1. Seeing the Sea Lions at Pier 39. It's such a touristy thing to do, but how can you not. I love animals of all types. Seeing wild animals in person is just awesome.
#2: Seeing how happy this guy was to get to go through Alcatraz.
#3: Taking our time driving down Route 1 to Monterey. We meandered through many towns and beaches where we got out of the car to take pictures and once, to put our feet in the water. That was special. It made it even better that as we were walking down to the water, we saw a little seal pop his head out of water and look over at us. Ok, it looked like he was looking at us. Either way, we were both too stunned to take pictures. These will have to do.
Woooooooooooo Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee that's cold!!!!
#4: Eating dinner at a restaurant where we had panoramic views of Monterey Bay. We ate at The Fish Hopper. I had the best Cioppino ever created and we shared the appetizer of the most amazing baked artichoke and calamari. Hops had the best Clam Chowder we have ever eaten (yes, better than anything we had ever had in Boston) and fish and chips.
You guys, I had to crank my settings down so low for these pictures, even using my 50mm lens. I swear, once the sun went down, we had no light other than the light from the fire pit you see below and the candle on the table. Anyone who has suggestions on how to take pictures in the lowest light EVER, feel free! I'd love to know what to do better for next time!
Our views before the sun set. Panoramic views of Monterey Bay. So amazing. So wonderful. So...perfect.
#5: Being on vacation with my husband. We hardly ever vacation. Honestly, we took two vacations the whole time we were dating that were not family-related trips. We just don't feel like we have the money to spend on a big vacation. To be honest, this trip was mostly paid for by my company. We get a stipend for each day we spend onsite a customer. I will get that stipend for my 5 days at KTSF this week. That money will go straight back to our savings account that we drained a bit for this vacation. It made the trip more manageable knowing we were really only paying for food. While the flights were expensive, mine was covered by my company for my onsite trip. Our hotels were covered by my Hilton points that I accrue while traveling. I'll do the math when I get home and figure out exactly what we ended up spending out of pocket for food, souvenirs and activities. I'll add that to one of my recap posts later on. What I know is if the company wasn't paying me a stipend for working onsite and I didn't have Hilton points, we could never have had this vacation. I do understand how lucky that makes us and treasure the trip even more because of it.
We did so much in just four days and we still feel like there was so much more we could do. That being said, we do not regret anything, we had just an amazing time. I can't describe how happy we both were by the end of Sunday. I did have to put my husband on a plane back home while I stayed in San Francsico on Sunday evening and that bummed me out a bit. I would have much preferred to have snuggled up against him for the red-eye flight back home and taken a nap together when we got there. I'm so looking forward to seeing him tonight!