Beach?! Road trip!?

I had nothing planned for today and was feeling a little worse for the wear thanks to that fall yesterday (I really didn’t think it was that bad, but my knee is definitely throbbing, and there is definitely a massive bruise – I guess dropping your full bodyweight on rocks does that), I decided to skip running, whack on some Bruce Springsteen, and go on a mini-roadtrip heading south down Highway 1.


I made a self-pact that I’d use my weekends this summer to do some day trips to places within a few hours driving distance, so this was a good start.

My original plan was to head to Carmel-by-the-Sea, a tiny little town just south of Monterey about 2 ½ hours away. I’m not quite sure what I expected – a few people I’ve talked to have been there, so I knew it existed, but it was WAY more posh and pretty and quaint than the hazy vision in my head. I was thinking I’d just park myself on a towel there with a book and hang out for the day, but after eating THE BEST OMELETTE I’ve ever had (I really don’t like eggs, so this says a lot) at this cute little French place and meandering down to the beach, I was actually quite cold… because it was 60deg.

But! How aqua is that sea?!

Briefly beach-sitting.

I lasted about a half hour before I decided I’d split up the drive back up the coast and head to Santa Cruz, which my weather app told me was a solid 20deg warmer.

Again, I’m not quite sure what I was expecting – I’d heard there was a boardwalk, and that it was much more ‘shore’-like. I immediately got Folly-style vibes when I started heading in (which was great, I love Folly Beach), but it quickly switched to a giant mash-up of Seaside Heights mixed with Ocean City, MD mixed with California, and holy moly SO MANY PEOPLE.

BUT! It was, in fact, 85deg, and I got myself an ice cream cone and staked out my little square of sand with no ocean view and managed to get a few hours of reading in.

Santa Cruz Boardwalk

There was actually something kind of fun about it – as I said, it was totally not what I was expecting, and I would definitely not want that to be my regular beach, but it was kind of a nice guilty pleasure change in the middle of the day. I almost rode the rollercoaster (alone), but I might save that for next time.


Not pictured: all of California, who was also on this beach.

I spent the next 3 hours meandering up the coast while watching the sun gradually set. I hit Pescadero just as it was starting…


(Total self-timer fail #solotravellerproblems)

Ugh. Camera fail.

And stopped a few more places en route at various stages to hit Fort Funston for the peak.

Fort Funston

All-in-all, a thoroughly enjoyable Saturday.


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