Salvation Mountain was a place I had been absolutely desperate to visit, it's in a small town called Niland about an hour from the Salton Sea (another mental place). Leonard Knight started building the mountain in 1984! I wish I could have met him but settled for a welcome from his cat :) The mountain is made up of evangelical folk art and even has a 'yellow brick road' :) i'm not a religious person but it definately made an impact on me! It was a surreal - possibly the best/craziest place I have ever or will ever see!
From San Francisco we hired a car (which we camped in all week with the help of thermal sleeping bags, wine and pb&j sandwiches) up 'The Golden Coast' along Highway One! It was spectacular - the Big Sur was constantly amazing, especially as the sun was disappearing for the night! We saw lots of seals, sea lions, WHALES!, sunsets, beaches and just truly stunning scenery! We found 'The Hitching Post' from 'Sideways' - pretty special, had a glass of wine not Merlot obviously! We also made a detour to San Diego through the desert to see the not so glamorous Palm Springs and to hike through the desert in Joshua Tree National Park!
San Francisco - the start of our American Adventure! We were staying with my family in a little town called Concord! San Francisco is just cool! We spent New Year celebrating in The Castro, visited Alcatraz, drank far too many 'Boats and Hoes' and ate lots of bagels and pizza!