California trip Spring 2019 - the California Coast

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We woke on day 4 of our trip to a slightly cloudy day in a small town about an hour’s drive to Carmel. We planned another day in the car traveling and enjoying the drive down Highway 1. Before I get to the drive, I want to talk about a place we discovered on day 3 during our long drive around the Sierra Nevada’s from Alabama Hills to the entrance of Sequoia National Park. We were both very tired during that drive due to lack of sleep the night before.

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The best thing about traveling is the unexpected finds along the way. We were tired and looking for a rest stop when we saw a sign for the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument. So off the exit and down a narrow dirt road to a beautiful oasis in the desert we went. We were so glad to find this place and enjoy some history and beauty as we stretched our legs and took a break from traveling. Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, I remembered his name but had forgotten all that he did for the farm workers. It was humbling reading about him and his work. I highly recommend a stop if you are ever in the area.

For our drive down the coast, we started in Carmel by the Sea. What a lovely town to visit. We enjoyed walking through the town and down to the beach. We found a wonderful bakery with delicious pastries and coffee. Of course, we had to sample some. We started further down the coast only to discover that the road was closed for a marathon. It wasn’t going to open back up until 2 PM so we had to find something to do for a few more hours. We initially tried to find a way around the closure but it didn’t seem like it was possible so we went back to Carmel and found the Carmel Mission. Another beautiful unexpected find on this trip. The mission established by Father Serra in 1777 so we got history lesson and enjoyed visiting the basilica and museum. Afterwards we went back into town and found a fantastic restaurant for lunch. That filled up the time and we got back on the road at 2 PM. Here are some pictures of our stop for your enjoyment; to scroll through the pictures, click to the right of the end picture:

Highway 1 was a bit crowded when it finally opened so it was slow going. That was ok with us since we were soaking up the scenery. If you have never completed this drive, you need to do it. Definitely a bucket list trip; winding road along cliffs with close drop offs to the ocean on one side and hills to other side. The pull offs were challenging with the number of people on the road but we stopped many times throughout the day. It was another long day but we didn’t mind. We turned inland early evening and headed over the mountains to Highway 101 south to our stop outside of Los Angeles for the night. That part was a little tricky with some thick fog rolling in as we traveled. Again, I will let some pictures tell the story.

For our last day, we had to be to the airport around 1 PM so we didn’t have too much time. We had stayed just a little north of LA so in the morning we explored a little as we headed to the airport. We were still close to the coast so decided to finish the drive to Santa Monica and see the pier. While Katie wanted to see the Hollywood sign, we decided we didn’t have enough time for that. Beverly Hills was on the way though so we drove through Rodeo drive and stopped for pics at the Beverly Hills sign. Afterwards we had to say goodbye to California and board the plane home. I hope you enjoyed all of Katie’s wonderful photography of our trip. When Tim and I start to travel in the RV, he will be the photographer. I am really looking forward to more trips in the future. To see all of the pictures below, click on the right hand side.