California Part 2: On the road

Monday morning bright and early we were on the road! Armed with our luxury Hyundai Elantra we sped off (Rob was driving, naturally) and out of San Fran, eager to see the rest of the West Coast. First stop: Half Moon Bay.

The second I saw pictures I knew we had to see it in-person, its only about a half hour south of the city and is just beautiful:

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It was a gorgeous morning and a great start to our roadtrip. Rob was also very excited to spread his wings with the camera, so we spent about 30 minutes taking photos of trees..leaves..and bugs..and grass..you know boys and their toys.

Next up, another scenic photo stop: Natural Bridges State Beach. It was another one of those sights I saw online that just looked amazing. It would have been a great sunset shot, but we were off to Santa Cruz!

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I don’t know that I got to see the “real” Santa Cruz, we had to get to Monterey by 4 so really we just stopped to look at the boardwalk and grab some lunch. We had some great sandwiches at The Picnic Basket and then headed to the boardwalk for some games, where I proceeded to school Rob at the Shooting Gallery.

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After that- we were on to our final stop of the day- Monterey!

I had gotten us tickets to the Aquarium online in advance (they last for up to a year I believe) so all that was left to do was find a hotel.

Yes…we neglected to book any of those in advance. On purpose, though! We didn’t want to feel stressed if we wanted to stay longer in one place or another, so we decided to wing it using an app my tech-savvy friend Mallory told me about, Hotel Tonight. The app tracks the best deals from local hotels that have not sold all of their rooms for the night. So its like hotel Russian Roulette. Lucky Rob & I are adventurous folks.

Our first Hotel Tonight was Cannery Row Inn. It was amazing! I think we paid around $79 for the night and it was a stones throw away from Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Honestly, we couldn’t have found a better place, it was clean, convenient, the room was huge AND there was free breakfast.

We threw our bags in the room and headed out to experience an afternoon on the town!

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Both Rob & I are huge animal lovers and were thus way too excited to go to the Aquarium. It was smaller than I imagined but was very cool. Lots of beautiful tanks with an octopus and sea otters and jellyfish- oh, my!

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Jellyfish fields

Jellyfish fields

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After exploring the aquarium we were pretty tired, and headed down to John Steinbeck Plaza for dinner. I really was craving fish (after an afternoon at the aquarium, I know I am awful) so we decided on a place called the Fish Hopper, where we treated ourselves to some wine and oysters next to a breathtaking view of the beach.

After dinner I forced Rob to go down to the beach with me to watch the sunset even though it was freezing..and cloudy. Overall we had quite a Monday! Buzzed off wine and a fun day of travel, we headed back to the hotel to recharge for hiking in Big Sur!

Be sure to read my next blog post, Big Sur was the most incredible part of the trip!