Travel diaries: Coronavirus and California
I've just returned from a week in California, and it's a very interesting time to travel right now! Even during the few days I was there, the situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed rapidly and if my trip had been planned just a few weeks later, I'm not sure I would have been able to go. So I'm feeling very lucky right now! My heart goes out to anyone affected and I'm keeping a beady eye on the WHO website for updates that aren't being inflamed by the media.
California is my happy place for a number of reasons, firstly it is where my boyfriend lives so that's an easy number 1. The next reason is the light. It's known as The Golden State for a reason and every time I go I am reminded why. Everything just looks better! This time I was in San Francisco and Tomales Bay State Park which is just over the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County. We stayed in Inverness (not to be confused with the place in Scotland which has a very different climate) and rented an Airbnb overlooking the water. The light every morning at sunrise was really out of this world so I took advantage and staged a mini photoshoot. Excuse the selfies, I was a photographer short as he was still asleep.
I took this photo at 7am after waking up with jet lag and not being able to resist the beauty of the setting.
This was taken a little earlier before the sun properly broke through the clouds, but what a location. It was like a dream!
Our wood cabin was up in the trees and at this time of day still quite cool (hence why I am hugging myself and wearing an enormous chunky knit jumper) but it soon warmed up and ended up being a really lovely day.
I first came to California aged 12 with my family and we travelled around the state starting from San Diego all the way up through Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, the Monterey Peninsula, Yosemite National Park and finally, San Francisco.
Here's 12 year old me at Yosemite National Park with views of the Half Dome rock formation in the background. I think I did well to get that posing spot all to myself but then this was in the days before Instagram.
But I digress, back to 2020. Later that day we went for lunch at Tony's Seafood restaurant which was down at the bottom of the hill.
Situated right on Tomales Bay, it couldn't have a better spot. It sits right on the water and serves the fresh catch from the local area including oysters and clams, which make its famous clam chowder. I had a Nashville Hot Fish sandwich which was 2 enormous chunks of fish deep fried in the crispiest batter and served with pickles and spiced coleslaw in a brioche bun, washed down with an Arnold Palmer. My other half had the clam chowder and it was the creamiest thing I've ever tasted. We shared the fries or I would have had to get towed back across the bay, it was so much food!
Note the oyster shells inlaid in the counter top, such a cool design feature.
Tomales Bay has fast become one of my new favourite spots to visit when across the pond. Only an hour's drive from San Francisco, it feels so remote and peaceful and you can also go to Point Reyes seafront and see some sleeping elephant seals, if you're lucky.
As I flew home (on a flight that contained someone who might have coronavirus...so I am currently self isolating) the view over the city was incredible. San Francisco is often foggy so to get clear skies and visibility like this is rare and I definitely took advantage! I hope to go back there again soon, but in these uncertain times I know that a travel ban might be implemented. Have you had any travel issues with trips you have planned? Or maybe like me you got one in just before the situation worsened. Let me know I'd love to hear from you...especially now the internet might be the only way we can keep in touch with the outside world for a while...