Sunday, March 20, 2016

California Day 4: Carmel by the Sea to Pismo Beach

Also known as the prettiest drive you could ever take! Oh my goodness, was this day breathtaking!!

If there was one day we really needed sunshine, it was this one and only day, and we got it!!

The mister did a great job of keeping us safe! There were many windy and twisty roads that you could easily drive off the cliff and biggie :)

Once again, the pictures do not even come close to doing these sights justice. If there's one thing you should do in this life, it's to drive through Big Sur.  Bea-u-ti-ful!

As we kept driving the sights continued to get bigger and better and the ocean more vibrant

There are many many "pull off" spots along Highway 1 and we picked and chose only a handful and had researched a few must see spots!

At first glance, we thought this bridge was the famous Bixby Bridge, but it wasn't...very similar when you see the real Bixby.  The waters and cliffs surrounding this bridge may have been more beautiful than Bixby, but maybe because it was a "nobody" :)

And then just a few more miles down the road was Bixby Bridge.  We had read to not follow the popular pull off, but to take the gravel road to the left, as it provides a different view.  I was so impressed with Reid's determination as he turned left as if he had done it 100 times.  This was probably the scariest road...

We didn't take it all the way, as we didn't know where it would take us to, so we took it just far enough to still feel safe and get a good picture

You can see the gravel road on the right and Bixby beyond that

So green, can you see the little creek or river down below?

and then we joined the area where everyone else takes picture of Bixby

As we drove away Reid said "Smile, we're the car that will be in everyone's pictures." and we rolled down the windows and waved our hands :)

You can see Bixby in the background on the right

Once you drive over Bixby you're considered to be in Big Sur.  There is no cell phone service and not many stops along this section of the drive.  We had researched a couple of spots to stop, one for a restroom and one for a drink.  This was the bathroom stop, it almost looks fake

And this was the drink stop, Nepenthe, amazing view.  Another one of those "planned" stops, but we didn't know the time and we just happened to arrive 5 minutes before EVERYONE arrived and it would have been at least a 30 minute wait and no chance would we have gotten a seat outside with a view...

 It's not every day you have a drink with this kind of a view

The next famous stop is the Mcway waterfall

The pictures can't quite capture how pretty the water color is.  I wasn't that impressed with the waterfall, but it is pretty cool that it's just part of nature

Continuing along Highway 1 through Big Sur

There are signs posted to watch for Falling Rocks, kind of like Deer Crossing signs in MN.  We did have a minor traffic jam once, for some rocks that needed to be cleared from the road. It was probably only a 15 minute delay, can't beat the view though

Reid wanted me to take a picture of a tunnel he saw coming up.  I also decided to start recording, was a pretty cool spot to capture!

Another popular spot to stop is in Cambria to see the Elephant Seals

Eventually we arrived at our stop for the night.  Pismo Beach.  Most of our hotels we book through Hotwire where you can pick the area, but the actual hotel you don't know until you book and pay.  At Pismo we still booked through hotwire, but we wanted to choose the hotel because we upgraded to an ocean side room.  It didn't disappoint.  We slept with the door cracked so we could hear the sound of the waves.  We also happened to see a WHALE Sunday morning after we got back from church.

View from our balcony, a little walking path

Trails provided by the hotel, Inn at the Cove, to see the little cove and to go down to the beach

We ran to the liquor store to pick up some wine so we could sip it while we watched the sun set

We decided to get takeout and eat it on our balcony that night.  While we were waiting for the food to be done we sat on these fun two person swing/hammock type chairs.

We got pizza from Del's Pizzeria. oh my goodness, was it delicious and did it hit the spot.

The next morning we sprang ahead for daylight savings time and headed to the local church where they had a special prayer for their visitors and that they would have safe travels. We felt right at home :)

The whole drive through Big Sur, Reid had jokingly kept saying do you see any whales?  It was pretty crazy that we did see one right outside our room.

Before heading out of town we walked out on the local pier and watched some surfers.

Next stop---Santa Barbara

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