Bakery, famous for its egg tarts. I love egg tarts!! Growing up, I used to always hope for a plate of egg tarts to snack on at the end of dim sum. The bakery had a “no pictures” policy, so I can’t show you all the other baked goodies available, but trust me, it all looked AH-MAZING!
We bought… um… a few (*shifty eyes*) and headed to Ten Ren for bubble tea to enjoy with the egg tarts. It was a nice break before heading back onto the road to Mountain View: home of the Google headquarters!
The first time I visited the campus (Building 44, to be exact), there was only the cupcake, donut, eclair, and froyo on the lawn. Since that visit, Android has released gingerbread, honeycomb, ice cream sandwich, and jelly bean. Embarrassingly, we spent more time taking photos at the Googleplex
than we did at the Golden Gate Bridge.
Once our inner nerdisms had time to calm down, we got back in the car and started heading south on Hwy 1. After a ~4 hour drive in the creepiest fog I’ve ever seen, we ended up in Monterey! Honestly, the fog felt like a scene straight out of Silent Hill. It was thick and covered about 30% of the view as we were driving.
The reason for our stop off was to see Lover’s Point. It’s supposed to be a breathtaking view over the water from the cliffs, but given the fog situation, it was hard to see past a few meters at best. Even in all the fog, the scenery was beautiful. It was so quiet and serene. We stayed and soaked in the views until the rain started to fall and urged us back onto the road.
Our last stop for the night was Pismo Beach, which was another 3 hour drive south. This was the longest stretch of driving distance covered in a single day on our trip. As the sole driver, I didn’t think it would feel as tiring as it ended up feeling. Ines was awesome and made sure to keep the music coming in the car… even if we had to do it ghetto style, blasting tracks from her iPad since we didn’t have any radio reception and my phone was tied up for navigating the route.
I can’t wait for the next post! Pismo Beach was the one place I wanted to stop off in for one reason: sand dunes!!