Monday, November 12, 2012

The Californian Coast - this time next week

I'm getting a little excited. This time next week I'll be spending a couple of days driving down the Californian coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles, in a convertible with the wind in my hair (actually, remind me to pack a scarf), my camera by my side, and a heart full freedom.  

We drove along the beautiful coastal Route 1 in a massive RV when Phil, the kids and I spent a month travelling around a lot of the National Parks.  It was an amazing trip but driving along this winding highway in a big RV was limiting in being able to pull over and take photos. This time I'll be by myself in a zippy little convertible and able to go where ever whenever I please!!

A few things on my list for these couple of days is a stay in Carmel at the Lamplighters Inn near the beach - my room is so quaint and beautiful.  A visit to the Coach Outlet shop in the main street is also a must.  I am going to enjoy wandering around the streets of Carmel - the houses all look as though they are out of a story book.

I'm definitely hiking in the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park to the lookout over McWay Cove.  We didn't get to do this last time and it's going to be a highlight for me. I love the Big Sur region and will just be pulling over the side of the road every few kilometres I think to take photos. I'm also taking my watercolour paints. Hopefully the weather is good.

Last time we were there in Spring and the flowers abounded.

On Friday I fly to San Francisco and am spending the weekend with some very good friends. I'm even looking forward to chilling out on the plane over there - no husband, no kids, (NO SPREADSHEETS)for 2 weeks. While I adore my family I'm looking forward to being beholden to nobody and just be free. Our friends, Stephen and Caroline, live so close to Union Square and we'll have a fun few days together.

I then have this beautiful coastal drive south over a couple of days heading to my friend Linda who lives near Pasadena. She and I, and her son who I love, will be going to Big Bear Resort for Thanksgiving and hopefully skiing. Fingers crossed for snow. Although my trip to the US last year resulted in a badly broken arm so perhaps I shouldn't be wishing for snow. We'll go hiking as an alternative so it's all good, either way.  After Big Bear I have 3 more days in LA but I'll probably head out to Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park for an explore depending how I feel.

Any body else got some must do, must see for my trip?

Fiona xx

(all my own photos)


  1. Yay for you! Sounds amazing - have a great time. X

  2. well if it was me, I'd be hunting out all the good shopping haunts! ;)

    So excited for you!
    xx Karen

  3. Sounds absolutely amazing! Enjoy!!!! & can't wait to see the pics! Mx

  4. Hi Fiona!

    Two words (and you have probably done this): Santa Barbara. One of my favourite places in California and one of the closest things to being in Australia. Have you done the Hearst Castle? That can be a fun kitschy side trip. Palm Springs is beautiful and the Joshua Tree National park is amazing. It's so weird driving out there - initially (we have done it from San Diego) it just looks somewhat post-apocalyptic, and then all of a sudden there's all these palm trees and condos and hotels. Check out, it's a pretty good and reliable source for reviews on pretty much every service (restaurants, spas, shopping etc). Have an amazing time. We also did the convertible and it was fun!!

    1. hi Lizzie -thanks for that - I actually spent about 10 days in Santa Barbara when I was 26 and then we went back 2 years ago so I am not even planning on going there really. I am thinking of Hearst Castle depending on time and you have to book for tours so i'll see what's available. last time we just drove by the car park but with the kids in tow we decided against it. but it's on my list.
      I can't wait to see Palm Springs. I love a bit of kitsch!!
      great hint about yelp. i've seen it come up on a few searches so i'll check it out properly.
      cheers Fiona

    2. Did You get There?? Hearst Castle is absolutely amazing! We did 2 tours - morning and afternoon, with 3 kids in tow- they looooved it too! You will be imagining taking all those antiques and painting them up!

  5. Have a wonderful trip - you lucky lady!

  6. I am so excited for you Fiona. have a fantastic time. I love these photos of yours and I can't wait to see more from this trip. Keep us updated!

  7. Have a great time Fiana and I look forward to seeing the pictures.-love deexx

  8. Have a lovely time Fiona, you deserve a break after a tough year, will look forward to seeing all your photos on instagram. xo

  9. Sounds like a fabulous adventure, have fun and looking forward to seeing lots of photos when you get back


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