After more than two weeks on the road it wasn’t all bad that I had to wait for a couple of days before Louise could fly up to SF since it gave me some much needed time for blogging and relaxing.
I’d opted for Santa Cruz to be my base for the two days and it turned out to be the perfect relaxed city just as I’d hoped. So after admiring the redwoods in Muir Woods I drove to Santa Cruz south of SF.

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Friday morning I was reunited with Louise (and I think that my Mom was finally able to relax as I was then no longer on my own..) when I picked her up at the airport. The plan for the following days was quite clear: make our way back to Santa Monica via the Pacific Coast Highway.

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The previous day I’d stumbled upon a recommendation for Mystery Spot just outside Santa Cruz so we decided to go there in the afternoon.

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According to the owners it’s a gravitational anomaly in a circle with a diameter of 150 feet where the laws of physics are questioned. It sure was puzzling but I tend to think that they’re just really good at making illusion-based tricks.

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Everything is slanted in all directions which confuses all senses so we weren’t able to figure out if there was actual mystery going on.. But we were lucky to get the most enthusiastic and energized tour guide so at least we were laughing while (possibly) being duped!

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The first night was spent in Monterey so we were ready for the beautiful 17 mile drive the next morning. Unfortunately the weather didn’t really cooperate so we woke up to a grey and cloudy day. The coastal drive was still quite impressive so I can only imagine what it could have been like with a clear blue sky.

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The Lone Pine on the 17 mile drive

The Lone Pine on the 17 mile drive

It was a little colder than we had expected so we were freezing whenever we left the car to gaze upon the Pacific Ocean. But at times the sun actually peeked out and at other times the scenery was just so amazing that it was worth freezing a bit for!

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We made quite a lot of stops along the way and obviously also at the “must-sees” such as Bixby Bridge – a concrete arch bridge from 1932 – and the McWay Falls that drops 80 feet into the Pacific Ocean at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

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We obviously also had to make a stop to see the elephant seals at Piedres Blancas shortly before San Simeon. A little less noisy but a bit more smelly than the sealions in San Francisco and at least just as cute!

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We weren’t at all prepared for how busy these towns along Highway 1 were in the beginning of October and hadn’t made any reservations for our nights so on the second night we ended up staying in Santa Maria which is a bit further inlands than what we’d hoped for. But we decided to stop for dinner on the way in San Luis Obispo and therefore didn’t do much other than sleep in Santa Maria so it wasn’t too bad.

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Does anybody know which kind of bird this is?

Does anybody know which kind of bird this is?

The weather was even worse the next day! It started out being cloudy in Solvang but that just made perfect sense, we were in Denmark after all. Besides the weather we didn’t really feel like we were back home but it was a fun visit.

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When we left Solvang it started to rain so we decided to do what any girl would do in that case: go shopping! Since the rain didn’t stop til we reached Santa Monica in the evening we didn’t really do much else – but a proper shopping spree requires a solid effort so there wasn’t time for anything else anyway!

And somehow my 20 day/almost 3200 miles road trip had come to an end – luckily I still had a few days left in the States!

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