Hey guys! One of my goals for 2018 is to get better at updating this ol’ blog in a more timely, consistent manner. November and December got SO busy for us and got away from me so quickly, and every time I tried to set aside blogging time I ended up with a thousand other things going on. So – like I said – I am going to make this more of a priority in 2018!
So, catching up on our activities. I briefly mentioned this in a previous post, but in case you missed it – earlier in the fall, my husband bought a Lotus Elise and has since spent a lot of his free time rediscovering his love of cars. He was pretty involved in the car culture when he was living in Charleston, SC; moving up north to Connecticut and starting his sea tour made that a bit more difficult. One of his goals when we moved out here was to find a fun new car for the time we’ll be in California, and the universe aligned to get him the Lotus. She’s quite the fun little car – and I love everything a bit more when it comes in yellow, just sayin’:
During his rediscovery of car love, he’s been listening to a podcast called “Everyday Driver” (also a TV show on Velocity) and found out that they were doing a trip out to Monterey the weekend of November 17-18th to do a track day at Laguna Seca and a group cruise on the Pacific Coast Highway from Monterey to Big Sur. Naturally, he wanted to go take the Lotus out to play. Boy, am I glad we did.
First things first: shoutout to the Everyday Driver guys for being the actual nicest people. I am certainly not a car enthusiast and frankly don’t care that much about cars in general, but both the guys behind the show and all of the people we met were SUPER welcoming and incredibly friendly.
We weren’t able to do the track day for a couple of reasons – the Lotus isn’t really track prepped yet, plus a pesky thing called “work” prevented us from being available on a Friday afternoon – but headed out to meet up with the group for the cruise portion of the weekend. The group met up in Carmel to begin the journey. We haven’t gone to Big Sur yet, and I’ve been told that this drive has some of the most beautiful views in the country. Everyone who told me that is certainly not wrong.
This was our first stop on the journey – some sandy area along Route 1. These photos absolutely do not do it justice. It was a gorgeous day, sunny and warm enough for the top to be down, barely a cloud in the sky. And just look at that water. I still can’t believe we live so close to the Pacific Ocean and these stunning, perfect views. And this was only the beginning of the day!
Plus a Traveling Chucks photo (featuring my Boba Fett socks because I am very cool) for good measure. 😉
The second stop on the adventure had us near the large, seemingly random rock you see in the background of the Chucks photo above. I don’t remember exactly the name of it, but further investigation told us it was some sort of naval station outpost. We stopped by a fenced off area that’s a part of El Sur Ranch to take some photos. The views were once again stunning (and the Lotus ain’t too bad either):
From there, we continued rolling south towards Big Sur. Now, I love the beach, I love the ocean, I am always happiest by the water. But I grew up as a Lake Person in the Adirondacks, and so I am so much happier when the water is also close to some pine trees. It’s why I fell in love with Lake Tahoe immediately. So when I saw this, I nearly cried, turned to my husband and said “heaven is real, and it’s Big Sur, California” :
I can’t even begin to find the words to do this incredible scenery justice, so I’ll go ahead and let you just see for yourself.
We stopped for lunch at the Big Sur Roadhouse, a smallish rustic restaurant on Route 1. I didn’t take any pictures, but the menu was fairly standard casual lunch fare – I ordered chicken fingers because I’m an adult and I do what I want – with some indoor seating and plenty of tables outside with fire pits! And pine trees! And sunshine! Parking was a little difficult but I imagine if you aren’t rolling in twenty cars deep you will probably be fine. Shoutout to the staff at Big Sur Roadhouse for being totally accommodating of the unexpected huge group.
After lunch the group split off to head their separate ways – we were one of only a handful of locals, so a lot of people had to start making their way to airports and train stations and what-have-you. I, however, had other plans.
I am a huge, huge Death Cab for Cutie fan (I walked down the aisle at our wedding to an instrumental version of “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” type of huge fan) and some preliminary research into the area before we moved out west alerted me to the fact that the Bixby Creek Bridge is near Big Sur. This bridge is absolutely gorgeous on its own – one of the most photographed bridges in the world, I’m told – but it’s also featured in the Death Cab song “Bixby Canyon Bridge.” So, because my husband thankfully puts up with my crazy ideas, on our way back up to Monterey we stopped to pay homage to a favorite song and a beautiful spot.
Lord have mercy.
So there you have it, friends. A peek into a gorgeous day on a gorgeous road with some gorgeous views. I highly, highly recommend doing this drive – even (and maybe especially) if you’re not a car enthusiast. I figured I’d spend the day taking a few casual photos of the car, and ended up falling in love with the coastline and the views and always, the trees and the ocean. It amazes me that these incredible places are just a handful of miles south of where we live. It amazes me even more to think about my life five years ago, a graduate student in Buffalo, NY, never even dreaming that she might live somewhere like this.
Coming soon: yet another drive! Stay tuned to read about our drive down to and our adventures in Los Angeles for Thanksgiving weekend.