The Coast with the Most and the City by the Bay


Time to recap my latest adventure...while it's still fresh in my mind! Two weeks ago my friends and I embarked on a journey to San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Big Sur...locations that are very familiar in the world of film, so naturally I'd been dying to pay this part of the country a visit (and really who can say no to cheap airfare?) I'd been to San Francisco before, but probably a good 15 years ago. I loved it then and have been dying to go back ever since...especially when I happen to watch a film set in SF. Some favorites that come to mind in case you want to try and relive our trip cinematically are: Vertigo, Just Like Heaven, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Bachelor, The Birds and the newest addition: Blue Jasmine. Coastal Cali wise check out Ruby Sparks, Mother and People Like Us...for the scenery only on the last one. Oh and finally Shutter Island, because it REALLY reminds me of Alcatraz. And if THAT isn't enough...check out Courtney and Amelia's posts on the subject. Courtney's HERE and the first part of Amelia's HERE. Oh and check out #CAbyconvertible on Instagram or twitter.

There's a lot to cover... but here are some of the highlights. I'll go with expectations (based on the movies) vs. reality once again. Oh and before we start I'd like to thank Courtney for letting me raid her photos!!

The Journey Begins...

Expectation? First and foremost, there would be well-behaving hair as the sea breeze would gently tousle our manes...for stylish purposes only.  It would always be warm as the sun would beat upon our skin. We would drive in luxury and at our leisure as we took in the coast. Amelia would have a scarf that blew in the wind. And there would be PLENTY of room for everyone involved. REALITY? Well it was definitely an experience I'm glad we got to be a part of (really it WAS a lot of fun,) but my GOODNESS I was having nothing but bad hair moments this trip due to our vehicle that I hadn't really considered would be a problem beforehand. [Side note: yes I know To Catch A Thief wasn't set in SF.]

Don't believe it's a coincidence I couldn't find any pictures of me with my horrible hair while riding in the convertible....I wouldn't allow myself to be photographed in such a manner!!

Like our experiences in the vehicle, our cruise around the bay would be similar! Our hair would most certainly behave (my bangs would never resemble the silhouette of Homer Simpson's head...but maybe the problem here was that I didn't take Mark and Leo's cue to get myself a hat.) And it'd be warm...and perhaps sunnier than the picture reflects. But in actuality...the picture was kind of right as SF is an incredibly foggy place! But going past Alcatraz was almost like floating past a movie set. Shutter Island is spot on regarding that one.

Seriously...doesn't this just look like a movie set??

San Francisco is just magical. Filmmakers know it, and so here there was definitely the least discrepancy in reality vs. expectation.... aside from certain parts of the city being unfortunately FLOODED with tourists. We really only had an afternoon, but I took the time I had to admire the uniqueness of the city, with it's great architecture and overall beauty. As I said, we didn't have time for much, but what we did I must say I enjoyed immensely. You can see how a city like this could be the setting for so many different stories... whether it's Full House or Vertigo. San Francisco could be the backdrop for anyone.

First view of the city is a lovely one!

Per my mother's request..

Everywhere you look...

Earlier in the summer my sister stayed in a beach house, and I must admit I became taken with the idea. It's so cinematical! Such a different experience than a hotel. Plus Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind...and um every Nicholas Sparks movie in existence seems to be quite taken with them too. There just seems to be something lovely and peaceful about a house on a much more private beach that not everyone knows about. Thankfully everything worked out and we were able to stay in quite a lovely one that rivaled some pretty nice cinematic ones! I must say the private beach filled with sand dollars was my favorite. I could spend eternity there...

Our Condo! Looks kind of like the Eternal Sunshine one huh??

To the beach from the house. I wish I could wake up every morning walking over to this!

Ever since the movie Like Crazy came out that had a large portion set at the Santa Monica pier...I've been DYING to go to visit an amusement park pier beach. My wish was granted when we decided to spend a day in Santa Cruz. But the fantastic park wasn't the only thing that area had to offer... Cute colored beach houses that lined the sand in Capitola was our first stop. Next came the rides at the pier, followed by a swim in the ocean. After that, we visited a gorgeous hidden beach in Davenport. The sight there were stunning and reminded me of New Zealand. Once we had our fill of the beach we ate dinner at a restaurant that I will crave for the rest of my life. Later we checked out an anti-gravity spot and simultaneously I got to enjoy feeling like I was on the forest moon of Endor with all the redwoods that surrounded me! Then we finished off our loooong day with a stroll along another coast!

This place was just adorable. 

I love how the beach and the park are side by side!

I could do a whole blog dedicated to this beach!! If I lived there, this would be my spot.

BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger on Sourdough with Garlic Parmesan Fries. I want this so bad..

The only thing that would make this better would be speeder bikes!

We were too tired to climb down, but now I'm wishing we had!

The next day we departed to Big Sur! But first we hit up the tiny town Carmel for a quick picnic and unintentional trek from our parking lot to the beach. The day as all the others was extremely foggy so the sky was almost as white as the sand...but I thought it was a pretty beach all the same! Soon after we left that town, the REAL drive began and the stunning views were just as breathtaking as they had been portrayed in the films that made me long to do this in the first place! One of the beaches that I wanted to see the most was closed (the one where From Here to Eternity was shot..) but driving along Pacific Coast Highway through Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park was grand enough on its own. While we were there we stopped to see McWay Falls and were utterly captivated by its beauty. The waterfall crashing on the beach made it seem to be one of the most exquisite beaches in existence...but, unfortunately, impossible (and illegal) to step foot on. We ended the day with the combination of Point Lobos and Monterey (in which we received roses at our fancy lil seafood restaurant on the wharf.) Vacation: successful. I only hope I get a chance to spend more time there someday.

Carmel. I loved the white sands!

I probably should include this one to prove Amelia Martinez also came on our trip..

McWay Falls. Candidate for most beautiful beach award! This picture has no filter!!
Unlike this one which is heavily filtered but still cute right??

The Monterey Wharf. Simply adorable. 

Goodbye Cali. You were wonderful. Hope to see you again soon!

If you stuck with me til the end I'm impressed. Now go home. The movie is over!


Johanna said...

Why didn't you post any pictures of that park that is in The Bachelor?

Oh, and this looks like you are just having so much fun. I never got to do anything like this when I was young. Oh, wait. I still haven't!

Emily said...

Haha okay I just edited one in!

Sarah said...

Awesome pictures! California is such a beautiful place. I'm glad you got to go.

Amelia said...

Oh my gosh why didn't I wear a scarf?! so picturesque. Love this take on the trip! so much fun!