Leaving Napa on a sunny and warm Sunday morning meant it was time to put the top down, the shades up and the music low. It was October, mid-harvest, and we had just spent several days drinking good wine with good friends. But when the light came through the windows that morning, we were ready for something different. The stars, properly aligned, provided the setting for the most memorable road trip of our adult lives.
The California Coast
Being east coast dwellers and first time visitors to Napa and the surrounding area, we decided to ask the front desk for recommendations. Upon hearing that we were driving a Mustang convertible and wanting to catch some of the countryside, the front desk clerk smiled and handed us a map to Bodega Bay and Muir Woods. You won’t regret it, she said. And the weather is perfect for it.
Coffee cups and muffins in hand, we put the top down on our incredible ride, programmed the GPS and settled in. Hitting the highway, we headed almost due west straight through to the Sonoma Coast. Who knew California was home to so many sheep farms? We marveled as the terrain subtly changed to steep, dry hillsides. Beyond the peaks, a sense of void lay beyond, the ocean teasing us with promises of around the next bend, through the next hillside.
Mustang Convertible + California Sunshine = Happiness
The Mustang drove beautifully, accelerating with relish, nimbly handling the windy road with ease. We talked about how fun it would be to own one back east, conveniently forgetting about the six months of bad weather we endure every year. We imagined finding Mustang parts and accessories for our four-wheeled baby, attracting the envy of our hard-top-owning friends. And as we parked the beauty at Bodega Bay’s almost-deserted beach and gazed over the ocean to a cloudless horizon, we soon kicked off our shoes and pushed our toes through the golden sand. It was cold and rainy at home.
The Best Oysters Ever
After lunch overlooking the Pacific, we drove south on route one toward San Francisco. After a couple of wrong turns – thanks tons, GPS – we wound our way through Marin County and stumbled upon the finest oysters these shellfish connoisseurs have ever eaten. The perfect blend of casual roadside atmosphere, a sinking sun, Tabasco and beer kept us relaxed and talking quietly. Reluctant to leave, but anxious to see Stinson Beach and Muir Woods before the sky darkened, we cruised onward.
Trees, Hairpin Turns and a Glorious Sunset Over Stinson Beach
Before long the trees became canopies the covered the road with a majesty and dignity unknown in the east. The road made it impossible to drive more than 15 or 20 miles per hour, as it rose and twisted toward the summit of an unnamed hill.
Before us lay the Pacific and an orange sky; it’s centerpiece, the sun. No guard rails, and my hands are sweating on the wheel. I am anxious to watch the sky but can only catch glimpses here and there. But my husband is relaxed, feet up, not thinking about work or even buying CJ Pony Parts Ford Mustang parts and accessories for our fantasy purchase. He smiles quietly and watches the shimmering vista under the protective gaze of the Redwoods.
We get gas and cross the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco. Although we have both heard wonderful things about San Fran, we cannot help but be disappointed following our amazing day (of course, this could also be because we are New Yorkers at heart and cities rarely impress us). Nevertheless, we arrive safely at our hotel and get a drink at the bar. And although we are preparing to head home the following day, we cannot help but feel that we have already found our home. Our car, too.
This post brought to you by guest author CJ, who enjoys writing about everything from fashion to CJ Pony Parts Mustang parts.