One of the things we looked forward to the most is roadtripping up to San Francisco, taking the scenic route along the coast. A lot of people recommend doing it over 3 days, but because we had limited time and just wanted to get to San Fran sooner we hoped to do it over 2 days with a stop over about half way in Monterey. So to try make the most of our time on the first day we were on the road by 5:30AM… first stop was to get some gas (hah American terms) and we learnt it wasn’t easy.
You had to pay before you fill – so imagine us standing beside our car, struggling to pump gas (thinking there is something faulty with the pump or are we not pressing it hard enough!) for a few mins. Then the sales attendant came out and said, “have you paid for it?”. He then told us you had to pay in order to activate the pump – duh! Clearly the levels of trust is different in America compared to Australia!
The amazing views began at the start of the trip
Human fuel from Trader Joes for the long drive
The Daily Grind, Santa Barbara
Almost 2 hours in to the drive, it was breakfast time! So after a quick search on Zomato we decided on The Daily Grind. It must be a popular local cafe (of the very limited choices in the area) as it was already busy at 8AM.
He got a bagel I went for a breakfast burrito… the largest burrito I have ever encountered in my life, which I barely ate half of. Nothing to be raved about here, it was purely to get some food in our stomaches.
It was clear that Autumn is still around
Our first sightseeing stop was in Solvang! A cute little Danish town – just look at the style of the shops and buildings! Seriously did not feel like we were in America, it felt like we drove into a fairytale! With all the decorations up, it was the first time that we felt the Christmas spirit on the trip.
From his body language – you can tell he just had a really, bad coffee…
Pho does exist in Fairytale land!
We wanted to stay long and wander into all of the shops but the beautiful blue skies were suddenly taken over by dark clouds… and you guessed it, RAIN! So we ran for the car and got back onto the road again…
We were about an hour ahead of schedule … and we saw a Walmart coming up so we pulled in. We wanted to see what this American super store was like and can’t say we were very impressed with the amount of stuff there. The exchange rate didn’t make it very cheap either, so we walked out empty handed.
On the same complex was In-n-Out, we decided to just have a quick bite here rather than trying to find a cafe in town. Following our first not-so-satisfying experience of In-N-Out in Hollywood, we wanted to give it another chance.. this time ordering the popular option on the secret menu.
Animal Style Fries
Melty cheese mixed with grilled onions and a load of thousand island dressing – that’s Animal style. You should pray that your arteries don’t get clogged right after before you start eating. It is good but not mind blowing – still not a fan of how oily it is! Recommended to eat this quickly while the cheese is still hot and runny, because otherwise it just becomes solid and not so appetising to eat.
To go with the Animal Style fries, we got an Animal Style burger… to share.The burger wasn’t THAT big to begin with but we really weren’t hungry and both of us didn’t want to be too full especially since we still had to spend hours on the road. I love that burger joints can half the burgers for you to share though! But anyways – this was definitely heaps better than the ordinary Cheese burger that I had in the other branch. I can see why people would love it, but for me.. I won’t be craving it when I get back to Sydney.. I don’t think. Though that cheesy onion dressing combo does look mouthwatering…
The more scenic part of the road trip to follow in my next post! Check back soon 🙂