Wish I was here - The Oregon Coast

We are planning another Oregon trip soon and I am more than ready to be back on the Oregon Coast. I can't complain about California (even though I do all the time) but there is just something so magical about the coast up north. Currently daydreaming about coffee in Cannon Beach, rocky cliffs and beautiful heavy fog, Rainier and chilly bonfires at Hug Point. 

Wish I was here - Bishop Camping

We had planned for weeks to camp at June Lake. However the weather had other plans for us. Since most of the higher elevations still had tons of snow and frozen pipes, we had to settle for somewhere new. We ended up at a campground in Bishop that didn't initially seem ideal but ended up to be the perfect central location and a convenient camp site. Here are some photos from around Bishop.  

Wish I was here - Half Moon Bay

Our good friends Brice and Hannah had a sort of destination wedding 6 months ago and it was the most dreamy long weekend in Half Moon Bay. All of our friends stayed in an airbnb close to the water and we had so much fun relaxing and partying before and after the wedding. The ceremony was in the woods in Felton and made for the most beautiful photos. I snagged a few of the pictures by Press Films from Hannah's instagram. I was having so much fun I didn't take as many photos as I'd like but I had to record the memory and upload the few photos I have.

Wish I was here - Redwoods Camping

Last May (yeah I'm real far behind) Timothy and I decided to go camping for over a week with friends that we had never gone on a trip together with. The four of us drove 12 hours, almost to the Oregon border up to Jedidiah Smith State Park. It rained every day except for one day that we were there. At night it rained so hard that I was afraid we would wake up in a river. On the way home our car broke down and the 12 hour journey took almost twice as long. Guess what? We had so much fun together and somehow we are still friends to this day.

We cooked every meal under a tarp, explored the Oregon coast in the rain and laid on rocks by the river to soak up the one day of sun we had. We can't wait to do it again.

Wish I was here - Montana

I'm pretty much the worst blogger ever so I'm about a year behind on travel and lifestyle photos. I have so many photos just sitting on my external hard drive that need to be shared. Not to mention all of the experiences that I want to record and relive; so I'm starting a new series. On Travel Tuesdays I'll talk about places I've been, places I want to go and trips we are planning. Lets kick it off with Montana!

Our good friends and roommates have family that lives in Whitefish Montana and we were fortunate to be invited to join them on a family vacation there! I honestly never even thought about Montana before, it just wasn't on my map. But once we started planning, Timothy started doing image searches for Glacier National Park and following Instagrammers who have traveled there, and we immediately got super stoked. It was almost a year ago and seriously not a day goes by that Timothy and I don't talk about that trip or wish we were there. I'll just shut up and let the pictures tell the story.

Transparency, Elevators and Oysters

I'm going to be honest with you. San Francisco does not deserve its own post. Have you ever asked your parents or grandparents about a photo or a souvenir and watched them get this dreamy look on their face while they tell you the story behind it? Maybe a long forgotten memory. My dad has a key on his keychain from the room he and my mom stayed in at their honeymoon. I love that. And that is what this blog is for me. So while I didnt steal a hotel key (trust me, I wanted to!), I have a photo of it. And that's why I keep plugging on this blog, and why I'm not leaving San Francisco out of my post about our trip.

On the way home from ave of giants, I wanted to stop in San Francisco. We had about 24 hours left and Timothy had never been before. We don't really stay in hotels a lot. Usually our trips involve camping or crashing at a friends house, so I was really excited to use the last of our money (haha yeah theres more transparency) to get a nice-ish hotel in SF and do some touristy things. So we used Hotel Tonight again and we found a room at the White Swan Inn. This ended up being one of my favorite parts of the trip. I mean how rad is the room? The hotel has one of the old elevators where you have to close the gate yourself and hold down a button to move. We even had a fireplace that it was way too warm to use!

Before we left for home, Timothy and I walked through Union Sqaure and headed down to Fishermans Wharf, and the Ferry Building and of course we had to get oysters and chowder. We decided on Hog Island and we could not have been happier.


I'd call this trip a success!

Avenue of Giants

I haven't traveled to a lot of places. I'm fairly knowledgable about the west coast, and have seen a lot of beauty between Southern California and Washington. Somehow a 31 mile stretch of road is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been. It took us hours to travel because we stopped every couple of miles to take hundreds of photos. That's why the avenue of the giants gets its own post.

This place made me feel seriously SMALL. I can't even explain its beauty and honestly the photos can't capture it. But I tried my damndest. Without further ado: 

Dreamy

I love weddings. And I mean that in the most cliche rom-com way possible. I am one of the most unsentimental and emotionless people you will ever meet, but I love the magic and the beauty and the pure unfiltered love of weddings. This wedding in the small town of Ferndale checked all of the boxes. We were so honored to be included at the celebration of this adorable couple with the most Pinterest worthy wedding I have been to. Complete with games on the town hall lawn, incredible homemade desserts, honey jar favors, sparklers and a Polaroid photobooth of sorts. 

This wedding made me want to be a wedding photographer. Until I remembered I'm not a very good photographer, especially under pressure ha. But really, I would imagine that some locations (and people) just make it so damn easy to take a good photo.

My favorite part were the hydrangeas planted all around town hall. Since blue hydrangeas were our wedding flower, I had to snap a few photos of them. 

 

Seriously dreamy. But really, are we ready to talk about the Avenue of Giants yet? Because that's next.

Unattainable beaches

When we were in Big Sur, looking down at McWay Falls, all we could think about was getting to the beautiful pristine beach below. If I recall correctly, it's accessible only during low tide. Well a couple of days later we ended up at yet another lookout with a beach that we couldn't access.

Anyways, after Fern Canyon we made our way towards High Bluff Lookout. It was just a parking lot with 2 trails. It was nothing spectacular but the views were nice. Branching off one of the trails was another overgrown trail that must have lead to the beach at some point, but it was roped off and had a sign that said beach access was no longer available. I'm assuming that there was some sort of slide blocking the trail. Id love to back and try to find another access point, we just didnt have the time (that seems to be the theme of the trip). We thought that it would be awesome to go back to some of these places with kayaks so that we could get to these beaches no matter the tide schedule or conditions. Maybe a short term goal for me would be to be able to kayak in a straight line instead of a circle.

Have I mentioned that we love the beach? The only thing that I love as much as the beach is an adorable beach town. A beach city with a lighthouse and a cheap, laid back restaurant for fish and chips and beer? Check and check and check.

Jurassic

Everyone has seen Jurassic Park right? I guess this is common knowledge, but parts of Jurassic Park 2 The Lost World and certain scenes of Star Wars Return of the Jedi were filmed in Northern California. We sure do have plenty of canyons and trees. Someone told us that we had to go check out Fern Canyon (which is partially how we found Gold Bluff Beach since they are off the same dirt road) so we added that to our to-do list. 

I wish that we had more time to spend there because I feel like we could have explored there all day. It had been pretty hot out at the beach and as soon as we began the trail for Fern Canyon the temperature dropped like 10 degrees. It was a hot sunny day but it was cool and shady in the canyon and all of the ferns were blowing in the wind, it was so refreshing and eerily beautiful. 

Does this look familiar? :)

In which we find our way to the beach again

Before we moved to Portland, we were always at the beach. We lived just a block from the ocean (and kick ourselves every day for leaving) and nearly spent every free moment out on the sand. Then we decided to move to Portland where the beach was 2 hours away. And still we found ourselves driving to the coast almost every weekend, where we would spend entire days on the sand. So it's no surprise that our vacations somehow end up with us at the beach.

After leaving Carmel, we made a slight detour to head toward Big Sur. I hadn't been there since high school and Timothy had never been. The drive was pretty, but unfortunately the waterfall (McWay falls) we were excited to see was pretty dry because of this stinking drought.

On the way back though we stopped at an AMAZING barbecue spot, Big Sur Roadhouse so the drive was well worth it. Seriously we need to talk about this place for a minute. The cute orange branding and the old truck are what caught our attention. 

We ended up on the patio where they were smoking or barbecuing or whatever they were doing to the food right outside. Of course we had to cool off with a couple beers and then we ordered the best tri tip sandwich I have ever had. I'm not sure if I have ever had a tri tip sandwich before, but I know this was the best. The tri tip was sliced really thin so that it got sort of crispy and oh man my mouth is watering just thinking about it. 

We want to plan another trip to spend more time at Big Sur, and its not BECAUSE of this restaurant but it will be a strong motivating factor. And next time I need to save room for a float with homemade ice cream.

Once we were full beyond belief, we headed out towards Arcata.  We found ourselves at another crappy motel, but by now we are seasoned pros at slumming it. We woke up and headed to breakfast because I cant function without waffles and coffee, at least while on vacation. We went to the Big Blue Cafe which we will 100% go back to next time we are in the area. I keep getting sidetracked by food. But anyways we needed fuel for the next leg of our trip, and I'm finally getting to the beach part.

So we knew we were near the coast, even though we couldn't see it from where we were staying. We decided to head out and see what we could find. We saw signs for an elk viewing area and obviously followed them. The signs never led us to elk, but we did happen upon a dirt road which we decided to take. I mean we didn't buy a Subaru for nothing. Glad that we did, because this road led us to Gold Bluff Beach. And well, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. 

After we enjoyed the beach, we headed to the nearby trail for Fern Canyon. Where they filmed part of Jurassic Park 2. Those pictures coming up next. Get excited.