Big Sur (Day 1, part 1)

Tuesday, April 12

After checking into the Big Sur Lodge on Monday night, and having dinner nearby at the Taphouse, we woke up Tuesday morning ready to hike and explore and be in nature. We had breakfast at the lodge, gathered our gear, and set out for three hikes up into the hills above the Big Sur River Valley. The first two were connected to each other and were great ways to stretch our legs and get our butts moving: Pfeiffer Falls and Valley View.

Sign for the two trails for our morning hike

Both hikes were work but not exhausting. And both hikes gave us great views! The falls were beautiful and the valley view of the Big Sur river all the way out to Point Sur and the Pacific Ocean were gorgeous.

Pfeiffer Falls
The Falls
Video of the Falls
Valley View with Point Sur and the Pacific Ocean behind us
Valley View / Point Sur
Wild irises on the hike back down to Big Sur Lodge


Monterey, Carmel, Pebble Beach, 17 Mile Drive, Point Lobos

April 11, 2022

Started the morning in rainy Monterey with an attempt to swing by the Aquarium (sold out) and Cannery Row (cold and rainy and touristy).

Turns out the intercontinental hotel is a nice spot to warm up and dry off. We walked around Monterey a little more but decided it was time to move on, get in the car and gas up and work our way over to the Pebble Beach area. This was a good call.

17 Mile Drive is unbelievably gorgeous, winding its way around some of the most beautiful golf courses as well as some of the most incredible real estate in the world. Hugging the ocean and the bay, it goes past Spyglass, The Links at Spanish Bay, and it works its way to the links at Pebble Beach. We stopped at Lone Cypress to get a photo and walk around and down to the iconic spot right on the ocean.

From Lone Cypress, we kept driving until we made it to the village at Pebble beach. This is sort of the hub for the entire area. There are shops, restaurants, and of course, the world famous golf course. We decided this would be a nice place to grab a fancy lunch. And even though the course is open to the public, at $600 per round, not everyone in the public is open to the course. The lunch, though, was great. We had tuna tartare, lobster salad, and two glasses of Veuve Clicquot champagne. Not too shabby!

After lunch, we decided to walk down to the 18th green along the water. We also walked back up and around to the first tee. It really is a gorgeous golf course. As we left, we continued the 17 mile drive on our way out of the Pebble Beach community. But before we left it entirely, we saw goats!

Our last stop in the Monterey and Carmel area, before we worked our way down to Big Sur, was Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. it’s only a few miles from the glitz and glamour of Pebble Beach, but it feels like it’s a world away.

(Photos and videos to be added later)

Looking for whales at Pescadero

After leaving Pigeon Point, we headed south toward Santa Cruz but stopped at Pescadero because we saw whales spouting! They were a few hundred yards off the shore but there was no mistaking what we saw.

Trying to spot the whales off the coast
Pigeon Point off in the distance
The beach at Pescadero
Where a freshwater California stream meets the Pacific Ocean

Half Moon Bay (part 2)

Horsies work their way down to the beach

Photos and video from a walk along Half Moon Bay State Beach

Yellow wildflowers
View of the beach and the water, with Mavericks Beach in that distance
Poppy in slow motion
More wild beauty
Visitor Center at the State Beach
Public garden at the visitor center

From the State Beach, we drove up to Mavericks Beach, past Pillars Point

A funky bench
Tidal pools by Mavericks
Crabby Crab
The ocean crashing off the rocks off of Mavericks Beach
More ocean, more crashing
Andrea exploring in the tidal pools
The tidal pools of the peninsula
Starfish clinging to the rocks
Starfish and anemone

From Mavericks we got back in the car to head south toward Monterey and Carmel-By-The-Sea, with a few stops along the way.

The first was at Pigeon Point Lighthouse and State Historical Park and the second was in Natural Bridges State Beach near Santa Cruz.

Half Moon Bay (part 1)

Saturday, 4/9/22

Do you write about a terrible day of travel so that you can document it and remember it? Or do you chalk it up as a shitty / long / exhausting day and just move on? I think I’ll choose the latter. In the end, despite everything, we made it to San Francisco and eventually, Half Moon Bay. Got in to the beautiful Half Moon Bay Lodge around midnight on Friday and passed out for 8+ hours. Woke up Saturday morning, feeling better and alive again and it doesn’t hurt that it’s absolutely beautiful today!

Weather forecast for April 9

Not sure where rest of the day will take us; hope to check out Mavericks Beach and Devil’s Slide Trail.

Tonight we’ll head down Monterey and Carmel-By-The-Sea but for right now we’re enjoying the quiet and tranquility.

Half Moon Bay Lodge
Saturday morning views
Outside our hotel room

Let’s see what the rest of Saturday brings!