Sure, sure, I just posted something else from California. Sure, sure. I am not IN California, so it’s a little not truth to be posting things from California trips, but GUESS WHAT. I don’t care. I love this state. I loved this adventure. I love these images. &, to be quite honest, I think you will, too! So I’m sharing. While I do laundry. While I pack for our Safari. While I listen to the sounds of Kampala through the window & wait for the rain.
We headed down to Santa Barbara for a long week right before I left for three months. The main motivator was a really great photography conference that I went to, but we decided to make a trip of it, too. We spend the day driving down the coast, spent the night in Monterey, hit up Disneyland for a day of mickey-shaped amusement, & hung out with some very dear friends. All in all, it was a really great trip before a trip. An ode to California, if you will. An appreciate this coast before you jet off kind of adventure. A really good vacation. 🙂
I have done the drive before, but Sam hasn’t, so we really took all day. & it was fab. We had a perfect day: some sun, some clouds, some dramatic lighting. I was a very happy camper.
First stop: Pigeon Point Lighthouse. It’s not far out of town, so it almost doesn’t justify a true stop (how can you make a pit stop when you’ve barely started?!), but it’s just so so beautiful that we had to pull over & take a little walk. Insanely windy, but I mean, that light. That view. WHOA.
We stopped in Santa Cruz next. Not for sightseeing, although I do love that city, but more for breakfast. There’s this one really awesome diner place that we like there. It’s out of the way & you need to use Google Maps to get there, but it’s oh so yummy.
Linda’s Seabreeze Café. Folks, get on it. Expect a line on the weekend (but help yourself to coffee while you wait), but sit right down on a weekday. My favorite is the Mexican style omelette, stacked high with avocado, salsa, onions, sour cream… the works. I usually ask for no cheese just because I’m sensitive to dairy, but other than that, you can’t go wrong. Sam has nothing but wonderful things to say about the things he’s tried here, too. The potatoes are delicious, but the true crowning glory is the cinnamon roll.
Now, before you get all high & mighty about how you don’t like cinnamon rolls, let me explain. These are not gooey, mushy, or overly sweet. They are flaky, just sweet enough & just savory enough, buttery, & of course cinnamon-y. (Don’t get them if you don’t like cinnamon, obviously.) I can’t eat my breakfast AND this roll, but they are more than happy to put it in a pastry bag for you & let you eat it on the road. Win-win. We’re customers for life; eat here.
The trees in Big Sur are my favorite. Always feels like a wonderland driving this part of the road, ya know?
Bixby Bridge is a favorite. I always think it’s worth getting out & taking a look, but then it’s windy & I get right back in. Don’t get me wrong, it’s neat, but almost all the bridges along this route are built in this style & I’d prefer to look at the ocean. But that’s just me. Eat your heart out on that construction, if that’s your jam.
Classic cars driving this road kind of make me swoon. Take a famous, seriously scenic drive. Add a red VW Karman Ghia. Swoon a little inside & make Sam sit while you turn the car around to go back & snap some photos. 😉
I mean, seriously. Hey girl, hey.
We stopped at McWay Falls, as well. It was a bit harder to find since I had never been here before, but they have a parking lot (you have to pay) or you can park on the side of the Highway if you’re lucky enough to get one of the spots (we were) & feel comfortable parking your car there (I risked it).
This famous spot is SO GORGEOUS. Take a walk down the little path. Read about the slide that caused the beaches here (previously they had no sand), check out the old house’s foundation & learn about the old gals who loved the ocean who used to live there.
I know it’s stupid, but I don’t have the photo that I took of this spot to share. When I am back in the USA & can get more images that I took that day, I will totally share. A whole post just for these falls. They’re that wonderful.
Until then? Check out the photo I took on my phone & posted on Instagram. It will hold you over & then some. 😉
We stopped at Ragged Point because the light was just coming through the clouds & it was QUITE DRAMATIC. See another Instagram photo for that one, here. (Sorry.)
The gas is insanely expensive. Don’t get stuck buying gas here. Pack snacks. Don’t get stuck buying snacks here. We didn’t need gas, but we did get Triscuits & I paid SIX DOLLARS for them instead of the normal three you need to bring a box home from the grocery store. I’m still smarting about it, weeks later. haha. 😉
There are gardens at Ragged Point, too, which are worth wandering around. Make sure you go down to the lookout point (at the end, not down the hill to the beach, although I want to do that someday, too). Use the bathroom here, too.
If you have time, check out Hearst Castle (indoors & outdoors, here & here). I recommend stopping. Hang out in San Luis Obispo. Spend the night in Monterey. Spend more time wandering around Santa Cruz.
It’s the drive that never stops giving. The journey that is a vacation in & of itself. I seriously cannot recommend California & the Highway One drive enough.
Hey, home. You’re beautiful. <3
& that’s it from Africa for now! xo
*All images in this post by Simone Anne for We Are Adventure.us. Please don’t reproduce without permission! 🙂