Before the Pacific Coast Highway...
Our first destination in California was San Diego. We would not be able to pick up the PCH until we were farther up the coast in Dana Point. We stayed in the San Diego area for two days, and I wish we could have stayed more. It really is a wonderful place with perfect beaches and really nice people.
On our first morning, we had breakfast on the beach. Well, not literally 'on the beach' in the sand, but just a couple of footsteps away on a beach-level patio at a place that served wonderful food with a smile. We enjoyed a hearty breakfast and some great coffee before exploring the beach and enjoying some sun.
Everything they said was true, and it was very beautiful. I also found that the people were especially nice. I say 'especially nice' for a reason. I had been up and going since early that morning. We had already been to one beach exploring, walking, sitting in the sand. I had Jeep hair on top of beach hair! But, no matter where I went, no one seemed to notice. No one looked at me like I had a Medusa head, which is my new nickname for the combo 'Jeep hair/beach hair' since going to California. I was quite impressed with the non-judgmental, California hospitality I received.
You see, Coronado Island is a place where the wealthy live and play. And, while you can tell that from everything you see, it doesn't feel that way. I didn't feel out of place or unwanted. There is ample public parking for free, and there are lovely neighborhoods to walk through. It doesn't have that 'don't touch me' feel at all.
We went into the Hotel del Coronado, enjoyed walking around freely, and bought a few things in the very nice shops. I have a sincere appreciation for good customer service, and I received it everywhere I went in the hotel and on the island. It was a top-notch day and evening we spent on Coronado Island. I can't wait to go back!
Next stop, PCH...
We left San Diego the next day and got on the Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point, California. I was so thrilled I took pictures of the first road sign we came across. I had no idea, at that point, just how thrilled I really should have been. You see, I'm an East Coast girl. I'm not sure exactly what I expected, but I guess I thought it would be something like Myrtle Beach. Oh, sure, I had seen movies where people drive the PCH, but...it's a movie - not reality! Or, so I thought...
I will never forget coming down that first bit of road and seeing the coast for the first time. We were on a fairly straight piece of the highway and, as we came over a little incline in the road,...there was the Pacific Coast in all its glory! Wow! It was like a postcard picture!
Now, the beach is gorgeous all by itself, but to have one side of the road look like paradise and the other side of the road display these magnificent, dramatic mountains is...awe-inspiring. I also found that it is impossible to convey how that feels in photography. I mean, I took good pictures I really love, but it doesn't even come close. You have to sense it. It gives you that awareness of...just how small you are in this world. And, I don't know about you, but I love that feeling. It makes me feel much less stressed about life. No wonder California Coast people are so laid back and relaxed.
We drove the PCH and stayed at various hotels along the way, deciding each evening where we wanted to stay. I'll tell you how we did that in my next post. For now, just enjoy a few pictures from different places along the highway.