November 17, 2015

California Dreamin': Big Sur & the 17 mile drive

After months of planning, prepping and researching, we were finally in California!
This trip was on our bucket list since J's sister & my bestie relocated to San Francisco at the beginning of this year; we were SO excited to explore a new city and to get a taste of their new lives on the West Coast!

We had just over three weeks to fit in as much as possible and as soon as we touched down in San Francisco we picked up our rental and drove down to Monterey Bay. The plan was to stay along the coast for 2 nights and then head into the city for the weekend. We checked into a decent motel located in Old Monterey and crashed as soon as we made it into our room after our 18 hour journey.

This guy thought my 'sunroof selfie' was hilarious
The next morning we woke to the news that our house in Barbados had been broken in to and quite a few of our things were stolen. For anyone who's ever had this happen to them, you'll know the sick feeling in the pit of your stomach; a mixture of vulnerability and rage. It royally sucks knowing that someone has been in your personal space and rummaged through your stuff and we also felt so helpless being in San Francisco. J's parents stepped in and dealt with it all for us and we're so grateful. Waking up to this was not the best way to start a vacation but once we finished doing what we needed to do, we tried to shake it off and enjoy the day ahead of us.

Coffee and yummy food helped, and we were pretty impressed by The Wild Plum Bakery, a cute organic, eco friendly cafe across the street from our motel.

With satisfied tummies and a buzz from our coffee, we set off to explore Big Sur, a rugged stretch of California’s central coast between Carmel and San Simeon, known for winding turns, seaside cliffs and views of the often-misty coastline. Fun fact: apparently the name "Big Sur" is derived from the original Spanish-language "el sur grande", meaning "the big south", or from "el país grande del sur", "the big country of the south."

We started off with Carmel-by-the-Sea, an adorable, European-style village nestled above the coast. We popped into the local deli, grabbed some lunch and picked up some supplies for the afternoon. With that, we set off along the coast and cruised to our hearts content. I never thought that I would be as excited about a drive as I was that afternoon, but every single twist and turn on the road was met with another 'ooomygod' and 'look at that view!', often followed by 'omg these roads are so close to the edge' and 'I think I may be sick.'

Don't be fooled, Big Sur is NOT for those with a fear of heights. The road is inches away from the cliff face at some points (though guarded by a barrier) but it's still a trip to look down at the water hundreds of metres below from your car window...

Despite the heights, this was by far one of the most scenic drives of my life. J and I took our cool time to explore and stopped off at most 'corners', not realising that each one would be better and more breathtaking than the last! Even the cloudy weather added a cool mood to the whole afternoon and it was the perfect way to start off our trip.

The last thing on our 'Big Sur List' was Pfeiffer State National Park, but I'll save that for my next post :) 

Stay tuned! It's scheduled for tomorrow, so don't worry, I won't pull one of my notorious dry spells this time...

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