Birthday Road Trip Recap (Big Sur to San Fran)

Hey gals,

We’re home from vacation! I’ve been so excited to share photos with you! We got home late last night, started laundry (you guys – there is so much!), made popcorn, and watched Vacation.

I have so many photos and so many words that I want to share about this trip, but I’ll do my best to keep the words more minimal, since I think photos are the MOST fun! I hope you enjoy!

BIG SUR

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On Saturday we left at 7:30 AM, car packed with camping stuff and bags for San Fran, and drove Highway 1 through Big Sur… And so day 1 began!

SLO Friends

Also, quick interruption, because this surprise dinner deserves all the thanks in the world. The night before we left, my friend Caitlin had told me she was taking me to dinner for my birthday. She didn’t tell me where we were going, only that she was picking me up at 7:00.

Little did I know, my new friends in SLO had been planning a birthday surprise for me the whole week before my birthday. I cried when I walked in, because I couldn’t believe (and still can’t!) that I have friends in my new home who love me enough to do this.

Moving was SO hard around months 6 & 7 (I need to do a what it’s like to move away update post) and now I am just feeling so so blessed and thankful to be where we are. I love my new friends so much.

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Okay, back to the road trip. Hehe. We drove to Big Sur on Highway 1, and our first stop was Nepenthe for breakfast and the view!

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More of the view from Nepenthe! (They have a small breakfast cafe below for brunch, which is where we ate)

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Our camping spot at Fernwood Campground

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Right under these redwoods

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In the afternoon, we drove to the bridge (the huge one that you see so many photos of when people share Big Sur

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See it there on the left?

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And you guys… Marco and I were going nuts… Find the kid who is reading ON TOP of the ledge and then tell me if you’d do the same?! (Not the girl who’s in the nook)

The Big Sur Bridge

Do we need a reminder how HUGE this bridge is? Ha! SO scary to sit like that!

Big Sur Water

Beautiful, beautiful Big Sur water…

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After seeing the bridge we stopped for a hike at the Andrew Molera campground which went right along this creek and through the woods out to the beach.

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On our way back to the campground, we made two last stops, one being the River Inn.

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At the River Inn, you can sit in the river while you relax, read, drink… Whatever you want! So nice.

Our last stop was to pick up firewood. When we got back to the campground, we ate dinner at the Tavern at Fernwood and then made a campfire. We went to bed around 8:00 every night of our trip. Old? Relaxed? We’re not sure.

CARMEL

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On day 2 we packed up the car, showered off (freeeeeeeeeezing, but we did it), got breakfast at the River Inn (amazing food!), and then hung out for the first part of the day in Carmel.

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While in Carmel we walked downtown, saw the beach (it’s beautiful!), and I ordered a almond milk white chocolate mocha for the road.

MONTEREY

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We continued day 2 by driving up the coast and landing in Monterey. We walked the boardwalk at the beach, drove through downtown, and stopped to get Marco lunch before we made the drive up to SF.

SAN FRANCISCO

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When we got to SF we unpacked, changed into warm clothes, and then hit the city first thing.

We stayed in Noe Valley in our friends guest room (crazy blessing as we were looking at AirBnB’s in Noe Valley to start – their place was so nice and big!). From Noe Valley, we walked to the Mission and then took the Bart to downtown. We got a drink at the W to start.

After the W, we shopped around, and then walked to North Beach to eat at Don Pisto’s. My oh my! LOVED Don Pistos! One of our Finally Free girls emailed me a huge list of recommendations while in SF, and this was a fav for sure!

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We split a tamale and tacos. Mmm, mmm, good!

After dinner, we took a bus to the Wharf and hung out for the evening. At one point, we even stopped and shared a bowl of clam chowder. By about 8:30 I was WIPED. We took an Uber back to our place in Noe Valley and got some rest for day 3.

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On Monday it rained for the first half of the day. If you know us, this is GREAT news for me, and sad news for Marco (haha – I can just picture his rain face now). He is not a rain guy at all. We started off day 3 with Chloe’s Cafe for breakfast and a nice big parking ticket for dessert (whoops!).

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After breakfast, we headed out for the rest of the day. We took the Bart from the Mission to downtown and, literally, walked all of SF for the rest of the day. I had my Nike’s on, and Marco was comfy in his Converse, so we walked. We figured we’d see more that way and we did!

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First stop after downtown was Chinatown where we got fortune cookies for Marco’s grandpa at Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory – it’s a must see!

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Next stop, Patagonia (new purple vest, yea!) and the Buena Vista. You guys, I wish I could say this Irish coffee was amazing, BUT… Maybe if it were virgin? Nobody put whiskey in my coffee, okay? Haha! It was fun for the experience ;).

For the rest of day 3 we walked through Fort Mason to the Marina, from the Marina to Pacific Heights (where we got Roam Burger – amazing!), from Pacific Heights to Nob Hill, and from Nob Hill back downtown to the Marriott Marquis (just look at the first Yelp photo) for a drink – best view of the city on the top floor! I ordered a drink Gin by the way and loved it! I was trying to try something different everywhere we went. You’ve just got to when you’re in SF…

After our drink we took the Bart back and went to bed early. Our dogs were barkin’, as Marco said. So much walking!

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Day 4 started out with a walk to breakfast at Griddle Fresh in Noe Valley. Holy, yum! Another great place! ^ Marco’s chorizo scramble

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My scramble with toast and fruit. And you guys… I don’t mean to get all crazy over fruit when there is so much great creative food in SF, but seriously… This was the best fruit bowl I’ve ever had! Everything else was delicious too :).

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Two things I love about Noe Valley when people ask me: flowers & moms with strollers. I love the family feel of this neighborhood!

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To do our last long walk in SF, we walked to the Esmeralda slides… I thought we were going to catch some speed, but nope! I caught zero speed. Haha!

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And here I am catching zero speed!

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Last stop in SF! The Full House home. To be honest, I wouldn’t know what it looked like. I had to Yelp it, but thought it would be fun to see. Now I’m just curious, does someone else live here now? Because if they do, I’ll bet they get sick of people taking photos of their house?!

CUPERTINO (APPLE CAMPUS)

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Last stop of the trip, Cupertino! The Apple Campus! I totally geeked out and wanted to see it. Like, badly. So we did. It’s HUGE you guys. Like, blocks and blocks and blocks of Apple buildings.

And, that’s a wrap! Thanks so much for hanging out with me!

Where are your favorite vacation spots in the U.S.? Share with me in the comments! Because you know I’m already getting the itch to plan our next trip!

 

Love, Paige
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