After spending almost a week playing in the cool white sand of the ever-moody Pacific North West our spirits were lifted and our colds were persistent. Myles and I can’t seem to get enough of the beach. Salt or fresh water, 40 degrees or 10, you can always find us at the beach playing like children in the sand. In our Vancouver beaches, we have the protection of Vancouver Island that breaks our waves and makes it so that our coastlines have much more swimmable beaches with less fierce waves.
The sheer force of the ocean here was probably the only thing keeping us out of the water. Well, that and all of the signs saying “people have died here, stay out of the water”. Still, our days were spent with bare feet chasing the tide as it went out and then turning around to run away from the crashing wave coming towards us. With sandy feet and salty hair, we decided that it was probably time to be better adults and take care of our nagging coughs. Without any intention to leave the beach-side, we thought the responsible thing to do would be to at least go to where its warm out; give our bodies a fighting chance. So, we packed our pups begrudgingly back into the van and headed South.
We don’t have a radio in our van and after spending a lifetime full of noise we actually love the quiet and the opportunity to actually talk. However, something about this trip has rewound our internal clocks about ten years and we found ourselves singing everything from remix to ignition by R Kelly to All Star by Smashmouth. None of this in tune, I might add.
As we headed for San Francisco we found ourselves gawking at the site of Palm Trees and suddenly sure we made the right decision. Myles and I don’t have an American data plan and so most of our t ravel is a guessing game. After one very wrong turn, we almost found ourselves sitting in downtown Oakland in the middle of the night but one fearfully executed trip to Starbucks for wi-fi later and we were back on course. Two hours passed sitting in six lane traffic and paying a toll to cross the Bay Bridge and we were finally in San Francisco, about five hours later than expected.
All we knew about this city was what we had seen on TV (thank you Full House) so we were expecting steep hills and a small artsy cityscape. To our surprise the city was absolutely enormous and full of life. Driving through downtown on a late Friday night proved how alive this city is. With buzzing restaurants and great music, it was a clear hipster’s paradise. Myles and I however, are not hipsters. I was longing to see the Golden Gate Bridge and so we drove in enough circles until we were finally able to find it (I mean, there’s like 2 bridges coming into this city, it really should have been easier). We took an exit after the bridge that took us to a place called Sausalito, a small suburb with an absolutely breathtaking view of the inlet. We found a street to pull off onto and fell asleep before our heads hit the pillow.
T he next morning, we woke up to find that we were in an even more beautiful place than we had realized. The whole city was centered around the boardwalk which was home to small boutiques, romantic restaurants and the best ice cream. The vibes of this place was enough to have anyone in a great mood. This also happened to be one of the most dog friendly places we have ever been to which, for us, is always a win. In our exploring we happened down a windy road with long single lane tunnels and cripplingly large speed bumps in search of the beach. We were far from disappointed to find a small slice of heaven in the mostly secluded Rodeo Beach. As a bonus, it was fully equipped with 24-hour bathrooms, free outdoor showers and unlimited clean drinking water for the small cost of endless salt spray from the crashing waves. Being almost completely secluded, in a National park and about twenty minutes away from the city the camping was completely free and the views were to die for. Anyone who has ever lived in a van for any amount of time knows that this is our equivalent to a five star hotel. So our days are spent writing and reading, hiking and playing, napping and exploring. Soon, we know we will have to leave, but for now we are enjoying being San Franciscans.