We headed South from San Francisco to Santa Cruz to check out the boardwalk on the beach. It was an overcast day, but there were still tons of people riding rides and in line for things. It was cool to see, but we didn’t really want to spend money on anything, and luckily we ate Chipotle beforehand so we didn’t indulge on fair food!
It was absolutely breathtaking on Highway 1 once it opened up to the coastline. We were heading to Big Sur to camp at a state park called Limekiln, and I was looking forward to it a lot because I heard Big Sur was incredible. It absolutely lived up to its expectations!
There were so many pulloffs to take pictures and look at the ocean views, so we took our time getting to Limekiln to set up camp. We got there around 6 or so and were planning to meet our friends from Thailand at the campsite (they were driving up from the South) but our phones got no reception and we couldn’t find out when they would arrive. We just made dinner and ate it on the beach at our campgrounds, which was really nice and relaxing. Eventually, Grant and I drank some beers at our campfire before almost giving up hope that Andy and Patty would be joining us for the evening. They found our campsite around 10 pm and we were really happy to see them, they set up and we got to talk for a while – catching up since it had been a long time since we saw one another.
The next morning, we woke up slow and all set out to explore Limekiln more, hiking around to a waterfall and historical limekilns from the 1890’s that fired up the limestone to be used for concrete. When we got to the kilns, we sat and ate a small lunch together and eventually walked back to the car to drive to a different part of Big Sur.
We went North to see this magnificent waterfall called Mcway Falls that left us speechless. The water was turquoise and shimmering in the sunlight, the waterfall was about 80 feet and dropped onto a little secluded beach that visitors weren’t allowed to walk down to (which is a good thing, because it would have taken away from its mystique).
We spent quite some time admiring that before finding a restaurant called Big Sur Taphouse to grab a beer and some more hearty food. It was a hidden gem, and had a really relaxing back patio that we hung out at and played Jenga for a while. I had a delicious pineapple cider that was so refreshing, it was so good! We eventually got back to camp and drank together, visited the beach for sunset, then played heads up on my phone together around the fire while cooking corn and dogs that Andy brought. It was a really great day.
In the morning, we said our goodbyes to our friends and drove 2 more hours South on Highway 1 to eventually get to San Luis Obispo. We stopped at this elephant seal beach, where literally hundreds of these seals were laying, yelping, fighting, and thrashing around. They were very entertaining to watch.
When we got to SLO, we ate lunch at a Mexican restaurant called Taqueria Santa Cruz, which was popular with the locals then headed to Avila Beach about 20 minutes outside the city. It was a great beach day, and there were lots of people there since it was Sunday. We napped on the sand for a few hours and then met up with our friend from Thailand as well, Colby, who we were staying with. We were really glad to see him again, and he took us to a bar his friends worked at the watch the Cavaliers and Warriors basketball game. After that, we came back to his house and hung out with his roommates, watching Game of Thrones and a documentary called Mysteries of the Unseen World, which was super interesting.