For the life of me I can’t seem to get consistent with content here. I figured casting a wider content net would help me have more to write about and while it does it does not provide extra time which apparently was the main issue. But I’ve got a lazy Sunday morning so here comes a Cali info dump. We benefited greatly from some first hand knowledge from Shaun so I figured it might be good to paraphrase our trip so if anyone we know wants to get similarly rad they will have some digital deets to reference.
Before we go too far if you are more interested in a photo essay of the trip go here: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/calikaulback/
We started our adventure in Malibu. That town is weird. We stayed at ‘The M‘ which is a motel/hotel right on Rt. 1. It was a pretty good balance of cost, accommodation and location. Walking distance to a nice beach and food options. If I had to stay in Malibu again I would probably stay here again but I’m not sure I’ll ever stay in Malibu again. Don’t get me wrong the beaches in Malibu are pretty amazing. Probably some of the best I’ve seen but the town itself is just ‘off’. It’s almost like it became too ritzy to sustain itself and now its a weird mix of mansions in the hills but somewhat downtrodden everywhere else. Like NY side of Niagara Falls downtrodden. And breakfast sandwiches cost like $17. Granted it was a really good breakfast sandwich in a restaurant built on the end of a pier but still. We did get a pretty cool Wine Safari in up in the hills. Some baron of industry owns like 1100 acres and grows grapes and keeps all kinds of African beasts. You can tour around his property and drink wine and feed Giraffes. It was right up Gina’s alley and I would recommend it.
Our next stop up the coast was Cayucos a cool little beach town, although we didn’t get to fully enjoy it because it was shrouded in fog the entire time we were there. But the weather did very closely match our post wedding haze so we had a nice low key visit. The town had a cool surf / skate vibe. We stayed at the Shoreline Inn, I would highly recommend it. Great location and very friendly local feel. We stayed just the one night and after getting some killer breakfast sandwiches made with Belgian waffles at the coffee shop across the street we hit the PCH heading to Monterey. This was probably my favorite stretch of Rt. 1. Had a bit of a Road to Hana feel. Very coastal through this stretch. Tons of overlooks and interesting stuff to see. Like Elephant Seal beaches and the Bixby Bridge. Saw tons of RVs and Adventure Vans and got very jealous. Some day…
Monterey was our next stop and if I was ever forced to live in CA I would probably settle here. We stayed right on Cannery Row and had an awesome stay at the Spindrift Inn. Seriously, ask Gina how much she loved that place. It was a bit pricey for us but totally worth it for one night. Its right on the ocean and we got an ocean side room. Can’t beat it. We hit the Aquarium, which was quite a bit bigger and better than I thought it was going to be. Felt like there was a ton of other stuff we could have had fun doing but we only had the 1 day before we were back on the road heading to SF.
I always like visiting SF. Its been a long while since I’ve been. I figured Gina would like the Pier 39 area best so we got a hotel right in the thick of the Fisherman’s Wharf area. Probably the funniest, most true to form SF hipster locale I’ve ever seen. There was even some young hipster tech board meeting happening in the courtyard when we got there. Every dude fulfilling the stereotype to a T. But all jokes aside it was a cool place to stay and a great spot, Hotel Zephyr. We hit all the touristy stuff to make sure Gina covered her bases. She was not impressed with there basically being only seafood on most restaurant menus but she was impressed with Ghirardelli being everywhere. My favorite part was me telling Gina we HAD to check out Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum because I had gone there the last time I was in SF and it was SO COOL. I forgot that the last time I was in SF I was like 14 and certain things are way cooler when you are 14 than when you are 35.
Next target was getting Gina into a redwood grove. I would definitely consider seeing these trees as a bucket list item for just about anybody. Truly impressive. In most cases you need to go pretty far north beyond SF to get them in high density but there is one place that is only about 2hrs or so (on Rt. 1 its faster on the 101) north. We had limited time and didn’t want to spend too much time in the car so on a tip from Shaun we hit Guerneville and Armstrong State Natural Preserve. The whole Russian River area of CA is pretty cool. Had a bit of a New England vibe. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from Guerneville itself but was pleasantly surprised. Really awesome town. We stayed at a cool little cottage place that I would highly recommend. And had what Gina called the best meal of her life at Boon.
After that it was back to SF to board a flight back to SoCal to hang with family, do Disneyland and soak up some sun before heading back home. It was a pretty mega and somewhat tiring trip. We’ve never done a road warrior outing like this but it went pretty smoothly. It was fun but I think the next trip will be a bit more sedentary. Probably with frozen drinks.