moss beach + santa cruz

Earlier this month, I visited Scott in San Francisco for a whirlwind long weekend trip. We spent time with friends (but mostly each other), hung out in Golden Gate park, and we took a super fun day trip, which I’m highlighting here!

We woke up early Saturday morning and went to Devil’s Teeth Baking Company for breakfast. The biscuits were insanely good, as was the cheese danish we split. (I may have eaten 70 percent of it, shh…) From there, we got on the road.

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Scott and I at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach, CA.

We drove down to Moss Beach, reaching Fitzgerald Marine Reserve right around low tide—perfect timing to check out the tidepools. We saw harbor seals just offshore, and in the tidepools we saw sea anemones, hermit crabs, etc.

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Tidepools at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve.

The forest on the hill behind the beach (shown in the top photo above) was equally as beautiful as the tidepools themselves. While much of the shoreline was closed off because it’s birthing season for the harbor seals, we really enjoyed the view from the top. (As you can see from the photos, it was quite chilly on this morning on Moss Beach!)

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Bundled up on Moss Beach! Look closely and you can see the harbor seals behind us.

From Moss Beach, we drove south on Highway 1 (my favorite) to Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is half hippie beach town, half college town. Scott has been a few times before and we had a great time poking around downtown in the shops, and then out at the amusement park on the beach.

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View from the top of the ferris wheel in Santa Cruz.

We shared a margarita before walking over to the boardwalk where we rode the ferris wheel, swings, and failed miserably at a milk bottle carnival game. I failed much more miserably than Scott, to be fair. Finally, we bowled a game (for our March date—blog post coming soon with more info on this) and shocked ourselves and each other with how good we were!

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On top of the world in Santa Cruz!

It was getting late—around 6 pm, and we needed to head back to San Francisco to go to a friend’s birthday party that night. So I convinced my man to get his best gal a coke and ice cream sundae from McDonald’s (#blessed) before we hit the road back north. Overall it was such a fun day, and we plan on having many more day trips like this to come!

m&m road trips: a recipe for disaster

best friends

I’m willing to bet that I have more awful, hilarious road trip stories than just about anyone you know.  Specifically, the road trips I have taken with my best friend (and roommate) Maddie have been world-class hot messes time and time again.  I’ll explain.

1. The time we were mooned: We were minding our own business, making the long drive back from our hometown to college after a break.  As a car approaches in the left hand lane next to us, we notice a commotion inside the car.  They were trying to wave to us!  How friendly and wonderful!  Suddenly–BOOM.  Butt against car window.  Mooned.  We were stunned and as Maddie sped trying to get away from the crazy people, they gunned it and attempted to drive next to us, female passenger’s butt fully exposed.

2.  The time I had to call the cops: A car was driving like a maniac, weaving in and out of traffic and at one point driving between two 18-wheelers on the highway.  I called the police to report him and we watched as the state trooper nabbed the guy a couple of minutes later.  I felt like a hero.  And also like a tattletale.

3. The time we tried to get from Gainesville to I-10 and wound up in Georgia: Maddie was driving.  Assuming she knew the way (we were going home for a break; it’s not like there’s more than one route) as she’d driven it before, I didn’t pay much attention to navigation.  BIG MISTAKE.  Turns out neither of us was watching the signs until I saw a Florida welcome center sign and asked Maddie why we would be passing that.  It wasn’t until we saw the “We’re Glad Georgia’s On Your Mind” sign that we knew of our detour.

4. The time a tire ignited in front of our eyes: We were driving behind an 18-wheeler, headed to the land where dreams come true (also known as Disney).  I saw a spark hit the road in front of us and I complained something like, “Ugh!  How rude!  That trucker flicked his cigarette at us!”  Maddie noted that it looked like there were multiple sparks, actually.  As we watched from literally two car lengths behind, the 18-wheeler’s tire COMBUSTED.  Smoke.  Fire.  Flames.  THE TRUCKER DROVE ON.  It was a solid three more minutes before he realized something was up and pulled over (meanwhile we were doing psycho sign language from the car trying to signal to him that he is on fire).

5. The time we got lost, almost ran out of gas and wound up at a dilapidated gas station: The title on this one speaks for itself, except for the fact that it’s important to note that we were in Orlando (a big city compared to Gainesville) and we were both 18 years old and female (i.e. not good drivers.  I’m sorry but it’s true).  Naturally, we called our parents for help (mainly directions, as our iPhones decided they’d stop working) and both my dad, who finally answered the phone after I called 7 times–he was on a date, and her mom yelled at us for not having an atlas in the car.  It was 2011.  WHO CARRIES AN ATLAS ANYMORE?!  Apparently anyone over 50.

These are just the tip of the iceberg.  There was also another almost-running-out-of-gas incident (we aren’t stupid, I swear), a friend’s tire going flat in the middle of Miami, and me getting…let’s just say, ill…multiple times at various gas stations and truck stops all along I-10.

HOWEVER, for all of these terrible stories of bad luck, poor directional skills and an utter lack of common sense, Maddie and I also have had some really cool things happen to us on our road trips.  It wouldn’t be fair to leave those out completely, so look out for that post coming next!