Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Road Trip Recap Part III - Into The Woods!

I'm finally getting around to the third part of our road trip, which was...oh...three weeks ago.  Here is Part I and Part II.

On our third and final full day of our trip, we wanted to get into the great outdoors.  We had a nice, leisurely breakfast with my uncle and aunt that morning and then got into the car.  We thought about heading out to Pt. Reyes but Nico really wanted to see some redwoods.  There's a small pocket of redwood forest just north of San Francisco called Muir Woods so we headed in that direction. 

It was already around noon when we got to the entrance of the woods and it was PACKED.  We had the whole day ahead of us so we decided to just keep driving and come back to the woods later.  Since The Scientist and I don't have cars, we both relished in all the driving we got to do on this trip!  I drove this entire day :-)

The highway that runs through this area eventually joins up with Highway 1 along the coast and leads to Stinson Beach, a popular beachy destination for San Franciscans.  It was one of my mum's favorite spots to spend a summer day when she was growing up. 

Along the way, we stopped at a beautiful vista point:

This one almost looks fake, like we were superimposed onto the background

The Scientist learning how to operate the camera...
 The gorgeous California coastline

After stopping here, we continued driving on the most treacherous stretch of highway I've ever seen!  Super windy roads, no guardrails, sheer cliffs that drop straight into the ocean...I loved every minute of it.  We made it to Stinson Beach in one piece, found a parking spot and went for a stroll in the sand.  It ended up being really warm that day and we were a bit disappointed we didn't bring towels and more beachy apparel.  But it was beautiful nonetheless. 

We walked up and down the beach for awhile then went to find a place to grab lunch.  We ended up at the Parkside Cafe, a darling cafe next to the beach.  Stinson Beach is a beautiful spot because it sits at the base of the mountains and has sort of a rustic, wilderness feel, but it's also right next to the beach so it feels very "California". 

After lunch, we figured the woods were a little less crowded so we headed back the way we came.  We were right.  We found a parking spot right away and walked into the darkness of the redwoods.  If you've never seen the redwoods, you must, MUST go at some point in your lifetime.  They're awe inspiring.  These trees are THOUSANDS of years old and grow to such a massive size that it's impossible to not be impressed.  Plus, you know, it's where the Ewoks live. 

I couldn't quite capture the beauty of the light shining through, but you kind of get the idea...

Nico had been waiting ALL DAY to do this

 That's The Scientist sitting on the bench.  Yeah, big trees.

By the time we got back to the house that evening, we were exhausted.  We decided to stay in and cook dinner instead of going out.  I took a nap while The Scientist, Nico and Michelle went to Powell's, the greatest candy store of all time (not to be confused with Powell's in Portland, the greatest book store of all time).  Then the boys cooked dinner while Michelle and I sat on the porch sipping wine and having some much needed girl talk.  Our dinner was delicious and we toasted to a wonderful trip.  The next morning we woke up early, headed over to the ranch to say our goodbyes, then hit the road for our long trek home.  

It was such a fun getaway and we're already planning for another trip in the spring.  We might fly next time, though.  As much as we love road trips, it would be nice to turn that driving time into FUN time!  But regardless of our method of transportation, we learned that Nico and Michelle are the perfect travel buddies.  We're looking forward to many more adventures in the future! 


  1. Looks like a great getaway!

  2. I loved Muir Woods when I was last in SF. My friends and I hiked to a supposedly fantastic spot- but by the time we got there the clouds and fog rolled in so we were shafted out of the good view. Guess I will just have to make another trip out there! :-)

  3. Oh those woods are simply majestic!

  4. You don't even know how much I was into Ewoks as a child. I made my family call me Cindle.

    We shouldn't have skipped Muir woods I see. Shoot!

  5. Gorgeous pictures...and yeah, totally Cali-wilderness right on the beach.

    I vote Southern Cali next! I'm biased and totally selfish though :)

  6. Okay, now I really have to visit northern California! I haven't been to the redwoods since I was 12. And it's great that you have found good travel buddies with your friends!

  7. The California coast is my absolute favorite! It's such a wonderful drive!
    Love this!
    xo tash

  8. I love the Redwoods! I believe there is one somewhere that you can drive through. Maybe it wasn't a redwood, maybe it was just a very large tree. Either way, there is a very large tree somewhere that you can drive through.

  9. @E - It sure was! I wish I was still there!

    @KT - That dang fog. It's so unpredictable!

    @Becky - Majestic is the perfect word to describe it. It's pretty humbling to stand at the foot of those trees!

    @Nikki - The whole Muir Woods park area reminds me of Ewok Village :-)

    @Elizabeth Marie - My dad lives in Southern California, so Disneyland is probably our next Cali trip!

    @Betty - Northern CA is so diverse in geography and landscape! I love it! You must go back soon.

    @Krysten - It was a blast!

    @Chirpy Bird - Isn't it gorgeous? So much to see with lots of places to stop along the way.

    @Carrie - You're thinking of the Redwood National Forest, which is a bit further up the coast. I've been there, too! It was a bit out of the way for this trip, though. I think there is a big one at Sequoia National Park, too...

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