2013-10-05 Another early morning! This time, it was to pick up a rental car and get out of the city for the day. A man in the tourist information centre had told us of "Armstrong State Park", that was home to a grove of Redwood Pines. It was not practical to get there any other way, so despite Caroline's reservations we hired a car and drove.

Remembering the words of our Qantas flight attendant "lefty-loosey, righty-tighty", we managed to successfully negotiate our way out of San Francisco and across the Golden Gate Bridge without incident.

Concentrating fiercely on the job at hand, I managed to drive up to the little town of Guerneville where we stopped for "second breakfast", of ham and cheese on a biscuit. The biscuit turned out to be a savoury scone and was most delicious!

A short distance out of town, we found the state park and enjoyed a walk amongst the big Redwoods. The park had one giant Sequoia that had been planted 30 years ago, so it was a positive baby along side its millennia old cousins.

Returning to the car, we continued to follow the river toward the ocean, stopping in the small village of Jenner for lunch. After a brief drive to find a good vantage point for photos we turned back inland to Sebastopol, through Santa Rosa, Glen Ellen and onto Sonoma. Caroline drove us from Glen Ellen to Sonoma, just so we could say that she had tried the experience. For me, sitting in the passenger seat on the right-hand side of the vehicle was a far more unnatural experience than driving whilst seated on the left!

Sonoma is a pretty town with a square park - very touristy, but so are we! We picked up some salads and a disposable picnic set and ate tea in the park before heading back to town.

The drive across town was not pleasant! I managed to take a wrong turn. With insufficient battery for the phone's GPS, Caroline managed to successfully navigate us to the hotel, but unfortunately it was rather a slow journey. We got to drive over some of San Francisco's steepest hills, which was fun, but also got stuck in traffic caused by the bluegrass concert being held in the park this weekend.

We finally got to the hotel, quite exhausted, but in one piece, knowing that we only had a few hours sleep before catching our flight to New York.