Jenny and I are driving up to Big Sur this Sunday. The planning for the first couple days was simple and pretty straight forward. Drive, take a tour, arrive at Big Sur, and get married. We plan to be on the road by 9 am, right after picking up the rental car. We’re renting a convertible in San Diego, driving up the 15 to Riverside to see some family, then we’ll take a diagonal route to the 10 and we’ll end up in Santa Monica hopefully in time for a late lunch, a quick walk on the pier, and a few deep breaths of fresh air. Then back into the car and along Highway 1 to Santa Barbara. I’d love to go to Solvang for dinner and some wine tastings, but I don’t think we will be able to get there in time. We’ll save that for another trip. From Santa Barbara we’ll continue up the coast until Highway 1 turns inland, then follow it to Vandenberg Air Force Base. We’ll be staying there for one night. On Day 2 we have a mid-afternoon tour scheduled at Hearst Castle, so we won’t have to get up at the crack of dawn. We’ll probably just have coffee when we get up and shoot for a brunch in Pismo Beach. A quick search found The Honeymoon Cafe which sounded fitting but a day and a half early, plus the reviews were less than enticing. If we feel like lunch we’ll park by the pier and walk up Pomeroy Avenue; it looks like there are a lot of choices here. If we feel like breakfast/brunch I think we’ll try out The Cliffs Resort. It is a little over an hour to Hearst Castle We have to be at the Hearst Castle visitors center by 1:30pm, and it is about a 90 minute drive from Pismo Beach so we will have plenty of time to eat before we have to head north again.
After the Hearst Castle Tour we’ll head north from San Simeon toward Big Sur. Almost everyone we talked to who had spent time in Big Sur recommended eating at Nepenthe. So we may eat dinner there before heading to Big Sur Lodge and settling in for the night. It is about a 90 minute drive from Hearst Castle so we should have a couple of hours to use to stop along the coast, take some short hikes/walks on some of the cliff/beach trails in southern Big Sur. The Jade Cove Trail looks like the most “typical Big Sur” coastal hike on this stretch of Highway 1.
On Day two we’ll be heading to Carmel to get married. It’s been a wonderful two and a half years, and Jenny’s agreed to make me an honest man! We’ve been working with a very helpful lady, Kathee, from Carmel Weddings to arrange everything. It will just be the two of us, a very well planned elopement! Once Kathee let us know the options, and we made our choices, we didn’t have to worry about the rest of it. Show up – look good – and say “I Do”! She is arranging everything else, the official, the photographer – including a video, flowers, and she helped us find a terrific place to make this a terrific day during a very busy week. Once the Honeymoon starts it is the end of what is “well planned out”. We have our rooms and a basic plan, but I’ll be more comfortable once I have at least a list a list of things we’d like to do.
In Big Sur: Eat at Post Ranch Inn and Nepenthe, and hike Oak Grove Trail, Pfeiffer Falls and Valley View Trails. the short McWay Falls Trail, and the longer – covers all the bases – Andrew Molera Loop.
In SF – Lombard Street, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ride a trolley, cable car, sailing, Presidio including a jaunt down the Lyon Street Steps, Batteries to Bluff’s walking Trail, Golden Gate Park, Bay Bridge, and Grant Street in China town (and side streets…), if we can fit it in – take a bike across the Golden Gate bridge and take the ferry back. OK, we might have to go back for some of this. We’ll have an afternoon, a full day and a morning in San Francisco, and we’ll probably feel like sleeping in. We will be on our Honeymoon!
First of three posts for the trip: Road Trip – San Diego to Big Sur (July 2012)