San Francisco to Santa Cruz: California Coast Road Trip

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San Francisco to Santa Cruz: California Coast Road Trip


Welcome back to the California Coast Road Trip series! I’ve had so much fun going through all of the photos and editing the vlog for this trip. I’m most excited about sharing that with you. You’ll be able to see more of the real-life ups and downs of the trip. Today, I’ll be sharing our journey from Calistoga to Santa Cruz. This day was supposed to have a few more stops, but we got hit with an unexpected hiccup. No matter how detailed your itinerary is, expect the unexpected. Luckily, we still saw some fantastic views, had delicious food, and stayed at a cool spot in Santa Cruz! & like all my travel guides, don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end!
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After getting smoothies at a cute cafe in Calistoga, California, we continued our trip and headed to San Francisco to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge! If you missed my other blogs from the California trip, make sure to read those first! Here’s post #1 and post #2! pacific coast highway, highway 1, traveling, dream road trip, san Francisco, travel the coast of California, home cafe, home coffee shop, gluten free, dairy free, latte, pacific coast highway, golden gate bridge
I had been to San Francisco before but never saw the Golden Gate Bridge. I was there for a quick work trip, so being able to drive across it was so surreal. It’s very foggy in June and July, but I think it adds more character to the bridge.
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HOME CAFE – SAN FRANCISCO

Even though they are known for their fun and colorful coffee art, I decided to go with a plain black coffee, and treat myself to a few of their baked goods. I had their gluten-free mochi muffin and a gluten-free matcha mochi donut. I loved everything about these treats! Now, I need to figure out how to recreate a similar recipe. How was the coffee? Perfection. If I ever revisit SF, I’ll definitely be back.
pacific coast highway, highway 1, traveling, dream road trip, san Francisco, travel the coast of California, home cafe, home coffee shop, gluten free, dairy free, latte, pacific coast highway, golden gate bridge, bakers beach, travelingBefore leaving San Francisco, we drove down to Baker Beach to get another glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge. When there’s no fog, this is one of the best spots to see the bridge. I have to warn you though, it’s a nude beach, but they usually stay closer to the bridge.

BAKER BEACH

Don’t let my outfit fool you; I was freezing! It was only 58-degrees that morning. If you plan on taking a walk, definitely dress warmer. As you can see, this is a very pet-friendly spot.
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After leaving San Francisco, we made it onto the pacific coast highway. We pulled over to stop at Pacifica State Beach because the views were breathtaking from the road.

PACIFICA STATE BEACH 

This was a very popular surf spot. If I lived in one of those houses, having my morning coffee while watching the surfers would be my dream morning.
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GRAY WHALE COVE 

You can see the bay area fog in the distance, but it’s a purple color which adds more beauty to the sky. The name “Gray Whale” comes from exactly what you’d think it’d be. Sometimes you can spot gray whales close to the shore. pacific coast highway, summer travel, road trip, itinerary , California coast, grey whale cove, the coast of California road trip guide, travel, summer, san fransico, fun, summer trip, blogging, highway one, traveling the coast of cali, ocean, pacific, mountains, photography,
Look how bright and clear that water is! Luckily, it was a bit colder, and we didn’t run into any of the nude beach go-ers.
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Pacifica state beach, gray whale cove, California, road trip, pacific coast, highway one, California coast, cali, drive the coast of California, beaches, bucket list, itinerary, day 2, san Francisco, travel, gray grey whale coveThere are trails all around this area for hiking. The views are stunning! The pictures do not do it justice.  If we weren’t on a timed-schedule, this would have been a great place to have lunch and watch for whales. Pacifica state beach, gray whale cove, California, road trip, pacific coast, highway one, California coast, cali, drive the coast of California, beaches, bucket list, itinerary, day 2, san Francisco, travel, gray grey whale cove

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There is a parking lot across from the gorgeous beach, and it can be very hard to cross over the highway. It’s basically a game of frogger, so be careful! The parking lot also has zero cell service, so when something bad happens, it’s hard to reach help. When we got back from walking the beach, I saw glass all over the parking lot by our car. I figured we had hit something and the window shattered, but when all of my bags (minus the luggage) had been stolen, we realized someone had broken into the car. We were gone for fifteen minutes, and this happened early in the morning in a busy parking lot. It didn’t only happen to us, but six more cars in the lot as well. I’ll have more about it in my travel vlog, but make sure you TAKE EVERYTHING with you or lock it into the trunk. These grab and go thieves are targeting tourist because they know they’ll be able to find valuables in the rental cars. Over 70 car break-ins happen a day in the San Francisco area, and almost anyone who lives there has expierenced it.

It really was unfortunate because they took many of my valuables. I know things like that can get replaced, but when your I.D. and other information about you is in the hands of criminals, you get a bit uneasy about it.

Even though this happened, I would revisit Gray Whale Cove. It’s an amazing place, and I don’t want this incident to scare you off. Just be smart about it, and take precautions.
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OLD PORT LOBSTER SHACK

It was way late in the afternoon, and we were there hours behind schedule.  We decided to drive to our next destination, Santa Cruz. We got hungry while waiting in traffic, so we pulled off to a little restaurant that seemed to be a hot spot in the area, Old Port Lobster Shack. We got lucky to find a gem like this because the food was outstanding, and the inside of the restaurant was super fun. We were looking for anything at this point to turn our moods around. It can be hard to snap out of something upsetting, but we did not want to have a bad experience while out on this trip.

I ordered a delicious salmon salad and a side of sweet potato fries. Caitlin had their lobster, and all of our food was super delicious and fresh. I’m kind of happy we missed our reservation a ta trendy spot because we found this place!
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Pacifica state beach, gray whale cove, California, road trip, pacific coast, highway one, California coast, cali, drive the coast of California, beaches, bucket list, itinerary, day 2, san Francisco, travel, gray grey whale cove, Chaminade Resort & Spa, California, Santa Cruz, where to stay, travel the coast,An hour later, we made it to our hotel for the night! We stayed at the beautiful Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz. This resort was such a dream spot. 💜 It was a calming spot with so much nature surrounding you. We stayed in the Executive Suite, which was so awesome! We had our own living room with a couch and wet bar. After such a stressful day, it was kind of nice to have a place that felt cozy and homely.

 CHAMINADE RESORT & SPA

When they heard about our stressful day traveling, they sent us a charcuterie board and bottle of wine to our room. Honestly, how sweet is that? That was incredibly sweet, and it put a smile on our faces. The staff, the rooms, the gorgeous amenities, and OMG THE SPA, was stunning. 10/10 would recommend staying here while visiting Santa Cruz.
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JACK O’NEILL RESTUARANT

I decided to order a warm cup of tea to have with dinner. I didn’t plan for the colder California weather, so it really hit the spot. Plus, there’s nothing better than hot tea after a stressful day. Oh, and a view like that to go with it! dream inn, Santa Cruz, jack Ryan, restaurant, restaurant with ocean view, Santa Cruz dinner, brunch, seafood, healthy, gluten free, dairy free, tea, coffee, soup, dessert, grainless, travel California coast, pacific highway, places to see in California, dream inn, Santa Cruz, jack Ryan, restaurant, restaurant with ocean view, Santa Cruz dinner, brunch, seafood, healthy, gluten free, dairy free, tea, coffee, soup, dessert, grainless, travel California coast, pacific highway, places to see in California,
We started with the seacliff sprouts, which are pan-fried Brussel sprouts with pickled onions, garlic, preserved lemons, and a balsamic glaze. I was still full from lunch, so I decided to order the soup of the day, which was veggie, and a side salad for my meal. For Caitlin’s entree, she ordered the halibut, which she highly recommended! dream inn, Santa Cruz, jack Ryan, restaurant, restaurant with ocean view, Santa Cruz dinner, brunch, seafood, healthy, gluten free, dairy free, tea, coffee, soup, dessert, grainless, travel California coast, pacific highway, places to see in California,
Apparently, I wasn’t too full for dessert, because when he said “dairy-free sorbet,” I was all about it. It also came with roasted pears and fresh fruit. This dessert was refreshing and hit the spot. Caitlin ordered heir grain-free chocolate cake, and it looked divine! Pacifica state beach, gray whale cove, California, road trip, pacific coast, highway one, California coast, cali, drive the coast of California, beaches, bucket list, itinerary, day 2, san Francisco, travel, gray grey whale cove, Chaminade Resort & Spa, California, Santa Cruz, where to stay, travel the coast,Pacifica state beach, gray whale cove, California, road trip, pacific coast, highway one, California coast, cali, drive the coast of California, beaches, bucket list, itinerary, day 2, san Francisco, travel, gray grey whale cove, Chaminade Resort & Spa, California, Santa Cruz, where to stay, travel the coast,
I was up bright and early in the morning. I wanted to fit in a three-mile run, and strength training workout to kickstart my day. Working out always makes me feel good, and I was determined to have a better day of traveling.

The Chaminade had an impressive gym and outdoor areas to workout! One of the running trails looked like something out of a movie. They also had the perfect pool to swim laps, a tennis court (YAS!!), and all the open area you need for yoga. This place was amazing! windmill cafe, Santa Cruz, vegan, healthy, gluten free, dairy free, dining out, breakfast, cafe, coffee, muffin, dessert, bakery, California coast, road trip, pacific coast highway,

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After packing up the car and getting ready for day three, we decided to stop at Windmill Cafe for coffee and breakfast before heading out on the road. Day three was going to be our longest travel day, so we wanted a good breakfast to start the day with.

Windmill Cafe serves in-season meals with tons of vegetarian options. They also had the largest selection of gluten-free and vegan baked goods. We ended up buying a ton to take with us on our trip. I ordered a spirulina smoothie (the einstein smoothie) without apple-juice. It was SUPER green, but a good choice. Caitlin had their egg & veggie scramble with fresh veggies from their garden.

WINDMILL CAFE

The Windmill Cafe is a charming spot, especially for enjoying breakfast on the patio!
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We had to stop at Mr. Toots Coffeehouse after seeing the photos on yelp! Look how cute those little buildings are, oh, and the coffee was fantastic!

MR. TOOTS COFFEE HOUSE

You can find Mr. Toots Coffee House minutes outside of Santa Cruz as you’re making your way to Monterey. It’s worth the stop for sure! 😊

In my next California blog, you’ll get to see all of our photos from our trip from Santa Cruz to Pismo Beach! We hit up Monterey, Carmel By The Sea, the 17-Mile Drive, Big Sur, and more! 😃 And I cannot WAIT for you to see the video!!! I may do a premiere day and live chat with you in the comments if that’s something you’re interested in. xo
giveaway, California, mugs, travel the coastI promised giveaways for all of my California travel posts, and I’m really excited about this one! You all know I’m obsessed with mugs, and how fitting are these? I’m going to be giving away FOUR mugs! That means four winners for this giveaway! All you have to do is select a question below to answer in the comments, and leave the # of the mug you’d like to win! Want to win twice? Leave an additional comment!


Questions for you!

  1. Have you ever been to the Golden Gate Bridge?
  2. What do you do to help turn around a bad day?
  3. What is the name of the last coffee shop you visited?

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Comments

  • Rachel

    I’ve never been to the Golden Gate Bridge but after reading all about your California trip it’s inspired me to take a trip out west! I love how you incorporate travel in your blog. I’ll definitely use your guides when planning my next trip.
    #4

    Reply to Rachel
  • Rachel

    The last coffee shop I went to was Calvin Fletcher’s! It’s my favorite place to get work done.
    #1

    Reply to Rachel
  • Rachel

    1. I have never been to the GGB or Califorinia, but it’s on my bucket list!

    2. When I’m having a bad day, I just cuddle my dogs or look at pictures of them. Always does the trick!

    3. Does Starbucks count as a coffee shop? 😂

    #3 or #4

    Reply to Rachel
  • Emily

    #3

    1. I’ve seen it from a distance, but have a dream to one day run or walk across it.
    2. HUGS!
    3. Grinders Coffee shop

    Reply to Emily
  • Courtney

    Love mug #1! I have been to the GGB a couple of times. My brother lives in San Fran, so I get to go out there often! I;ve definitely learned to bring cold weather clothes no matter the season.

    Reply to Courtney
  • Brandy H.

    I love the Golden Gate Bridge! A friend and I did a 10k in San Francisco 2 years in a row that had us running to the base of the bridge and along the waterfront. It was gorgeous! One of my favorite cities ever!
    I LOVE mug #3 since I am always dreaming of California!

    Reply to Brandy H.
  • Harriet Adlam

    Wow amazing photos. looks like an incredible road trip, I have never been to the golden gate bridge, defiantly going to visit when in the states next time. its great you managed to turn a bad day around, its not nice when it happens to anyone, to turn a bad day around I go and get a coffee and go for a walk with out any technology to clear the mind. the last coffee shop I visited was called sequoia eatery, they have the best creamy coconut cappuccinos in town. i like mug #3 looks happy and cheerful, have a great week

    Reply to Harriet Adlam
  • Jayna

    Mug #3! The last coffee shop I visited was Play It Again Sam (Casablanca inspired!) in Chestertown, Maryland 🙂

    Reply to Jayna
  • Heather Jelinek

    The last coffee shop I went to was a local one!!! Lamplighter Coffee Co. here in Richmond, VA! Which… I highly recommend you come and check out RVA ! We have sooooo many amazing things to do and see up here! I definitely love coffee, and I’m always hitting up local shops! 🙂 #3

    Reply to Heather Jelinek
  • Ashley

    #2 – I have been to the Golden Gate bridge! I really loved it when I was there, except for the extreme wind, haha. I walked across it with family and I really enjoyed it.

    Reply to Ashley
  • Annette

    I’ve been to the Golden Gate Bridge , twice. Love the Bay Area.
    (I’d like mug #1)

    Reply to Annette
  • Liz

    Whoops – forgot to put a mug number soooo #1 and I’ll answer another question haha.
    Hmm the last coffee shop I went to was Peet’s for a free bday drink 🙂

    Reply to Liz
  • Liz

    I’ve been to the Golden Gate Bridge – jogged across it when I was visiting SF for the first time and it was really foggy when I went too! Made for some really cool pics and videos 🙂

    Reply to Liz
  • Maggie

    Question #2-Watch Panda videos. It always turns my day around watching them!

    Mug #3

    Reply to Maggie
  • Steph F.

    3. Grand Central coffee shop 🙂 I’d love to win #4!

    Reply to Steph F.
  • Katie

    Looks like such a fun trip! I have never been to the golden gate bridge, but would LOVE to one day. All of the mugs are so dang cute but I’d have to say #3! 🙂

    XO, Katie | http://www.meshkomoments.com

    Reply to Katie
  • Leighann

    Oh my gosh!! That experience is horrible, I’m so sorry that happened to you. I had that happen to me where I live and I know how scary this and aggravating it is, but I can only imagine it happening so far from home. I’m glad you were able to turn it around, and that was so kind of the spa to treat you that night!

    My answer to your question #2:

    I will either pour a glass of wine, or tune in to my favorite YouTube channel or blogger (usually yours 🙂 ) and connect with a happier state of mind. Also, I try to find the silver lining in any situation! Not easy for sure, but there’s always a positive.

    Reply to Leighann
  • Brittany

    Aww this made me miss California a little! I went to school in the Bay Area, so I used to hangout in SF, Santa Cruz, & Monterey with my friends. All of my memories I have from there I absolutely cherish 🙂 It’s absolutely beautiful there! <3

    And I am so sorry your rental car was broken into 🙁 I can only imagine how awful it must have felt to have things stolen. especially while in a different state travelling. Happy to see that you two tried to stay positive through it all!

    As for the giveaway, all of the mugs are adorable but if I had to choose I would say #2

    Reply to Brittany
  • Bernadette

    I loved reading your blog. You remind me of myself when I was younger! Traveling all over the country, and discovering California. I ended up settling in California, and I love it still. We live about an hour south of San Francisco, so we go across the Golden gate fairly often. I especially like to walk across it. A fantastic place to view the bridge is at the battery Spencer which you get to out of Sausalito.
    When I’m feeling down, a trip to the beach always turns that around. I live closest to Santa Cruz.
    Last night after visiting friends near Sacramento, I stopped at a drive through coffee shop on the way home called the Human Bean. Love the name, and the coffee was good!
    Yes, unfortunately car break-ins is a thriving business in SF. Two of my kids live there and it happened to them.
    Wishing you safe travels and success with your blog!

    Reply to Bernadette
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Such a sad thing!! I heard people put things in the window that says “please do not bust the windows, there is nothing inside” just to protect the glass!

      Aside from that, it’s such a gorgeous place and I love that you get to visit often! How fun.

      People are so clever with their coffee shop names!! Human Bean, how cute!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • laura

    #3

    Music and being outside help but the thing that really turns around a bad day is listing 5 things I’m grateful for. Thinking about all of the wonderful things in my life helps me to put the ”bad” part into perspective, and then it doesn’t seem like such a big deal. 🙂

    Reply to laura
  • Brittany M.

    Mug #4 is my favorite!
    I have never been there but I would love to go!
    Anytime I’m having a bad day, I remember that I cannot expect people to change for me or things to change for me so I change ME for those people or things and that has helped me more than anything. It feels good to love, let go, forgive, overcome, etc. and those things can only be done by changing our own selves and attitudes, because obstacles will always arise no matter what! So feel your feelings for a moment, self reflect, then pick a point and start there and tackle whatever it is that is standing in the way of a good day 🙂
    The last coffee shop I went to was Caffe Paradiso. I got an iced latte with soy milk with sugar free toffee and cinnamon.

    Reply to Brittany M.
  • Brooklyn Murtaugh

    So sorry about the break in! That’s so awful. I don’t know how some people live with themselves.
    But all of your photos are so beautiful, and it looks like a wonderful part of the trip otherwise <3
    I've never been to San Francisco, but when I go one day I will definitely hit up the Golden Gate Bridge!
    The last coffee shop I hit up (other than Starbucks) is called Match Stick. They have a few locations around Vancouver and are pretty good!
    I would like to enter for mug #4 please!

    http://www.justbeingbrooklyn.com

    Reply to Brooklyn Murtaugh
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yeah, it’s really sad for sure!

      We definitely turned the day around for sure, which is important when you’re on a bucket list trip!

      That sounds like a cute coffee shop!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Sarah K

    I’d love to win #1

    After a bad day, I love to go for a run or grab a drink with my husband and watch a movie!

    Reply to Sarah K
  • Lee

    Glad you got to visit the Cali coast! I am a Californian through and through and a SF resident for many years. I have crossed that bridge many times by car, bike, and foot. I still haven’t ran across it though, that has yet to be marked off the list. Just an FYI, you were on Clement St.– in what is called the Richmond district, not downtown. The Richmond district is definitely one of the colder districts, due to being closer to the ocean. If you were downtown, you would have more than likely seen the sun and it would be a few degrees higher!
    Sorry about the car situation–every time my mom comes to visit, I have to make her do a sweep of her car. Nothing can be left inside!! People here sometimes even leave notes for potential thieves stating they have nothing in their car. One of the bummers of living in a city with such a gap between rich and poor.
    Anyways, glad you had a wonderful trip! 🙂

    Reply to Lee
  • Kate

    Great giveaway, thank you! Love following along your CA travel adventures. I have been to the Golden Gate bridge a few times – most recently drove over it en route to Healdsburg – highly recommend a visit! It’s like Napa/Sonoma wine quality but way more relaxed.

    Reply to Kate
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Will have to add that to my travel list next time!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Lauren

        Aww so sad to hear about your bad experience that is aweful!! Unfortunately thieves are not too nice in cali :/ odd peole can do that in a place so beautiful! after a bad day my bf usually buys me parmesan cheese since its my favorite 🙂 also we go get drinks at a place, funny enough, in pismo beach!

        Reply to Lauren
        • Taralynn McNitt

          That made me laugh! I just pictured your boyfriend showing up with a big block of parm 😂 but parm is pretty good!!!

          I was sad it was rainy in pismo when we went !

          Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Alena

    Whenever I have a bad day, I just do my best to have a good attitude moving forward. There’s not much else you can do but hope for a better end to the day!
    Mug #3 is so cute!!

    Reply to Alena
  • Courtney

    #2

    I have been to the Golden Gate bridge before and I am actually heading back on Tuesday to visit my sister. San Francisco is one of my favorite places in the world. I am so sorry about your experience, but am glad you guys didn’t let it ruin the trip! Can’t wait to read the rest.

    Reply to Courtney
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Ahhh so fun! That’s awesome your sister lives there 😊

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Heather Mesa

        I’ve never been to California but it’s definitely on my list.

        When a bad day rears its’ ugly head, I like to do a few yoga poses and focus on my breathing then I think of something that I am grateful for. It seems to refocus my thoughts and attitude.

        Sorry to hear that happened to you. But I love that you didnt let it ruin your day or trip!!

        All the mugs are adorable, I’d be happy with any of the 4 🙂

        Reply to Heather Mesa
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Thank you for taking us along with you on your trip! So much fun to read. ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Amanda Smirh

    I loved reading your blog because I actually lived in SF for a year doing voluntary service and went often to the GGB! This small town Iowa girl had the time of her life living there.

    I love all the mugs and would be grateful for any! 🙂

    Reply to Amanda Smirh
  • Amanda smith

    I love to read, go for a bike ride or walk, or just get outside and sit in the garden to turn a bad day around. Currently I’m reading John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down. All of the mugs are adorable and would be great to use with my books.

    I also really enjoy baking, especially when the weather gets colder. My doctor recently had me go gluten free so I came to check out some recipes. I appreciate all your knowledge and how you share it with the readers.

    I’m so sorry to read about your experience but it sounds like you made the best of it.

    Reply to Amanda smith
  • Amanda smith

    The last coffee shop I visited is my local small town Iowa shop called the coffee corner. I love supporting my little town and seeing Gina every Friday morning :). I love all the mugs, I couldn’t pick a favorite.

    Reply to Amanda smith
  • Amanda smith

    I love all of those mugs. So stinking cute! I have been to the GGB because I actually lived in SF for a year doing voluntary service. I’m from Iowa so it was quite an experience. My roommates and I tried so hard to hit so the quintessential California spots.

    Reply to Amanda smith
    • Christina Wood

      This was very fun to read since I am now living in Santa Cruz. I have been to the Golden gate bridge many times, and I may drive back up today! I love all of your mugs, but if I were to win one I would like number three.

      Reply to Christina Wood
      • Taralynn McNitt

        Congrats on your move!!

        Reply to Taralynn McNitt
        • Emily

          Why do bad things happen to the greatest people? I’m sorry you had to go through that. I’m happy your positivity was able to help and you still had a great trip! You’re so tough!

          I was recently in California, around the same time you were! However, we were in SoCal – San Diego and LA! I loved it, but I definitely want to visit Northern California at some point. San Francisco is 100% on the list. And Napa Valley!

          I’d like to win mug #3!

          Reply to Emily
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I bet that was such an exciting time!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Cat Darwent

    2. I try to turn around a bad day by praying, looking at something funny on the internet, and cuddling with my pup and husband with a cocktail! Mugs 1 and 3 are so cute!

    Reply to Cat Darwent
  • Ashley

    #3

    To turn around a bad day, I’ll spend time with my dog and my boyfriend and usually watch a movie or take a walk, something calming that replenishes the emotional energy that I spent being upset or frustrated earlier in the day.

    Reply to Ashley
  • Ashley

    #2

    I have been to the Golden Gate Bridge a couple of times! Ive driven across it and stopped to take pictures. It really is beautiful.

    Reply to Ashley
  • Kelsey W.

    The last coffee shop I went to was called Coffee Coffee! They have really yummy breakfast toasts but my favorite is the goddess toast! Thick slice of italian bread, a hummus-of-the-day shmear, quick-pickled veggies, and a chia/hemp seed blend sprinkled on top. So good! #3 please 🙂

    Reply to Kelsey W.
  • Stephanie

    Yes, I just went to San Fransisco in May and my husband and I walked the Golden Gate Bridge and back! Bucket list item for sure. Its crazy to think of all the work it must of took to build it in the 1930’s. Mug #2 is my favorite.

    Reply to Stephanie
  • Melissa

    Have you ever been to the Golden Gate Bridge?
    Yes! I did a run over it! Twice I think lol. I live nearby!
    What do you do to help turn around a bad day?
    Oh man. I feel like a cuddle with my cats always does the trick. Or a good nap. I’m sorry that happened to you 🙁
    What is the name of the last coffee shop you visited?
    The last one was the Pour Choice in Auburn. Love the name

    #2

    Reply to Melissa
  • Julie

    #2 – love that golden state of mind!

    My brother and I rode bikes across the bridge a few years ago to Sausalito. It was a lot more intense than I expected lol but omg so worth it for those incredible views. He lived out there for a couple of years and def had his car broken into a few times…so sorry you had to experience that 🙁

    Reply to Julie
  • Marine

    Hi Taralynn 🙂

    Your photos look amazing ! I especially like the one you took at Baker’s beach, with the great panorama on all these houses, and the fog above them ! Seems so unreal and beautiful !

    Wow, I can imagine how scary and depressing this robbery had been :/ Knowing that someone took possession of our personal belongings is an awful feeling … Did you report the incident to the police ??
    A few years ago, as I was leaving a bar in Paris at 2 or 3 am, two guys appeared next to me and started to talk to me. I was feeling very unconfortable and tried to end up the conversation when one of them suddenly grabbed both of my wrists and asked me to kiss him. At this time I screamed, and they eventually ran away. However, I noticed a few minutes later that they took my phone with them 🙁 And even though I was so relieved that nothing worst happened to me that night, I was mad about the idea that someone had access to my personal life, including my photos, text messages etc … I felt like my privacy had been violated !
    One of the things that really helped me after that incident was talking to my mom and friends. Sharing that history really helped me feeling better about it ! Talking about your fears and having someone to reassure you is definitely the best way to make them go away ! Doing something you love (for me … drawing) is also a good idea to stop thinking about negative things for a few hours …

    I’ve never been to the Golden Gate Bridge, but I’d loved to ! I heard so much good things about San Francisco ! And I used to watch the TV show “Charmed” so I think it’s a very good reason to go there one day, haha !

    Last coffee shop i visited : Umami Matcha Café in Paris ! The brunch is amazing, I highly recommand it ! Their yuzu marmelade is to die for ! Don’t hesitate to go there if you consider to come back to Paris one day 🙂

    The 3rd mug look so cute, but they all do actually ^^ !

    Have a great week, I’m looking forward to read about your next adventures in California !

    Bisous,

    Marine

    Reply to Marine
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Marine!

      Thank you so much 😊

      Yes, we did report it to the police. Unfortunately, there was nothing they could really do. This happens 80+ times a day in that area.

      I’m so sorry to hear about your experience in Paris. That is terrifying! so so scary.

      Umami Matcha cafe sounds like a dream!

      xo enjoy your weekend!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Erika R

    I have been to the Golden Gate Bridge, with two of my fellow teachers for a quick weekend visit I’d love mug #4! As Ann Oregonian, I agree with the statement.

    Reply to Erika R
  • Breeanna

    I have been to San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. I actually went to Fisherman’s Wharf, Treasure Island, Ocean Beach, and more! I went at the beginning of September, and it was like, 100 degrees so we didn’t really get any of the grayness or chilliness you did. Still just as beautiful!

    I also like to work out when I am having a bad day, sit down with a good book, or go for a drive to one of the local forest preserves and go hiking with my dog.

    I am a tea drinker and hate the taste of coffee…I’m sorry! But I did actually go to a coffee shop in San Francisco called the Lookout Cafe that seemed pretty cool.

    I like #3.

    Reply to Breeanna
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I bet it was beautiful!

      Good thing coffee shops have some of the best teas! 😊 My boyfriend also hates coffee so he always gets tea when we visit new places.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Susan

    Oh my gosh! I ALWAYS go for a long run on a stressful day and then take a bubble bath with a glass of red wine and some music on before bed. It is the best way to clear my mind and relax after a long and stressful day! 🙂

    Reply to Susan
  • Susie

    #1 Have you ever been to the Golden Gate Bridge? MANY times! I’m a native San Franciscan.

    What fun to see you in my home state! I’m so sorry about your stuff getting stolen. It’s really out of control here and it makes me so angry. But I’m so glad you didn’t let that stop you from enjoying your vacation. Looks like you had a wonderful time – your photos are gorgeous! I lived in Pacifica for a few years and it’s still my favorite place to have lived within the Bay Area. I must get out to Whale Cove! Can’t wait to see the rest of your California travels!

    P.S. I think you know I’m a faithful follower of yours so please don’t take this the wrong way – not trying to be the grammar police, but you spelled San Francisco incorrectly throughout this post. #weallmakemistakes

    Reply to Susie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Ha! omg. Thank you for pointing that out. I have no idea why my Grammarly didn’t pick it up! After having it spelled like that for so long, I didn’t even notice!

      You live in such a gorgeous place, I’ll have to message you for all the recs next time I visit!

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Ann

    Looks like you had a wonderful time minus that incident! Good for you! The last coffee shop I visited was about 20 minutes away called Schuil’s, in Grand Rapids, Michigan! Love, love, love their coffees! Favorite is Mayan Chocolate, it has a hint of chocolate with a spicy kick from cayenne pepper, soooo delicious! And you can order online! So the #3 mug would be perfect! Thanks for sharing all your experiences Taralynn! 💜

    Reply to Ann
  • Sarah

    To turn around a bad day, I reach out to a friend to hang out or even just text. (Encouraging others put me in a better mood.) Or, I’ll put on some music and have a quick dance party with myself! #3

    Reply to Sarah
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Looks like you had an amazing time!! I’m so jealous!! 💕💕

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Juhi

    #1!

    There’s a great coffee shop in the East Bay called Moomie’s that makes incredible cappuccinos and empanadas! They are so friendly and sweet 🙂

    Reply to Juhi
  • Stacie

    What do you do to help turn around a bad day? Usually call my mom!

    Reply to Stacie
  • Stacie

    Have you ever been to the Golden Gate Bridge? Yes! It’s gorgeous and we visited on a spectacular day!

    Reply to Stacie
  • Kelsey

    Hi Taralynn!!
    My name is Kelsey and I’m friends with Meig Avalos! I really enjoyed this post because I’m about to go on a trip to drive the PCH with my boyfriend and am looking for all the tips! This was super helpful and I’m so sorry to hear about your car break in 🙁 but sounds like you guys had a great attitude about It and were able to still enjoy the trip! Ok so I will answer question #2: when I’m having a bad day I like to do something nice for someone else because It takes my mind off of myself and my own problems! I like mug #1 🙂

    Reply to Kelsey
  • Becca

    We have had our car broken into three times since moving to San Francisco. We hate this city and cannot wait to leave!

    Reply to Becca
  • Maricela Cruz

    Mug #3

    I have been to the Golden Gate Bridge many a times as we were stationed at Travis AFB back in January 2002. San Francisco became our Disney World coming from a small town south of Texas. I’ve walked across the bridge w my Dad, sister and kids while my husband was deployed to Iraq. It’ll always hold a peaceful and special memory to me.

    Mug #4

    The best way I know to turn a bad day around is switch myself physically by running, spiritually by praying and mentally by holding my husband if he’s home from work or from my 2 kids. They remind me how grateful I am with what God has allowed me to have. Better days are always around the corner. 🙂

    Reply to Maricela Cruz
  • Amy T.

    Funny story…my first visit to Baker’s Beach I didn’t realize it was a clothing optional beach…that is until I saw a man strolling jauntily along the beach au natural! I was a little surprised…but it’s Cali so was like okay you do you! And then as we got closer to the bridge I saw quite a few nude sunbathers…and that’s when I realized I accidentally came to a nude beach! It was cold out too!!! I was wearing jeans, a sweater, and jacket!!!! Those locals are used to it I guess!

    Reply to Amy T.
  • Amy T.

    Ahhhhh California! I love that state so much!
    Yes, I have been to the golden gate bridge, I’ve driven across it a couple times when it was really foggy and once when it was clear, which all the locals said hardly every happens. It’s gorgeous! My Tia lives right outside San Francisco so I’ve visited the area a couple times.
    I’d love to be entered to win Mug #3…cause I’m always dreaming about my next trip to Cali! 🙂

    Reply to Amy T.
  • Lyssa

    The last coffee I shop I visited was Mudleaf Coffee! It’s in Plano, TX and it reminds me of Portland, OR. The decor is incredibly cute and their drinks are delicious. I’m a total millenial and I always get the avocado toast there.

    Mug #3! : )

    Reply to Lyssa
  • Jennifer

    Yikes! I’m so sorry to hear that happened to you guys, but I’m glad you’re okay and that you were still able to recoup and have a good day afterwards!

    Yes! I’ve been to the beach that’s right next to the Golden Gate bridge. I haven’t driven across it or biked across it though!

    A bubble bath and a book always turns around a bad day for me.

    Smith’s Coffee is the last place I went to 😀

    Also… I like #3 🤞🤞

    Reply to Jennifer

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