At last! After two and a half years of waiting, one cancelled trip to the Azores, one abandoned dream of traveling to Scotland and Ireland, we finally were able to take a major vacation and get off Cape Cod and away from Massachusetts. Don’t get me wrong — we’ve loved our brief holidays in lovely local places, but there is something about getting on a plane and landing five hours later on the other side of the country that helped make the last two+ years of relative confinement drop away.
In 2013 Dan and I flew to San Francisco to visit Carmel and Big Sur, where I lived in the 1960s. We also visited friends and family in Napa and northeastern California. On this trip, though, we planned to head in the opposite direction, driving up the coast from San Francisco and stopping along the way, inviting those same friends and family to join us for a day hike or a meal. Everything on this trip except for the city was new to us, and we were ready to soak up every minute.
What an adventure! If you’ve never driven up Route 1 in northern California, be ready to be awed at every turn in the road (and there are A LOT of them). If you are prone to carsickness, make sure to take your Dramamine. If you (like me) have a fear of heights, make sure to practice your death-grip on the armrest, and try to take in the spectacular scenery without closing your eyes to avoid seeing the drop-offs and lack of guardrails.
We spent time in Mill Valley (where I had the pleasure of meeting fellow ViewFinder Kim Thompson Steel for the first time — we had coffee, a stroll around the village, and a bonus trip to the beautiful Mill Valley Library), Point Reyes and Tomales Bay, Petaluma, Little River and Mendocino, then up to Eureka and the Redwood National Forest. Dan and I walked and hiked over 35 miles, ate wonderful meals, and were awed by the ever-changing landscape. From vast ocean to dark redwood groves, foggy trails and sun-streaked pathways, forested mountains and golden hills, each scene was a wonder. We also enjoyed some culture at a few museums, historical societies, and art galleries.
I hope you have been able to visit some inspiring places this summer. It makes coming home all that much sweeter.
See you soon. xo
PS: These images were all taken with my Canon 70D camera, which died the week after we got back from vacation. So, I’ll be in the market for a new camera, probably mirrorless. Any recommendations?