Week 4-2015: California roadtrip

California roadtrip week! From the surfer heaven Santa Cruz to Monterey sea life, through the wilderness of Big Sur to San Simeon and the lavish Hearst castle, down to Morro Bay.

Welcome to our weekly recap! This one's for January 23rd - 29th, which is the week 4, 2015.

What I've learned:
There's no end to beautiful sunsets on the West Coast. Every evening we've been by the coast, we've been delivered a great spectacle of nature. For someone coming from the North where sunset can take hours, it's a learning that the nearer you get to the equator, the faster the sunset passes. There's no time to linger, you need to be there sharp.

2015 California roadtrip, sunset

2015 California roadtrip, Santa Cruz sunset

 We are trying out a new daily schedule. Helped by our jetlag, we've been waking up around 4:30 in the morning. That's means we are right at work by 5, or 6 at the latest, and have gotten a whole day of work done by early afternoon. This leaves us plenty of daylight hours for exploring! Seems to be working well so far.

2015 California roadtrip, sea lions

Random thought:
 Why are most of the motel owners here Indian (or Pakistanese or similar) origin? From the 4 motels we stayed in this week, 3 were run by them. They all been really nice and helpful, and I do like the delicious smell of Indian cooking lingering in the lobby. - I didn't have any great pics from our motels, so here's a random one. Not sure if any of these are owned by Indians, though.

2015 California roadtrip, Monterey

Surprise of the week:
 We visited two tourists attractions this week, and I really liked them both! In the Monterey Bay Aquarium I got mesmerized by the glowing jellyfishes, watched the small fishes going round and round endlessly, touched a stingray (felt hairy!), and learnt much new from the presentations. And at the Hearst Castle I was just amazed by the grandeur of it all. I liked his way of thinking: it doesn't matter who made it. Famous or not, if it looks good and fits in, I'll take it! That's my decor style, although my budget is slightly smaller.

2015 California roadtrip, Monterey Bay Aquarium

2015 California roadtrip, Hearst Castle

Tip of the week:
When driving down the spectacular Highway 1 through the Big Sur area, do visit the State parks / beaches on the way! You only need to pay once for the parking, and can use the same ticket in all the parks. We stopped by at the Point Lobos State Reserve, which has easy trails along the coast with plenty of animal life to spot. We loved the sea lions playing in the waves, and a group next to us even spotted a whale. We tried to look to the direction they were pointing at, but no success.

At the Andrew Molera State Park we hiked a mile to a beach. The path started with wading in an ice cold river and then walking through meadows. Pretty! And the beach at then end, it was just amazing. So wild, so beautiful. I just sat there, watching the ocean for a long time.

2015 California roadtrip, Point Lobos

2015 California roadtrip, Andrew Molera

Food love:
 Burgers and Mexican food. That's what we've been eating for the past week. Plus one dinner at a Chinese place. We are on budget, since California is clearly more expensive than the places we normally visit. The horrible (for us) dollar - euro exchange rate doesn't help either. So we've been mainly visiting fast food places and cheap hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Have to say that all has been edible, most of it actually delicious!

2015 California roadtrip, burgers

Memorable moment:
 We were driving down the Highway 1, and somewhere before San Simeon the mist started to crawl in from the ocean. It transformed the already breathtaking scenery into something magical. Wow. Just wow.

2015 California roadtrip, highway 1

2015 California roadtrip, mist on Highway 1

And that's it for our week. How was yours?

This week's photos can also be found in our photo albums in Flickr.

Antti and Mirje

We are Mirje and Antti, a 30+ digital nomad couple, entrepreneurs with restless feet and passion for experiencing the world. more »