“We’re going to California,” my husband said.
“What? We are? When?” I replied. He went on to tell me the wonderful news that we were flying into San Francisco and taking one week to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway, ending in San Diego. He had planned this as a terrific surprise to celebrate our 15th anniversary. (The kids were equally excited to head to Grandpa and Grandma’s farm, and to spend time with cousins).
We had heard from friends and family that the sites along this stretch of California were incredible, and they were right. It’s impossible to share all of the amazing sites, but I’m gonna try to narrow it down to a few favorites.
We landed and headed to our favorite spot in San Francisco, the stunning Ferry Building. We took some time to walk around enjoying the amazing shops and local fresh foods.
We grabbed lunch at a favorite restaurant, Gott’s Roadside. It’s a must!
Napa & Sonoma
Next we headed over the Golden Gate Bridge and went North to Napa and Sonoma. The vineyards, which are EVERYWHERE, are beautiful! We went for a walk and suddenly were surrounded by hot air balloons. It felt like we were in a movie! 🙂 Sonoma’s Plaza (we call this a “square” here in Iowa) was completely charming and fun. The sandwiches at The Basque Cafe were the best!
Armstrong Redwoods State National Park
We headed back toward the coast and made a stop to see the Redwoods at Armstrong Redwoods State National Reserve. To me, these trees really showed the majesty of God. Really, their size and beauty are indescribable.
Pebble Beach and Carmel By the Sea
We got back on the PCH and next experienced The 17 Mile Drive and Pebble Beach. Our sister-in-law,Shelby, recommended this drive, and it did not disappoint. WOW!
I wish you could hear the waves crash and smell the salty air at this beautiful beach!
We hiked to the top of Runyon Park, despite the warning of rattlesnakes! Yikes! And boy was it worth the risk! The views of the city were amazing!
This small town is charming and laid back. The beach here is visible from most parts of town. After taking a long walk on the beach, we devoured some delicious tacos at Jake’s while keeping our eyes on the beach the whole time.
Torrey Pines & La Jolla
We continued south and enjoyed stunning views along the coast. Two of my favorite coastal views (how can I narrow it down, really!?!) are just north of La Jolla and from the trails in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.
To sum it up, California’s coast shows God’s power and creativity in ways that are hard to wrap my mind around! I praise him for his creation.
Psalm 8:1 “O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
I’m also so thankful for 15 years of marriage (how can it be 15 years, already!?), an adventurous husband who still loves to surprise me, and for family who welcomed our children so we could have this experience.
So tell me, have you ever driven down the Pacific Coast Highway? What are some of your favorite places?