The adventure continues as we have moved to Santa Barbara, California. We decided to drive down and would highly recommend the scenic drive to anyone from the Pacific Northwest. Our stops included Crescent City to see the Redwood Forest, San Francisco to eat seafood on the wharf and explore the city, Monterey and Carmel for some sightseeing along the Cali coast and finally our new rental house in Santa Barbara. Read on to hear about our short and sweet trip down Highway 101.
Rainy Northwest Goodbye
We set off at 4am in true Washington style: rain. We drove straight south through Portland (we will miss you!), pit stopped in Eugene for coffee, hiked around the Umpqua Lighthouse and around 3pm checked-in to the Crescent City Best Western.
We were glad to be off the road and couldn’t wait to see the forest. We picked up some takeaway calzones from Vita Cucina Bakery & Gourmet Foods (highly recommended from mom and dad) and went to the Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park, specifically the Stout Grove, for a few hours. Fresh air, giant trees and no crowds. We liked California already!
Big Redwoods and Big City
In the morning we went on a run and hike through Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park which has over 72 miles of trails. Needless to say we covered 8 of them before hitting the road.
We stopped at the touristy Mystery of Trees but it was closed so we snapped a shot of the giant Paul Bunyan & Babe.
Our rush hour entrance to San Francisco was less than thrilling but getting to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and arriving at our hotel, the Argonaut, were great. Not to mention it was clear, sunny and warm. I’ve never seen SF on a clear day! We stayed right next to Fisherman’s Wharf so opted for a seafood dinner at the Fog Harbor Fish House on Pier 39 followed by a walk to see the sea lions sleeping on floating docks and ended the night with dessert at Ghirardelli’s original chocolate factory in Ghirardelli Square.
San Fran by bike and the Quiet Coast
In the morning we worked out in the great hotel gym (nicest one we’ve seen in a while) and ate breakfast at the famous Boudin Bakery & Cafe know for their sourdough. After a filling crab benedict and a scrambled egg wrap we opted to go biking around Golden Gate Park. The park was full of people enjoying the sunny day, flourishing plants and other bikers. It reminded us of a bigger Mount Tabor park in Portland. It’s great to see such a big green space in the middle of a city.
We loaded up the bikes for a 4 hour drive north to Monterey. After a short pit stop at an outlet mall for new work cloths for Will we arrived to our ocean front hotel in Monterey. Our room over looked the sprawling coast line, the sound of the waves were instantly soothing and the sun was setting. Did we arrive in paradise? That evening we wine tasted at a shop that sold an array of the Monterey area wines. Delicious, although the pinot noir was much different than those in Oregon. We strolled down Cannery Row which before 1970 was a row of sardine canneries and is now a street lined with cute shops, hotels and fine dining restaurants. We ate dinner at the Cannery Row Brewing Company and then enjoyed a soak in the roof top hot tub before bed.
Point Lobos and Our new Residence
In the morning, after breakfast on our room terrace, we visited Point Lobos Sate National Reserve in Carmel for a hike along the coast. It was a unique park with high ridges above the crashing waves and a sea lion sanctuary where over 20 sea lions were resting on the shore. The moms had new pups which were cute to see.
Around 11am we hit the road for a four plus hour drive to Santa Barbara that seemed to last forever passing many fields and vineyards. The end of the journey always drags on.
We arrived tired, but excited in the San Roque neighborhood of Santa Barbara where our new rental home awaited. We pulled into the driveway of the light pink stucco home that almost instantly felt like home. We met the owner/our landlord and toured the property for the first time in person since, crazy enough, we signed a lease by touring the house via Skype and talking with the owner. The house, garden, yard, avocado tree, garage and neighborhood are great. We feel truly blessed to be in such a beautiful city and have an opportunity to live, work and adventure here.
Although the drive was long we would encourage everyone to drive Highway 101 if traveling north or south along the west coast. The scenery is spectacular and the the terrain varies drastically. If you happen to find yourself in Santa Barbara feel free to stop in for a visit!
Jenny & Will
Big thanks to mom and dad Phillips for helping us recover from our world tour and encouraging us to take chances with our future plans. You’re guest room awaits!