Bookends: Los Angeles & San Francisco

When Travis and I arrived in Los Angeles at the start of our vacation, our friend Jeremy picked us up from the airport and played us a mix of songs from LA bands—The Beach Boys, The Doors, Buffalo Springfield—as we drove into the city. Three magical days followed as we ate our body weight in tacos, laid on the beach and, one hilarious night, wore 1970s aftershave from a van-shaped bottle. We were sad to leave LA, but had mountains, elephant seals and seascapes waiting for us on the Pacific Coast Highway. In San Francisco, the revelry continued as we walked around the city until we got lost, took a ferry across the bay and ate sushi in spitting distance of the ocean.

I recently wrote a detailed guide to driving the Pacific Coast Highway, but I also wanted to share some photos from the bookends of our trip: the City of Angels and the City by the Bay. Enjoy.

Getty Villa tile

Midwestern feet with haunting Italian tile at the Getty Villa. Photo by Rose Raymond.

Getty Villa tile

Beautiful Escher-esque tile work at the Getty Villa. Photo by Rose Raymond.


Jeremy, our gracious LA host, chilling in the Getty Villa’s cafe. Photo by Rose Raymond.


Pedra, our other gracious LA host, is enjoying the cafe patio at the Getty Villa. Photo by Rose Raymond.

Pet turtle

Pedra and Jeremy’s pet turtle was the mascot of our LA trip. Here he is taking a stroll at their neighborhood garden. Photo by Rose Raymond.

Golden Gate Bridge

If you visit SF, definitely rent a bike and ride it over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. There you can catch a ferry across the bay and photograph the bridge at sunset. Photo by Rose Raymond.

Houses in San Francisco

We spotted these Day-Glo houses near Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco. Photo by Rose Raymond.

Rooster pitchers

Rooster pitchers are perched in a San-Fran shop window. Photo by Rose Raymond.

Musee Mechanique carnival game

This is a close-up of a large mechanical carnival arcade game from San Francisco’s Musee Mechanique. I don’t remember the date on this one, but I would guess ’30s or ’40s. We fed the machine 50 cents to watch the wrestlers punch each other while the man out front shouted. This museum is a must-see if you’re in town. Admission is free and each game is 25 to 50 cents. Photo by Rose Raymond.

Musee Mechanique carnival

Here’s another close-up from the carnival diorama at the Musee Mechanique. Fire-eaters and strongmen for 10 cents! Photo by Rose Raymond.

Rose and Travis

San Francisco selfie: I told Travis he looked handsome with a brooding expression on this day, so he made this face in many photos. Photo by Rose Raymond.

Dan and Vicki

Dan and Vicki, our gracious SF hosts, took us to Roti Indian Bistro, where the food was fantastic. Photo by Rose Raymond.

El Toreador

Later that night, we also checked out El Toreador, an SF institution famous for its folk art and reasonable-yet-delicious Mexican food. Photo by Rose Raymond.

Taqueria Cancun

Taqueria Cancun was our last stop on our last night in SF. I felt like I was in college again because the place was cash only and Travis, me and my friend Aaron had to cobble together our dollars and quarters to buy four $2.25 tacos. Good times. Photo by Rose Raymond