Often the trips involve two steady driving trips so we can get to the destination and back quickly, and the remainder of the weekend can be dedicated relaxation time.
Several weeks ago, however, we switched things up. After a relaxing Saturday in Monterey, we headed back North towards San Francisco on the slow road Sunday morning.
We weren't in any hurry, so we cruised through the beach towns of Aptos, Capitola, Soquel, and Santa Cruz. I pointed out places along the way, like where we camped when I as kid, and where I'd competed in open water swims and paddle-board races. We snacked at an old favorite, El Toro Bravo.
We spent a fair amount of time watching the surf.
The waves were slamming into this rocky ledge:
I love the following picture. Watching storm surf gives me such an appreciation for the power behind those waves. These "ins and outs" (as we used to call them growing up) are especially fun to ride; they're like taking the fast-track back to the surf zone, saving you the trouble of paddling. And it's actually quite thrilling to be right in the spot where the "ins" and "outs" face off.
This lighthouse above Steamer Lane houses a surf museum.
From Santa Cruz, we continued North to Half Moon Bay, which is a road I hadn't traveled before. It had beautiful scenery, and Big Sur-like cliffs over the water.
As you all might guess by now, the following restaurant sign caught our eye, and we agreed we had nothing more important to do than test the brew master's skills at Half Moon Brewing Company:
We cozied up by the outdoor fire pit with a Mavericks Pillar Point Pale Ale and a Princeton-by-the-Sea IPA, along with a few appetizers. We enjoyed the warmth of the fire and watched the sun dip below the cliffs...
We didn't make it to check out the Mavericks break, (and I know it wouldn't have been particularly large this day), but it is something I would eventually love to see!
That's the perfect excuse for a repeat visit! Now if only I could capture surfing pics like that above...