Day 2 of driving was much more scenic, even though it was just as long of a drive as the first day. We started our day in Ventura, CA with a quick stop at a beach park to walk the dogs. This was their first time seeing the ocean and Tatum was scared of the loud noise from large waves crashing onto shore. It was great to spend a few moments staring out onto the beautiful SoCal beach and Pacific Ocean.
Our drive up to San Francisco was absolutely stunning and we could have easily turned the one day drive into 2 or 3 days of driving exploration. We saw beautiful, expansive views of the ocean from the San Marcos pass, stopped for a few moments at a lake overlook, and passed many beautiful, expensive looking ranches.
Our 2nd stop of the day was in Santa Maria to see my friend Courtney, who recently got married and moved from Arizona to CA. We had a nice lunch at Panera Bread while sitting outside at a Starbucks patio, enjoying a nice sunny, cool day. It felt very California-esque :-)
Next, we headed up the coast on highway 1. This is an amazing scenic drive, and one I think I would have enjoyed more had it not added extra driving hours to our already long trip. However, the views were absolutely breathtaking and we even saw some sea life along the route. We saw elephant seals at a beach and then later saw gray or humpback whales in the ocean within sight of the shoreline. We made a lot more stops than expected on this leg of the trip so didn't arrive in Monterey until after dark. We had hoped to take Tatum to a dog beach there, but it was dark and we couldn't find it, so we settled for walking out to the waves. In Ventura, dogs weren't allowed on the beach so he saw the water from a distance. Here we actually took him right up to the edge of the surf. He didn't particularly like when a wave swiftly washed up on his legs and he bolted for dry land dragging Jon along with him :-P Figuring that was enough beach time, we loaded the dogs back into the suv and continued our drive to San Francisco. Unfortunately, we thought we were further along in our drive than we really were, so when our gps said we had two more hours to drive we may have had a small fit at the sheer thought of driving that much further to our hotel.
We pushed through the drive, though, with lots of car games and conversation to keep us awake. Finally at about 10pm we arrived at our hotel, thus completing our 2nd day of driving.
On that note, we are so blessed to be having great, sunny weather on our trip and thankful to be travelling together in one vehicle. However, the days are longer than we anticipated as we find ourselves 1) needing breaks every 3-4 hours with the dogs and 2) wanting to stop at neat scenic spots we come across.
As I write this, we are in the suv in route to Eugune, OR for the night. Isn't cell phone internet awesome? I'll blog about todays travels later tomorrow or this weekend. We will be finally arriving in Seattle tomorrow afternoon!
Missing our house, family, and friends back in AZ.