Day 2: Big Sur & Elephant Seals
Much to the disappointment and annoyance of my sweet little sister, we drove down to Big Sur for some serious hiking. And by serious hiking I mean a 4 mile moderately strenuous trail...which I didn't think would be too big of a deal after my 37 near death experiences in Maui.
Big Sur is just a piece down the road from Monterey and Carmel, both of which were chilly and overcast when we stopped. Big Sur was grey as well, which I adored. Overcast days, especially by the sea, are so romantic, don't you think?
The grey sky almost melded into the sea, and when looking out at the horizon, you couldn't tell which was which. It was all just this slatey abyss.
the daily selfie. do you like my mullet?
We hiked the Ewoldsen trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.
you can tell i take this hiking business seriously because i'm wearing spandex.
the one caveat I would mention about hiking the Ewoldsen trail is that it doesn't have what i would consider "good" views until well into two very steep miles. I didn't mind too much, because I love a good leg-burning, heart-pumping hike, but if you don't enjoy hiking for hiking's sake, and if you aren't an especially patient person, I would not recommend this trail.
The problem is that the trail is mostly in wooded areas, and the first few miles are just an uphill climb through trees. I don't know, maybe I'm just not a tree person. If you are a tree person, you'll probably get a get a huge kick out of it.
But once you got up those two miles, you come around the mountain and end up high above the ocean.
And if your name is not bRob and you don't make a habit of taking horrible pictures, you might snap a few gorgeous shots.
She only agreed to pose after a lot of cajoling.
the one bit of wildlife we didn't manage to scare away...
walking in and out of the park you'll see this beautiful little grotto [?] and waterfall across the road.
minimal hiking required.
After leaving Big Sur, we drove down a little shy of Santa Barbara. On the way, a friend suggested I stop and visit the elephant seals (or sea elephants, as i prefer to call them) between the lighthouse and Hearst Castle near San Simeon.
Easily one of the best pieces of advice I've ever received. Like, cross stitch that mess on a pillow, good advice. The elephant seals are hilarious. Living proof that God is part comedian.
|"don't look at me."|
I suppose the "elephant" part comes from their snouts, which look like abridged trunks. And their bodies are essentially lumpy potato sacks. They wrinkle and wobble awkwardly and pooch in the funniest ways.
Let's get serious - my spirit animal is probably the elephant seal.
|"hey guys i called middle spoon"|
and these guys have NO sense of personal boundaries. My favorite thing was when one seal would go up and hardcore shove himself between two other sleeping seals. Then one of the sleeping seals would inevitably become aggravated, grunt, and wibblewobble out of the way.
this happened every few seconds.
Also they flipped sand on themselves a lot. In a very nonchalant fashion.
|guys why'd you start napping without me?|
I could have watched these guys all day. But I didn't. But I could have.
And in case you're wondering how our hours upon hours in the car went down, Marena and I got into a pretty heated discussion about Old Crow Medicine Show vs Darius Rucker Wagon Wheel. I don't know how it lasted so long because obviously OCMS has a lock on Wagon Wheel and Darius Rucker's version is a pathetic adulterated sham, but educating your little sister takes time, I guess.
The car now has a strict no-Darius-Rucker policy.
Darius, I think Hootie wants you back. Or at least country doesn't want you. - bRob
Day 3: Six Flags
Since my sister isn't such a big fan of hiking and wanted to do something a bit more "fun", we wanted to spend one day in one of California's plethora of amusement parks.
Our first instinct was to go to Disney, but at half the price and with a fraction of the little children running and screaming around, Six Flags seemed the more appealing option.
But what we didn't take into consideration is that while Six Flags isn't geared towards children, its more mature audience consists of lovesick teenagers who grope one another in the line for the Roaring Rapids. I'm not judging, but I did have a front row seat for an ungodly number of hours.
Regardless, i think marena enjoyed the rides and i got through two roller coasters before i realized how old and curmudgeony i am and swore off theme parks forever. Not altogether a bad day.