Tuesday, July 8, 2014

California: Big Sur & San Francisco

The last leg of our California trip! Getting from LA to Big Sur was the longest driving portion of our trip, about 4.5 hours. Unfortunately, what google maps doesn't tell you is that you're driving by some of the most beautiful scenery and will want to stop every 5 minutes to get out and enjoy it. Our drive took 8 hours (though some of that time was spent eating lunch and filling the gas tank). 

Worth every minute. :)

Our favorite of the impromptu stops was Estero Bluffs State Park off Highway 1. At first we just saw trails leading to shrubbery:

It got better.

It's hard to tell, but those white blobs on top of the rocks were seals! This little walking/exploring break was unplanned, but so lovely. We'd been in the car for a while at that point and stretching felt so nice. 

We eventually continued on to Big Sur. Along the way, we also saw gorgeous views at Nepenthe, a restaurant on the side of a mountain. It's very busy between 11am (when the fog has burned off) and 4pm (when the fog starts to roll back in). Thankfully we got there around 2 and could enjoy the view, but both our phones were dead. So no photos to share. We joked about taking pictures with our eyes, to store in our memories, like the good ol' days. Click here to see the current view.

Our time in Big Sur was mostly spent hiking and enjoying the wilderness. We saw tons of redwoods (click for neat facts) and a waterfall. The cabin we stayed in was surrounded by massive trees that were hundreds of years old. Very impressive.
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While we were in Big Sur, we had no cell service or wifi. After dinner, we took walks along the river, played board games and cards rather than check our email/instagram and I loved it. 

After 2 days in the woods, we drove to San Francisco. Because our flight left the following morning, we didn't have much time - we just hit a tourist hotspot, Fisherman's Wharf.

At first, the weather was perfect - warm but not hot, light breeze off the water. Ahhh.

We stopped into a restaurant for an early dinner, and when we came back outside, the difference was jarring. The fog had rolled in and brought super chilly air with it. I bought a hoodie to keep warm and we couldn't see Alcatraz any more (1.5 miles/2.4 km offshore). A shopkeeper told us the sunny, clear sky postcard shots of San Francisco are all lies. :)  We still enjoyed walking around, taking in the sights and exploring the shops. There were also plenty of street performers and the atmosphere on the streets was cheery. It took our mind off the fact that it was our last day of vacation! 

We returned the rental car the next morning and flew home safely. I can't wait to start on the photo album :)

Have you visited a place with no cell service or wifi?

10 comments:

  1. I have been to Big Sur, Nepenthe and San Francisco. Unforgettable! Scenery is beyond belief! So glad you enjoyed your trip.

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    1. Agreed! I wish we had more time in San Francisco though. :)

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  2. it's good to be off wifi, even if it is painful at first. I try to do one day a week computerless but usually fail.

    gorgeous marina shot!

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    1. The marina was lovely! :) I agree about the wifi . . I had a goal of one day a month with no electronics but haven't done it recently. Need to start again!

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  3. So beautiful. And the no wi-fi is the reason I had to wait until I got home to view properly. The photos wouldn't download down the snow.

    Mr S sooo wants to visit California. He has a cousin who lives in Sacremento and his uncle lives in San Fran. My uncle planted some redwoods on his property (5 acres) in Queensland. They are so majestic!

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    1. California made for a wonderful visit! I'm glad my family all lives close by, but then sometimes I wish I had an excuse to travel and visit them in faraway places (and benefit from them showing me all the good stuff). I love that your uncle planted some redwoods - they are such impressive trees to stave off fire damage and live for hundreds of years. It would be great to enjoy them more often :)

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  4. Your photos look like postcards - beautiful! Big Sur sounds like a place I'd love to visit. I would love to see Redwoods. There are still lots of places in Australia where you can't get cell phone access or wifi. It is strange to begin with but then really good to have those periodic down times.

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    1. You're right - it was strange at first but I did enjoy it. I didn't realize how often I check my phone either ;)

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  5. Thanks so much for the postcard - it was such an awesome idea!! Sorry I'm so late in thanking you too!

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