Hello San Francisco
My flight arrives in SFO 20 minutes early and I’m one of the first off the plane. I get straight through immigration without any queuing in about 5 minutes. Brilliant! Fastest ever entry through US Immigration and Customs I think. I’m at the car rental desk before 3 pm and on the road in a Dodge Dart by 3.30. It’s a nice bright and warm sunny day with a few clouds dotted in the sky. After some rush hour traffic on a couple of Interstates that slows me down a bit, about fifteen minutes later I turn off onto Highway 1 South, the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), for the first time and I get my first sight of the Pacific Ocean on my right. The road is a dual carriageway at this point with light traffic and soon after Pacifica rolls into view.
The town is quite spread out along Hwy 1 for a few miles but then my turn off right into Rockaway Beach Road appears. A couple of hundred yards down at the end of this road is the bay of Rockaway Beach and a parking lot with Nick’s Restaurant and the Sea Breeze Motel, the latter being my resting place for tonight. It’s a typical cheap ’n’ cheerful American motel. I park outside my door and the room’s very basic (no air con for instance) but it’s clean and functional so it’ll do. The bay is very picturesque.
Beers, Sunset and Dinner
A quick trip to a local store for some beers and I get back in time to sit on the rocks above the sea to watch the sunset. There’s quite a bit of cloud about so it’s not perfect but still a great start to the PCH, sitting there with the waves crashing into the rocks and a cold beer to hand to watch the sun go down. The only problem was that there was no bottle opener in the room and I haven’t got one with me so I had to resort to banging the bottle top off on a rock! Tricky, but I managed it without spilling too much beer. 🙂
Sometime later it’s off to Nick’s, which is right next door to the hotel, for something to eat. The NFL Thursday Night Football is on the TV and there’s some good banter with the friendly bar staff. I have a small bowl of good clam chowder (as I’m not that hungry) with a glass of some excellent and surprisingly cheap Mondavi Chardonnay. A Rockaway Beach cocktail finishes off the evening nicely. I can definitely recommend Nick’s for food, drink and ambience, it’s a good place. I then head back to my motel room, managing to stay up until 10 pm, to try and break the jet lag.