10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 10: Walnut Creek, California

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Overview: Spent the day trying our various restaurants in Walnut Creek. Afterwards, went for a hike along the Briones to Mount Diablo trail.

Day 10 began with going to to breakfast at Philz Coffee in Walnut Creek. We had planned on going back to San Francisco and taking the ferry out to Alcatraz, however, we would have then had to of left our luggage in the rental car, parked in San Francisco…and that is highly advised against.

When we were in the city the day before, on day 9, we saw multiple vehicles with smashed in windows down near the Wharf, the tourist area, and were totally disappointed.

Rather than putting ourselves in a vulnerable position, we decided to nix Alcatraz and spend a little more time in Walnut Creek before heading off to the airport.

We decided to hike a trail right next to my brother-in-law’s house. The boys were so excited to get to use their skateboards on the paved portion, that we bought in Santa Cruz, day ___.

Walnut Creek, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

The paved trail lead to a hiking path which went up the rolling hills near their house. It was so pretty! Especially because there were so many dainty yellow flowers in bloom…with a cluster of orange poppies in the distance!

Walnut Creek, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

It was sooooo nice seeing California all green!! I looove green (hence why we have green kitchen cabinets!). In the south, the Appalachian mountains, are always green (except in winter) and I always told my hubby that was what I loved most about the mountains. I just absolutely love seeing the color. It feels so full of life!

Walnut Creek, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

Pho Noodles

After our hike, we headed out to lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant called Kevin’s Pho Noodle House in Walnut Creek. I had never had Pho before so this was a new experience for me. Not only did I not know how to pronounce “pho” (pronounced fuh… like…as if you were about to say a very naughty word, ha!) but I had no idea what to expect when we were looking at the menu. I went with a version of egg/spring rolls, while everyone else went with a noodle soup. Ehhh, I can’t say it’s my new favorite type of meal, but, I’d try it again šŸ™‚

Kevin's Pho Noodle House in Walnut Creek, CA | Gathered In The Kitchen

San Francisco Airport

As expected, when you’re having fun, you push your deadlines out to the last minute. So, of course, we were in a hurry getting to the airport due to the crazy San Francisco traffic on a mid Saturday afternoon! ha!

San Francisco Airport | Gathered In The Kitchen

We quickly returned the rental car and then went running to the train to get to the terminal!

San Francisco Airport | Gathered In The Kitchen
San Francisco Airport | Gathered In The Kitchen

We made it to our gate just as they were starting to board the group after ours. So, we actually cut in line and walked straight onto the plane! The kids and I, who are not frequent flyers like my hubby, felt a bit guilty.

San Francisco Airport | Gathered In The Kitchen

Back in Chicago!

Before the plane could even taxi to the gate, I was on the phone with Giordano’s pizza in Rosemont, Illinois ordering a deep dish pizza for us to pick up and eat in the car! It’s all about prioritizes people! …and Chicago deep dish pizza is #1!

Giordano's Deep Dish Pizza | Gathered In The Kitchen

We ended up not getting to Giordano’s until 11:30pm (they closed at 11pm!) to get our pizza because our checked luggage missed our flight (what?!?!) — seriously, we NEVER check luggage. We only took carry-ons when we traveled to Germany, Austria, France and England for Christmas in 2019 for 10 days. But….Clayton had already been in Vegas the week prior to us flying out to meet him, so he decided to check our bags for us to make it easier for the kids and I to travel. Lesson learned.

We made it back to my mother-in-law’s house (who was watching our dogs and cats) after midnight and hit the sack.

After a ridiculous debacle of trying to find one of our cats the next morning šŸ˜” , we finally left much later than we had planned…and made it back to our home in Wisconsin where the number one priority was to go see Stuart!!! We had only been gone 10 days … but that’s a lifetime in the world of a 14 year old girl! Stuey-baby was SO happy to see us…and my girl was on cloud 9!

Stuart, Awesome Ekati | Gathered In The Kitchen

And now…everything is back to normal (including our mountain high pile of laundry) and I’m wishing we were back on vacation…where is your favorite place to visit?

Bellagio Water Show Las Vegas | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 1: Las Vegas, Nevada

Joshua Tree National Park | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 2: Joshua Tree National Park

Santa Monica Pier | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 3: Santa Monica & Ventura, California

Santa Barbara, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 4: Ojai & Santa Barbara, California

Channel Islands Island Packers Cruise | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 5: Channel Islands National Park, California

Solvang, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 6: Solvang, San Simeon & Big Sur, California

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 7: Big Sur, Point Lobos, & Cannery Row, California

Muir Woods National Monument | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 8: Santa Cruz, Muir Woods, California

Golden Gate Bridge | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 9: San Francisco, California

Walnut Creek, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 10: Walnut Creek, California

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