48 Hours of North Coast Bliss

California, Travel

I had Glass Beach on my list of California must-see for a while, so I decided booked us a hotel in Fort Bragg! We drove up early Saturday morning, and headed straight for Russian Gulch State Park for a hike.

If you know me, hiking up a mountain to a waterfall is so gratifying. The sound of the rushing waterfall is one of my most favorite things. We hiked about 7 miles out and back on the Fern Canyon Trail.

It was much more lush and green than the Bay Area, the ferns and moss covered rocks were absolutely beautiful.

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We headed to the other side of the park where it meets the ocean – incredible! Once again there are no words for the California coastal blues. Just pure magic.

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Our hotel was nearby in Fort Bragg, so we continued up Highway 1 and settled in at the Sand and Surf Lodge right around 4pm when the sun shines in so beautifully, our room faced the ocean – it was great treat! This was our view!

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I was in hurry to get to Glass Beach and it was perfect timing for sunset, we grabbed our camera and wandered our way about a mile or so and found heaven.

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If you are ever near Northern California, I highly recommended stopping here! People in the 30s and 40s use to throw their trash here and they way the currents move it brings it back to this same spot. Really fascinating!

Watching the sunset here ranks in my top of my life’s most treasured moments.

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We found ourselves at North Coast Brewing Company Taproom where we had a lovely seafood dinner. The next day we got up early and took Bayla for a walk along the coast, and ended back up at Glass Beach, I wanted to do some more beach combing! It was around 9am the the tides were low, I spotted a red shell on the ground and got to grab it and realize it was what I had been looking for – a beautiful abalone shell! I was ecstatic!

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It was a quick trip, so we packed up and headed to brunch at Eggheads – highly recommended, the food was amazing! We wandered around the shops in downtown and picked up some goodies at Mendocino Chocolate Company. Our last stop was another one of my favorite things, lighthouses!

Point Cabrillo Lighthouse lies south of Fort Bragg and about a mile north of Mendocino. It was about a mile walk along the costal bluffs. It was early afternoon and very few people were out, it was a peaceful walk. The majestic red roof against the blue water was so stark and stunning.

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Sometimes you need to escape far from Silicon Valley. Looking for a beautiful, serene and absolutely stunning place? Drive 4 hours north to find the tiny quaint coastal towns of Mendocino and Fort Bragg – you will not be disappointed! Nature is always the best refresh for the soul.

Take Care,

Lucia

 

Year One – Wild California

California, Travel

Wow! 2015 is gone just like that – what an incredible year it was! It was our first year living in California, 3,000 miles from where we met, our home in Raleigh, NC. I became fully dedicated into a job focused on protecting and preserving the environment – which is very rewarding and something I am truly passionate about! Seth and I explored and adventured all over Northern California – it was a truly remarkable year of change; full of new faces and places. So many absolutely special sites and sounds, my heart is so full and grateful. Here are a some of my favorite visual highlights from 2015!

Cheers to a happy, healthy and nature-filled 2016!

 

 

Keep Tahoe Blue

California, Travel

“…at last the Lake burst upon us—a noble sheet of blue water lifted six thousand three hundred feet above the level of the sea, and walled in by a rim of snow-clad mountain peaks that towered aloft full three thousand feet higher still! … As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.”

-Mark Twain, Roughing It

I have been wanting to visit Lake Tahoe for a while, Seth’s birthday was coming up and decided October in Tahoe would be a nice surprise.  We stayed at an adorable retro cabin!

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Luckily, the Airbnb was a 5 minute walk to the lake – amazing! The best part was we got to take Bayla along with us, she love going to any type of water and luckily South Lake Tahoe is very dog friendly.

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It took us about 8 hours from San Jose to get there Friday evening because of traffic. Oh well, we found it and settled in and stayed up late hanging out and talking. The place was so cute and retro it was perfect!

The next morning Seth and I woke up at 8am because Bayla was begging to go out, she knew we were somewhere special. We took the 5 minute walk (or 10 with picture taking) to the lake and there are just no words for its beauty. The street feel like a small mountain town but being out on the lake felt like a completely different planet, so  serene and quiet and the water so clear and blue – absolutely incredible!

 

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We decided to go kayaking on the lake, whew that water was freezing! We had to take our shoes off and wade in the shallow water until we both get in. It was so fun! Seth was the better one at paddling, I was admiring the blue water and the mountains in the distance it was magical!

Later on, we adventured over to the Emerald Bay area – just wow! So pristine and still – really remarkable. We went on a short 2 mile hike, Cascade Falls, the views were specular – Lake Tahoe is truly a special place!

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An absolute must see if you’re traveling through California.

Take Care,

Lucia

So Much For The City

California, Travel

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The coast was calling and we had to go! We woke up super early Saturday morning and traveled down the Pacific Costal Highway 1 – between the winding foggy mountains and the breathtaking Pacific Ocean. If you ever have the chance to take a drive down the PCH – do it! It is absolutely amazing. We headed to Andrew Molera State Park in the northern part of the Big Sur region. We decided on a 9 mile loop traversing a varied amount of terrains – it did not disappoint – the mystical fog, walking along the coastal bluffs – highly recommended!

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Crossing a creek is always fun to begin a hike! We hiked through gorgeous oak groves at the beginning and then went straight uphill for about 2 miles. After the elevation gain, we came to a small redwood forest. Wow! Seeing and touching and experiencing these magnificent giant trees in real life is truly remarkable.

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We finally reached the crest of the mountain – seeing straight down the coast for miles and the foggy mountains behind us was just breathtaking.

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The diverse flora and fauna in California is so fascinating to me! The wildflowers are exotic and brightly colored, it is really fun to learn about!

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Walking along the cliffs of the ocean is just gorgeous, the landscape changed from mountain chaparral to purple needle grass lands. We worked our way down the to ocean. It was so gratifying the climb a mountain, reach the fog, traverse through various terrains and end up at the ocean in just a few hours. Amazing!

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We decided to grab some lunch. Luckily, it happened to be the most beautiful restaurant we have ever been too. Along the PCH, Nepenthe, a family gem tucked away literally on the side of a mountain, with an extraordinary history.

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We ate at Cafe Kevah part of Nepenthe which serves brunch, it was delicious! This place is highly recommended for family, dates, out of town guests, or anytime visiting in Big Sur. Stunning scenery and great views, nothing better.

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A stop at the famous Bixby Bridge is a must – the shades blues of the water are stunning!

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Follow my Instagram for more adventure pictures @floralcalifornia!

Take Care,  Lucia

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