As our instagram/facebook updates have indicated, we had a whirlwind week-long adventure in California :) Starting in San Diego and finishing in San Francisco, it was a week full of family, friends, yummy food, and new adventures!
Olivia was honored to be her (first) cousin (once-removed) Amanda's bridesmaid! The #hillalwaysloveliew wedding was set right at the La Jolla Cove, where rocky bluffs overlook the ocean and seals and sea lions abound :) It was a beautiful wedding and we had a great time exploring the area and eating an abundance of fish tacos at Oscar's!
Olivia's family + extended family were at the wedding in San Diego, but the party continued in LA as several of them are from there! Our brief pit stop in LA also enabled us to see friends from college and high school - it's amazing how much can change over the years and how much time can elapse between seeing one another, but the bond of friendship is still there and picks up where you left off :)
Kyle's mission was to go to Yosemite (he was a previous national park junior ranger...) and despite my protests of being a poor hiker/anti-nature, he convinced me that we should go see Yosemite rather than drive up the coast from southern to northern California. It was definitely worth it! We decided to spend approximately 24 hours in Yosemite, which surprisingly was the perfect amount of time to do two different hikes: Vernal Fall/Mist Trail and 4.8 mile trail (which turned out to be 2.8 mile trail much to my delight...) We experienced staying in the half dome village (in a cabin, not a tent!) and no bears were spotted.
From Yosemite, we drove west -- back to the coast -- to see Monterey, Carmel by the Sea, Pacific Grove, and we attempted to go to Big Sur! It was pretty interesting to drive through some of the tiny towns and farming lands of California - the vegetation and landscapes are all so different throughout the state!
We were able to visit Point Lobos Natural Preserve (unfortunately no otters were spotted) and saw the beautiful coastal views of Highway 1. Big Sur was deemed the "Big Fail" of our trip, as we drove all the way there only to find out it was closed because of all the damage it sustained over the winter - we were told to come back in September for a full opening.... but despite the disappointment, we were still treated to gorgeous vistas on our drive there and back.
17 mile drive didn't disappoint! It was a foggy gray day when we went, but it made it more magical in my opinion :)
SAN FRANCISCO/BAY AREA
Our final destination was the Bay Area. Thanks to the Keenes, we were able to experience Stanford/Palo Alto - I was amazed at how many bikers there were compared to Cornell's campus! We spent one day exploring San Francisco, road the cable cars, ate clam chowder at the Wharf, saw the Golden Gate Bridge, and climbed Billy Goat Hill. It was a true joy to see Cornell friends, some that we hadn't seen since graduation :)
It was a week full of adventure and we are so thankful that we could go on vacation before we move and residency starts :) Thank you to the friends and family that made time to see us or hosted us along the way :) We loved visiting and hopefully we'll be able to do it again!