At last, a trip to the beach in the dead of winter. For years we've been traveling to the same places time and time again, but lately we've begun to branch out, exploring our world one suitcase at a time.
We decided to try St. Augustine, a town known for its rich historical foundations. The drive is about six hours, so our arrival was past midnight. After some obnoxious technical difficulties, we finally got admitted into our room and slept fast. Dad and I got up early to go running on the beach, showered, and then went to the Alligator Farm, a zoo known for its large quantity of gators. We toured the city a little, popped in on the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum, and ate dinner at a small seafood place. The next day, Dad and I went running on the beach again and then went to Castillo de san Marcos, an aged fort. After that, we walked to the Lightner Museum which stored a collection of porcelain, a historical hotel layout, and a large amount of art. I must say, I think the Lightner was my favorite part of the entire trip (besides the gumbo!). We toured a small portion of Flagler College, which is undoubtedly the most beautiful architecture I have ever seen in the South.
A roadside shop.
St. Augustine itself is a city full of art and beauty, both historical and modern. Will I go back? Definitely. Here's some more photos.
Knowing that we had a few days off, we decided to plan a spontaneous trip to the other end of the country. California is breathtaking. The weather, sunshine, clear skies, and incredible scenery is like nothing else I have ever seen before. We didn't waste any time. Each morning we would wake up before the sunrise and go for a long run around the towns and cities to see as much on foot as possible. We ended up running 50.7 miles in five days! Here's a concise itinerary.
Saturday: Land in San Jose at 11. Rent a car. Drive to San Francisco. Check in to motel and change into running clothes by 3. Run by the marina to Fort Mason, through Ghirardelli Square, down to Pier 39, and back through China Town and Lombard Street by 6. Shower and dinner at a cute Mexican alleyway shop.
Sunday: Run to the Golden Gate Bridge and along it and then back to the motel. Shower and hop in the car to drive to Santa Cruz and then Monterrey. Arrive in Monterrey at 3. Walk down Cannary Row and have dinner at a seaside restaurant.
Monday: Run along the beach and through the beach side neighborhoods and by the Navy post. Shower and leave Monterrey. Drive along the PCH stopping several times along the way; i.e. at the Henry Miller Library. Arrive in Santa Barbara. Walk along the Pier and have dinner.
Tuesday: Run along the waterfront, shower, drive to Point Mugu and Santa Monica. Stop at the Santa Monica Pier and ride the Ferris Wheel. Go to LAX and leave at 2. Arrive in Atlanta at 11.
I took a LOT of pictures, but they're all linked here. Here are a select few of the pictures I took that I thought you might enjoy...
Of course. The legendary In-N-Out.
Monterrey for an early morning beach run.
This is the Henry Miller Library. It's a little book store and coffee shop with art off the PCH with beautiful redwoods surrounding it.
The Santa Barbara Pier.
And this picture, circling Atlanta, is the end to our spectacular, highly memorable trip. I fell in love with California and I can guarantee you that I will be returning in the future.
I spent the day today in Decatur, Georgia. What a quaint little city; a hipster's paradise. From local artist sponsored boutiqes to coffee shops and apothecaries, I'd think it's safe to say that anyone who is relatively hip would be in seventh heaven. After a long hike, we stopped by Victory Sandwich Bar and indulged on our sun fed cravings. After stuffing ourselves, we set out on foot around Decatur to window shop and get a feel for the place.
These intertwined palms are located in the alleyway of Victory's. S.O.S.!!! Even the alleyways are cute and quaint!
Graffiti-like art on the side of a boutique.
Here's a closer look.
An even closer look.... It really is spray paint?
Yet ANOTHER cute alleyway fit for luxurious alley dining. Maybe giving off a sort of island type feel?
Long story short, a day in Decatur is a day well spent. The culture is different from any other place in Georgia that I've ever seen. The people, artwork, shops, and straight down to the alleyways, are quaint, characteristic, and unique, giving off a very relaxing and enjoyable vibe. Besides, how could you not enjoy a place like this when you have beautiful weather and sunny skies?
Savannah is a culturally and architecturally rich town; a true blast to the past. There are centuries of history everywhere you look. Savannah is a fairly centralized place so everything is within walking distance, depending on how far you're willing to walk. Each day we woke up and set out on the town in our stylish Nike shorts and running shoes. What better way to see everything than by foot? Seeing as it's the dead of summer, the days were long and steamy, and our ten mile days were not a breeze, but the culture and elegance of the historic homes and parks made it all worth the exercise. I'd 10/10 recommend visiting Savannah, even if only for the weekend.
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
A beautiful, historic mansion
Even as we walked home one evening from dinner at the Crystal Beer Parlor , we were still met with the purity of nature as the ancient trees simulated a roof top above the cobblestone street. Only something you'd see in Savannah.
This is the Confederate War Memorial located in Forsyth Park. Palm trees? Sun shadows? Never ending, cloudless, crystal blue skies? I'll take it.
River Street: The ideal tourist location. Also the location of our lunch at Vic's on the River.