Tag Archives: waterfall

60 Seconds of Serenity – Winter Waterfall

I’m not a big fan of winter, but it has its moments. ūüôā

Starved Rock is a beautiful place…no matter what season it is.

Enjoy!

Cruisin’ California – Part 4

(A blog series on the adventures my wife and I enjoyed during our honeymoon.)

We got going pretty early on this particular day. Of course, we’d been up since 6 a.m. so why not? The two-hour time difference didn’t bother us during the trip…we just tended to get up early each morning and go to bed early each night.

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So, off we went. Back to that winding, beautiful stretch of pavement they call Highway 1. We were getting into the idea of just driving from town to town, staying the night and then leaving the next morning. A good sign for our future plans/dreams to buy an RV and just randomly travel the country together. Anyway, back to this trip. 

One of our first stops that day was the Bixby Bridge. Oh man, it was sweet! I’d heard of it, courtesy of a Death Cab for Cutie song a number of years ago. Any bridge mentioned in a song must be cool, right? Indeed, it is. This is one incredible¬†structure.

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We spent a fair amount of time just enjoying the view and, of course, taking more photos. We also chatted with a couple from New York making the same trip we were along Highway 1, except going in the opposite direction. Nice folks.

Made another stop along the side of the road a little later that morning and had the privilege of seeing a condor, some 600 feet below, through the eyes of a kind gentleman’s telescope.

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I mentioned 600 feet – yeah, this road is perched at a crazy high elevation in many places. When you combine the twists and turns, oh and the fact that there really aren’t guardrails along the edge, it is actually quite an exhilarating ride if you think about it. More than once, my wife mentioned the lack of anything between her and the ocean way, way down below.

Our next stop was a pretty one. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is right off of Highway 1 and is home to a variety of spectacular scenes Рeverything from a Caribbean feel to a wooded, almost jungle-like atmosphere in some spots.

The highlight of the park is the majestic¬†McWay Falls, an 80-foot waterfall that spills onto the sand, next to water with a color that resembles something you’d expect to see in the islands somewhere.

The inland trail we took led us past redwood trees, a nice little creek and another waterfall. Three hours had passed, by the time we drove out of the park. Definitely recommend it!

The Big Sur area in general is full of natural beauty. Tree canopies over many areas of Highway 1, and just a really fun drive. We passed through Los Padres National Forest as we continued south. More sky-high curves in the road. More sweeping vistas with (multi) million dollar views. More photos. More fun!

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The flowers were blooming throughout our journey…so many colors and shapes to see. They’re great accents to the seaside landscapes.

It’s not every day that you see hundreds of elephant seals (or any elephant seals, I suppose) hanging out just a few feet away from you, so¬†we decided to check this beach out, near San Simeon.

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Lots and lots of elephant seals!

We stayed at a little roadside motel, called the San Simeon Lodge that night.

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Granted, my wife prefers staying at¬†places with the doors on the inside of a hallway, but it was just fine. ūüôā Had some great burgers at the restaurant there and relaxation mode was kicking in, until…

…I noticed the sun. Hadn’t seen it for the past several hours that day. But, there it was. It was low in the sky and the ocean was right across the road from where we were sitting. That meant only one thing. Sunset photos!

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So, naturally the next course of action was for us to sprint across Highway 1, grab the camera and start firing away. It was worth it. What a day. Just writing this, it makes me realize how thankful I am that we were able to see so many amazing sights that week.

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Make sure to come back for the next, possibly final (depending on how much I end up writing about this fabulous journey)¬†installment in this series. You’ll be along for the ride to Santa Barbara and beyond…surfers, a piece of history and more memorable meals. See you soon!

Cruisin’ California – Part 3

(A blog series on the adventures my wife and I enjoyed during our honeymoon.)

Our travels took us to some truly beautiful places on this particular day. 17-Mile Drive, winding through the Monterey Peninsula, was very much one of the highlights. Wow.

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This drive is absolutely worth the few bucks that you pay to travel it. Along the way you are treated to beautiful ocean views, a chance to gawk at some visually stunning homes that you’ll never be able to afford but yet are still fun to check out, and some really sweet golf courses. I mean, really. Check out this hole!

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Plenty of photo ops along this drive, including the area near the Lone Cypress. Basically, you drive for a a few minutes, then stop and take photos. Repeat. This was great with me, as I love taking pictures. My wife was patient with me and just enjoyed the views while I was busy snapping photos left and right. Thanks, babe!

Another highlight of the day was being able to not only visit, but also walk out to the 18th green of Pebble Beach Golf Links. Seriously? I had no idea this was allowed, but kudos to the folks who run the course for allowing it to happen. So much golf history here! Hallowed ground for golf fans. It was fascinating to be able to stand just a few feet away from the place where major championships have been won and where the legends of the game have walked and perfected their craft.

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We wrapped up our trek on 17-Mile Drive and then headed to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. More beautiful views! Why not? I mentioned the strong winds in the previous post, and that was definitely the case here.

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Elevated hikes at this park lead you to panoramic vistas, where you can see the waves crashing against the rocks, below. You can also nearly blow over when the winds are as strong as they were that day! The park ranger said it was easily the strongest winds of the year that day. More good waves to photograph and enjoy, though! We loved this place and I’d definitely recommend it as a stop on your journey.

We wrapped up the night in Carmel and enjoyed a meal at Affina.

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Nice vibe in there, the waitress was very friendly and helpful with our various questions and we had some nicely cooked steaks. One of the side items they served with the steaks Рsunchokes. Ever had them? It was a new food for both of us. Not bad.

Afterward, we stopped at a candy store for some sweet treats and took a leisurely stroll through downtown Carmel. Another great day in California.

More to come in the next post…you’ll see another breathtaking bridge, waterfalls, seals, and a seaside sunset. Check back soon and have a great day, everyone!