the last day of the honeymoon zach and i headed north on the 101 – to San Francisco (“hey, that’s fun to say! fran-sis-co!”)!
but along the way, we stopped for a couple hours in San Jose and visited the Winchester Mystery House:
this was a beautiful and fascinating place. the home of Sarah Winchester, wife and then widow of the second president of the Winchester Rifle company. she was extremely superstitious and after the death of her husband and infant child, visited a psychic who told her that to avoid back luck and to protect herself from the haunting of all the people who had been killed by the winchester rifle, she had to build continuously on her home. literally. so she did. she hired builders and paid them quite well (there was always a waiting list to work at the winchester house) to build around the clock, 7 days a week, 365 days out of the year. driven by this need to always be building, sarah winchester often commissioned rather nonsensical projects such as fireplaces with no chimney, staircases that lead up to the ceiling, doors that open into walls, or out over the drive, or stained glass windows that would never receive direct sunlight. she was an intelligent woman, installing an elevator and indoor electric lighting long before they were common in homes. she even designed and commissioned a shower with the ability to control the water temperature using a separate water heater much like what many homes use today! zach and i concluded that it was her extreme superstition and fear, coupled with her lack of education in the specific area of building and architecture, that caused many of the oddities you can see throughout the house. it was really quite fascinating!
the Winchester House from the front gardens:
the most expensive window in the house – that sadly, not only faced north, but also then had more house built up around it, so that it never received direct sunlight:
eventually we arrived in San Francisco! we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge:
view of the bay and downtown SF from the other side of the bridge/bay:
we really enjoyed driving by the tall, slim, multi-story housing downtown, and going up the steep hills. crazy! and the architecture throughout the downtown area was amazing! definitely the coolest architecture we’d seen the whole trip. we decided that we really want to come back and visit SF when we have more than just an afternoon.
our primary goal in SF was to visit Pier 39 – a common tourist spot. full of shops and restaurants, Pier 39 was a fun place to stroll along… at the end we could see the Golden Gate bride to our left (south), beautifully lit by the sunset:
there was also the island prison of Alcatraz (def going to do the tour next time!):
view through the binocular stand things on the pier:
on the end of Pier 39:
my handsome husband:
as we made our way back up the Pier to get dinner, we found this amazing jewelry shop that had all sorts of really neat earrings! zach bought me TWO pairs as a honeymoon/wedding gift! the one pair winds and twists through the hole, thus having no end or back. and you can purchase other little bobbles to hang on the end. the pair in my second piercing slides up along the side of your ear. aren’t they rad?! i LOVE them!
i must interrupt the travel update to give a quick tribute to TomTom
(the little GPS navigational system that zach has for his car). i
would highly recommend that any couple going on a roadtrip for their
honeymoon invest in a TomTom. it was awesome! he pretty much never
steered us wrong. not only did neither of us have to pay super close
attention to the directions, but it also helped avoid any of the
classic disagreements many couples face when it comes to which way to
go. and of course, when neither of you have been there before, it can
be even more frustrating. and little TomTom was a fiercely loyal
guide. when we told him that we wanted to go to “Pier 39” in San
Francisco, he took us directly to the #39 loading dock in the
industrial area of SF. it was hilarious. we ended up having to select
“parking garage at Pier 39” to get us to the actual tourist location.
🙂 but seriously – having that TomTom was fantastic! not only was he
faithful to give us excellent directions, he could also find the
nearest <insert just about anything here: Target? Starbucks? gas station? tourist attraction? freeway?> to our exact current location, or where
there was one along our current route. if we missed the turn, he
recalculated and told us how to get back on track, or created a new route based on the street we were then on. he even kept us
updated on how long it would take to get to our next destination based
on how fast we were driving! we love TomTom. 🙂
end tribute/interruption. back to our regularly scheduled program…
souvenirs! of course we got Monterey hoodies:
after getting the one keychain for the car key early on in the trip, keychains became a bit of a theme:
we also got a kick out of doing the smooshed penny thing:
we got one from the Fisherman’s Wharf and the Winchester House as well…
and in honor of my newly acquired/adopted heritage:
for those of you who may have stumbled a bit over the last name Boomsma, let me explain. it’s dutch. in fact, the “sma” at the end specifically indicates which province in Holland the family is from (Friesland). i have no idea what the “boom” part of the name indicates…
sadly, the trip had come to an end. on saturday we packed up, picked up the car from the valet one last time, and started heading back down Hwy 1.
it was super foggy almost the entire way…
but i still managed to get a few pictures of the coast:
we stopped along the way to check out this apparently semi-famous beach where elephant seals gather to… chill?
these seals were HUGE. they definitely don’t call them “elephant seals” for nothing!
i know it sounds silly, but it was actually kinda entertaining to watch them wallow on the sand… get up and scoot about 5 feet, then flop down again… eventually one or two of them would make it all the way down to the water:
buuuut seals are only so interesting. we were back on the road in about 15 minutes. haha!
we found this random telephone booth at one of the gas stations we stopped at along the highway…
every time we hit up a starbucks i asked them to put “wife” as my name on the cup. 🙂
so long, beloved highway. thanks for the memories…
since we were going through LA on the way back, we stopped at zach’s family’s home and had dinner with them. it was great to get some time to chat with them since the week of the wedding had been so crazy.
the last leg of the drive felt soooo long. probably because we hit the road from Pasadena around 9:30pm. at one point we had to pull into a rest stop and just sleep for a half an hour or so since we were nodding off and it was getting unsafe for either of us to drive in such a state. we finally made it home, pulling in around 3:30am… stumbled through the door and fell into bed…. only to lay there and realize that suddenly neither of us felt sleepy anymore! HAHA! so i looked at zach and said… “you know… we’ve got a living room full of presents…” after a moment’s pause he replied, “let’s do it!” so we spent the next 2 hours opening wedding presents, reading cards, oooing and aaaahing over the lovely gifts, wow-ing over people’s generosity, typing them all into the spreadsheet on my laptop so we could keep track of who gave what, etc. by 6:00am the tiredness had definitely caught up to us again and we fell into bed a second time and crashed hard.
such a great trip.
we both felt like we had the perfect honeymoon. my husband (ahh!!) knows me so well. neither one of us wanted to do something super exotic. I specifically didn’t want to go somewhere off-the-charts amazing and then feel pressured to get as much as possible out of being there, since who knows when we’ll get the opportunity to go back? what if i just wanted to kick it at the hotel, or hang at the pool, just being together? zach and i both wanted to go somewhere nice and memorable, but also somewhere that we would be feasible to return to in a couple years.
additionally, as much as i enjoy – and NEED – a relaxing time away to sleep in and be on vacation, without my cell phone, etc., i am still a pretty active person and enjoy doing stuff, keeping busy. so planning a honeymoon with 3 different locations – one of which was just a spontaneous “we’ll find a place along the way the day before” stop – was absolutely perfect. it felt like a full trip, but not overwhelming. it still felt like a vacation – relaxing and nicely paced. driving up the coast… holding hands… sleeping in… watching 24… going to explore the area (translate: find out where the nearest starbucks was)… not paying attention to what time it was… eating when we got hungry… sitting outside reading… sleeping when we felt like a nap… getting plenty of bath or jacuzzi time.. creating a “married bucket list”… taking pictures… and having such a blast getting to do anything and everything together. that was by far the best part.