Thursday, 30 January 2014

Everybody's going Surfing, Surfing Malibu!

So the next portion of our trip consisted of driving into Santa Barbara.  I loved how cute this little city by the sea was, with it's Terracotta roof tiles all over the place! 

I was also mega excited to stop here because when Mel, Mara and Arne had gone on their California road trip last summer they had found an amazing cupcakery here with a frostinator - a machine that basically let you make your own cupcake! Sadly...we discovered it had since closed down! 

But what Santa Barbara lacked in cupcakes, it made up for with those palm trees, and blue skies and ocean views!

It doesn't get more Californian than that!

We also had a quick beach stop at Carpinteria, and Byron got right in the sea again because he just can't get enough of the water!

We made our way to our campsite, that was way up in the middle of nowhere pretty much! and so we passed these wild turkey's on the way!

We set up camp for the night, and sadly because of the area we were in the forest fire danger was high and so open flames were not allowed at the campsite so we had to give s'mores making a miss that night!

We headed out for an evening hike...

and came across this cute little swimming hole...

and we were surrounded by these amazing views!

We drove back to camp...

and By captured this awesome shot just before we plunged into darkness!

The next morning we arrived in Malibu, which By was more than a little excited about because he had arranged a surfing lesson! He surfed before in Cape Town but that was over 8 years ago so he wanted to have a little refresher!

The boys got right down to business! His instructor had been surfing for over 40 years and had a wealth of surfing know how to pass on to By!

I took touristy pics while they went over the basics!

Most of the beaches in Southern Cali are divided into surf zones or swim zones.

Here's By all suited up...ready to go in for his first try.

He got up first time!

and after an hour or so was looking like a pro!

It was tiring work but he loved every minute of it, and decided that Malibu was one of his fave parts of California we had seen so far!

The beach where he surfed was actually Zuma beach, which is Gwen Stefani's favourite beach too so we were in good company!

As far as I was concerned there was only one option for lunch...we had been in California for 8 days at this point and still not eaten at an In-N-Out so that of course had to be rectified immediately!

Loving my milkshake!

and drooling over the burgers...

and animal fries which have to be ordered from the secret menu!

Despite the fact that at least you can get milkshakes here, I still had to say that Five Guys burgers win over In-N-Out for me! but it was a fun little pit stop and brought back lots of memories! especially since we stopped at the one in Thousand Oaks!

We also ended up driving right by Pepperdine University so I had to snap a pic because my good friend Milah who I met whilst living in Turks and Caicos had just got accepted to study there! So jealous that every morning she'll be waking up to those California skies!

I can't exactly remember what we stopped for, but we stopped at this little parade of shops looking for something...and suddenly Byron was like 'isn't that Crumbs that you love?' I was like 'whaaaaaaat?' because Crumbs cupcakes are the best I have ever tasted! When my friend Jade came to visit us in Turks and Caicos, she flew via New York and as a joke I asked her to bring me NY cupcakes...but she totally did! a whole box full and they were the best and most delicious cupcakes I had ever tasted!

They used to only be on the East Coast so I was not expecting to see them in California at all! Thank goodness for Byron and being so observant...I would not have noticed it otherwise! and thank goodness for timing...they were due to close in less than 5 minutes!

So they were a bit thin on the ground with their flavours...but that didn't matter! 
Red velvets galore! We ordered our cupcakes, I gushed to them about how I think they make the best cupcakes ever and that we'd come all the way from Vancouver which they loved hearing! and we picked our cupcakes and off we went!

Yes Malibu, we're a little bit in love with your charming ways!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Driving down the 101...

So after all our San Fran and Yosemite fun...we kept on driving and stopped off in Santa Cruz! (Of course all the while accompanied by a soundtrack of The Thrills 'Santa're not that far)

We were somewhat limited on what we could do on the boardwalk, since I was out of action for going on the rides! so I was delighted when I found a deep fried Oreo stall!

We indulged in our deep fried treats high up above the ground on the cable car ride - I had pinned this to my pinterest years ago and couldn't wait to go for a ride! Look how blue that sky was!

It was a pretty good view down to the beach below!

Sadly, as we ventured on to the beach itself the wind really picked up and despite what the weather might have looked like, it certainly wasn't sunbathing and play in the sea weather so there went another of our planned beach days! 

I consoled myself by having a Dole pineapple whip drink...because all the American bloggers I follow rave about them, it turns out it's just a whip of ice cream in some pineapple juice and really was rather too sweet for our liking!

We stopped off in Monterey for a spot of lunch at Turtle Bay Taqueria...not the best Mexican I've ever had, we were beginning to wonder where all these rumours of California having the best Mexican food were coming from! I guess we just picked the wrong places!

We drove into Carmel by the Sea...which is just the cutest quaintest little town! Sadly the weather was going from bad to worse!!

So again we stayed away from the beach and checked out the cute little buildings instead!

I loved this alley way covered in tree roots and fairy lights!

We walked down to the beach but it was too chilly to hang around so we went on our way!

We stayed the night with another random host through air bnb in Carmel Valley, and were greeted by the most enormous bed you've ever seen!! It was so nice to sleep in a bed again after a lot of camping!

 Our bedroom even looked out onto this cute little flower filled courtyard! So typical that as soon as you slightly moved away from the coast the sunshine and heat would come out in full force!

We ate dinner in a local hill billy kind of place! complete with hanging cowboy boots everywhere!

I had a turkey and mashed potato baguette which was bigger than my head, I don't know why I didn't take a picture of it! This was me loving having freshly washed hair after too many days without hot showers at the campsites we'd been staying at!

The next morning we carried on driving down the 101 for another planned beach day but oh California had other plans for us! We stopped off at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park to see this cute little waterfall and pretty cove of water.

Considering for the past 7 years I've been trying to convince Byron California is where we need to move to, and I've been doing it by telling him all about their year round sunshine and blue skies...the weather was really not on our side on our trip! We stopped off at this beach in Big Sur...

and to be honest I was reluctant to get out the car!

It was the first day on our whole trip that I had to put my coat on!! in California of all places, craziness!

Of course Byron still went for a dip because he's crazy like that...I kept my feet firmly on the sand and tried to find a spot out of the wind to do some sunbathing! Occasionally the clouds would part and the sun would peek through but not for long enough to really enjoy it!

So I cheered myself up by chowing down on tons of delicious baked goods we had bought from the Big Sur Bakery!

A quick stop off along the side of the road to take a picture of tons of sea lions! These animals make such crazy noises!

More lovely blue skies...and Hearst Castle was right around here somewhere in the distance...

I think By was peeking at it through his little telescope!

We camped the night in San Simeon, mostly because one of my fave teenage bands Goldfinger has a song about San Simeon so it made perfect sense to add it to our California mix and drive into San Simeon singing 'wherever I go, I'll mind will always be San Simeon'!! 

This was our little strip of beach just across from the campsite that we checked out just as the sun was setting!

The next day as we carried on driving Byron noticed a sign for a little town called Cayucos, it was a detour from where we were heading but he saw there was a sign saying it was 'home of the original brown butter sea salt cookie' - he asked if I wanted to stop off and check it out!

My answer was 'of course'! So we strolled into the Brown Butter Cookie Company

and were met with so much cuteness! Everywhere we turned bags and bags of cookies! There were so many flavours it was hard to pick!

In the end, By opted for the honey flavour cookies and I was sold on the coconut lime.  We had also tried some of the original brown butter cookies in the shop...and they were some of the best cookies we've ever had! Complete melt in your our little stop off at the tiny one horse town of Cayucos turned out to be a good one indeed!

Up next Santa Barbara, Carpinteria and Malibu!