Day 3 – San Francisco to Carmel

I woke up very excited this morning … possibly too excited … today was the day to pick up our first hire car.

I’d ordered a Chevy Suburban, but you know how these hire car companies screw with your head with the “OR SIMILAR” rider on your booking. Previous experience had told me that their definition of “similar” and anyone who understands English’s definition of “similar” does not always line up …

From the time we started planning this trip, Jane was concerned what type of vehicle I would hire (I think she was hoping for some Toyota Prius hybrid type thing).  So by the time we got to the car hire desk, I was beside myself with anticipation, and she was beside me with trepidation.

It wasn’t helped when the guy at the counter looked at my booking and announced “oh, you guys have ordered a MONSTER truck”

He confirmed we would be getting a Suburban, and when we were directed to the car in the parking lot, I can confirm that a Suburban, whilst stopping short of being a Monster Truck, is #%&@ing HUGE (and white in case anyone is interested).

Getting in is like stepping into a truck, and the rear end of the car is generally in another post code to the front of the car most of the time.  I don’t think the third row of seats is strictly necessary for the two of us, but if we get bored of each other’s company, we’ll be able to pick up plenty of hitch hikers.

Directing this ocean liner into traffic for the first time took a bit of a deep breath, but I felt like I quickly got the hang of it.  I’m not sure Jane shared this view as she was contributing a lot more “advice” from the passenger seat than she normally does back in Brisbane.

Before leaving SF, we drove down Lombard St, the famous “zig-zag” street, then over and back across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Pointing the beast south, we typed “Carmel” into the sat nav.  After an hour on an eight lane freeway, we reset the sat nav to take us to the coast and a more scenic route, taking us down a quaint little 4 lane highway.

Near the coast, we drove through crops as far as the eye could see, which had Jane’s eyes on stalks … You can take the girl out of the country but …

Just before hitting Carmel, we took the “17 mile drive”, which takes you around the Pebble Beach peninsula, past Pebble Beach, Spy Glass and half a dozen other golf courses (more exciting for me than Jane), but also along a rugged, windswept coastline with multi million dollar “beach houses”.  For our visit, it also threw up freezing winds, so photo opportunities became a quick dash out of the car and a “quick, stand there, Peter” direction from Jane.  If I look less than jolly in the resulting photos, that is why …

Arriving at Carmel, we found a hotel for the night, dumped our bags then found a pub with an open fireplaces (and which used to be owned by Clint Eastwood) for a pre-dinner drink or two.

Finding another pub for dinner, we were told by our waiter that the crops we had seen would have been artichokes, and that 90% of the country’s artichokes are grown in the valley we drove through.  So Jane’s chicken and my fish were both heavily supplemented with artichokes.  Damn fine artichokes they were too …

By mid meal and our third drink, we were already talking about extending our stay in Carmel for a second night.  We went to bed saying we would sleep on it, but I already knew what the answer was going to be …

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One Response to Day 3 – San Francisco to Carmel

  1. Cam Maddern says:

    Nice work guys,sounds like your ticking all the boxes!
    Have fun,great seeing you.

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