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Thursday 10 July 2014

Big Sur Coastline

While my parents were visiting from Australia recently we took a short trip south to Monterey and the Big Sur coastline.

It was so nice to get away for a few days. It's been so long since we've gone on a little trip. I know it probably looks like we're out and about all the time but seeing as we don't own a car we really don't venture out of the immediate Bay Area all that often.

When we do get out and about we rely on Zipcar as our vacation transportation. I had been a little worried that we wouldn't be able to find a car big enough to fit four adults, three kids in booster/baby seats, a stroller and suitcases. Luckily Zipcar have a Toyota Siena (or Tarago in Australia) nearby and it was the perfect fit for us.

We headed off south mid-morning arriving in the seaside town of Carmel in time for lunch. Although Monterey would be the main destination for our trip we decided to bypass it on our way to the Big Sur coastline and experience Carmel instead. Judging by the number of designer stores lining the main street I get the feeling that Carmel is Monterey's slightly more affluent neighbour. No buying a beach shack there for us!

After a delicious Mediterranean lunch, complete with musical entertainment, we hopped back in the car and headed south along the coast.

The coastline truly is majestic with amazing views at every turn of the road. We stopped for photos so many times. We'd barely make it 2 minutes down the road before another viewing point with stunning vistas would appear in front of us. As you can imagine I took a lot of photos. And I mean a LOT!

The fog covered hills rolling down to meet the ocean. The craggy cliff faces and rugged rocks. The seagulls soaring through the blue sky. The elegant curve of the Bixby Bridge. It's all just so picture perfect. In fact, I'll stop babbling now and let the pictures tell the story.

We drove about fifteen minutes south of the Bixby Bridge before turning around heading towards Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove where we would spend the night. Asilomar is a retreat located in a 107 acre California State Park. Originally opened in 1913, many of the buildings were designed by renowned architect Julia Morgan who is best known for Hearst Castle. The grounds include many accommodation buildings, meeting rooms, recreation rooms, a restaurant, a cafe, outdoor activity areas and walking trails. And it's located right on the beach. Ava and Lola's favourite part of the grounds was the fire pit where we made delicious s'mores. Those girls certainly love their s'mores and they couldn't wait to teach Mamma and Papa how to make them.

We stayed by the fire pit making s'mores until just after the sun set. Once the sun was gone it started to get quite chilly rather quickly so we decided to head back to our rooms for an early night.

I had told Ava and Lola that we might be in luck and spot some wildlife during our day at Asilomar. Sure enough, on our walk back to our rooms a deer and her fawn crossed our path. The girls thought that was just the most amazing thing ever until we discovered a raccoon rummaging through a trashcan outside of our building. We'd never seen a raccoon before so we were all pretty excited about this - despite the huge mess it was making!

Our little animal spotting was the perfect ending to a wonderful day. A scenic drive along a picturesque coastline, making s'mores over a fire pit, watching the sunset over the beach and spotting a few wild creatures. What more could we ask for? Hmm... maybe some beach fun. No worries; beach fun would be coming up the next day.

Stay tuned for more...


  1. I LOVE Big Sur! My husband and I haven't taken the kids yet (it was our babymoon and then a weekend away from our daughter when she was a toddler), but this post is inspiring me to take a trip. Your photos are truly beautiful, by the way!

    1. Thanks! It's hard to take a bad photo along this part of the coast - it really is such a beautiful spot :)

  2. Yes, you guys are up to something fun all the time! Amazing views on this trip - the bird shot is stunning. Ava looks so cute with her freckles on her nose! And those s'mores look very yummy!

    1. The views along the coastline are stunning. It reminds me a little of the Great Ocean Road.
      I swear Ava gets more freckles every day! Lola doesn't really have any yet. I guess moving away from Australia at such a young age has spared her the sun damage. Or maybe it has more to do with the fact that she's so pasty white!

  3. All photos are precise and taken skillfully. Here I bring parent attention if they dont mind, which they might have noticed in a closeup photo that the poor childs nails need to get trim & clean, which sometimes is overlooked in hussle and bussle of life. If you dont want to remove this photo, you may process it with tiny eraser tool or brush tool carefully in photoshop graphic software. Regardless of this note, whoever has taken photos, knows photography skill well enough that worth them publish in good places on the net. Goodluck


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