Drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco

Monday 02/07

We wake up before 7am. Isabelle is already trying to restore the backup of Ludivine on her new phone but unsuccessfully. We must go back to the Apple Store (in Santa Monica).

We pack our bags. We leave LA today, towards San Francisco. We scheduled 2 days to reach SF.

I drop the family in the Apple Store a bit before the opening time (10am). While trying to park the car, I get a call from Anuraag informing me that the battery for my laptop arrived. How? I don’t know but it’s a pretty good news (someone must have found it and sent it to the address on the box; nice!). I immediately changed the plan: I will go and fetch the battery at Anuraag’s place and I’ll take this opportunity to watch the Belgium – Japan game with Anuraag. He finds a nice brewery to watch it. I take the kids with me (Isabelle stays in the Apple Store to try to fix the problem with Ludivine’s backup) and we “race” to Manhattan Beach (the game starts in 30′).

We arrive 2′ after the start. The game is quite open. We are a bit depressed when Japan leads 2-0, especially the kids who don’t believe we can come back. But we end up winning 3-2!! What an emotional come-back from Belgium! We celebrate loudly every single goal.

We go and take the battery at Anuraag’s house and then we go back to Santa Monica, to pick up Isabelle.

We drive to Malibu. We stop at Malibu Pier. The weather is great. We walk on the wooden pier and buy an ice cream. I try charcoal; not that great. We eat our ice cream on the beach, which is divided in 2 zones: one for the surfers and the other one for the others.

We wanted to stop at Dume Point but people are queuing to park their cars, so we don’t stop and rather continue to Zuma Beach, where we stop. Jules, Florence and I swim (or rather play in the waves). We see 2 dolphins quite close by. I try to find Pamela Anderson on the beach or her friends / successors, but they have been obvioulsy replaced by men… I’m very disappointed, to say the least!

We continue our journey. We leave at 4:30pm. It takes us 2 hours to our next stop: Santa Barbara.

We walk a bit in the port, then to Stearns Wharf. Considering the Santa Monica pier, this is our third wooden pier of the day. We eat in the restaurant at the end of the pier: Shellfish Company. To shorten our waiting time, we eat outside. It’s surprisingly quite cold (16C). Apparently, the warmer months are August to October. Fortunately, there are heaters above the table. We eat nice shrimps and clams, with pasta.

It’s already 9:30pm. We decide to sleep in town.

We find a motel close by, near the sea; a family room with 2 queen beds and an additional one. Not spacious but the beds are comfortable. We sleep rapidly.



Tuesday 03/07

We wake up quite late, around 9am.

Breakfast in the motel.

We leave around 10:30am.

We drive on the nice main street of Santa Barbara to the Mission.

Isabelle drives. I call Apple Care to take an appointment at the Apple Store of the Infinity Loop, near Palo Alto, where we have an appointment with Jean-Luc (Cécile’s friend) to visit the Apple headquarters.

I want to change the battery of my phone (and try to fix the Wifi problem of Ludivine’s phone). But not all the Apple stores have a Genius Bar and so I take an appointment for the day before, on Sunday, in a Mall nearby. The phone call takes more than 30′! Just to get an appointment…

We stop for lunch at WholeFoods supermarket. Each of us picks whatever we want. There’s a salad bar, a sandwich bar, a pizza bar… in the supermarket. And many organic stuff. This is the chain that was bought by Amazon earlier this year; the Amazon Prime customers benefit from good discounts. We eat just outside the shop, in a designated area.

We continue the road to San Francisco.

We wanted to drive the scenic Big Sur road, visit the Hearst Castle and the Monterrey aquarium but because of lack of time, we will only drive the Big Sur road. Some parts of the road are closed so we need to do a detour. Bordered to the east by the Santa Lucia Mountains and the west by the Pacific Ocean, the 2-lane State Route 1 (known as Big Sur road) is known for winding turns, seaside cliffs and views of the often-misty coastline.

The weather is very much clouded when we are near the sea.

The sun shines from time to time, allowing us to admire the full splendour of the road.

Before Carmel, we have big traffic jams.

We arrive in Monterrey around 8pm. We go to the centre of town to find something to eat. Then we think of In-N-Out, an American regional chain of fast food restaurants (top burgers) recommended by Anuraag. The kids have been willing to go there since we arrive in the States. It’s actually better (fresher) than Mc Donald’s (and not more expensive).

We continue to San Francisco. We reach the hotel (The Wharf Inn) around 11pm.

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