Quite simply, Northern California is absolutely stunning. I’ve spent my life on the East coast only venturing as far West as Arizona. I grew up along the beach in a small town in Florida, and I have the Atlantic Ocean memorized. But, after comparing the two, I can honestly say that the Pacific Ocean puts the Atlantic Ocean to shame. We drove up and down the winding roads of Highway 1, and I fell in love with the way the water etched itself into rock and debris. I swear, the views were a work of art.
I spent 10 glorious days vacationing in California alongside my sweet husband who has been away for 7 weeks already. Our first adventure took us south to Big Sur and Santa Clara. Santa Clara turned into a rather quick stop to have lunch since there were millions of people out and about for the 4th of July weekend. I had no idea what Big Sur was, so I wore a maxi dress and flats thinking we’d do some walking and maybe grab a bite to eat. While we could do both those things, Big Sur is very much a place to go hiking and witness breathtaking views of the mountains. Needless to say, I was extremely ill-prepared on the clothes front, but I ignored my terrible choice in shoes to hike 2 miles to the top of some random trail we chose. I can’t tell you how many times my dress got caught in stickers that were painful to pick off. I eventually learned and gathered my dress tightly to my body to avoid picking up any more stickers. The stickers were well worth the hike though.
How gorgeous are those trees? Redwoods are majestic. I just love them. On July 4th we had every intention of watching fireworks at Half Moon Bay, but we quickly changed our mind and decided on ice cream and a movie instead. Earlier in the day we walked Stanford’s gorgeous, ivy-infested campus and meandered around the Android figurines at Google Headquarters. As we pulled into Google, a security officer stopped us, made friendly conversation and gave us Android security guard stickers. I really though he was going to kick us out, but it turns out that Google is relatively tourist-friendly. What a relief.
After the holiday weekend we traveled to Sonoma for wine-tasting. This is quite possibly my favorite part of the trip. We arrived early, took part in a free wine tour and then enjoyed wonderful conversation with our guide who poured us glass after glass of delicious wine. We meandered around the grounds and soaked in the sweet sunshine. We then made our way to Jenner at the recommendation of our guide and ate along the ocean at the cutest little restaurant in the tiniest town. The weekend before I left we took the Caltrain into San Francisco, which I thought was just adorable. The hills killed me though. Almost everything rested on some sort of incline. I consider myself to be in pretty decent shape, and there were moments when I had to take a minute while walking around.
Leaving California was a different story. I left without my husband, and saying goodbye a second time made me break down in tears at the airport. It hit me that there were no future visits to look forward too. Instead, I’d have to wait until his internship ended. We’ll be reunited again in 5 weeks. I can’t wait – I miss him dearly.