Gabriel's birthday gift to me was a trip he planned to Northern California! It was our first big vacation with little Anniston, which meant taking Anni on a plane for the first time, and we were pretty nervous about it. Luckily, Anniston did awesome and only cried on the airplane for like two minutes total.
Our original plan was to spend most of our weekend trip in San Francisco and then head to Santa Cruz for a day. Well, let's just say our plans changed. We spent the first morning of our trip on a cruise around The San Fran Bay and then high tailed it out of there. Gabe and I aren't really big city people.
When Planning this trip, spontaneous Gabriel made a whole itinerary, because Gabe knows how much I like to have things planned out. While planning the itinerary, he found this simple, but awesome Taco Bell in a small beach town called Pacifica. I'm pretty much Taco Bell's most loyal costumer. I just love it so much! So when Gabe brought Anni and I to this Taco Bell I almost cried. Haha. It was seriously the coolest Taco Bell ever! Built on the beach, dog friendly, and it also had a walk-up window for beach goers and surfers who had sandy feet. It was awesome!!
As you are probably starting to notice, our trip ended up turning into a road trip down the Northern California coast. We stayed in Santa Cruz for a day and a half. I've loved Santa Cruz ever since I was a kid. I was born in Northern California and lived there until I was seven. My family and I used to visit Santa Cruz often. The main reason I love Santa Cruz is because it is right next to the Redwood National Forest. Turns out our hike through the forest ended up being Anniston's favorite part of our trip. She was pretty ecstatic about being out of her carseat and looking up at the giant redwoods. Our little girl loves nature!! We also stopped by Moss Landing in hopes of seeing some sea otters and we were not disappointed. Then, that night, Gabe had scheduled an evening at a spa where, get this, you can bring your kids!! It was pretty cool and we got our own spa room. While we were hanging out in the spa drinking herbal tea, Anni was hanging out in her own little spa tub. Then, of course, we had to stop by the Big Foot Museum, which is the only one in the United States FYI. That was definitely different, but i'll tell you one thing, the people that work there are convinced he is real and have put a lot of work into convincing everyone else too.
We spent our last day and a half in Monterey, which ended up being our favorite part of the trip. We would love to be able to live there one day. It's beautiful, the weather is wonderful, and the people are so nice. Speaking of the people being nice, we went to this little hole-in-the-wall sandwich place that Gabe found and the owner was the nicest man ever! We talked to him the whole time we were there. Before we left, he asked us if we were planning on going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We told him we wanted to, but it just was too expensive. Then he told us we could borrow his season passes as long as we returned them to him. Seriously!! He saved us $80 and also made us the best sandwiches I've ever had! So, if you're ever in Monterey, go to Compagno's Market and Deli! The address is 2000 Prescott Avenue. Oh, and the Aquarium was great and probably worth the forty dollars a person.
That pretty much sums up our trip. It was so pleasant and laid back; however, it was also very nice to be home and no longer have to share a room with our little girl. :)