Wanderlust: California Dreamin'

Monday, September 15, 2014

After taking a road trip to Cincinnati this past weekend to see my lovely sister Becky and attend a pretty wedding (congrats Rachel + Tom!), Stephen and I have another exciting trip on the horizon: we leave for California on Friday!

We have been planning this trip mentally for essentially the duration of our relationship (almost 5 years!?) and logistically for about the last 5 months.

I'm SO eager to see what the West Coast has to offer. Coincidentally, Stephen's sister, also Becky (what are the chances?), went there with her husband in August. She posted the prettiest snaps on her instagram from the trip, and agreed to let me share them here - because pictures of me wasting away at my desk at work? Not as fun to look at.

(Tangent: I did post this black and white artistic depiction of fast food on my insta' though. What can I say? I'm a natural photographer. And a lover of all things fried.)

Without further ado, our upcoming itinerary:

First stop: San Fran

We will be staying in an airbnb apartment in the heart San Fran (Lower Haight neighborhood) for our first couple nights in the Golden State.

We don't have a ton of activities mapped out other than general exploration of the City by the Bay, but I'm confident we'll find plenty to do! I've been there once in 2011 for a work learning trip (those were the days) and found the energy of the city magnetizing.

Second stop: Carmel-by-the-Sea

On Sunday, we'll take a leisurely drive down the Pacific Coast Highway and make our way to Carmel-by-the-Sea. Even the name is incredibly charming, don't you think? I've never been anywhere with a whimsical hyphenated preposition added on the end. Madison should definitely change its name to Madison-by-the-Lakes. Up tourism rates immediately.

We plan to set up base at Carmel-by-the-Sea for the rest of our lives three nights. During that time, we hope to do the 17 mile drive, explore Big Sur, and take in the views.

And eat! Stephen already made dinner reservations there! Now there's a man with his priorities straight.

Here's a shot from near Pebble Beach - the famous golf course!
I am much more likely to take a picture there than to swing a club.
(Note: anytime I reference "we" driving, I'm using the plural pronoun loosely. Unsurprisingly, I won't be the actual driver. I struggle with driving in an incredibly flat state (whattup, Wisco). I will be exploring the coastal cliffs safely from the passenger seat.)

Third stop: Yosemite

Pfieffer state park (but I imagine Yosemite will have trees as well ;) )
I mentioned here my family of 6 road tripped to Yellowstone. Even though I was in eighth grade at the time, I still remember it being breathtakingly beautiful. I'm really looking forward to seeing the majesty of Yosemite. And we'll have no internet or cell service! Should be nice to "disconnect" for a couple of days.

Visiting national parks always stresses me out a little bit because they are just so HUGE! I just googled it Yosemite is 1,190 square miles! Where exactly is one supposed to go once one has "arrived" to Yosemite? Any tips appreciated!

Fourth stop: back to San Fran

We will then head back to the San Fran, stay in a Marriott for the last couple nights, eat, drink, and strategize about permanent relocation opportunities ;)

Then we fly back to good old Madtown. It will be late September by then, and therefore, likely below freezing. If not blizzarding.

I'll leave you with a collection of Cali-inspired songs to help transport your minds out to the west coast - since my mind has been in California for at least the last two months:

1. California Girls | The Beach Boys (1965)
2. California Dreamin' | The Mamas + the Papas (1965)
3. California Love | 2pac ft. Dr. Dre (1995)
4. Californication | Red Hot Chili Peppers (1999)
5. Save me, San Francisco | Train (2009)

Happy Monday, friends!

1 comment:

  1. I went to Yosemite…on my own…in the off season…during a work trip…and I still loved it! There's so much to do. I hope you enjoy your vacation!