Wednesday, October 27, 2010

CA Vacation Recap - Adventure Down Highway 1

Part of my excitement for this vacation was due to the fact that Steph and I were driving down the coast on a little adventure! I had done it once before back in 2000 when I was preparing to move from CA back to MA. I really can't believe that was 10 years ago! Anyways I had such great memories of that trip so I was really looking forward to doing it again. It was Steph's first time doing the whole trip on Highway 1 so she was excited too.

Our first stop was at the Golden Gate bridge. Since that last time I was there it was pretty foggy I wanted to see it on a clearer day. Unfortunately they were doing construction at the top of the road where you can drive up to get an awesome view. Still a nice view from this spot too.

It was a bright day as you can tell. There is something about this view that I just love! It is a view that I can always picture in my head.

Once we finally got through the traffic in the city we were on our way! The very beginning of the drive is nothing special b/c at that point you aren't driving along the ocean yet. But you do see many pumpkin patches. I love pumpkin patches and before the road trip I warned Steph that I might suddenly yell at her to pull over b/c I had remembered seeing pumpkin patches the last time.

It was a bit chilly at this stop but it was good to get out and stretch our legs. We walked through the pumpkin patch and took some cheesy photos!

And then I bought Steph a housewarming gift - an adorable, little round pumpkin. It was $1. Such a generous gift if I do say so myself! :) Then she insisted on posing for this picture (ok or I might have forced her - haha).

We continued on our journey and at this point we were driving w/ the ocean along side us. The waves were HUGE that day. Some of the biggest I've seen since I was in Hawaii.

I think I could have sat and watched the ocean for hours that day (but we had places to be)! We made a lunch stop in Carmel which has such a cute downtown. While at lunch we decided to take a longer pit stop than originally planned for a trip around the 17 Mile Drive.

The 17 Mile Drive is so beautiful. I'm so glad we took the time to see it. I loved whatever these red flower like things are. It looked so pretty against the blue water.

You really can't capture the beauty and the power of the ocean in these pictures so take my word for it - it was MAGNIFICENT!

It was a windy day w/ a little chill in the air but so sunny! Down below us there is a small beach area where some crazy people were hanging out. The water was so wild that I can't believe anyone would even dare sit down there!

Steph had told me about the Lone Cypress but I don't think I had ever seen a picture of it. Pretty neat that the tree grew out there all by itself. Funny to see tons of people (including a tour bus filled w/ elderly people) standing there taking pictures of it!

Last stop on The 17 Mile Drive was at The Pebble Beach Resorts which is the home of the famous golf course. The resort is beautiful with nice shops and restaurants. They even let you walk out on the course to see the 18th hole. It was kind of cloudy when I took this but it is really cool. I am sure golfers can appreciate this more than me. I know I could never get the ball to land on the green and not in the ocean!

Proof that I was actually there and not just stealing the pictures off the internet!

Once we were done we really had to get on the move again since we were still only in Carmel and it was already early afternoon! Still several hours until Long Beach - our final destination. So Steph had talked about this bridge and how she wanted a picture of it. I had no clue which bridge she was talking about since I didn't remember it from my previous trip. Well we finally came a bridge that Steph thought was THE BRIDGE. So we jumped out and looked at it and nothing special. So we keep driving and all of a sudden we see THE BRIDGE but were already by it. I tried to convince her to turn back since I knew she really wanted a pic but instead we stopped on the other side and this is what we got!

We continue down the coast w/ the plan of stopping next at the waterfall in Big Sur. The only problem was that neither of us knew exactly was but of course there would be signs. . .right!? Well not exactly and even worse was that neither of us could get ANY phone or internet service (anyone who knows how obsessed I am w/ my iPhone knows I was freaking out haha). So we couldn't look up where the waterfall was. So unfortunately we drove right by it. At this point of the day it had started raining and we were losing even more time do to reduced speed (safety first) on a one lane road. Anyone who is curious about the waterfall I'm referring to and what my picture would have looked like check it out here.

So after this point the exciting pictures end since it was raining and getting dark. Yes dark and we still had a ways to go. . .

All in all it was a great road trip but it did take a couple hours longer than we expected (but then again who expects rain in CA)?

And of course we had to continue to tradition for my first meal whenever I go to CA. Thankfully my iPhone was working again at this point and the handy map app led up right to El Pollo Loco. If you haven't had the opportunity to eat there then trust me you are missing out! I love that place.

After a quick dinner we were back on the road for the final stretch. I think we finally pulled into my friend, Caroline's, driveway around 10 PM (just 14 hours after we departed Santa Rosa).

Next adventures in LA and Long Beach to come. . . stay tuned!

P.S. I'm exhausted due to 2 nights so far of insomnia caused by my newest antibiotic so excuse the typos. Too tired to proof read!