We arrived in California at 6:30am on Wednesday the 16th of December. We had left Australia at 11am on Wednesday the 16th of December. Thats right people, we may have travelled through time…
When we got in we were tired, well no thats not quite right, we were deliriously exhausted. We had not slept in over 24 hours and we still had a 6 hour drive to Big Sur while attempting to stay awake until at least 8pm. Additionally, trying to deal with how gross do you feel after a 14 hour flight. YIKES! Let me tell you that if you want to test how solid your relationship is with a friend or partner just don’t sleep for 30+ hours and try and travel together. Alex and I may have been a little less than kind to each other this particular morning but after some much needed coffee and food at a cute cafe in Santa Barbara the day began to look more positive.
We drove up the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) and it was absolutely gorgeous. One thing I love about California that is similar to Australia is that the ocean and mountains are fighting for your attention being so close to each other. Look to my left the beautiful Pacific ocean, look to my right and the most spectacular rolling mountains.
We had to switch drivers every 2 hours so we wouldn’t fall asleep at the wheel, plus both of us needed to get used to diving on the right side of the road again (yes I am officially more comfortable driving on the left now). On about hour 4.5 we stumbled upon a really cool beach. Alex with his keen eyesight (he reckons he can spot things miles away even though he isn’t wearing his glasses) saw a huge seal on a sand dune to our left and the next exit was a sign saying there was an elephant seal beach. It was awesome! These things are massive and yes the males are hideous with there huge weird looking noses.
It was their mating and birthing season so we saw some baby seals and also some males fighting over the right to mate with the most females. One thing I love about traveling to new places is finding spots like this, a place you just happened upon not on purpose. Pretty great day so far.
After two hours of driving on the winding road around the mountains of Big Sur we finally arrived at our cute little cabin. Gosh does it feel good to shower after such a long day of traveling. We went out to get some photos of the sunset then eat at a restaurant called Nepenthe overlooking the ocean and cliffs. It was a pretty amazing end to one of the longest days of my life.
We seriously could have stayed in Big Sur for 5 or 6 days because there is so much to see and many hikes to take. We stayed at Glen Oaks Big Sur I would rate this spot a 4.5 out of 5. The cabin was cozy and bed was so comfortable, it had a fireplace next to the bed and heated floors in the bathroom! We went during the off season so the price was right. Plus we got a free breakfast donut and coffee across the road at a sweet little cafe. During our breakfast we met another Australian couple doing basically the same trip as us and I gave them my few suggestions on where to eat and what to see on the California coast. One thing I have learned is that no matter where in the world you are there will be a few Australians just a stones throw from you. These Aussies LOOOOVE to travel.
Before finishing our drive to San Jose to see my family we went backward to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park Beach to take some pictures. When we got there we head some yelling and a lot of people gathered in one spot. Turns out that two guys have jumped over the barrier and gone down to the beach. There were only about 20 signs posted around saying how that was not allowed I’m not sure how they missed them all. I have to say it was pretty funny watching them climb back up just to be greeted by the park rangers who I am positive gave them both pretty hefty fines.
The beach was pretty magical, it looked beautiful and untouched-besides the stupid footprints those two guys put all over the beach. I can kind of understand why they wanted to get down there so badly, it was breathtaking.
Our last stop before leaving Big Sur to head to Capitola for lunch was Bixby Creek Bridge which is a pretty iconic spot. I really really loved this spot on the coast and would love to go back in when the weather is a bit warmer to do some camping. I would HIGHLY suggest to anyone visiting California that this spot is a must see.
We finished off day two of our California Holiday in Capitola for lunch before finally getting to see my family in San Jose. We ate at Margaritaville and had some fresh ceviche, pork tacos and of course some of the best Margaritas I’ve ever had. I could not wait to eat so much Mexican food on this trip and this was the perfect way to start that venture.
We were looking forward to getting to San Jose which was going to be our basecamp for the next three weeks. Its been a year since we had been back to visit my family and this time felt a little more relaxed than gearing up for our wedding in 2014.