Tuesday, March 24, 2009

California...I was there

This time last month I was on my way home from a wonderful week long visit in California with Jon and Renee.

It's been a month since I enjoyed a week of warm California skies and it still isn't that warm here so I figured now is the time to post some pictures and relive our adventures.
Here are a few pictures from our time in Monterey.

Matt and I stayed overnight in Monterey and had dinner and walked around Cannery Row, which is all lit up at night and very cool.

The next day was Big Sur and it is one of my favorite places on earth. Seriously. I haven't traveled that much but at this point in my life, it's Big Sur and the Swiss Alps. I love both the mountains and the ocean and I am always drawn to natural beauty over created-man made beauty. Not to say I don't appreciate and enjoy beautiful architecture and art, because I believe much of that is truly inspired by God, but seeing the beauty of God's creation is what really speaks to me.

When you drive through Big Sur, you feel like every 50 feet you want to stop and take another picture because around every bend it just seems more and more amazing. Here is a picture of the coast line that we traveled along. I am one of those point and shot camera people, so these are completely unedited (because if they were they would be just a bit better!) - that is really how blue the waters were!

Here is picture walking out onto a hard to access beach that is listed as a State Park, but located at the end of an unmarked two mile windy road.
Here is a cool shot of the water through the openings in the rocks.

Matt and I walked along the beach and came upon a small stream flowing out of the forest (for those of you who grew up on the Jersey shore you can appreciate how cool this way - so far removed from boardwalks and condos - which I do love as well!). The rest of the beach was sharp cliffs, this was the only spot that let you move inland.

Of course we followed the stream into the trees. I had to take a shot showing the contrast between the open sunny beach and the dark shaded forest just a few feet beyond.

There was a trail leading up the mountain/cliff so we hiked up to the top to see what the view was like! Definitely worth it. Hopefully it gives you a better perspective of what the beach below was like.

If you look closely (or click on the picture) you can see Matt in the lower left hand corner of the picture. I hiked up a little further just to see how far I could go (that is so typical me). I was initially even further up than this but I heard something in the bushes and immediately took off down the hill at a much fast pace. I was envisioning a bear or a snake coming to greet me!

Before we turned around to drive back home we stopped at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and walked out to this waterfall overlook. Isn't it amazing? The beach and waterfall are inaccessible in order to maintain the untouched beauty.

After having a nice dinner Renee and I headed home with the kids while Matt and Jon stayed behind to camp and hike. The hike the next day resulted in a bit of tension (a month later I can say a "bit" of tension and you probably realize that it was more than a bit at the time!) for the wives who were back at home waiting for their turn to go out and have some girl time! But I definitely enjoyed hearing about their eight hour long adventure over dinner that night.

This is the river that they crossed in their skivvies. Bear Gryllis, uh, I mean Jon, went first and convinced my husband that it was a once in a lifetime experience and they had to do it.
I'll leave out most of the part where my husband was huffing and puffing up the trail after Jon and skip to the two hikers having reached the summit!
On there way down the were able to get to a beach that was otherwise inaccessible (unless you were the owners of the beautiful home above).

Don't you love that little waterfall above? It's not the best shot of it, but it's the only one that doesn't involve one of the guys in their boxers. This is a family friendly blog you know!
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This was later that same night as we went out to dinner at a fun Mexican restaurant on Santana Row. I love the siloute of palm trees in the setting sun so I had Matt take a quick picture.

Finally two shots of the couples - all dressed up for the night!

We still had two more days, Saturday was spent in San Fransisco (our camera batteries were dead, so those are on the CD of Jon and Renee's pictures) and Sunday was church, chillaxing back at the apartment and visiting some dear friends from college. Monday we headed home - and you all know how that went!

I can't believe it was a month ago - we had looked forward to it for so long and Renee and I started planning it the night before they even left. I love California and all there is to see and do there, but most importantly it was a chance for us to spend time with the Kovaliks and see a bit of their life in California. Of course it made us want them to come home so we can see them on a daily basis -thankfully a month later all the details for their new home ten minutes down the road have worked out and in two months we will have them as neighbors again (ok, so it's not even the same town, but compared to across the country, it counts as neighbors!).


Teri said...

the pictures are great & it sounds like you had an amazing time...coming from someone who has never traveled west of Ohio, I am very jealous :) Hopefully G & I will make it out there someday!

LifeAtTheCircus said...

Looks like an absolutely amazing time.. time for you and Matt, time for just the adults, time for the guys, time for the girls... sounds delightful! And the views are gorgeous! Glad you had such fun!

Sarah said...

Oh it looks so beautiful! I keep on telling myself that someday, someday I'll make it out there!

I was going to email, but this is faster! I'd love to watch Twilight, but plese don't wait on account of me. We'll have to plan a girl's night at my house, but I probably won't be able to do anything until May! It's a long ways away...sorry!

Thanks for being an amazing friend!

Rebecca said...

Those pictures are amazing...I have never been to California so I can only imagine what it must look like in person. One must be awestruck when they see such beauty for the first time!

It sounds like your trip was everything it needed to be and more! What a blessing great friends are and how awesome that you will be reunited with them soon!

Great post Megan!

stella g. said...

those pictures are unreal. i'm glad the weather was PERFECT for you. i haven't been to big sur, but i'm in love with monterey. glad you were able to squeeze so much in.

Kevin and Amy said...

Um, okay Ms. Point and Shoot...you are the next Ansel Adams (in color).

What a fabulous trip...good friends, good scenery, good weather, good food...oh how I want a vacation.

But still, once I push aside all my jealousy, I'm able to still be happy for you and Matt that you had such a fantastic trip!!!!

Thanks for sharing the pictures...a little slice of heaven.

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