Pacific Coast Highway

As interview season rolls on, Bae found herself with interviews in Sacramento and Santa Barbara that were perfectly split with a weekend between them. We decided it was a no-brainer to turn this into a mini weekend road trip!

I flew into the Sacramento airport Friday after work and Bae picked me up and we hit the road (she drove while I gave her a full on concert straight out of the early 2000’s, consisting of an infinite amount of R&B aka baby making music). We drove through the night (only a couple hours) and decided to stay in Santa Cruz. We grabbed some dinner at Soif where we split a burger and a charcuterie board, all which was very satisfying. You should definitely check out the little “downtown” area of Santa Cruz if you get the chance, there are a lot of little restaurants and shops to poke your head in and grab something tasty to eat.

In typical fashion, we woke up early the next day and went for a run! We ran down to the beach and checked out the wharf, boardwalk, and lighthouse. There were amazing views to get us started on our trip!

 

We also ran into some seals down on the wharf! It was entertaining watching them swim around and attempt to jump up on the boards and also to listen to the bigger ones barking, almost as a wake up call to all the slackers sleeping in! Seals aren’t something you see everyday in the Pacific Northwest, so we were excited to be able to see some new wildlife.

santa-cruz3

After getting back to our room, we showered and hit the road for San Luis Obispo (SLO)! This was the bulk of our trip, and we wanted to make sure to take the scenic route along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)!

Our first pit stop came in the form of a major pitstop at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We both love animals and it was perfectly on our route, so it was an obvious choice to make a stop in.

 

I would have to say that Bae’s favorite part was probably the Sea Otters. She definitely loves the Sea Otters. I think I enjoyed the jellyfish. Between the colors and slow, silky movements, they were mesmerizing to watch.

After our exploration of the aquarium, we popped into Cannery Row Brewery for some lunch. Food was nothing to write home about, except for the huge pretzel they had. Another one of Bae’s favorites is soft pretzels, so for that alone, it was worth stopping in.

After fueling up, we set forth for more driving! This was my favorite part of the trip. We really go into the bulk of the allure that the PCH has to offer. It was one beautiful view after another for the next couple hours. We decided to stop along Big Sur portion of the highway. There is a nice walkway (some may call it a mini-hike) that we ventured down.  And we coincidentally did so right around sunset. You can’t beat west coast sunsets in general, but these views were really something special. Bae likes to considers herself a lucky person (like usual), she just keeps being right!

Reluctantly, we decided we better continue our journey for SLO. We did however have to make one more noteworthy stop to check out the elephant seals. They were all over the place! The wildlife on this trip really did not disappoint!

elephant-sea-lions

Check out the two on the right, neck to neck, fighting?

About an hour or so later, we finally arrived to our destination for the night in SLO. The next morning we backtracked a bit and headed to Moro Bay. Moro Bay is a cool little beach town, probably swarmed by tourists (like ourselves) in the summer months, but in December, it was quiet and a great town to check out. We parked our car and started running along the boardwalk, and to our surprise… Sea Otters! Bae was extremely excited and couldn’t stop counting them and pointing out the baby ones. It was extremely entertaining to see.

otters

After the excitement, we continued out to Moro Rock where we got to see some awesome crashing waves and more natural beauty.

moro-rock

Finally, we decided it was time to reach our final destination, Santa Barbara. We hit the road and arrived into sunny Santa Barbara. We grabbed lunch at the delicious (and inexpensive) La Super-Rica Taqueria. HIGHLY recommend this little taco joint. Very, very good food. After lunch, we went down and walked along the beach to soak in some California sun rays. Coincidentally, Santa Barbara has their arts and crafts show along the beach every Sunday, so we got to check out some local art along the way.

After our walk along the beach (which I carried Bae across the finish line because she forgot her walking shoes), it was time to get me to the airport and for Bae to get to her pre-interview dinner. She dropped me off at the little Santa Barbara airport and just like that, our weekend in California had come to a close. If you have the time and resources, you’ve got to drive along State Route 1. It is full of breathtaking views, and is just overall very relaxing. It really makes you appreciate some of the natural beauty of the west coast!

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