Over spring break, N and I went to California. N had a conference in San Diego, and my sister recently relocated to San Francisco. So with those parameters, we planned out 5 day trip. We obviously began in San Diego, but unfortunately, didn’t get to spend a significant amount of time there because we didn’t want to get stuck in LA traffic and had a lot of ground to cover in just a couple of short days. So we set out from San Diego and opted to stick as close to the coast as possible. We drove through Torrey Pines (amazing golf, for those of us who aren’t aficionados) and made our first stop in Del Mar.
I absolutely loved Del Mar. It was so picturesque and quaint, and I loved seeing the 60-ish year old men coming back from a morning of surfing – Houstonians could definitely benefit from a similarly-healthy lifestyle. We stopped at Zel’s Coffee which was delicious and just what we needed to kick off what would be a lengthy drive.
We then drove up to Laguna Beach for a quick lunch at Wahoo’s. I had the Paleo Bowl and N had tacos – the food was so fresh, delicious and very reasonably priced. After popping into a couple of boutiques, we jumped back into the car and continued heading north.
Since we made it through LA easily, we decided to stop by the Santa Monica Pier. It was packed with tourists, and didn’t really have a ton for us to see, but we enjoyed walking around and stretching our legs. The girls would have absolutely loved it.
Our next break was an impromptu pit stop at Pepperdine University. I’ve always heard that the campus is one of the most beautiful, and it absolutely true! The School of Law overlooks the coast and is absolutely stunning – I have to assume that after seeing those views daily they become less impressive because otherwise I don’t know how anyone gets any studying done.
We finished our first day in Santa Barbara which was picturesque, but like so many places on our trip, we didn’t fully get to explore.
On our second day, we hustled to get to Hearst Castle in time for our tour (buy tickets ahead online). Hearst Castle was one of my favorite parts of the trip – it was so peculiar and quirky but gorgeous.
Unfortunately, the bridge in Big Sur was out, so we weren’t able to drive up PCH to Carmel and had to take an alternative route which required more time and was much less visually appealing. We did manage to made it to Carmel just in time to wander down to the beach to watch the sunset. This must be a popular activity as we were certainly not alone. The beach in Carmel is adjacent to the Pebble Beach Golf Course (more amazing golf), so N enjoyed getting a glimpse of the greens.
The following day, Day 3, we drove south from Carmel to see Big Sur, and I am so glad we did because that was the most beautiful coastline of the trip. Then we drove 17-Mile drive and headed up to Mountain View to visit my sister at Google.