Wednesday, September 19, 2012

From Santa Cruz to San Francisco via Highway 1

I am a bit too late this week, but I have a great reason for the delay. Remember I had mentioned I was going to be working on a sign for the store downstairs? Well, about two weeks ago, I realized that I was not going to work on it outside, while the board was still on the storefront. Because of that, I asked Tony, the store owner, to please take it down. When he did, Joe brought it upstairs to our apartment.

Immediately after, my living room was transformed into an art studio. Floors were covered with a drop cloth, paint was everywhere, brushes were soaking in water, and a piece of wood of about 3 by 8 feet was sitting down there, waiting to come to life.

After 3 days of work, which didn’t all come on a row, I finished the sign (which is more like a mural) and, yesterday, I brought it downstairs. Tony was very happy with it, which made me happy as well!

With Joe’s help, we hung it up on the wall and enjoyed hearing the comments made by the customers and the people walking by the store. If you are ever in San Francisco, make sure you come to the corner of Pine and Taylor streets to check out my first mural! I think it looks great, and I’m incredibly happy to have volunteered my time to work on it!

But, this post is not going to be about the sign/mural, but about a lovely day we had on Saturday when we drove to Santa Cruz, and then took the slow way home on Highway 1, one of the most beautiful roads in this country!

We chose Santa Cruz for a daytrip because we have been craving sunshine and warmth. Don’t get me wrong, I love San Francisco’s mild weather, but I also love beach days, playing in the sand and feeling the sun on my skin. We haven’t had barely any of that this summer and, when we headed out to the beaches in the Bay Area, many times it turned out to be colder there than it was on the city.

Fortunately, Santa Cruz was waiting for us with temperatures well into the mid 70s, clear skies, and lots of beach fun!

The beaches in Santa Cruz were full of people. Families were out playing, kids were swimming and running around, and young couples were snuggling together in the sun. It was fun in the sun for everyone!

One of the things I love the most about California is that, no matter where you go, there is always diversity, and people from different backgrounds, different races, different nationalities, seem to be coexisting peacefully and happily. I’m sure there are disagreements and fights here too, but the overall feel is that of a tolerant place where it is not a big deal to be different.

We walked along the shore, absorbing every ray of sun, and enjoying watching the people around us. But people watching was not all we did. We also discovered that there is a lighthouse in Santa Cruz. Yes, it is located in the beach were, technically, dogs are allowed—in practice, dogs were allowed everywhere, but we just didn’t know—and it is absolutely beautiful! You can walk up to it on the beach.

It is funny but this year seems to be the lighthouse year for me. After we arrived from traveling abroad, we stayed at Point Montara Hostel, which is in the same premises as the very small Point Montara Lighthouse. Then, we went to Maine and saw many lighthouses adorning the gorgeous Maine coast. And, while walking in Santa Cruz, we encountered another one!

I went from having seen one or two lighthouses in my life, to about 8 over a period of less than a year. And one thing is for sure, lighthouses make great photos. Especially on gorgeous days like the one we had on Saturday!

After hours in the sun, we decided to start making our way back to San Francisco.

Normally, when we rent a car for the day (we do not own a car- like many San Franciscans, we find it easier to walk places!), we tend to return it before the rental place closes, but this time we decided to keep it until the next day and deal with the hazards of having to find a parking spot in the city later in the evening.

First we thought about driving to a trailhead and going hiking. Then, Joe suggested that we drive on Highway 1 and take our time going back home. The idea sounded lovely, heavenly, fabulous, so I agreed, and off we went, heading north on Hwy 1, one of our favorite roads in the entire world!
We stopped in several places along the way, but two were special.

The first place we stopped at was Scott Creek, or so I think after looking at a map. We parked our car, bundled up, dressed Bomber up in warm clothes, as the temperatures had started to drop, and we headed out towards a trail that led all the way down to the beach.

As we started walking down on the trail, some people warned us of a “crazy pelican” that was on the path, preventing people from going down or coming back up. We asked ourselves “how dangerous can a pelican be?” As it turns out, pelicans can be quite scary, as we found out when he came up in front of us on the trail and started flapping its wings and walking towards us. I mean, think about it, that beak is like a dagger that could stab you, right?

We backed away, up the trail, back to the road, and took a minute to contemplate our options. We really wanted to go down to the beach to check it out. Shortly after, a couple came up on the path. Surprised to see them, we asked them if they had seen the pelican. They told us the bird was just calmly sitting on a bench (!!!) and that it didn’t move when they went by. We decided to give it a second try and down the path we went, this time moving quickly and telling each other to avoid making any eye contact with the bird. After a bit of tension, we passed the pelican and reached the beach. All the hassle was totally worth it!

After playing in the beach for a while, we continued our way up north.  The sun was starting to go down, and a wall of fog was starting to appear in the horizon. We were definitely approaching the Bay Area.

In the distance, we could see a lighthouse. It was Pigeon Point Lighthouse. Our next stops all had to do with the gorgeous views of the lighthouse and the stunning skies that served as a backdrop. I got awesome photos of all of it. Our last stop was the definition of being in the right place at the right time. The sky was lit up with the sun setting behind the fog. The lighthouse was also lit up and the rays of sun were reflecting on the ocean. It was magical.

The three of us spent some time watching the sun disappear behind the fog, while trying to catch the moment.

When the sun was gone, it was time for us to drive home.

After about an hour, we got back to San Francisco. It took us no time to find a parking spot close to our apartment. And, by close, I mean about 6 or 7 blocks away. It’s all about context, right?

Completely satisfied with our day, we headed out to get some Chinese food and to talk about all the wonderful and beautiful things we had seen and experienced during the day. What a daytrip! What a sunset! What a beach day! All in one day! If you take the time to explore, you never know what the world will treat you with!

I hope you enjoy this week’s photos. I know I had a great time taking them. I truly love nature, exploring, and taking photos of the precious moments in life!

For more photos, visit my Etsy store at:


  1. Not sure if I'm feeling sentimental about the coast or what, but these are some of my favorite photos you've posted! Your day trip sounds divine, you inspire me to enjoy every moment wherever I am =)

    1. Thanks Michelle!!! It was a fun day and the scenery was awesome! ... Photo shoot this Saturday at the food fair? I think so!