Thursday, March 19, 2015

road trips are my jam...

Most people can’t stand being in a car, but the car is my happy place. Windows down, radio up (mostly always country), sunglasses on… Perfection. 

About two weeks ago, one of my best friends and I decided to take a road trip throughout the Northern Coast. It was needed on so many levels… To get away, to reconnect (she lives in the mountains of Central CA while I am in Southern CA), to just have fun with my person. We reminisced over our college days, over our seven years of friendship; we talked about relationships and about what the Lord is teaching us and about the different seasons we are in as opposed to where we thought we would be. God is merciful and gracious to not answer some of our prayers, y'all!
Friends, I cannot tell you how much fun we had. We traveled 1,056.7 miles over four days, adventured through multiple cities, stayed in some awesome and questionable hostels, ate some of the greatest food, and had life-giving conversations. We laughed hard, drove recklessly, threw caution to the wind, drank too many lattes, ate too much food, and created lasting memories. 

Riverside, CA -> Clovis, CA -> Sausalito, CA
Our first day was mostly all traveling, not sightseeing; I drove from Southern CA to Central CA to pick up my girl, then we headed straight towards Sausalito, CA. For three nights, we stayed in hostels through a company calling Hostelling International. They provide great places to stay for very cheap prices, perfect for road-tripping! We arrived in pretty late, so our only option for dinner was stopping at the local Whole Foods for build-your-own salads, mind you, we had roughly ten minutes until the store closed; cue running through Whole Foods, building salads that make no culinary sense, and taking selfies while the clerks judge us. Obviously, our trip was off to a great start! We checked into our hostel, ate our salads, and attempted to get a good nights sleep.

Sausalito, CA -> San Francisco, CA -> Point Reyes, CA -> Pescadero, CA
We woke up our next day ready to plan our first day of actual road-tripping. Our first stop: the Ferry Building in San Francisco, CA. This place is filled with amazing eateries, local artisans, and great coffee. We grabbed lattes from Blue Bottle Coffee and walked through the building, sampling lotions and cheeses and all the things. And, then I ran into one of my friends from junior high school. Excuse me, yes, this did happen. I haven’t talked to her in roughly 13 years, and homegirl recognized me as we walked by her booth. CRAZY. I still can’t really believe that actually happened. We grabbed lunch from Cowgirl Creamery (known for their cheeses and salads) then headed out to the Golden Gate Park Windmills & Tulip Farm. We walked, talked, and cheered on the cyclists. We jumped in the car and drove to our next stop: Point Reyes, CA. People, Point Reyes easily became one of my new favorite towns; it is small and quaint, filled with cows and rolling hills and amazing views of the coast. We made a point to stop at the S.S. Point Reyes, an abandoned, shipwrecked ship in the middle of the town. If you ever visit Point Reyes, this is a must! We had a great time exploring the ship and taking in the beauty of it all (which meant a friendship photo session, complete with self timers and judgy onlookers). We planned to see the lighthouse, but for some reason, it was closed to the public, so we headed to our next hostel in Pescadero, CA, which happened to be on the shore of the coast, within 500 feet of a lighthouse. The view made up for the sketchy owner, the haphazardly organized kitchen, and the fluorescent-lit hot tub that the owner let us use for free. (Note to self: sometimes the best things in life are not free.) 

Pescadero, CA -> Davenport, CA -> Big Sur, CA -> Santa Cruz, CA
This day was easily my favorite day of our entire trip! It was packed to the brim with great food, great sights, and great conversations. Breakfast was spent at Davenport Cafe, which is located on the side of the highway in Davenport, CA. And you think I am exaggerating, but we decided that we would be willing to plan other trips around this cafe because the food was so freaking good. I ordered an omelette with spinach, pesto, and bacon with hash browns on the side, my friend ordered a breakfast burrito, and we both ordered a cup of their special Mexican roast coffee. I am convinced that this breakfast was inspired by the Holy Spirit; legitimately, I am ruined for omelettes... There will never be an omelette that will live up to this one!
  We thanked the waitress and the cooks for one of the best meals in the history of our lives, and made the trek up to Big Sur, CA. We spent the crux of the day hiking the Pfeiffer Falls and driving through the coast, blasting T-Swift and Maroon 5... and let me tell you, it was just so dang perfect. 
The day ended in Santa Cruz, CA at the Santa Cruz Bookstore, Penny Ice Creamery and Verve Coffee. I grabbed a gift for a friend, a delicious latte, and went a little crazy on two scoops of ice cream! If you have never been to Santa Cruz, Penny Ice Creamery is a must. Their flavors are always changing, but if you get the chance, try a scoop of the Chocolate Sorbet and the Brown Bread. Again, Holy Spirit inspired, y'all! 

Santa Cruz, CA -> Clovis, CA -> Riverside, CA
Santa Cruz served as our bookend to our trip. We had breakfast at Companion Bakeshop, which serves Blue Bottle Coffee and bakes some of the tastiest pastries I have ever had in my entire life. If you are ever in Santa Cruz for the day (or the morning), this place needs to be on your list! The rest of the day was spent driving back to Central CA and Southern CA. 

I am telling you, it was a life-giving four days, but for the love, I am so very thankful for a long, clean shower and my own bed.

Next trip... Napa Valley, CA? Bend, OR? Cruise to Mexico?
The world is my oyster, apparently.

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