California Adventures: 17 Mile Drive
Not having a car when I lived in NYC never bothered me nearly as much as it does in San Francisco. And it isn't because things are subsequently less convenient - in fact I've started to outsource my life a lot more with services like Instacart and Munchery that make car-less life a breeze. But in California there is just so much beauty just outside your door - more so than I ever felt in NYC - but having access to a car makes it much easier to adventure in all of these amazing places and to be honest... I hate driving. I mean, I can drive. I do have a drivers license, but I just don't enjoy it. I spent a lot of my teenage years in the suburbs driving around aimlessly blasting emo cassettes and one particularly grueling summer working two jobs that required me to be behind the wheel for hours at a time and after moving to New York for college I never wanted to look back.
Fortunately for me, I have a partner who not only has access to a car but outright enjoys driving. Even better, he seems to enjoy my company and indulging my lack of California adventuring so when he offered to plan a day trip for us on MLK day I was more than a bit pumped at the idea and downright elated when he revealed I'd finally get to see Big Sur with my very own eyes.
Fueled with french pressed caffeine we hit the road that morning and our first stop was the scenic 17 mile drive along the coast in Monterey - think scenic vistas for days, spectacular ocean views, tall pine trees and enough house porn to perhaps last one a daydreaming lifetime. After a few photo ops we continued our drive through to Carmel, where we took in MORE breathtaking views and admired more beachfront property (each home with its own particular name). Then on to Big Sur, for MORE epic vistas along the coast which words cannot really do justice. We stopped at the River Inn and inhaled a late lunch from their seriously kickass burrito bar before heading back to Carmel's beachfront to take in the sunset and puppies on the beach.
The day seemed to fly by but I'll definitely be heading back there soon because it's the kind of place you need to see and experience repeatedly to remind you of your place in the world and how much beauty really surrounds.