It’s no secret that I miss California. Growing up there my whole life I never quite knew the extent of how lucky I was to live in perpetual sunshine, dry heat and right smack dab in the middle of every mountain, ocean, desert and city I could drive too within an hour or so. Having lived in Georgia these past few years each time I visit home I see just how much I took my surroundings for granted. There are so many landmarks and places that I could have spent a ton of time at and I never did. So Ryan and I decided to visit these places we never get to see anymore on our trip out for an engagement session. Here is our adventure!
After landing at LAX we drove straight to Santa Barbara. If you’ve never been, it’s an awesome place! I planned our second anniversary in Santa Barbara and we loved it. The people are nice and laid back, the smell of the ocean is in the air and all around there is just a general warm feeling in this place. Our hotel had bike rentals and we took them out for a spin after settling in and biked through downtown. We managed to catch the sunset before heading up to Northern California.
And of course during this beautiful sunset I hear crunching……
After he finished his Doritos, not sponsored, we got to enjoy the rest of the sunset.
Our next adventure was a drive up to Monterrey, one of my favorite places in the world. It’s where Ryan proposed to me and where i’ve always felt relaxed, which is a tough thing for me as I’m massive type A. We were headed up North when all of a sudden, out of NOWHERE we saw a sign for an Ostrich farm. Yup, you read that right, and after we realized that was exactly what we read too we turned the car around!
We all but ran out of the car to feed them and if you aren’t following us on Instagram, well you missed out on that feeding frenzy. Luckily they also had Emu’s and they were very cute and very well…interesting looking.
After too much time spent with the Ostrich’s and Emu’s we drove all the way to Monterrey and found the same spot we stopped at on our way home after Ryan Proposed.
We spent the next day driving through Monterrey and then were off to San Fransisco.
We didn’t spend a ton of time in the city as we had already visited a lot of places in San Francisco before so we wanted to explore a bit more of the places around/outside of the city. There was actually a pretty neat couple of locations that Ryan had saved years back so we decided to visit a big tree tunnel and an abandoned boat that used to be a big photography spot.
Our next day we drove to Yosemite. Ryan’s family used to camp at Yosemite every year when he was a kid and he always talked about how much fun they had and all of the cool things they got to do and see. Honestly it made me a bit envious that we didn’t have this annual family tradition growing up but hey, at least I was able to visit with him. I definitely want to go back and camp whenever we get the chance too, or glamp lol.
Despite not being able to camp we were able to at least go for a good ole hike. We originally were going on a somewhat small trek to see Vernal falls but upon the hike we were met with trail closures. Honestly we didn’t even think about the weather or fact that this was winter and meant that there would be trail issues so we didn’t really bother to check. BUT we decided to keep going and we were able to see it from above which was a pretty cool view!
Yosemite was beautiful and although we were sad to be leaving we were also heading to Joshua tree and were excited to leave the cold weather to enjoy some sunshine in the desert.
We drove the remainder of the day to Joshua Tree and of course were met with traffic so we barely made it to the park in time for sunset, but it was SO worth it!
We spent the night in town and attempted to get a sunrise in the Joshua tree valley to see the park during the day before heading back home.
BTW if you ever ask me to pose for the camera, you will without a doubt receive the above pose, so Natural I know.
There is so much to be explored in our home state and I feel like such a dummie for not going out and exploring more that was literally in driving distance. At least we were able to experience them now and have more adventures to come in the future re-visiting these places and seeing more of their beauty.