In the “early days” of our marriage, we always went on a trip for our anniversary. Our Spring Break wedding and our continuing student status aligned our first several anniversaries to fall within close proximity of Spring Break, so a trip was always in order. Once we graduated, there was always a baby to nurse so we had to take a two year hiatus, but now that both those babies are weaned (Don’t worry, Cooper much sooner than Ellen) we are able to bring that glorious tradition back, and it was glorious.
Back in 2010 we went to
Monterey, CA. We had a grand time, but since I was seven months pregnant we knew we hadn’t reached our full potential of fun and vowed we would come back. That’s exactly what we did.
rented a cute house in Pacific Grove as our home base. Then we hiked without wearing children, ran without pushing a jogger, boarded planes without car seats, read books without anyone touching us, ate delicious food without anyone screaming, visited good friends way past bedtime (although we may have messed with their kids bedtime, sorry!), saw a bunch of really cool things without worrying about anyone throwing a tantrum, and slept all night long every. single. night. It was pure bliss. Allow me to invite you into our virtual living room for a viewing of the slideshow of our adventures. Pull up a chair, stay awhile. I swear we took out the most boring ones . . .
We did the two hour tour of San Francisco after we flew in. (That was the max you could stay in a metered, and much cheaper spot.)
Us at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.
Seals on the Wharf.
We picked up some delicious deep fried fish from a friendly British lady.
The Fish and Chips were good, but the fish tacos were even better. We ate them so quickly we didn’t take a picture.
We were running out of time on our meter so we took a cable car to get there faster.
The cable car got us to our car much faster and less sweaty than our feet could have.
A nice lady wearing matching outfits with her elementary aged daughter snapped this pic of us in front of the bridge.
We wandered out on the bridge for a little bit, but not too far. Can you tell it made Noel tense?
Then we headed to Muir Woods and did some hiking.
It was amazing to come down in altitude and we ended up hiking further than we’d intended.
The fact that we weren’t carrying children only added to our exuberance.
We had to drag ourselves away from the magnificent redwoods since we were already running late for our dinner appointment.
Traffic made us even later for our meeting with Jeff and Sarah. I of course didn’t take any pictures, but their kids are almost as adorable as ours.
On a rainy day we went to the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.
They gave us pins that said “Celebrating!” so the staff could wish us a happy anniversary. We wore them for awhile and had a few good laughs.
We saw lots of cool things, including jellyfish.
Low quality phone pic of us at Lover’s Point after a run.
The built-in space heaters in the house we rented soon became my good friends.
Noel on the the beach at Andrew Molera State Park. This one was kind of crowded, so we kept going.
A nice picture of Big Sur.
A lone wild iris.
We hiked 5 miles to arrive at our own private beach.
Noel even convinced me to wade in the freezing cold ocean.
We saw some cool bridges along the coast. This one is the Bixby Bridge.
Angry waves prevented us from going sea kayaking one day, so we checked out 17-Mile-Drive. Our favorite lookouts were the ones no one stopped out. Everyone else missed out on cool birds.
And me being silly.
I felt very welcomed when we arrived at the look-out for the Lone Cyprus.
Do you see the angry sea below the lone cyprus?
We dressed up one night and went to dinner at a fancy restaurant on the Wharf in Monterey.
On Sunday we listened to conference and then drove along the coast again. Some of the overlooks freaked Noel out 🙂
We stopped at McWay Falls and schemed ways to get to the private beach without getting caught.
But settled for a picture of us next to it instead. I like this picture better than the one we took three years ago . . .
We were smitten with the vibrant colors of all the plants.
Wish our yard could naturally look this beautiful.
If we lived near Big Sur I might have to send Cooper to school here.
One night we bought some fresh caught fish and grilled it in the backyard. We also whipped up some rice with mushrooms we’d picked up at the Farmer’s Market. Yum.
Noel had to take a picture of this for his dad and then he told me a long story about Star Trek.
On our last day we took on our Biggest Challenge: A 20 Mile hike along the Pine Ridge Trail.
A lot of people do this as a two-day hike, but we were feeling ambitious (and short on time and camping gear).
We were the first people to hit the trail and made many friends along the way.
The first 10 miles flew by.
It had been really windy the night before and the trail was strewn with fallen trees and broken branches. We cleared what we could, but some were just too big.
Our own personal hot spring awaited us at the end.
The world can always use one more picture of people’s feet on vacation, right?
Leaving Sykes hot springs was a little hard, but we couldn’t stay forever.
The last 5 miles I think the only thing we talked about was pizza and ice cream. We rewarded ourselves accordingly.
The house we stayed in for our trip.
We picked up some flowers at Trader Joe’s on day one and they were still going strong the day we left. Hope someone else got to enjoy them.
We were feeling kind of sad about our vacation coming to an end and went to say goodbye to the beach. The beach was closed because a momma seal was there with her newborn pup. It was really adorable and we knew we needed to go home to our pups.
Our flight back was delayed two hours because of snow in Denver. Noel can thank me for talking him out of wearing Chacos home. (He was kind of in denial 😉