Spring Break for me was like a wonderful, slow stroll. I went from my usual 100 MPH all the way down to 0. It was awesome.
For a long time I've been talking about doing a roadtrip up the coast with a friend. Last week it finally happened. Heather had to be in Santa Barbara for a baby shower and I decided to tag along. From there we hit the road and headed north up Highyway 1.
The Santa Barbara Botanical Garden was a perfect place for me to hangout while Heather was at the baby shower. Blue skies. Golden poppies. Fresh air. I just sat there. I took a lot of photos too.
There's something magical about the central coast of California. The jagged, rocky coastline. The gently rolling hills. The smog-free air. Our timing was perfect. Every placed we stopped seemed like a sleepy, little beach town. Folks kept telling us, "Last week it was packed! Everyone was here for Spring Break!" Let me tell you, I feel like I won Spring Break. No agenda. No crowds. Nothing to do but relax and create our own adventures.
Easter Sunday we were up before the sun and drove to Morro Rock for the sunrise service. If you ever have the chance, Easter Sunday at Morro Rock is worth the drive. After, we eased into the morning with a slow stroll at low tide. If you know me, you know low tide at just about any beach is equivalent to my happy place. What made this slow stroll so perfect was the abundance of sand dollars. I must have pocketed about 50. No joke. The fog kept rolling in and out. It was spectacular. It was a memorable Easter morning, to say the least.
Later that day, on a whim, we pulled off Highway 1 and climbed a random hill. This was the view from the top. In the distance, looking south, you could see all the way back to Morro Rock. But looking north, the rugged shoreline stretched on as far as we could see. When folks dream of the Golden State, this is what they must imagine. In a picture, to me, this is California.
The northernmost point we went was to San Simeon, to Hearst Castle. Wow! Rich history. Beautiful architecture. We were both surprised at the amount of antiquities through the house and on the property. If you're going to visit Hearst Castle, I recommend that you do a double tour. We did the Grand Rooms tour, but I would have loved to see more. It was all stunning.
As we began the journey south, I couldn't help but notice the beauty of the landscape that surrounded us. Southern California has many beautiful places. But along the Central Coast, there's something about the open spaces, the blue skies, the absence of concrete and buildings and busyness that seems magical. That is what I appreciated the most. No schedule to keep. No break lights and traffic signals blinking at me. Just the open road and the sun shining down. And the abundance beautiful views.
Our last stop was in Solvang, CA. I had never been to Solvang before. It is such a quaint, lovely little town. We slow strolled and window shopped. We ate some ableskievers. We took some windmill pictures. We took a walk around Mission Santa Inés. Solvang was a great ending to an enjoyable road trip.
Spring Break was wonderful. Heather and I created our own adventures, shared a ton of laughs, and I was reminded that "unplugging" a bit is important, at least every once in a while. It was during this time that I was able to clearly see what was surrounding me. What I saw did not disappoint. It made me ready for the next adventure.
Here's to the road ahead.
Enjoy our funny little road trip video!