Days Like This

 Traveling. Experiencing. Exploring. Spoiling our senses. 
Watching my boys marvel at incredible sights. Learning. Shaping. Impressing.
 These are the moments I live for. It's what I go to work for. It's what keeps my mind occupied much of the time... What can we show them next? How can we fit in everything we want to do so we offer and experience as much of this world as possible with our boys? At any moment, something we experience could impact them in such a way that it shapes their life forever. It's that hope that keeps me researching and exploring, trying to keep the creativity and awe in our travels.
This was the day I was waiting for. June 3rd. I'd been planning the trip for months. We flew out of Atlanta and made our way to San Francisco to begin our 8 day trip with Sam and Charlie. While we definitely want Luke to experience all of this majestic beauty, 2016, at just 2 years old, isn't the year for that. Luke was home with Nana and then with Grandma getting spoiled all week.

So here we are somewhere between the San Francisco Airport and Santa Cruz... traveling in our convertible mustang along the Pacific Coast Highway, without a care in the world ~
We stopped off for a fabulous little lunch in Santa Cruz at Hulu's Island Grill. They had some super yummy coconut shrimp rolls, but the most memorable dish from this meal was what Richie ordered - fresh seafood in a coconut soup broth (don't recall the specific name of the dish). It was spectacular!
We booked all of our overnight stays through Airbnb, which was a first for us. This was the front garden area of the first place we stayed, which was in Seaside - just outside of Monterey. It was lovely. We never met our host, Wolfy, but he was kind enough to leave us a bottle of wine and lots of goodies in the candy dishes for the kiddos (and maybe some for mom and dad too).
We were pretty exhausted the first night we got there - I think we went to bed around 7pm PST!  We'd had a long 24 hours prior to that, with too little sleep.

The next morning, we decided to go explore Monterey. We ended up at a bike shop. It was there that we discovered there is a great ride from Monterey to Carmel along the 17-mile drive. The bike shop guy assumed we wouldn't be interested in going the whole way because of the boys -- so we weren't really sure what our final destination would be when we got started, we just kept pedaling.
 And pedaling.
We couldn't resist stopping off occasionally to put our feet in the sand --- "Don't get wet! You're going to freeze your butt off" was our message to the boys.

 I love this picture below. Few things make me happier than seeing my kids look to each other to share in a moment - whether it be a moment of laughter, mystery, fear, wonder, etc. The longest relationships they will have in their whole life will be each other. It is high on my list of never-quite-in-balance priorities that we nurture these sibling relationships.

Back to pedaling.
The wild succulents growing along this drive are absolutely beautiful.

This was a very cool sight, though the picture does little to demonstrate that. Growing by itself, alongside nothing, on this large rock out into the ocean is this tree... It is called the "lone cyprus."  Had the skies been blue, I suspect the picture would have been more spectacular - but it was very cool nonetheless.
And here we have our drinks - our long awaited drinks, about 10 miles into our bike ride. Here, we are sitting at a fancy restaurant, looking tattered and torn in our misty, windblown hair, sweatshirts, and hats overlooking the 18th hole at Pebble Beach. To say Richie was awestricken is an understatement. 

It was a very memorable moment in time.
 And another stop to dip our toes in the sand.  If you recall our previous message to the kids... Charlie's sweatshirt says it all :o/

 We've now made it to Carmel. It. Is. Stunning. 

 We officially accomplished the impossible. The entire 17-mile drive from Monterey to Carmel with our kiddos! Certainly a day to remember.


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