We’re on vacation! This year has been extremely stressful for us, so after saying, “I need a vacation” a thousand times over the last few years, we decided to actually do it. We took a few days to make our way up the California coast then head over to my mother in law’s house outside of Yosemite National Park. This trip has helped me remember why it is SO worth it to live in California. This state is truly paradise!
We started by visiting my brother in law in Santa Barbara where I enjoyed my traditional Santa Barbara Pier dinner of clam chowder and a whole crab- drenched in butter. (One of the most important things I do as I travel the California coast is have clam chowder as much as possible.)
We stayed in the little Danish village of Solvang, then visited one of my best friends and his family close to San Louis Obispo.
We then headed up the coast to Big Sur and Monterey. Have you ever driven or heard of the Pacific Coast Highway drive to Big Sur? It is by far the most beautiful drive on this PLANET!!! What a way to witness the majestic glory of God! Here are a few pictures (click to view large image):
One picture I didn’t get is of the “homestead” you witness a few miles after you get through the Big Sur pass- a huge multi-acre pasture property sitting ON the glorious coast, sprinkled with truly happy California cattle. A private road takes you up to a homestead perched on a private rock/mountain sitting IN the ocean, with a lavish home, barns, and more. Private beaches surround this private rock, too. It is just magnificent. I can’t even imagine how this family acquired such a property.
Next stop- Monterey! From the moment I see that crazy private rock-in-the-ocean property, to the point I shop downtown in the farmer’s market and eat my rotisserie chicken against the tranquil ocean, watching seals and otters frolic through the kelp, I can’t stop thinking, “I have to live HERE!” Monterey is quite a tourist trap, but there is plenty of hometown attraction just steps from the touristy areas, and large homestead properties only a few miles away. There is a strong local food movement and plenty of mom and pop shops and restaurants to check out. A little pastry shop I found is INSANE!!! (When on vacation, I decide my diet is on vacation, too, and I seek out every town’s most popular pastry shops or cupcakeries!) Thanks to my YELP! app on my phone, I found lots of local favorites and must-see places that made the 2 days we spent in this beautiful coastal village very special.
We are now sitting in the serene mountains outside of Yosemite National Park in the “retreat” part of our trip. We’re spending time with family we’ve missed and enjoying more of the majesty of God’s amazingly diverse creation.
It has only been a few days but I feel my body recuperating from a few years of anxiety that has been building up because of constant work and stress. I’m dealing with some significant health issues right now- which I will tell you more about later- so I’m finding this little getaway an essential ingredient for life right now…physically, mentally, and spiritually.
More to come in Part 2!
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