We started in LA and spent a leisurely three or four days driving up Route 1 through Santa Barbara, Cambria, Carmel, Monterey, and Big Basin Redwood Forest before spending four days in San Francisco itself.  Here are five photo albums showing highlights of the trip (just click on the thumbnails or highlighted words to get to them):

Venice Beach through Cambria.  We stayed at Moonstone Beach.

Up through Carmel and Monterey.  We stayed at the funky Tickle Pink Inn below Carmel and did the local must-sees: Monterey Aquarium and Point Lobos.

San Francisco!  Cable cars!  Golden Gate Bridge!  Chinatown! And not a parking space to be found anywhere!  But we did stay at the airlifted-straight-from-Tokyo Tomo Hotel, in Japantown.

Out and about in San Francisco with our redoubtable younger son.

The Blue Angels!  Our stay in SF happened to coincide with the Navy's Fleet Week, so we were treated to a Blue Angels show above the Golden Gate Bridge.

Finally, check out our three short videos:

Jellyfish at Monterey Aquarium (1 min) Cablecar getting turned around (1 min) Blue Angels (3 min)

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