This was hands down, without a doubt my favorite part of our two week journey across the Western United States. It was what I had most been looking forward to for months and was giddy with excitement to finally start the drive. Starting from San Francisco, we took 3 days to drive US Highway 1 (aka the Pacific Coast highway) down to Los Angeles. We stopped all along the way, as much as we could to make decent time, to take pictures and take in the gorgeous scenery.
I so wanted to fit this drive in to one post, but going through all the pictures, I just couldn’t narrow it down enough! It was so incredibly beautiful! So I’ll split it up in to 3 posts for the 3 days we traveled it.
Click through for the rest of this post!
We stayed here for a long time, wandering around exploring. I’m not sure where this is, but it’s maybe 45 minutes south of San Francisco. I could have spent all day here! But it was time to move on and Parker reminded me we wouldn’t make it to Big Sur that night if we didn’t get going.
Lots of pictures were taken out of the passenger side window as we speeded past all this beauty. These photos make me so desperate to go back and take our time. Also, that thick white stripe on the horizon is the fog! It’s there pretty much everyday and doesn’t burn off until late in the afternoon. I was glad to be on the other side of it with big, blue skies.
Fun little memory: we had to scurry up a steep hill (I was wearing my heeled clogs, highly inappropriate shoes to do such activity) but when we got to the top and saw the ocean, I just gasped. That water! The sky! Worth almost breaking my ankle :)
This was the first glimpse of those iconic California golden hills that I had been wanting to see so much. I was giddy with excitement :)Are you kidding me, California? Where do you get off being so pretty, huh?
I thought this was so neat! Farms along the coast line, that go all the way to the cliffs practically. We saw lots of beautiful California produce farms along our way. Even cattle ranches that were along the coast like this. I thought to myself, “I wish those cows could know how lucky they are to live here.”
Ain’t he cute? ;)We stopped in Santa Cruz for lunch at this little greek restaurant that had the best tzatziki sauce I’ve ever tasted in my life. And really fresh, local produce that was so light but packed with flavor.
This is Lover’s Point in Monterrey. Remember that guy that told us how to get to the top of Twin Peaks in San Francisco? He had told us that Monterrey was so overrated, full of “newlyweds and nearly-deads” (rude..) but we decided to stop anyway. He was kinda right, it’s mostly tourists of young families and retired people but it’s still neat to see. We didn’t stay long – just long enough to snap some photos and get terrorized by squirrels. Well, that might be a bit dramatic, but those things scared me! I have to show you how ridiculous I was and it’s pretty hilarious to watch now. PS sorry for the low quality video, I don’t know how to upload videos properly. If you can’t see it below, I posted it on my Facebook page: here!
This video still makes me laugh :)
See what I mean about the shoes? I had to be very strategic with my footing, but I managed to climb around those rocks pretty well considering my poor footwear choice. Okay, now that we’ve all laughed at what a spaz I am, let’s move on. :)
The only other time I had visited California was when I was a kid, maybe 10 years old, and my parents drove us from San Francisco down to Monterrey and Carmel and it’s so funny because I remembered the drive and I remembered this tree so well. I kept telling Parker about this one tree that we had to see and I would know it when I saw it. He kept asking me “is it that one?” and I kept telling him no until this one popped up and that was it! Smaller than I remembered, but isn’t everything always that way when you grow up?
Right as the sun was setting, we pulled in to Lucia Lodge in Big Sur, where we would stay for the night. I had wanted stay (so badly!!) in a yurt or the human nest at Tree Bones, but 1.) they were booked and 2.) Parker refused to sleep in a nest. Ugh. BUT this place was awesome. It was overlooking the coast on the cliff and he booked us the Honeymoon Suite (ooh la la!) right on the cliff’s edge. And there was a huge bush of lavender out the front door too, which is one of my all time favorite scents and will always make me think of California.
The inside was really rustic (and kinda dated but who cares?) and even had a working gas stove for heat. We were only here for one night, but we loved it! They had a restaurant on the property that we had a lovely dinner at before crashing. We had a big day exploring and driving and had a big one ahead of us. The next day we would keep driving south and stay the night in Ojai. Can’t wait to share those pics tomorrow!