Welcome back, folks. We left Gilroy and over the next few days, We saw some amazing sights. We drove down HWY 1 and ended up in Big Sur where We camped for 2 days. On the way from Gilroy, We stopped at the Defense Language Institute for a little shopping. The “DLI” is:
The Defense Language Institute (DLI) is a United States Department of Defense (DoD) educational and research institution, which provides linguistic and cultural instruction to the Department of Defense, other Federal Agencies and numerous and varied other customers. The Defense Language Institute is responsible for the Defense Language Program, and the bulk of the Defense Language Institute’s activities involve educating DoD members in assigned languages. Other functions include planning, curriculum development, and research in second-language acquisition.
Cali went to school there when He was learning arabic for the government and He got me some flash cards to supplement my arabic lessons. That was a fun trip…going on base with Him is always fun.
Our drive to the first campsite was so beautiful. The beaches are rocky and sandy. There are wildflowers everywhere. The water is amazing crystal clear colors. Standing on the coast and looking out over the water to see nothing except the end of the earth felt amazing…
It is so beautiful. There is a sense of peace driving along that stretch of highway on the pacific coast. Rocky cliffs on one side of you, beach on the other. So many different colored flowers and plants, their hues intensified by the perfect amount of sunshine coming through the fog that was low enough to cover the tops of the mountains. Look closely and you can see a thin line close to the water in the back. That is the highway and while driving on it, you are alone with the water.
We were stopping every few minutes to look off the cliffs or take pictures of the water. If you ever get a chance, drive that hwy in the summer and bring your camera.
We found a walking path down to the beach and trekked down to see the sunset.
We found a friend on the beach 🙂
We spent a quiet night at that campsite and then drove down the coast the next day to another coastal campground. This drive also had many scenic pullouts. 🙂
There were these random little ladders along the road that seemed to be calling out for someone to climb over them. On top of, but not over…
It took Us several hours to get down the coast with all the stops We made 🙂
Most of the cliffs were scary since it was just dirt, but sometimes looking over brought fun surprises. Sometimes looking over showed there was a path hidden down the side to a beach.
This path was up the road from Our new campsite…
The scenery from the path showed a beautiful view and hid the beach which left Us excited to see what We would find at the end.
We got to the beach and walked down a little ways away from the people and dogs that had congregated close to the trails end. There were some rocks to hang out on We took turns taking pictures of awesomeness and just enjoying the environment.
He likes to take pictures of me when Im not looking 🙂
Like I said before, looking over cliffs sometimes brings surprises… sometimes its seals on the beach. SO I guess I knew, but I didn’t really KNOW that seals actually lived like in the ocean. I knew they were in zoos, but…
I wanted to get closer. Not too close, but closer.
I later learned that it was a “harem” of females on the beach, and the male was in the water between them and danger (and other males, of course).
The next day, We drove back up the coast to end up in San Francisco. He took me to 4 particularly memorable beaches along the way. The first one was just beautiful…I left my phone in the car due to getting really excited about seeing harbor seals on the rocks so there are no pictures of that one 🙂 The next beach made me blissfully happy!! Again I say, I have only seen marine life in zoos and it didn’t occur to me that some people in some places can go to the end of the road where they live and see things like starfish.
There is an beige one to the right and a purple one to the left.
I was looking around in tide pools and all of the sudden I realized that there were crabs and starfish everywhere!! I had passed over them thinking they were rocks and once I noticed them I couldn’t help but see them.
I wanted a picture with the crashing waves and the waves tried to crash me!
Never captured the right wave but still loved the trip.
This blog is full of pictures and I anticipate the ones coming soon to have many as well. We are seeing so many places and things that are not only beautiful to look at but give a particular feeling. The pictures say so much more than I could ever find words for…there is no way to describe how some of these scenes make me feel. I feel like I’m learning secrets of the world that are always secrets unless you get into the club. Nobody could have prepared me for most of the things We see or feel, and I couldn’t explain it to anyone else accurately. I hope to pass enough of it on through my pictures and blog that someone, even just one person, is inspired enough to see and do some of what We have seen and done.
Speaking of pictures, this next section is a string of them from a beach We came to on the way to San Francisco. Not a touristy beach, just a random beach. What made this one special is that it was finally sunny and hot outside. I had been in California for almost two weeks already and had not been to the beach once during “beach weather”. Cali’s idea of beach weather doesn’t exist since He isn’t really a fan of the beach and therefor He had been happy to take me to the beaches We had been to while it was overcast with cool temperatures…well, while We were driving up the highway, it was approaching noon (yes all those other beaches and adventures of the day were before noon) and it was getting hot-FINALLY. Every few miles there is a beach turnout or a “park here on the side of the hwy and walk down to the beach” place. I was so excited!!! I put my bathing suit on quickly and all but ran across the street 🙂 I had been sticking my hand in the water at all the places We had stopped, but if you notice, I had on a sweater and all that cooler weather gear. Not this time. So these next pictures are special to me. My first time being on the beach in California in my bathing suit playing in the waves of the Pacific Ocean…
There are so many more pictures…I played and Cali snapped pictures while being practically baked by the sun until He decided it was time to move it on down the road 🙂 We would be in the air conditioned car until We stopped in San Francisco on the way to Oakland and another good friend or 2.
How cool is it to see the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time? How cool is it to see the Golden Gate Bridge when you used to dream about going to college in San Francisco?