Last weekend we went to Big Sur, a stretch of coastline about 3 hours south of San Francisco. It started the same way most weekends start around here, with me looking up the weather on my iphone and scrolling through saved locations until I see a place that has a full sun icon. Living on the coast of northern California, the weather is always subject to change at a moments notice. The fog loves to creep in and linger like a bad fart. So, I saw it was sunny and 70 degrees in Big Sur, so we loaded the dogs in the back of the car and headed down the coast.
On the way down we stopped off along Hwy 1 to stretch our legs and look out at the ocean. We watched a mama gray whale and her new calf swimming just past the tide. This is the time of year they migrate back after spending the winter down south in the warm lagoons of Mexico. This mama likely gave birth to the calf and raised it for a few months in the warm shallows before making the long journey north to feed for the summer. We sat for a while on the cliff watching them until they passed out of view. We talked about how it was rather fitting for Mother’s Day.
Then we came to Bixby bridge. I love this bridge. It’s just so iconic and the view of it against the cliffs and water below is just too rad. Keeper had to stay in the car because she’s too wild and I could just imagine her running right off the cliff (some days I would be ok with this). Jack followed at our feet with that huge toothy grin on display.
We kept driving along the coastline until we came to McWay Falls. There we hiked along the trail on a cliff that lead to a great overlook where the waterfall empties into the prettiest turquoise blue cove below. Later a 3 year old told me I should read the sign that said “No dogs allowed”. I told her it was fun to break the rules sometimes and she ran away.
Then we headed to the River Inn for some lunch. Oh this place. It’s right on the river and on Sundays they fire up a grill on the lawn in the back and cook barbecue. There’s live music and everyone plays in the river. They even put wooden lounge chairs in the river so you can eat with your feet in the water.
Before going home, we had one last stop: Pfieffer beach. We had went earlier in the day and got turned away because the parking lot at the beach was full, so now we had come back. It was cool to be there after the the crowds, when we had long stretches of the beach to ourselves. It’s about a 2 mile drive to get down to the beach, and along the way there were horses so we got out and said hey to them. On the way back to the highway, we came across 2 people with their thumbs out needing a ride up the road. So we put Jack in the very back of the car and invited them in. They were visiting from Italy and were such happy people. Keeper licked their faces and they told us about how Big Sur is famous in Italy. We told them how we had visited Italy’s Amalfi coast last summer and it was like their version of Big Sur. Then we kept driving and came across another guy with his thumb out. So we put Keeper up front with us and invited him in too. He was from India. We all laughed and told stories as we drove along. One of my favorite parts of traveling is how random strangers can become new friends so effortlessly. 2 dogs, 5 people and a car filled with joy. I’ll always be that girl who loves talking to strangers. I snapped a quick photo with them and then we parted ways.
On the way home I looked behind me to see two sandy, exhausted dogs asleep in the backseat. Trey and I joked how we could never lease a car because ours are so “lived-in”. How we pile bikes and wet dogs and camping gear in every weekend and how we fixed the broken bumper ourselves with a drill and some screws (and how it fell off in Texas that one time we were driving across the country). Then we got home and all passed out like a bunch of tired ham sandwiches. Life is good.