Thank you all so much for your kind messages!
Well we have made it! We arrived in San Francisco just over a week ago now, and we have very busy, seen some amazing , amazing sights, just to be here is exhilarating in itself, but when you see the towering blocks in the business district, the pretty wooden Victorian houses, Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf, the Coit Tower, The Golden Gate Bridge all at once well, you are pretty blown away. And the shopping, almost very designer you could think of on the doorstep, and we are travelling light...how excruciating for a shopaholic like Dee..
We got up at 6.30 a.m. on the first day due to the time difference. We went to bed as soon as we got there as we were very tired and that was a big mistake. We were in a great hotel (The Baldwin) near Chinatown and walked through here at 6.30 a.m. looking for some food - or anyone really.....most San Franciscans were still asleep. We finally found a little woman who could speak no English in a Chinese place selling Dim Sum, so hunger took over and we ordered a plateful of steaming somethings..Gary just asked "is this yum yum?", she nodded, so we went for it... Dee can't say personally that she was impressed with her introduction to SF cuisine, but there you go...the next days have been so full of stuff to do and places to see and we have have turned into Japanese tourists that have taken photos of everything that has moved. We are sorry photos are not on the website yet, we have had trouble finding a hi speed connection to load them.,as we are now on Gary's cousin's computer which has a dial up connection, but as soon as we can we will load a photograph album.
When we left San Francisco after 5 days, we hired a car ( Gary is doing all the driving bless him, negotiating 5 lanes of traffic on the wrong side of the road in SF is very scary, but he has taken to it like a duck to water) we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County, saw giant redwoods, properties that cost millions of dollars, huge yachts... we then drove back again down Highway 1 almost the whole length of Calfornia, which must be the most beautiful coastline in the whole world. This was made all the more memorable by seeing rare elephant seals, sea otters, wild dolpins, humming birds, butterflies, blue jays, hawks and a lone coyote which stood right in front of us in the middle of the road. We stayed over night in Santa Cruz, Morro Bay and Santa Barbara and have enjoyed the most beautiful sunny winter weather (not a cloud in the sky) , but it is very chilly at night. We met Gary's cousin Dawn on Malibu Beach (unfortunately George Clooney and Mel Gibson are not at home) and dropped off the car and we are now staying in Dawn's partner's ( Larry) grandmother's cottage, which is on the middle of mountain country and looks just like the Little House on the Prairie. It is colder up in the mountains compared to the 70's we have had in the last few days. It has a wood burning stove and we are snug as bugs in a rug. Gary has not seen his cousin Dawn for over 25 years, and they are reminiscing about the past, big time!
Anyway we will sign off now as is only our first day here in Mountain Country and we will report back later.
Hope you are all well.
Lots of love
Gary and Dee XXXX