Happy Friday everyone! Valentine’s Day is in 5 days and maybe you want to do a trip but don’t know where to go, I hope this blog will give you some inspirations to travel to your one favorite place. In the summer of 2017, I made a last minute-2.5 days road trip to San Francisco, California! Our itinerary went something like this.
Friday: Our Road to San Francisco
We both left our work place at exactly 5 pm on a Friday afternoon. Our goal was to get on the Interstate 5 (I-5) which would take us from Orange County to San Francisco within 6-7 hours. We wanted to arrive in San Jose at 11 pm. We made it onto the I-5 at 6 pm and arrived at 1 am. I’ll list out some of our mistakes before getting on the I-5.
- Not getting gas earlier and leaving it to last minute
- Spent too long at the gas station deciding what snacks we wanted
- Spent too long at the boba shop deciding on what drinks we wanted
- Spent too long deciding what type of popcorn chicken to get (yes! there’s more than 1 kind)
But I think getting on the I-5 at 6 pm helped us escape the 5 pm traffic. We only suffered through traffic when we went through Los Angeles (LA) that there was a bit of traffic (maybe more like a stand still.) At around 9 pm we got really hungry so we stopped at a McDonalds, (by this time we were half way there) I guess we weren’t really hungry since we just got ice cream. Oh! I remember, we stopped because they sold Twix McFlurry there. We couldn’t let that opportunity pass us!
It was kinda scary driving in the middle of the night going into the 152-Gilroy City, it was literally all farms and no lights for miles. We did see a huge sand dune there, if anyone knows what that sand dune is for please let me know! And we finally arrived in San Jose at 1 pm.
Saturday: Our day in San Francisco
We woke up at 9 am that morning and decided we could definitely go for some rice in San Jose. So we got some rice at Com Tam Thanh ($25 for 2) it was delicious! We even fit in some Bambu ($5/cup so we only got one), which is like a really sweet dessert by the Vietnamese people. When we were done with that we drove up the Interstate 280 North to get to San Francisco. But on the way there, I saw a sign for Half Moon Bay (I’m obsessed with Train and they have a song called, Half Moon Bay) so we stopped by. There’s something about Half Moon Bay, it just seems so gloomy all the time. It’s beautiful the trees that leads to it feels calming, it’s like a small version of the Red Woods. The town of Half Moon Bay was also very welcoming, we played the song Country Road over and over again when we were there. Half Moon Bay is also home to the Mavericks Wave, it is a known location for ONLY professional surfers.
After we found our way out of Half Moon Bay (we got really lost), we continued our journey up the Coast. If you ever need road trip music, check out Train! We arrived at the Wharf at around 1 pm and luckily found a free parking spot right in front of the wharf! I definitely went for some clam chowder ($6) and a lobster roll ($12). It wasn’t good, although I recommend it because it’s an experience. After we had our food, we decided to hike up the hill to Lombard Street. We should have known it was hard when there were ambulances waiting at the bottom of the hill. After more than a few rest stops we made it up the hill, it was a really cool experience and I will recommend it! After we made it up the hill, we decided to make another stop ON FOOT to Ghirardelli Square to get a nice chocolate shake ($5). I will tell you that the chocolate shake was WORTH IT. We also got a chance to do some shopping!
- Get clam chowder and lobster roll
- Hike Lombard Street
- Visit Ghirardelli Square
Sunday: Left San Jose for Monterey Bay
We didn’t think we would have time for Monterey Bay Aquarium but we threw out our itinerary! At first, we stopped by a nice breakfast place kind of right on the pier called, Domenico’s On The Wharf. It was a very friendly restaurant and I could see the water from where I was sitting. Our breakfast came out to be around $45 for two. After we had breakfast we headed down to the Aquarium, it was a bit far from the breakfast location. The aquarium tickets were $49/person but I had my student ID and Chinh looked like a student so they gave us the student discount at $39/person. The Aquarium was quite disappointing even though I’ve been told it’s one of the biggest. But it was not comparable to the Shedd Aquarium-Chicago or the Georgia Aquarium-Atlanta. After the aquarium we checked out the Cannery Row in the area and bought some very delicious chocolate chip cookies from Nestle Cookie House ($5) (can you tell yet? I have a really big sweet tooth.) That pretty much summed up our adventure up North!
In total we spent, $450 for the trip including gas. Because we stayed at my aunt’s place in San Jose we didn’t have to worry about lodging, the gas bill was pretty gnarly though. And we spent some money on the shopping but I won’t count it in here.
That’s it for this adventure! Let me know if you have any recommendations for things to do in San Francisco! Hope to see you guys in the next blog!