Day #45 - East Is Where the Heart Is

Today's objective was to simply head east! We are on the move again after a week in San Francisco and heading east towards Yosemite. We originally were going to head north from Napa Valley and the giant redwood trees, but we swapped things around and decided to head east first mainly because we couldn't wait to see and stay with James' Aunty Sue! 

We picked up the hire car - the largest one we've had so far, a SUV - and hit the road around midday after saying goodbye to our gracious SF host, Javier. We have got so used to having sat-nav on a big screen in the cars that we were a bit lost in this one when we discovered we didn't have it! There was a central console screen but we couldn't connect our phones to it. So leaving San Francisco was a struggle as James was doing his best to direct me from his phone, keeping an eye on the many signs, the interweaving intersections and multi-lane highways! Needless to say, we made a few wrong turns and it took us a few false starts to actually leave the city. Once we had got onto the main highway, it was a lot easier - and guess what? We figured out the sat-nav and connected the phone to the car's screen which made life a lot easier. 

Our drive across the state eastwards took us through a variety of landscapes and also over another spectacular bridge - San Mateo-Hayward Bridge. 

We also saw something that was unusual for us and that was a train in the middle of the freeway! For a section of the journey there was a metro train that was riding along tracks along the central reservation which of course is a great use of land. It was a little unnerving to be "racing" a train!
We arrived at Aunty Sue's lovely Columbia home to the warmest of welcomes. Her house is amazing and the most stunning of views that also afford amazing sunsets. It was Bonfire Night in the UK, but with views like this, who needs fireworks?
Naturally, our evening was spent catching up, getting to know everyone and eating! Sue's boyfriend, Gary, cooked us the most juicy and tasty steaks as well as mixing wonderful margaritas. It was lovely to be in such a warm family environment and as a new member to this family, it was so heartwarming.
James and Aunty Sue