We left LA to go to San Francisco and we went on a roadtrip. This was mainly to see the sights and stop off along the way and partly so I didn't have to get on another plane. We were up early and got our hire car which was some kind of monster truck. After repeatedly getting in the wrong side to drive it, we sorted ourselves out and hit the road. If 15mph can be called 'hitting'. We stopped for breakfast in Malibu. We knew Jennifer Aniston lived there but she didn't invite us round so we instead we settled on a venue based on where had the biggest car park. That way we could abandon the car and not have to think about reversing it.
Then we drove all the way there on the Pacific Coast Highway. At least that was the plan. I started things well by throwing a U turn on the highway. In my defence we needed to be on the other side of the road and we were at some lights and the car in front did it. I assume we were alright but I did rather alarm my passenger. We then cruised along for a bit. Cruised along with quite a bias to the right. I never knew how much you aligned yourself in the road based on where you sat. All our driving was accompanied by the passenger flinching, gripping the seat and murmuring with varying degrees of panic 'you might want to move over to the left a bit'. I was gaining confidence when suddenly we came up against a road block which announced the highway was closed. There was no diversion signs. A couple of cars went round the signs and carried on but given my ability to get fines for driving in foreign countries we decided to put it in to the sat nav and trust that.
The sat nav saw an opportunity.
It told us to turn left. I did (accompanied by a cry of 'you're on the wrong side of the road') we then went up the steepest hill in the world. With a sheer drop to one side of us and hairpin bends every four feet. This went on for half an hour. I led a parade of cars through the mountains. They couldn't get past me and I felt unable to go more than 15 mph. Then we got to come down the mountain again. Thankfully we then got back on to the highway intending to speed through and go and see Hearst Castle.
We arrived ten minutes after the castle shut. Luckily we were able to use the toilets. Unfortunately they were out of order and so we got to use a chemical toilet in the car park. It is unlikely that this trip will make the guide books. We did get to see this sunset though. The thumb over the lens is all my own work. We went and got dinner and I fell in love with our waitress. She was around 100 years old and offered you food in the same way your Grandma would. "A little more Dr Pepper dear?" While I made plans to kidnap her we watched the sun fully set. It was beautiful.
It also meant that we got to do the last two hours of the drive in the pitch black. The road was similar to the mountain roads. At least I think it was. I couldn't actually see further than the headlights. There were no street lights, no cats eyes and no straight roads. I thought my bum would never unclench. Eventually we got to our motel and I celebrated by not sleeping.
The next day we went to see sealions in Monterey harbour and then went to Santa Cruz. Afterwards we drove to San Francisco, luckily my friend was driving when we got to the 6 lane motorway where every lane went to a different location and we had to get across 6 lanes in about 30 seconds. We made it on the third attempt.
I don't think either of us were particularly sad when we gave the car back. Pleased we had done it but more pleased to be back on public transport.