Tag Archives: Big Sur

weekend in carmel

11 Feb

A few weekends ago Brian and I road tripped up to Carmel for a few days to celebrate a friend’s wedding. I haven’t been to that area since I was a kid so I loved exploring it for what felt like the first time. We rented a house with some friends through airbnb which was so much better than staying in a hotel. It was in a great neighborhood and walking distance from the main drag of town. I knew Carmel was going to be visually beautiful with the sea as its backdrop but I was surprised to learn it also has some great restaurants and shops. Granted the whole place shuts down around 9pm- definitely not a place to go if you’re looking for a night on the town. But at 6 1/2 months pregnant I’m usually in bed by 9pm so it worked for me! We had such a fun three days. I’ll let the pics speak for themselves.

2

4

5

6

8

9

11

12

13

14

16

17

IMG_1801

18

IMG_1810

19

IMG_1813

20

21

23

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

47

49

50

*

road trip inspiration – big sur

23 Jul

fb3cd289b411ab030ae32c05e4401549

I’m back in road trip planning mode after a long break. As I’ve mentioned before, we originally planned on doing this trip last spring but life got in the way so we decided to push it to fall. Although, now that we’ve settled on fall I wonder why I ever thought spring was the right time to go? With a chill in the air and the leaves changing fall seems like the better choice. Am I right? At first I thought we’d travel in November to tie it in with our 2nd wedding anniversary but then I thought maybe the weather could become an issue at that time? Could we possibly hit snow as we get further North? Anyway, the fear of sketchy weather made me go with early October instead. Now that we have dates on the calendar I am getting excited. I feel like I am planning a mini version of the cross-country road trip I took a few years ago. I love the planning process- it gives me such a rush researching each city.

The first stop on our itinerary is Big Sur, one of the most magical places on earth, in my opinion. The scenery is breathtaking- rocky cliffs, blue ocean, sandy beaches and tree covered coastal mountains all rolled into one. It also smells incredible there- like fresh pine trees.

Brian and I have been to Big Sur a few times together. The first was when he introduced me to camping (it happened to be one of my ten goals when I started this blog four years ago- an experience you can read about here, here & here) The second trip was on our mini moon after getting married in 2013. As you can probably imagine Big Sur holds a special place in my heart.

Despite having traveled there a few times I still feel like I have so much to explore. I’m dying to visit the Esalen Institute. How have I never been there?

Here are some of my inspiration photos for stop one. Do any of you lovely folks have Big Sur recommendations? Restaurants? Coffee joints? Hikes? Hotels? Drives? Anything!

01f705c63f0807d2589351e762fb9f45

3588e582035991571bd16c3e964b0018

e1adcba5952058e18c312b0a88f24b90

5ed14d0116b024aec6d75375c5393222

8f954cf0456e06dd71b550d760eff9ab

5e2ae2e057088d34bf6fdc0d890fcc1b

treebones 2

9c7b4db935021bd82c9c4967d6604e13

56c8b07158de3bce0e38ef9dd8b81ce6

0e9425f0249d0795efc95790df925cb7

1a302012ee6ce58b7baf8eebdcb11bd2

bce050ee52bfb3c63ed29e68e19e3139

images found via pinterest

 

inspiration photos / spring road trip

11 Nov

After our mini road trip to Ojai this past weekend planning our spring road trip from Los Angeles to Seattle is front and center on my mind. I love being on the open road with Brian. We are both at our happiest when exploring- Brian equipped with his camera and me my journal. There is also nothing I love more than planning road trips! I get such a high researching every little detail. Although, I imagine planning this road trip will be far less time consuming than when I drove across the country with One Part Gypsy.

At the moment the itinerary is…Los Angeles, Big Sur, Carmel, San Francisco, Tomales Bay, Ashland, Eugene, Portland, Olympia & Seattle. Thoughts? Has anyone ever done this route? Are there other places you think that we should make a point to stop?

Brian and I have only ever made it as far as Tomales Bay so any tips (hotels, restaurants, things to do/see) are welcome in any of the cities.

portland4s

101

731d3fff50888f51908ea7d911803e38

gold coast

portland47

oregon

portland food

portland77

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

san fran 2

tomales bay menu

tomales bay

wine

windy road

***

“Once the travel bug bites you there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected for the rest of my life.”

Michael Palin

365 til 33

30 Jul

1cfda758c950c9fec65a3a184d210cf4

If you’ve been following along with my blog since the beginning then you know that I come up with a list of goals to tackle each year. The first year,  365 til 30 my goals included driving across the USA, learning French, learning how to tango, going camping, spending a week at Tassajara, Learning how to cook, volunteering, getting a French bulldog & publishing my writing. I was pretty damn successful that year in accomplishing my goals. To the point of obsession actually. Accomplishing those goals before turning 30 was all I could think about for 365 days. Brian was very happy when that year was over. HA. Over the last few years I have continued to create a list of goals…doing so helps me focus on the things I want from my life…a framework if you will.

365 til…33!

Travel

Every year you can pretty much guarantee that one of my goals will be travel related. I am a travel nut! Seriously, why can’t I just travel the world and get paid for it? (Is anybody listening? I’m totally available if you want to pay me to travel) During 365 til 30 my travel goal was to drive across the country (check!)…during 365 til 31 my travel goal was an overseas trip (Brian and I went to Hong Kong and trekked Nepal!)…365 til 32 my travel goal was again an overseas trip but this time for our honeymoon (we took a month off and went to Vietnam and Bali) This year my travel goal is much simpler, all I want to do is take a road trip with Brian. I love road trippin’ with that man. Actually, it was on our first road trip together that I knew I loved him. We were only a month into dating when I asked him if he wanted to take a road trip to Santa Fe with me to visit my friend Chantal. He must have thought I was crazy. Who would want to sign up for that many hours in a car with a person you’ve only been dating a month? The answer to that question is ME! And him I guess Brian as well because he said yes. Luckily, it was a total success. This year I’m thinking a road trip from LA to Seattle. My ideal stops along the way would be….Big Sur, San Francisco, Ashland, Eugene, Portland, Olympia & Seattle.

Learn

This year I am dying to learn more about photography. For a girl who appreciates a beautiful photograph, it is a crying shame I can’t shoot one as well as I’d like to. Especially when it comes to this blog, I would love to post higher quality photographs. Well, I guess I do sometimes but sadly they are not shot by me and instead by my photographer husband. With that said, I will be signing my ass up for a photography class as well as making Brian teach me all his tricks. He even has an extra Canon Rebel camera waiting for me. Winning!

Writing

You can also pretty much guarantee that one of my goals each year will also have to do with writing. This year it is travel related. I want to publish my various travel (road trip, Hong Kong, Nepal, Vietnam & Bali) essays. Wish me luck!

Health 

I want to go vegetarian for a month. Ever since my gallbladder surgery a few months ago I have had the hardest time with my digestion. It’s been driving me crazy! I’ve decided that meat might be the culprit. This coming from an Irish gal who loves a good steak. Sigh. I thought what better time to test out vegetarianism then now! Oy…I’m scared. Any vegetarians out there want to offer some advice?

Home

Decorating our new home has been on hold for a bit now…between shelling out money for our wedding and honeymoon we have been neglecting our home. The space totally deserves more! I plan on decorating with the help of pinterest and my very talented interior designer mother. So here we go…one room at a time.

find me elsewhere:

instagram  @kate365 / facebook / twitter

13

27 Oct

Sweet baby Jesus. We’re getting married in 13 days. That’s less than two weeks in case you didn’t know. That’s just crazy. I’m sorry I haven’t been posting much (well, at all really) the last week or so. I think I’ve been a bit paralyzed by everything. Man I thought turning thirty was overwhelming but a wedding is a whole different animal. There’s been so much to do and finalize these last two weeks that every time I would sit down to write I wasn’t quite sure what to share. My head felt like a jumbled mess. On top of all the stress I’m filled with silly excitement now. Just can’t wait to be married to that man.

This weekend we slowed everything down and spent a lot of one on one time with each other. We spent Saturday morning at Brian’s office using their laser cutter for a wedding project. Well, let’s be honest…Brian was using the laser cuter while I spent hours perusing the internet for a dress to wear to our rehearsal dinner. Who knew that finding a rehearsal dress would be harder than a wedding dress? I have a vision people! Anyways, after four hours of work I still had no dress but the project was done so we decided to take ourselves to The Lazy Ox for lunch before heading home. We pretty much had the place to ourselves and we took advantage of it and had a long, lazy and delicious lunch. It was exactly what we needed. Saturday night we headed to the movies to see “Bad Grandpa” which seriously cracked me up. I haven’t laughed that hard a while. I’m a sucker for that kind of humor.

Oh and we also put the finishing touches on our mini moon this weekend. Brian and I decided to postpone our big honeymoon until spring. One because we were finding it hard to plan both the wedding and a month-long trip to Asia and two because I really want to go to Bali and it’s their rainy season now. And who wants to go to Bali when it’s raining most of the day, you know? So with our big trip postponed until the spring Brian and I decided to plan a little trip after the wedding because it would have been much to depressing to go back to work on Monday. So we are hitting the road the day after the wedding. First stop…Big Sur…which is one of our favorite spots. I love that you rarely get cell service there. I love that you’re surrounded by majestic redwoods. I love the windy road up the coast with the vast ocean views. I love the quiet. Brian found us the perfect little cabin to cozy up in for a night. All I want to do is play cards, drink red wine and cuddle by the fireplace for the whole evening.

glen-oaks

Then we are heading up the coast to Tomales Bay in Northern California for a few nights. Neither of us have ever been up there so we are both excited to explore. It’s known for its fresh oysters which makes both Brian and I very excited. I’m quite sure we will spend a lot of time eating oysters and sipping cold beers in the sun while staring at the pacific. We will probably throw in a hike or two as well. Then we are off to San Francisco for a night in the city. Not quite sure what we will do yet but I’m sure we will find something fun to get into to. Lastly, we will be finishing up our mini moon in Berkley because Brian has a work conference to attend. I’m just along for the ride at that point. I’m sure I’ll just get lost on foot around Berkley exploring.

I know these next few weeks are going to fly by and I’m trying to enjoy every single little moment.

So grateful.

find me elsewhere: instagram @kate365, twitter, facebook

 

343

30 Jul

COMPLETED CAMPING: PART 2

THE TENT

Leading up to the trip, I was very skeptical about the tent. I had no idea what to expect and that usually causes a stir in me. When Brian first pulled it out of the car he said I had the most terrified look on my face. I’m sure this is true despite my efforts to keep a smile on my face and hide my concerns. I wanted to be a trooper, not a baby.

My first thought upon seeing the folded tent was “Now what?” I had no idea what to do with that heap of fabric lying in the dirt. I told Brian that I would do my best and to just give me a job. After 15 minutes we had a tent!! My first thoughts when I saw my new home was…I like its color scheme and “now what?”.

 “Now what?” was a constant thought during my camping trip. The other refrain was “This is some backwoods shit.” No matter what was happening I would refer to it as “backwoods shit”. Brian hated it when I would say it. He informed me that nothing about my situation was “backwoods shit”  because we had  hot water to shower in and a flushing toilet house. He also didn’t think it was a very “PC” thing to say. In the attempt to not offend, I ended up whispering it to myself every five minutes. I couldn’t help it because I saw some crazy shit.

Ok, so back to the tent. Once the tent was set up I actually thought it was pretty cute and I loved the fact that Brian and I had worked as a team to build it. At that moment, I was happy. I LOVED camping. The tent and I shared a good 4 hours of love before it all changed. I quickly learned that tents are pretty awesome until you have to sleep in them. I spent the first night cold, fighting for blankets, rolling off my mattress pad, listening to the wind blow and contemplating my existence. At that moment I HATED camping.

The last straw came at 4 am when I felt the urge to pee. Let me set the scene for you. It was dark..It was cold and the bathroom was far away. I almost started crying. I tried to will myself back to sleep and ignore the feeling but, no luck. Then I remembered that earlier that day Brian had offered to walk me to the bathroom in the middle of the night if I needed him to but, only because it was my first time camping. I rolled over and looked at him. He was sound asleep and looked incredibly peaceful despite the conditions. Because he was sweet enough to make me a “French Camping CD”, I decided to not disturb him. Remember I am a trooper, not a baby.

So I pulled myself together and pulled on my Uggs boots to brave it alone. Trying to get in and out of a tent in the dark proved to be quite difficult for me. Who knew tents had zippers for windows too? After a minute,  I finally made it out. Walking in the dark to the bathrooms also proved to be quite difficult for me. Who knew it could be that dark? I couldn’t even see my hand. Surprisingly, I completed both tasks with only a few curse words.

I LOVED that tent because Brian and I built it together. I HATED that tent because I had to sleep in and didn’t have a bathroom.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

345

28 Jul

COMPLETED CAMPING : PART 1

I have officially crossed camping off the list!!!! For a girl who doesn’t like bugs, dirt, cold weather or raw chicken, I think I did pretty well. There was minimal complaining. I was too tired to complain most of the time.

In all honesty, it was the best and worst experience of my life.  I LOVED certain moments and HATED others. My emotional pendulum swung big and often. If I hadn’t  been with the man I love I would have said “screw this” after the first night. But, Brian held my hand through it and tried to make my first experience the best. He even put together a music playlist titled “French Camping Oui Oui”. I am a very lucky girl.

After two nights in the woods, I am still trying to answer an important question…Why is camping fun?

Why is it fun to sleep outside? Why is it fun to sleep in the cold? Why is it fun to shower with strangers? Why is it fun to cook dinner from a cooler? Why is it fun to wake up at 5 am because the sun is beating on your tent? Why is it fun to hang out in the dirt? Why do we pay to do this?

I’ve been asking fellow campers, the very simple question “Why is camping fun?” and I still can’t get a straight answer from anyone. Yet they all keep camping. The strange part is. I think I may have become one of those people. I’m not sure if I think camping is fun but I am pretty sure I will do it again

Brian said it best. Camping is like Vegas…2 nights is fantastic…3 is still good and 4 is awful. I will re-write that and say 1 would be ideal and 2 is manageable with wine.

PART 2 – THE TENT…COMING NEXT