A RIDE DOWN THE CALIFORNIA COAST … and a big surprise!



Hello, Friends:

I thought I would share some recent photos from a beautiful, albeit quick, trip down the California coast. As I didn’t plan to blog at the time, I’m sorry that I don’t have a location to offer for every spot pictured. But I hope you’ll enjoy the photos and share in the delight of our surprise find at the end!

As a note: italicized captions for photos will be on the bottom of the photos.

Here are some photos from Fort Bragg, CA where we spent the night.

This was the view from the patio of our room.

Some old boat fenders for decoration

A calming view of the ocean

Looks interesting, but seemed unwise to investigate!

Walking under the pier at Fort Bragg

The glass is long gone at Glass Beach. It has been for many years.

We left Fort Bragg and headed south to our next stop, Carmel-by-the-Sea on California’s Monterey Peninsula. A charming beach city with approximately eighty art galleries, fairytale cottages, superb restaurants, museums, libraries, and much more.

As the sign says, this is the Tuck Box.

A gorgeous Spanish-tiled staircase

Carmel has many tasty delights like this shop offers. Luckily, I’m able to resist! Though that carrot cake looks quite tempting.

Another of Carmel’s fairytale cottages

I just loved this house.

One of several galleries we spent time visiting

Another view of the town

Carmel’s Church of the Wayfarer

A charming old door which I believe opened into a garden at a private home.

What the street signs look like in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Spent a little bit of time on Carmel’s beach before getting ready to make our way down the coast. These (above) are the last photos of Carmel.

One of the first vista points after getting on the road again

One of my very favorite vistas. Love the swirls in the sand. Below, is a close up of the same scene.

So pretty! Wish we could have spent more time here.

A car driving south on Route 1. This photo is typical of what you might see.

A photo from the east side of the road. Almost looks like a shot of the Earth. Sort of?

Route 1 curves a lot. Sometimes, going south, you’ll be right at the ocean’s edge as in this shot.

One of my personal favorites. Light hitting the Pacific Ocean. Very serene and spiritual.

I love the color of the water in this area.

As we continued to drive, it was getting closer to sunset. We had planned to stay on the scenic route until it got dark. There wasn’t much time to stop, but when we got to this last, huge vista site, we wondered what so many cars (and people, of course) were doing there. Naturally, we had to check it out.

Okay, so you’d think that when I saw this sign, I was prepared for what would be on the beach. But for some reason, I just thought it was a random sign about wildlife in the area. So, I was absolutely shocked when I finally caught sight of what was on the beach below.

At first, I didn’t think there were so many.

To my surprise, there were thousands of elephant seals on the beach … and it was mating season!

Worn out from all of the fun!

Here are a couple of the signs posted to teach visitors more about elephant seals.

To give you a bit more information, the males can grow up to 5,000 lbs (2300 kg) and 16 ft (5 m) long. Friends of the Elephant Seal News tells us that in the December-through-February mating season, males contest for breeding rights for up to 100 days without food or water.

The female seals grow to as much as 1,800 lbs (800 kg) and 12 ft (4 m). In an average of 34 days, the female loses 40% of her weight while she births, nurses, weans her pup, and breeds before returning to the sea.

I’m sorry that the video I took isn’t better quality, but you can imagine my surprise to see this activity on the beach below. At first, the e-seals looked like fictional creatures to me … the first thing that came to mind were heffalumps from Winnie the Pooh.

That’s about all.  Except to tell you that you can learn more about elephant seals at Friends of the Elephant Seal. Their website has lots of great information, ways to help the e-seals, fantastic souvenirs,, an ESeal live cam, and much more.

One of the last photos I took from Route 1 as the sun was setting on our day.

Thanks for sharing my trip with me!

Best wishes to all,




A RIDE DOWN THE CALIFORNIA COAST … and a big surprise! — 16 Comments

  1. Loved that you shared your trip with your readers. Pictures are wonderful and it looks like it was fun and relaxing. I think just what the doctor would have ordered. So glad you could take this little trip.

  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to share our trip, Sue! It was short, but very enjoyable. I just love the scenery, but I did have to keep my eyes on the road! Good thing for vista points!

  3. Thank you for taking me on such a fabulous tour of your coast! It’s such a spectacular part of our world. I’ve only been north of where you were, an amazing area in its own right. Someday, though, I must take a drive south of San Fran. Gorgeous photos, too, ones that fill me with wonder and appreciation. Merci!

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, Dody! I do hope you get to make this trip, and that you will be able to stretch it out over several more days than we did. Indeed, the scenery is glorious! It was my pleasure to put this together!

  4. Wow, you are an amazing photographer Lisette! Loved this virtual tour, especially at a time when travel seems like it may never happen again. 🙁
    So happy you saw such amazing sites. Big hugs, lovely,


    • Thank you, Eden. I really appreciate your kind words. Yes, it is feeling like travel will be off-limits for quite some time.

      I’m so happy I could share these photos with everyone. xo

  5. Really beautiful, Lisette! I could do with some of that now. I love the swirly sand and the old door. Just gorgeous!

  6. You did a fantastic job of putting this blog together. The photos are wonderful. I would have loved to see more of Carmel town, and that area. It’s been a v-e-r-y long time since I’ve been to Carmel. — EXCELLENT! Thank you!

    • Thank you so much, Pat! It was a beautiful drive. I’m glad I could share a bit of it with everyone!

      Shortly after this trip, the world went into quarantine!

  7. Thanks for sharing your memorable journey. I miss these places with an ache. The sea is only a memory now. I am not sure I will ever return. Really a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, due to landslides, etc. that have occasionally made some of the road impassible. Highway 1 is in my heart. Thanks, again!

    • It was a really beautiful trip, Eve. Just too little time. Speaking of time, we were lucky that this happened in mid-February, right before the pandemic. But now, it seems like a million years ago. I could certainly use another trip! Such beauty the whole way. Thank you for stopping by!

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