My Excursion: Big Sur, Napa, Muir Woods and San Francisco!

I recently had a friend come to visit me which was a great excuse to do some more exploring within my new home. Below are a few shots from our little excursion:

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An encounter with the Grateful Dead in northern California.

If you read my About Me page you already know that I am from Atlantic Canada and that I grew up in a small coastal town. The special thing about my town is that there are many locals that haven’t entirely left the 60’s which made for a different but fun upbringing. It’s hard not to be influenced by the hippy era in a town like St. Andrews, NB. When I was in junior high my friends and I used to be obsessed with the song Sugar Magnolia when most kids my age were listening to more modern artists such as  Destiny Child, K.C. & Jo Jo, and Backstreet Boys. For the most part we were the new generation of hippy wannabes hanging out at camps and on the beach wearing bell bottom cords, dead head tie dye shirts, learning how to play guitar and listening to bands such as Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, and Cat Steven’s to name a few.

With that background you will understand my surprise and excitement with what I believe to be a great find in northern California!

One Saturday morning in July my husband woke up and in a spontaneous gesture suggested we take a drive north of San Francisco without any real destination in mind. Once we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge we saw signs for a community called San Rafael in Marin County and decided that would be our destination. Since it was around lunch time we decided to stroll around and find a place to eat. Across the harbour we could hear live music coming from a huge patio hidden by tree’s and foliage. It sounded like a lot of fun so naturally we walked over to check it out. To my surprise and excitement we stumbled upon Grateful Dead founder and band member, Phil Lesh’s restaurant – Terrapin Crossroads!

We absolutely loved the vibe, the food and the band! The band playing was nothing other than Phil Lesh’s two son’s @Grahamelesh and @BrianJamesLesh. Let’s say talent didn’t fall far from the tree. They had a crew of friends helping them out with sound and what looked like an entourage at a table in the front. I couldn’t have asked for a more fun random day. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to see the dead live and considering that won’t happen it was pretty cool to see the next generation jamming at brunch for an audience of locals.

@Grahamelesh and @BrianJamesLesh Performing at Terrapin Crossroads

Aside from the music the food was amazing. We split the chopped salad and burger which was a great choice. We quickly learned that they “support local, organic and sustainably produced vegetables, meat and fish”. I totally dig this. Even the perimeter of the patio was outlined with planters filled with herbs!  This was without a doubt my type of restaurant – the perfect fusion of creativity, music and sustainably conscious food. I will definitely be back and hopefully Phil is there performing with his friends and son’s. 

 

Friendship is an amazing thing….

FRIENDSHIP

Friendship is something that doesn’t happen very quickly and when you finally have a strong one it takes just as much work to maintain as any other relationship. I’ve learned over the years to really cherish the few ‘real’ friends you have in this world. You never know when you’ll need them or they’ll need you.

I’ve been blessed to have some amazing woman come and stay in my life. I’ll never take either of their friendships lightly or for granted. They are all different but similar in small ways. I guess you could say they each have a different role in my life. They’ve each been there during different times in my life and have impacted who I am as a woman just for being there for me.

I recently got married in my new home state – beautiful California on Carmel River State Beach. I know most couples say this about their wedding day but it truly was an amazing and magical day. We only had 30 guests (including the wedding party). We decided to only invite immediate family and close friends who are like family. I think some of our imperfections on the day ended up being the highlights – such as: scuba divers joining us for an impromptu photo shoot, forgetting cake cutting utensils and then having to use a plastic fork, one of my lovely brides maids completely skipping the aisle and just going straight into line (haha), forgetting my vows at home and my sister forgetting her maid of honour speech at home. These all made for great memories!

After the reception I cried happy tears due to being overwhelmed with emotion because I couldn’t believe this many people from across the continent and 3 different countries would come to our wedding. I’ve never felt more loved in my life. It’s a really special feeling to see your childhood best friend make friends with your university best friend and then with your first career colleague best friends and then to see my sister and new sister in-law thrown into that mix was all so amazing. To see these woman who you love and respect individually get a long and genuinely laugh together was something I’ve always wanted to see.

To each of my amazing and lovely best friends that made the journey to CA for me I love you all so much and appreciate the friendship that we have together. I look forward to many more memories being created in the coming years!

XOXOXOXOXOXOX

A beautiful west coast sunset.

Last Thursday I spent a very special evening with my husband in Carmel, CA. We love this small sea-side community and frequent it almost every weekend! It reminds us of my home town St. Andrews By-the Sea in New Brunswick, Canada. The people are so kind and generous and the scenery is breath-taking.

Since being in CA I hadn’t seen a ‘real’ west coast sunset yet, so we braved the chilly sea breeze and walked down to the beach with our dog Charlie to catch a ‘real’ west coast sunset. Below are a few photos that I was able to capture. To view them in a larger format click on one of the images below to start a slide show. Enjoy!

I ♥ California

I’ve said this before but I absolutely love California and all the natural beauty within. I recently did the tourist thing and completed the 17 Mile Drive. For those of you that don’t know what this is, it’s 17 miles a beautiful land, seashore, ocean and pristine golf links (i.e. Pebble Beach Golf Course). If you are going to be in central California it’s a must to do this drive. Below are some of the photo’s that I took during my drive and a few others from the surrounding area – Carmel. Enjoy!

The Lone Cypress

Pebble Beach Links

Point Joe

Restless Sea

Coastal Plant Life 

Beach front house in Carmel, CA

Stewarts Cove – Carmel, CA