My face is peeling...this is not a good look. Serves me right, though. No mistakes from now on: baseball cap, sunglasses and factor 30. This combination does make me look a little like the "invisible man" - or just a ghost.
Cream cheese bagel and orange juice and it's onto the 101 to San Francisco.
My first stop was the gas station where my card won't work in the automatic pump. It only accepts cards with zip codes, and a postal code of St Leonards on sea just won't cut it. The woman in the kiosk says "gas up" so that is what I do.
$3.55 a gallon (US gallon is slightly smaller than British) and yesterday 195 miles in a 5.7 litre Mustang cost me $23 about £14! Despite this the radio is peppered with ads for "economy cars that now do 30 mpg on an out of town drive."
The 101 becomes Highway 1 and it's pleasant going until the San Simeon National Park and Hearst Castle, once home to newspaper tycooon William Randolph Hearst and model for "Citizen Kane".
I drove up to the car park which was full of people waiting to go on a lengthy guided tour. Peered at it on the top of the hill through a convenient telescope and left.
This is where the drive becomes more interesting and the road is narrower with many more bends. With the top down and a stiff breeeze, the smell of the pine trees and the seaweed is a heady mixture. I took a few photos but gave up after a while as round every bend is a better view.
Managed to take a wrong turn and went round Santa Cruz a few times and by the time I got to Half Moon Bay I realised that I was going to "The City" as they like to call it bang on 5pm.
6 lanes of Freeway in the rush hour reminded me of the scene in "LA Story" with Steve Martin as the drivers shoot at one another. No firearms in evidence but lane discipline is obviously something British. The idea is to go as fast as you can in any lane and if you see a gap anywhere, its yours, so go for it. Bizarrely I knew where I needed to be - "7th St off ramp and turn left." Suddenly I saw a sign.....so off I went, turned left, and drew up outside a motel I last visited 22 years ago.