Monday, April 27, 2009

:: Northern California Coast :: Part I ::

As a birthday present for Steve, I bought us tickets to San Francisco, with the intent of exploring as many beach towns as possible in Northern California. I think the 500 miles we put on our rental car and the hundreds of photos taken, in three days, proves our success. We stayed at the Sleasmans house in Menlo Park and had the best time. Justin was out of town the entire weekend so Laura was our hostess, and a perfect one at that.

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Look how adorable and thoughtful this welcome basket is that Laura put together for us - my favorite part, the towels folded into the shape of swans - love it!

On Friday, we got up early, grabbed our camera's, enjoyed some Peet's Coffee and headed out on our 14-hour journey.

First Stop :: Santa Cruz

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.

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Looking back at the boardwalk from the pier


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Second Stop :: Monterey

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.

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Monterey Bay


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Third Stop :: Pebble Beach

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.

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Lone Cypress


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18th green


Fourth Stop :: Carmel

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.

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Fifth Stop :: Big Sur

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.

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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.

9 comments:

Stacie said...

What a great trip! I'm glad PCH was clear for you, we had a ton of fog when we did it :(
Love all the pictures and am glad you two had so much fun exploring!

The Johnsons said...

Sounds like the trip was a success. Great pictures! I love the ones from the Boardwalk.

Lynne said...

What a great weekend get away. I love all the places you guys went to and pictures. Big Sur and Carmel are two of my fav spots.

Lyndsy said...

Coffey these pics are breathtaking! I love them and you just gave me a huge urge to travel up north and explore! Love the swam towels! That Laura gives me a giggle!

Jamieofalltrades said...

Pretty! Looks like fun!

Kris said...

Great pictures - love the Big Sur pics! It is so beautiful there! I was laughing when I saw the gift basket that Laura did - she did something similar when Diggy and I came! http://btwimkris.com/post/58531013/laura-was-so-adorable-she-had-a-welcome-basket. She is so freaking cute.

Jaclyn Z. Reiss said...

Oh my goodness...your post made me SO homesick. GORGEOUS photos Erin, I still am so sad we missed our weekend in the Bay Area together. I need to find some scenic Ohio hotspots for you and Steve... ;)
Miss you!

Erin said...

Krissy - On the flight down, I told Steve about the towels and gift basket that Laura had set up for you and Diggy so I had a feeling she'd do the same for us :)

Jackie - we missed you and Jake as well! We'd love to come out and visit you guys in Ohio as we're always up for checking out a new location.

Blyth Family Blog said...

love the photos. sounds like such a fun trip!! love you!