Family Weekend in Santa Cruz

Are you guys busy getting ready for Halloween this weekend? I feel like it really snuck up on me this year, I’m just spending the night with my roommates and friends for some board games in costumes (we’re all dressing up as different Rick’s and Morty’s from “Rick and Morty”). I didn’t go to any Halloween parties this year, because my parents flew out from Colorado to visit.

We drove down to Santa Cruz, CA and spent a fun and relaxing 3-day weekend in the surf and sand. I think we got really lucky with the weather, because it was in the upper 60’s and 70’s with sun while we were there. We spent our time eating good food, walking around a few towns, and sitting in the sand. It was the best! Here are some pictures from our weekend:

Santa Cruz Family Weekend // Imperfect Chevron

 

Santa Cruz Family Weekend // Imperfect Chevron

We stayed in an Airbnb about a mile from Capitola Village, which is one of my favorite Santa Cruz beaches. There’s always a lot to do and see in the village; you can walk along the beach, watch the surfers ride the waves, stroll around the town, and grab a bite to eat. The crowd seems to be very family friendly, too, so it’d be a good place to take kiddos.

Santa Cruz Family Weekend // Imperfect Chevron

My favorite little beach-side shop to eat is Beach Break by Mariannes in Capitola – they have amazing fries. I got the fried chicken sandwich with sriracha-mayo, but the burgers are great, too. I always take pictures of my food, my parents think I’m ridiculous. But how else will I remember the great meals? Duh.

Santa Cruz Family Weekend // Imperfect Chevron

My parents are seriously the best. I’m so grateful that we have such a close family and good relationship, I know a lot of people don’t have that with their families. Anyway. I’m just glad to have them in my life.

Santa Cruz Family Weekend // Imperfect Chevron

The first day, we drove down to Pajaro Dunes area, exploring. The beach ended up being too cold and windy that day, but we stopped at a farm stand and picked up these INCREDIBLE berries. I am not kidding, these strawberries were the BEST I’ve ever had. I’m not sure I can even eat a normal strawberry again. Kidding, but they really were that good.

Santa Cruz Family Weekend // Imperfect Chevron

On our second morning, we walked around the Santa Cruz beach harbor in the fog. The guy who took this picture at the lighthouse for us said “do something exciting,” and apparently I thought that meant sticking my arm out. Haha.

IMG_4797

Santa Cruz Family Weekend // Imperfect Chevron

Santa Cruz Family Weekend // Imperfect Chevron

We loved spending time at Main Beach and the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz. My favorite part is the wharf, because they have all these little cut-outs where you can peek down under the pier and see sea lions! We must have seen 100’s of them over the weekend. We kept going back for more, haha. My family really loves animals. Sea lions are so fun to watch, they keep climbing on top of each other to get the best napping spot.

Santa Cruz Family Weekend // Imperfect Chevron

We grabbed street tacos at a little dive just up the street from the wharf. You just can’t go to the beach without getting tacos, am I right? The shredded chicken taco was SO GOOD, you guys. I wish I remembered what the little restaurant was called…I do remember it was green! Anybody know?

Anyway, I loved spending the weekend at the beach with my parents. I’m so glad they were able to fly out and visit me, especially because it’s pretty rare I get to see them these days! Such a good time.

xo

Advertisements

A Week in San Luis Obispo, CA!

SLO Trip via Imperfect Chevron

Last week my parents and I took a spur-of-the-moment trip to San Luis Obispo, CA–I actually had a job interview out there, and we were able to extend the trip and stay a week in warm, beachy paradise! Today I’m sharing some photos (I took SO MANY PHOTOS) and some of what we did while we were there. It was super hard leaving the beach and the ocean, but all of the leaves are changing here in CO now and, you guys, it is so beautiful! Fall in CO is really something special. So even though I’m missing the beach and sand and surf like crazy, I’m happy to be home.

Here’s our trip in a snapshot:

Day 1

Fly into LAX. Drive through the crazy traffic to SLO.We stopped at In-N-Out for our very first time…it is totally worth the hype! Definitely a must-have when in CA.

SLO Trip via Imperfect Chevron

To break up the long drive, we stopped at a great little beach park near Santa Barbara called Rincon park.The fun thing in CA is that many beach parks allow dogs!

SLO Trip via Imperfect Chevron

We stayed on a farm through Airbnb, which was the most amazing experience! For dinner, we walked around downtown SLO and stopped at Jaffa Cafe for some awesome gyros and falafel. We were also surprised to see 2 red macaw parrots flying overhead, it’s a local quirk which you can read about here.

Day 2

Spent the day wandering around Morro Bay and Morro Rock.It’s a pretty beautiful area, with a cute little town around it. We didn’t explore the town much, but it looked like a lot of fun!

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

While searching for tide pools, we drove up to the Bluff Trail at Montana de Oro. We didn’t find any tide pools (it was too hot to hike very far that day), but looking down over those cliffs into the ocean sure was beautiful! There were some harbor seals hanging out on one of the rocks down there, which was fun to watch for a while.

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

We stopped at Beach Hut for some unique and tasty sandwiches (I ordered a sandwich with turkey and cranberry sauce and sprouts!) on the way back to Morro Rock, where we spotted a “clump” of at least 20 sea otters sleeping in the kelp. Those otters were incredible. We were really happy we brought our binoculars on this trip, because seeing the sea life up close is way cool. You can really see their little blond faces!

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

Day 3 + Day 4

Interview days for me. I ate lunch at Spirit of San Luis (airport cafe), sipped an iced coffee at Bello Mundo, enjoyed a turkey pesto sandwich at 6 Degrees (an awesome little coffee shop in Orcutt), and loved the carnitas tacos at Shell Beach Brewhouse. Carnitas is a new food love for me, but I’m totally obsessed with them now. Sorry for no pictures of food, by the way. I would get so wrapped up in eating that I pretty much forgot to take pictures of ALL the food I ate on this trip. Major face-palm moment.

After my interview on one of these days, I needed to relax, so we spent a few hours enjoying Pismo beach. I love me a good beach, and this was a good one. We saw lots of whale spouts off the beach, which was really fun to watch for! If you head out on the pier, you can get a close look at surfers catching waves, which I thought was really interesting to watch. I think I’d try surfing, but the ocean in CA is so cold!

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

We also walked around in downtown SLO, and I couldn’t help snapping some pictures by the gorgeous Mission San Luis Obispo.

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

Day 5

We drove towards Avila beach, stopping along several pull-offs at Shell beach first. At Shell beach, we saw this huge rock off the cliff with probably more than 200 pelicans on it! Unfortunately it was a really foggy day, so my photos didn’t turn out amazing…The houses on that street had the best view, though. If I ever make it rich, remind me that’s where I want to live!

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

We spent some time checking out the San Luis pier at the North end of Avila beach. Basically, it’s an animal lover’s dream! We saw harbor seals, seat otters, and sea lions all hanging around the pier, which was so cool. It’s also a fun pier to check out because there are little fish markets and restaurants on it, which is neat. Plus, you can go down below the pier (which is a little creepy, but just try not to think about it)! We saw sea otters playing down there, and there’s a platform that the sea lions hang out on down there.

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

We drove back to Pismo beach and ate tacos at Papi’s Grill, which was so good! I had the carnitas special (remember how I told you I’m obsessed with carnitas?!) Just so you know, it’s a very casual place–order at the window and then sit on the little patio. The perfect place for tacos! (: After lunch, we headed back to Avila (Pismo beach was really foggy, and we wanted some sun!), and got our caffeine fix at Big Al’s coffee house. I ordered a Hawaiian shave ice, which was incredible. If you’re hanging at Avila, definitely head to this little coffee shop for coffee, tea, Hawaiian shave ice, or smoothies.

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

On the way back to our house, we stopped one more time at Morro Rock to see more otters. This time, a couple of them had babies lying on their stomachs! Bring your binoculars to California, you guys.

Day 6

We had reserved a tour at Hearst Castle, so we spent most of the day near San Simeon. Our tour was amazing, and I loved that we were able to stay after the tour ended to walk around the gardens. Such an amazing story, it really reminded me of The Great Gatsby for some reason.

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

There’s this exit on the highway right up the road from Hearst Castle where elephant seals come ashore and sunbathe on the sand. Since fall is sort of the “off-season” I wasn’t expecting to see many, but there were at least 200 on the shore, and a few more in the waves! These animals are incredible, like nothing I’ve ever seen. They’re huge, and seeing them up close was really cool. I love that the whole area is a boardwalk, so people can’t get down to the beach to bother the animals, and volunteers are around to answer questions. Here’s the website, with a cool live cam!

http://www.elephantseal.org/view.htm

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

Every Thursday night, Higuera St. in downtown SLO is transformed into the most amazing farm market. Lots of produce stands, local restaurants offering street food, and even street performers and bands! We ate this amazing woodfired pizza from Guiseppe’s. I ordered the margherita pizza and it was great!

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

 

 

Such a great trip. I hadn’t spent much time in CA before this visit, and I’d like to get back there every couple years! I loved the Central Coast, and would definitely recommend staying near SLO.

xo

Beach Day, Hooray!

After a long and stressful week at my OT Fieldwork (read: internship), there’s nothing that makes me happier than loading up my towel and flip flops, slathering on some SPF 30, and heading to the closest beach to lay in the sun. It’s the thing I’ve enjoyed most about living temporarily in Florida–I just can’t get enough. Beach bum at heart, for sure. The weather is starting to get warmer here, and in my last couple of weeks in Florida I’m trying to make the most of my time and sit in the sand as much as possible! Here are some photos I took at the beach last weekend:

Beach Day via Imperfect Chevron

Beach Day via Imperfect Chevron

Beach Day via Imperfect Chevron

Beach Day via Imperfect Chevron

 

A lot of people ask me, “you go to the beach alone?” While it’s probably more fun to go with friends or family, beach bumming is one activity I’m perfectly content doing by myself. All I need is some good music on my phone, and I can spend hours laying in the sun or wading in the waves.

IMG_2532.JPG

xo.

My Beach Bag Essentials

It’s safe to say that I’ve been loving my time in Florida so far. Almost every weekend so far I’ve gone to the beach, sitting in the sand and enjoying the sunshine. Even if it’s cold, I’m pretty much always at the beach.

Beach Bag Essentials via Imperfect Chevron

Do you ever feel like you forget something when you go to the beach? I definitely have had my share of those moments–you get all the way there and realize you’ve left your towel at home. Face palm.

The last couple weeks, I’ve gotten better at packing all my essential beach day items. Today I’m sharing what’s in my beach bag:

Beach Bag Essentials via Imperfect Chevron

  1. Sunscreen – as much as I love sitting in the sun, I also know how important it is to protect my skin from burns and UV rays. SPF 30 works pretty well when I’m looking to get a little tan, and SPF 50 is what I reach for if I’m going to be out all day.
  2. Comfy flip-flops – I love Sanuk flip-flops. They’re so soft and comfy.
  3. Headphones – A perfect day at the beach includes listening to music. Right now I’m loving Cage the Elephant and Florence and the Machine (as always).
  4. Snacks – Even when I bring lunch, I like to pack a few snacks in my beach bag. I like granola bars because they keep me full, and the Oats N Honey crunchy type is my favorite.
  5. Chapstick – Baby Lips Dr. Rescue medicated chapstick in Coral Crave is the best.
  6. Sunglasses – These Urban Outfitters Emma sunglasses are everything. They have a great shape, and I love the oversized frames.

Beach Bag Essentials via Imperfect Chevron

So there you have it, my beach bag essentials! Not pictured, some other things I always bring with me: extra clothes for warmth, lots of water, and my phone for taking loads of pictures.

xo.