PCH'ing it

Getting back to our California trip, I mentioned that we landed in San Fran. We spent a day there, getting our bearings, mostly. We had a very nice dinner with some friends that night (and our daughter slept through the whole thing, so we could have an adult conversation throughout. As I said, nice!) at a place called Crustacean near Nob Hill.

I don't know the geography too well; maybe that's considered to be in Nob Hill. Regardless, a nice neighborhood and excellent food. Dungeness crab and garlic noodles. Mmm, mmm.

Anyway, let myself get a bit sidetracked; I actually wanted to talk about some amusement earlier that day, then our side-trip down to Monterey.

The amusement earlier was in driving up to San Fran from the airport. I saw a billboard that was talking about travel to Reno and Tahoe, which isn't too interesting, but first I only saw it out of the corner of my eye. For a second, I saw the words 'see @renotahoe', but my mind missed the first 'o', which left my brain screaming, "They can't advertise that in California". Then I looked back, and saw what I had missed.

Incidentally, this does bring up one other thing that traveling tends to remind me about. Billboards along highways. Our Philly trip a couple of months ago reminded me of the same thing.

101 just south of San Fran was much like I-95 going through Philly. Just absolutely littered with billboards. Really freakin' ugly, and annoying, to boot. Being in the DC area, we just don't have those. You rarely see them at all, and never on the interstates. It's so much nicer.

I'm sure some people will want to shove their mouth in about this point, and start babbling on the economic efficiency of being able to use the space that way, and I get it. But there's still a cost being paid when you do use the space, and I much prefer not to pay that cost.

Anyway, the other thing I wanted to talk about was the drive down to Monterey a day later. I wanted to take the PCH all the way, but I missed the exit from 101 as we were heading out of town, so we were forced to take the route my wife had gotten from Google. And fortunately I asked for it when I did; we almost missed her turn as well. Actually, thinking about it, I think we did miss her turn as well, but that by only a few hundred yards so we were able to make a U-turn at the next exit and double back to it.

That road (Rt 17?) took us through Los Gatos (which has a gorgeous reservoir; I didn't notice in time to stop for pictures, though, alas) and then past the power station at Moss Landing on the PCH and into Monterey.

I don't know why I think of that area as being flat; I really should know better, but I still picture it in my head as table-land. You know, like most of the midwest. Boy, it sure isn't. It's just up, and down, and up, and down again. I like hilly country, so I enjoyed it, but it still felt strange.

Anyway, as I said, the drive down, particularly once we got past the congestion where we initially met the PCH, was gorgeous. Occasionally, it was even breath-taking. I had my camera, and I wanted to stop every few minutes for pictures. We didn't, but we did stop a few times. And I was really happy about the frequent stopping points for taking pictures.

I'll get back to Monterey itself tomorrow (hopefully).

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