When I was a kid I loved flying places. The entire adventure, from airport to airport, was a blast. But as the flight industry has changed (and I've gotten older) I don't look forward to flying quite as much.
And in exchange, I've found a deeper love for roadtrips! There's something special about the time spent in a car with your loved ones, seeing the small town sights outside your window, and having the opportunity to stop and check them out when and wherever.
So for our third anniversary (and a belated birthday gift to Angelo) we hopped in the car last Thursday and headed north! Our destination? Scott's Valley (just outside of Santa Cruz) for some redwood exploration for a few days and then meandering our way back to San Diego.
Here's what I loved.
I am a huge proponent of AirBnb. Many of the coolest places I've stayed and people I've met while travelling have been through AirBnb stays. This time was no different. We stayed in an Airstream trailer with an addition and deck built onto it. It was adorable, perfectly sized, on a great property, and owned by some fantastic hosts. The property also had baby goats (!), a rooster, chickens and baby chicks, ducks, a goose, and wild deer. We loved it and Arlo was fascinated by the animals. Yup, it was dog friendly too!
The drive down the 1 along the Central Coast and through Big Sur is one of my all time favorite sights. Unfortunately a series of landslides, planned bridge renovations, and other weather related deterioration has caused the 1 to be indefinitely closed. So we took an alternate route back down from Scott's Valley. It took us through farm land, beautiful mountains, and vineyards. It wasn't the jaw dropping coastal view but it was pretty damn beautiful.
I don't care that this is essentially a repeat of last week's smell category. The forest. Standing among beautiful, giant, old Redwoods and looking over a river enhances the amazing scent of the forest. Get out. Smell dirt.
While in new towns, one must always explore and find the best of the best of a few things. In our case its: donuts, ice cream, and carrot cake (hence why we run so much). The absolute, hands down winner of this trip was carrot cake from Rosine's in Monterey. Some good (and foodie) friends insisted we stop there on our drive back down and holy shit, I'm glad we did. Top two carrot cakes of my life (the other is TRUST here in SD). Giant, dense, and delicious.
I'm kind of cheating and using hear as another way to talk about food. But this is my blog, so deal. The best ice cream of the trip winner goes to The Penny Ice Creamery in Santa Cruz. But it wasn't the actual ice cream that did it, it was what went on top. Caramelized, flame broiled, homemade marshmallow fluff. Whaaaaaa. And the sound of that torch getting the perfect amount of color and flavor on that fluff was a wonderful thing.