Day 4 – San Diego to San Francisco
3 nights in San Diego is definitely not enough, there is so much more to do and see here than I realised, I’m sure we only just touched the tip of the iceberg. We never had the chance to pop into downtown or visit areas such as the Gaslamp Quarter, both of which I heard were great places to visit. Next time we visit San Diego, we will stay for at least 5 days there. Until next time SD we bid you farewell.
Thank you Homewood Suites Liberty Station for making our stay comfortable. We will definitely come back. With all the construction going on it will be interesting to see what the views of the other side of the lake will be next time round.
We originally planned to leave SD around 7am but were worried about hitting the morning rush hour traffic once approaching LA. Because of this we decided to leave around 9am instead. After checking out and saying our goodbyes to the staff, with 4 of us in total in our 7 seater Dodge Caravan, we laid down the back row seats and maximised the luggage space. I wish I had taken a photo but between us we managed to get 5 large suitcases, 2 medium suitcases, 5 carry-ons and 2 rucksacks into the back with plenty of space to spare for at least another 2-3 suitcases.
We used the quickest route to San Francisco which took us mostly on the i5. After starting our journey at 9am, we reached the sight of Los Angeles downtown by around 10:30-10:45am. Once we past Los Angeles, the number of cars visible on the roads started to dwindle. This gave a clear path all the way to close by San Francisco.
The scenery was wonderful, for a few hundred miles all we could see was dry land and mountains in the background (some of which were apparently 80-90 miles away). This is something we don’t get to see or experience much in Europe or South East Asia.
I originally made plans to stop at designated gas stations with a number of food choices along the way to break up the journey as we wasn’t sure how frequent the availability of stops would be, however after noticing gas stations every 10-20 miles we decided to scrap that plan and would stop as soon as one needed a toilet break or got hungry.
With the group sleeping, I ventured up the i5 driving past each exit salivating after seeing signs for at least one of the following chains Carl’s Jr, In and Out Burger, McDonalds, and KFC. Please would one of you wake up and tell me you need a pit stop! After coughing loudly, one of the group wakes up and announces they need a pit stop……Bingo!
Next stop, we come off the i5 and make our way to explore the numerous food choices available. However at this one there doesn’t appear to be much except for a Denny’s and a Gas Station. I had heard so much of In and Out Burger I really wanted to try it. Oh well, I have waited 30 odd years so a few more days won’t hurt. Denny’s it is then!
The Denny’s we’re at is based in Grapevine, California. A nice atmosphere inside with friendly staff but the food overall isn’t that great in my opinion. In fact I’ve been really disappointed in the quality of food at both Denny’s and iHops.
The food always looks great in the menu.
I didn’t even take a photo of my meal as it didn’t warrant any memory space sadly. However Denny’s didn’t completely disappoint (after seeing food choices at the other stops) as the view outside around the back was one I had never experienced before. I stood, admired the view and reflected my life and future for a couple of minutes.
I stood until it got too hot for me so I ran back to the car turned on the air conditioning and prepared myself for the remainder of the journey.
Beginning the second part of the journey at 1pm, we were still around 300 miles away from our destination. The whole journey in total was just under 500 miles so at this point we had yet to reach the halfway point.
After nonstop driving for around 3 hours following the GPS system, I wake the sleeping threesome and ask one to help take a photo of the outside. Does anyone know where this is? I remember it being part of a national park in California.
After setting off at 9am, by 5:30pm we start to drive past exit signs for places such as Foster City, Mountain View, San Jose, and eventually San Francisco Airport. By 6:45pm we had reached our second hotel of the trip, Homewood Suites, San Francisco Airport North.
After checking in, the room we booked was again a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom suite (same as San Diego). Our room was located on the ground floor but it seemed to be the furthest away from reception. There was also a railway track behind the hotel but I don’t recall hearing any trains during the night.
No photos of the outside of the hotel but it was in a nice location with plenty of parking. I originally chose this hotel because to begin with we planned to leave our car here and take a train into the city, we never did this in the end. In Hindsight I probably would have stayed much closer to the Bay Area and paid for parking instead of going for the free option. Reasons will be explained later.
Homewood Suites has a social evening every Mon-Thurs where guests can mingle and enjoy free food from 5:30pm-7:30pm.
The reception area is quite homely here.
The 2 bedroom suite had a nice ample sized living room and kitchen. The sofa bed can again fit 1 large adult or 2 small persons. Overall again, same as San Diego the place can fit 5-6 adults easily.
The living room area.
The beds are extremely comfortable! I wish I had this mattress at home. One room contained a king sized bed and the other, a queen sized bed. Both bathrooms had a bathtub with shower and plenty of towels and amenities
Dinner was at a local McDonalds near Cow Palace that is close to the hotel. After this we settled down for the night and woke up early for our first day out in San Francisco!