On Friday, we got up early, grabbed our camera's, enjoyed some Peet's Coffee and headed out on our 14-hour journey.
Home of the famous Beach Boardwalk and the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs. Santa Cruz is known for their waterfront amusement park and surfing beaches. Since we were only in town for a little while, we had to enjoy at least one amusement ride so the Giant Dipper it was.
I had visited Monterey about ten years ago on a vacation, but I hardly remembered it. We enjoyed a late lunch at Fish Hopper and then walked along Cannery Row. We considered stopping in the acclaimed Monterey Bay Aquarium, but figured it was best to continue on down the coast instead.
Everyone that visits Pebble Beach must do the famous 17 Mile Drive. Besides for making a person (me) very envious of the beautiful homes, it gives you a perfect view of the ocean and some of the most distinguished golf courses in the world. At the south end of Pebble Beach is the clubhouse for one of the courses and the 18th green is conveniently located right outside the restaurant/bar. We spent about a half hour, sitting in the sun, watching the golfers finish their rounds, drinking our mojitos and discussing how we would go about purchasing a home in Pebble Beach - still trying to figure this last part out.
We only drove through Carmel because we wanted to be sure to get to Big Sur in time for sunset. Carmel is another gorgeous beach town full of beautiful homes. Whenever I think of Carmel, the first thing that comes to mind is the beautiful ranch where the dad in Parent Trap (the original) lived - my favorite movie as a kid.
The stretch of Highway 1 that winds through Big Sur has some of the most spectacular views I've ever seen in my life. It is breathtaking to drive along the highway, with hardly any other cars on the road and take in the view - especially at dusk. From a distance, the rolling hills and cliffs appear as a painted backdrop. We continued south on Highway 1, watched a beautiful sunset and continued a bit too far south. We ended up so far south that we had to take a 60 mile detour (for our own safety) which didn't get us back up to Menlo Park (120 miles away) until 11pm.
In my mind the entire day was perfect! Something in particular that I love about Steve is his love for both travel and adventure. I wouldn't call myself the most adventureous, but traveling is a major part of my life - makes me feel so good that we will forever share these explorations together.