For husband and I’s anniversary trip, we decided to do a road trip. I’ve lived in California most of my life but I had yet to explore the part of California that is north of San Francisco and Sacramento. So we decided to do a leisure drive down the California coast for our trip!
Here was our map: Reno > Oroville > Redding > Redwood Forest > San Francisco > Monterrey > Big Sur > Santa Barbara > Orange County
ROAD TO RENO:
We were in Reno for an Acts 29 conference. We were so happy we went–it fed our soul in many ways. Starting off our road trip with that conference really jumpstarted our weary spirits. Russ and I have been exhausted, between starting up a company, doing freelance work, and staying on top of the bills, it gets tiring. We were looking forward to this anniversary trip and didn’t even realize how badly we needed the sermons we heard at that conference. We felt renewed and whole by the time we left.
We were in Reno for three nights. The first night we stayed with his uncle. The next two nights we stayed at a friend’s house. I can’t emphasize how nice it was to catch up with all these people. Not to mention, we also went to Reno with our Pastor and his wife. As someone who values quality time, I felt so loved and spoiled this road trip.
ROAD TO OROVILLE, CA:
One of my favorite roads on the trip was the highway we took between Reno and Oroville. The snow on the mountains had been melting so there were many amazing surprise waterfalls. We stopped a lot along the way to snap pictures and take in all the green scenery.
(more Feather River Canyon images on Flickr)
In Oroville, we met up with Russell’s mom and grandparents. Oroville has a special place in my heart because it’s where we got married. And while were were there, Grandma gave us a little pomegranate tree plus a bunch of rosemary. So for the rest of the road trip, we crammed those little treasures in our little Prius and drove with them the whole way home.
This is the only destination where I didn’t take pictures! But, it was still memorable. We stayed at Russell’s cousin’s house. She has an amazing house that she had built and I’m glad we were finally able to go and see it. During dinner, we caught up with her and one of her sons. I love times like these where you get to meet people where they’re at (literally) and ask them, sincerely, how they are. We loved catching up with her, seeing Redding, and playing with her dogs.
Okay, I was dreading camping but after this experience, I loved it. It helps that I was with Russell and he knew what he was doing. It also helped that we were in the Redwoods which was so gorgeous. Looking through these pictures don’t do it justice.
We also went hiking and saw a few waterfalls. Every turn took my breath away. What I loved most about the Redwoods was that it was just Russ, me, and mother nature.
(more Redwoods National Forest images on Flickr)
ROAD TO SAN FRANCISCO:
Most of my SF pics were of food so I’ll spare you my food diary. We did two nights in San Francisco where I finally got milk tea and Bi-Rite ice cream. Also, we stayed at two really awesome hotels — a stark contrast to camping but both enjoyable just the same.
This is the only picture I have of us in Monterrey, and they’re snapshots of my Snapchat videos. We stayed with another of Russell’s cousin. Her and her family have a cute little beach home and their backyard is just plain amazing. She has two sons so, naturally, that meant putting in a zip line that Russ and I couldn’t resist. Her husband works at the Monterrey aquarium and he was able to take us to the back where we got to see behind-the-scene aquarium work. On our way home, Russell’s cousin insisted that we snip a bunch of her succulents and take them home. I love getting living presents! I can’t describe how full my heart was after visiting this family.
(more Big Sur images on Flickr)
ROAD HOME (CA 1 HIGHWAY):
And that’s all the pictures I can upload for now! I’ve added links below a few of the sections in case you wanted to see more on my Flickr.
Overall, it was a great road trip. Russ and I were talking about how it might be one of our favorite trips together. We were able to see a lot of Russell’s family as we drove down the coast. Every night was different. It was almost like a celebration meal every night as we stayed over family’s houses and caught up with them. I don’t know how my heart hasn’t exploded from all the joy and love I experienced.