This post is a bit overdue, but for my spring break vacation, the pilot and I decided to visit somewhere we both had never been but have always wanted to visit: the west coast. He has friends in San Diego, San Francisco, and Portland, so we decided to be ambitious and start in San Diego and drive all the way to Portland in 9 days. When we told our plans to people, most thought we were crazy to try to see that much in that little of a time period, but we knew that this would be a great way to see a lot of the coast and then decide which places we want to see more of for other visits in the future. We were realistic in that we knew we couldn’t do it all or see it all, but I think we did a pretty bang-up job, and we both saw just about everything we had hoped to see.
Here are some highlights:
San Diego was high energy and beautiful! We were able to hike and stumbled upon an interesting beach (why bother with shoes- honestly?!), rode bikes, spent two afternoons beachin it (more than I had thought we would but much to my happiness), had some super delicious shrimp and lobster tacos, went out on the town and pretended like we can still hang, and caught up with his close friend Mike and my dear friend Kasey! I loved this town, and I can see why Kasey packed her bags and left Northern Michigan two years ago and hasn’t looked back since. However, the party atmosphere left us both pretty exhausted, and we were ready for some quiet after all that excitement. So we headed to..
Yes, Lauren Conrad has been my idol since I was 18, but we would not have stopped in Laguna solely for that reason. I had heard from many that it was a cute town with nice beaches, so we brunched it and checked out 1000 steps beach, which proved to have a great little cave/cove where one of my favorite pictures of us to date was taken (the second one).
We weren’t even really planning to stop in LA, but we didn’t spend as much time in Laguna as we had thought and decided we should probably check it out while we were right there. We spent some time strolling the walk of fame and then, determined to get a picture with the Hollywood sign, hiked up a pretty steep and challenging hill in flip flops to get a less than stellar view of the sign (but a great view of the city). Much to our chagrin, this little episode also ended with a nice parking ticket. LA was not super kind to us, but it was nice to see anyway.
Ohhh Santa Barbara. A place I definitely want to find myself back at at some point in my life. When we got to sleepy Santa Barbara, it was like we both were able to take a collective sigh of relief. In the days prior, we had been on the go non-stop, and finally we could just relax and enjoy each other’s company and the beautiful town. We stayed at a great b & b called Casa Del Mar Inn, which was a great place right off of the beach and we were greeted with a wine and cheese plate that someone took advantage of. 😉 We had a delicious seafood dinner that evening on a patio overlooking the harbor and then ended the evening with a leisurely stroll around the harbor. We woke up that morning and did a nice 5-mile run along the beach and sadly had to end our visit and get back on the road. This town was a definite highlight, and I would go back in a heartbeat!
The drive from Santa Barbara to San Francisco was a drive I will always remember. It was definitely exactly how I had pictured “driving the coast of California”, and it seemed like after every turn a new, breathtaking view would unfold. It was definitely slow, winding, and sometimes a little nerve-wracking, but it is definitely worth it.
…post to be continued. Part 2 will cover San Francisco, Crescent City, and Portland!