I feel like I should warn you that this post is going to be long.
I mentioned the other day that John and I decided there is a big difference between a trip and a vacation. For us, a trip is when you visit some place and spend your time making sure you see and do everything there is to see and do. It's not necessarily frantic, but it's not necessarily relaxing either. Usually, when we take a trip, we return home in need of a vacation. For us, a vacation is when you visit some place and you spend your time relaxing. A vacation is therapeutic to your soul.
Last week we took a short vacation to Big Sur, California.
Wanna know what the number one thing to do in Big Sur is? Absolutely nothing. I read that before we left Colorado and I knew I was going to love Big Sur.
And what's not to love? It's gorgeous.
You guys know that I live in a place of spectacular beauty, but this scenic coastline took my breath away. I think the combination of mountains and sea is so unique. If you ever have the chance to drive this stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway, don't miss it!
[It's hard for me not to chuckle a little when I use the word mountains to describe this coastline. The altimeter on John's watch said our elevation was 500-800 feet above sea level. That's not what I'd describe as a mountain, but I guess it's all relative.]
John did all the research and made all of our plans for this vacation for which I was grateful. I remember him telling me about this place called Deetjen's that he was considering for our stay. He said, "Mer, it's sorta quaint and rustic. Are you okay with that?" I like quaint. I like rustic. He chose well.
This place has some rich history too, and John enjoyed reading all the old guestbooks. There were stacks and stacks of them, and I think he read every single one. Deetjen's has special, magical memories for lots and lots of folks. And now we're some of them!
One funny story about the restaurant. We were eating breakfast one morning and I happened to glance up and notice Fabio, Deetjen's resident cat, outside. He walked right past the big picture window we were seated by with a mouse in his mouth. It was sorta funny. Sorta not. And thankfully I didn't lose my appetite.
We spent our days doing much of nothing. Driving the coastline, finding beautiful spots to hang out and stare at the ocean, reading, napping, and of course eating! That's what you're supposed to do on vacation, right?
I had really hoped to see whales (humpback whales were the ones we had the best chance of seeing) but we didn't. One day we heard there was a sea otter playing in a lagoon nearby but it was raining pretty hard so we didn't walk down there. We also tried to spot some California condors. John thinks he saw some, but I think they were just big birds. Not sure... hmmmm.
We left Big Sur on Saturday, which was my 40th birthday, and drove up to Carmel-by-the-Sea. A truly gorgeous place. We spent most of the day walking around/shopping and we hung out on the beach for awhile.
That night we drove up toward Santa Cruz and stayed in a Bed & Breakfast just east of there, so we'd be closer to San Francisco and the airport. We had originally planned to spend some time in San Francisco, but John worried that the transition from remote/secluded to big city might sorta "break the spell" and I agreed. He's a wise man, that husband of mine. We're often disappointed after being in the mountains and driving back into Denver. You go from amazing natural beauty to bright lights, big city, and it often makes us both a bit heartsick. I'm glad we had a chance to ease back into things...
Oh, and we also got to eat our first In-N-Out burger. Yummmmmmm. Will was jealous. I guess we're going to have to take that boy to California sometime.
This trip vacation was to celebrate 20 years of marriage. Our actual anniversary is later this month but John's parents had time in May to help us with the kids so we got to celebrate early. Thanks so much Mimi and Papa for coming to stay with Will, Sarah, and Abbey. And thanks for spoiling them rotten!