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The California Coast: From LA to SF

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I have always said and will always say, that in the fine union of these United States, California is the best state. I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t visited all 50 states and there’s a chance I’ll fall in love with another (I recently visited New Mexico and loved it — post coming soon), but California will always hold a dear spot in my heart. It’s one of the most unique places in the world because in a single day you could go skiing, go to the beach, go to a desert, and go pick some fresh fruit. In October, Victor and I took a road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco — and since I am moving to New York in a matter of hours, I wanted to look back through these photos. October was a fantastic time of year for the drive — not much traffic, not too hot or too cold and the light, the sunlight was amazing late into the day. So we rolled down the windows, while “take a long drive with me, on the California One” played in the background. Our itinerary involved spending one night in Santa Barbara, waking up early the next day to visit the Hearst Castle, then driving to Carmel and spending the night and morning there and then taking our time getting to that city by the Bay.

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We started out in LA and paid a visit to Venice Beach, a tourist favorite. I’ve never been a big fan of Los Angeles, but for a weekend there are worst places you could be.

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One of the best parts of driving 8+ hours from southern California to northern California are all of the beaches. We pulled off at Leo Carrillo Beach and watched the surfers and explored the small tide-like pools.

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We pulled off at another beach just in the nick of time to catch a beautiful sunset:

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The Hearst Castle, built by the famous newspaper magnate, had always been on my list of places to see in California. We reserved our tickets ahead of time and took the standard tour. The castle, located in San Simeon, was never finished…something to do with wealthy people and never-ending imaginations. I thought it was very interesting that Hearst, especially in his day and age, hired a female architect, Julia Morgan, to run the show. When you drive up to the castle, the scale and amount of work it took really shows.

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A strange idiosyncrasy was that Mr. Hearst insisted on fine china, but wanted his condiments kept in their original bottles in the very large dining room:

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Did I mention the pools?

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The tile work in the indoor pool was so intricate, I imagine it took years:

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San Simeon is a charming little town and close to the Hearst Castle is a beach known for its elephant seals.

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The next morning we awoke to a beautiful day in Carmel, a town Clint Eastwood and other celebrities call home (just read their local town magazine, it’s full of who saw whom).

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We took a drive over to Peddle Beach, the famous golf course, and then we drove the famous 17-mile drive. Of course we stopped and I photographed the well-known lone Cyprus tree.

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Not far from Carmel is Santa Cruz, one of my favorite beach towns. The seals love sitting below the pier:

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And of course I’ll miss California Mexican food when I’m in NYC:

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Before I knew it, we’d hit San Francisco and stumbled onto a parade.

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Oh California, you’re fantastic. I’ll be back to visit you soon.

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Your pictures are stunning Lydia. That indoor pool! Can you imagine what it must have been like to swim there? SO sophisiticated. The CA coast looks incredible, beautiful and wild, just how I like it. The sunset photo is an absolute beaut. Oh I really bet you are going to miss it but you’ll be back :) Whatever your plans in NY have a great time and I look forward to reading about it soon. Lottie XXX

    August 25, 2013
    • Thanks, Lottie! I have a lot of blog reading to catch up on your end too — sounds like many new adventures are in your future too. As for me, I’m starting graduate school here in New York, so a lot of reading in my future.

      August 25, 2013
  2. Near Hearst Castle there’s a charming odd little house called Nit Wt Ridge. The guide called it the Anti-Hearst Castle. Definitely worth a visit if you like folk art.

    August 25, 2013
    • Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll be sure to check it out next time I am there.

      August 25, 2013

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