West US Road Trip: Week 2 – California Love
Week two of our road trip is done! We are a third of the way through our crazy journey and are feeling lucky as hell to be enjoying this life. If you checked out last week’s post, we ended the first week in Vegas, having enjoyed a night our on the strip. This week, we made our way over to Southern California to smell some ocean air. We have been making our way up the coast of California the rest of the week.
While last week was full of crazy outdoor adventures, we were more city-bound this week. Our time has been focused around seeing a bunch of friends in California and honoring our need to slow down. We have been skipping a lot of the tourist stuff we had planned in exchange for more nights in. We have also been lucky enough to focus on time with friends ad family. It’s still been an amazing trip!
There has been less instagramming and photos this week, but Connor and I have been more focused on enjoying the journey, at our own pace. We also like to enjoy some of the views for ourselves and our personal memories. We encourage you to do the same while travelling.
Check out what we have been up to:
Day 8 – Las Vegas
Thankfully, we didn’t party too hard on our first night in Vegas. We woke up at a decent time in the morning because I was very excited to be meeting up for brunch with my best friend, her family, and my two god siblings. I am spoiled to be surrounded by such wonderful people in my life. We spent the morning catching up over some yummy food (I introduced Connor to fried pickles) before we had to squeeze each other with “until next time” hugs. It is awesome to have friends all over the world, but also really sucky when we only get to see so much of each other.
We head back to the hotel for a nap and head down to the pool by late afternoon. We get there and learn that we had somehow waited until 5:45 pm to head to the pool and they closed at 6… Mind you, it is July 4th, so we were a bit bummed we missed out on any kind of pool party fun.
However, the night was young. We had bought Connor an awesome shirt that was a picture of Lincoln saying, “Sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of my freedom.” (May I remind you, Connor is British…) We headed out with my friend, Tyler. Ready for some solid people watching, we set ourselves up on the strip with a nice margarite.
Fourth of July in Vegas. Ready for an epic night. Right? In reality, the fireworks got cancelled and we didn’t find any interesting celebrations taking place. Instead of an Independence day rager, we spent evening wandering around galleries, drinking a couple glasses of wine, and eventually wished Tyler luck at the black jack tables before calling it a night.
I feel old.
Day 9 – Just Shy of San Diego
I wake up early in the morning on Thursday for work calls, which I take from the bathroom of our hotel room to avoid waking up the group. Once the boys were awake, we headed to the hotel gym for a workout. The equipment was quite sad… our effort was also quite sad. Might as well cap it off with some Mexican food brunch.
On our way out of Vegas, we stopped by the Shelby museum to enjoy gazing at some beautiful cars, both old and new. The museum was free and didn’t disappoint.
With a long drive ahead, we headed out for a friend’s home outside San Diego.
I was lucky enough to get to meet up with another friend, Vanessa, who lives in Carlsbad. We met up with her for dinner and gorgeous views at the Sunset Market in Oceanside. It was fun to stroll around the market, which was a huge mix of food vendors, crafters, and a lot of live music. It felt American and homey to me.
We stayed at our friend, Jacob’s, gorgeous home in Cardiff, California which boasted amazing views of the ocean from the back patio. Feeling on top of the world.
Day 10 – Just Shy of Los Angeles
Ocean views in the morning make this girl very happy! But it was still a work day, so after a lazy morning coffee with views, we packed up and hit the road again.
As big fans of black coffee (something I picked up travelling), we were excited to read about the California coffee franchise – Philz. They only make pour over coffees and had over a dozen different blends we could choose from. Day = Made.
Digital nomads live on coffee. Or at least, we do.
Work finished, we headed up towards LA. I must mention here again that we are super blessed and lucky to have wonderful friends all over. We got to stay in Tyler’s parents’ home in San Pedro, CA in exchange for cleaning out their cat boxes (as they were out of town). For an ocean front home in California?! Definitely worth it!
We had originally planned on heading into Hollywood for the night. But didn’t.
We stayed in, watched a movie, and ordered Uber Eats. When travel is your lifestyle, you don’t stop craving quiet nights in. In fact, they sometimes become even more needed. We needed a recharge and a bit of the normal.
Big reminder here to listen to your body and it’s needs. Slow down when you crave the quiet. Don’t feel guilty about it!
Day 11 – San Luis Obispo
Slow Saturday mornings are wonderful. We brewed some coffee, walked along the beach, and ate our leftovers from the night before.
We had originally planned to spend this night in Big Sur, but we were looking at the route to get there and realized that the CA-1 highway was closed. It would have taken much longer to get to Big Sur than we originally planned.
Making our way North, we used freecampsites.net again to find a rad spot on a mountain just outside SLO. We were pretty excited to have time to relax and chill at the site. I threw down our picnic blanket and coloring supplies. Wine and nature inspired, we spent some time enjoying our artistic side before the sun went down.
Our beautiful location quickly turned sour when the wind picked up just after snuggling into our tent. The wind was whipping the tent, making so much noise that neither one of us could sleep. To top it off, we hadn’t fully closed the blow-up mattress, so it had been slowly sleeping all night. Connor went to sleep in the front seat of the car. I stubbornly stayed in the tent. Neither one of us really slept.
Travel is so glamorous.
Day 12 – Los Gatos
Regardless of whether we enjoyed sleep or not, we quickly tore down our campsite, grabbed terrible gas station coffee, and ventured further North.
We were in a bit of a hurry to get to a friend’s open house for her new business. Fellow Remote, Alex Beck, was launching Nestldown Therapeutic Riding Center and we were excited to go cheer her on. Nestldown is a beautiful event venue owned by Alex’s parents. Visiting their property was like stepping into a glorious fairytale. Celebrating Alex and wandering around the grounds was the perfect Sunday morning.
Spoiled again, we headed to Alex’s parents’ house in Los Gatos where we caught up on sleep for the afternoon. Oh, and I got to take a glorious bubble bath!
Walking down to the quiet downtown area for dinner, we loved looking at the unique homes throughout the neighborhood. There are Tudors, Victorians, Colonials, and modern homes. Growing up in the cookie-cutter style homes in Phoenix, I always enjoy strolling through unique neighborhoods. Plus, we got some delicious Thai food downtown.
Day 13 – San Francisco
We worked most of the morning from Alex’s home, enjoying the comforts of a home, knowing it would be another couple of weeks before we would be back to another house. But we couldn’t hang out too long, as we needed to get into San Francisco before traffic got too crazy.
Upon arriving in SF, we found out our cheap hotel was in the Kink district. Think leather and fabulousness. We checked into our small room and found some discount parking for the evening ($40 a night). Welcome to San Fran prices!
Needing to get more work done, we headed to Wicked Grounds, a bondage-themed café with klller Americanos and delicious sandwiches. It was a fun vibe.
Another Remote, Joe, lives in San Francisco and was free to meet up for a beer. Connor needed a night in for himself and I needed to get out for a night. It worked out wonderfully and I got to have a couple beers and catch up with Joe at the Sea Star.
Day 14 – Why are we in Modesto?
I was excited to get myself out of bed at an earlier time today. Morning routine complete, I spent the morning working from bed and Connor ran and got us another round of Americanos from Wicked Grounds.
Upon checking out, we ran to the piers to enjoy a bit of touristy stuff, and the joys of spending another $30 on parking…
We ate our weight in sour dough bread and other pastries at Boudin Bakery. Then, we just spent another hour or so wandering the piers – walking in and out of shops, checking out the views, etc. Yay! We finally spent a little time in the city we were supposed to be visiting.
By the time we left, it was 2:00 pm and I figured we would be fine for beating rush hour. I was wrong. If you want to see me behave out of my usual character, stick me in downtown traffic where we only move a few miles in an hour or so…
Much later than planned, we made it into Modesto, CA where my sister was randomly in town for work. We met up for wine and dinner and sister catch ups. Connor and I had planned to continue on to a campsite near Yosemite that night, but we finished so late that we crashed with Cheyanne at her hotel room instead.
We enjoyed another glass of wine and my DIY hotel room face masks (stay tuned for upcoming recipe).
This week sounds a lot less adventurous than last week. It’s true, and we are okay with it. On a road trip, it is important to enjoy the journey, not just the destinations. We are constantly in owe at the views along the trip. Connor and I jam out to music, listen to podcasts or audiobooks, and attempt to eat on the go. We also get to enjoy long, deep conversations on the boring drives.
Communication about our needs and what we are going through is important. I have been struggling with anxiety more than I usually do, requiring my attention. Connor has experienced moments of exhaustion and his toes dipping into the darkness of depression. He needed a couple long nights in. I needed more conversation and support than normal.
We can’t always be adventuring, as it is just as important to take care of ourselves too. We are having the best time, even if things aren’t always going according to plan. We adjust daily for our needs.
Have any questions about our trip? Please comment below! We would love to answer them. We are also heading up into Oregon and Washington soon. Any tips or advice would be awesome!
Remember to honor your needs this week and keep being awesome!