Road Trip Day Two: Crossing things off the bucket list

Driving through Big Sur, Bixby Bridge in background

Our campsite in Big Sur

While I don’t have a bucket list actually written down, I know there are things I really want to do and see in the world. Driving to Big Sur and exploring historic highway 1 is one of those things. I don’t know what number on the list it would be, but it’d be pretty high up there. And, today, we are crossing it off my imaginary list. We are driving to Big Sur.

Can I get a Woo Hoo!!

Yes, I’m pumped. In fact, day two is filled with checking things off my bucket list.

The beach across from our campsite in Morro Bay

#1- Sleeping on a beach.
Waking up to the sounds of the ocean waves crashing and a flock of sea gulls is usually done by setting my alarm clock to the right channel and then pressing snooze. So, this morning was unlike any prior experience. Yes, I’ve lived near the ocean my entire life. However, I’ve never actually woken up to the sound of the real ocean. Real waves were breaking right outside my camper van and real birds were alive and very much awake. Realizing that I can’t hit an alarm clock, and that I can peacefully lie in bed with the soft waves rolling in, was heavenly. It actually felt wonderful lying in bed, not having any idea what time it was, and just relaxing. I’m going to say that again, I had just woken up and I was already relaxing. (Unheard of my chaotic world.)
This might be two things crossed off the bucket list- #1- sleep on a beach. #2- relax. Wow– this trip was off to a wonderful start already.

Watching the surfers at Morro Bay Beach

#6- Eat a cookie.
This is a no brainer- cookies are delicious.

The BEST peanut butter cookies- EVER!

Luckily, we took a wrong turn on the way to breakfast and stumbled upon Red Moose Cookie Company. In what we later found out was called Tin City, Red Moose Cookie Company was in a tin building that can best be described as a storage unit. Inside, however, was a giant kitchen and small but efficient store. When we walked in, one other person was coming out with armfuls of cookies. The owner graciously stopped baking to describe every type of cookie, how they make them and which ones were his, his wife’s and his daughter’s favorites. As he did this, about twenty other people came in, groups of two, families and kids all wanting one thing- cookies. I would say this place is THE reason to drive through Cambria.

#12- Try a make- believe berry.
If I’ve never heard of something before, then it’s probably make-believe. In all seriousness, olallieberry is a mixture of blackberries and raspberries (the pedigree is shown in this flow chart) that tasted sweet but kind of tart and apparently can be put on anything, as we found out by a quick stop in Linn’s of Cambria. The muffin was good, nothing fantastic, but since it was recommended by Travel Channel and several other websites, we wanted to give it a fair shake. Would we go again- eh, probably not. As we were leaving Cambria, we noticed several other restaurants that were crowded and would probably head to one of those first.

#27 Watch Elephant Seals wrestle.
This is a very specific one. Any opportunity I have to watch animals live and interact in their natural habitat, I’m in. As we arrived at the Elephant Seal Rookery, we could hear several seals barking and calling out to each other, and I knew that Bob and I were going to love this place. The seals are always around this area, with their high season being around February 14th, when the males return from sea and search for a mate. Even though we didn’t see the large males, we did see a ton of teenagers hanging out and wrestling with each other. It was quite the show!

Elephant Seals playing

#9 Drive through Big Sur.
This is a gorgeous drive that lives up to the hype. On one side of the car is the bluest, green, teal ocean and on the other side is grassy mountains covered with grazing cows; an unlikely pairing, but they exist harmoniously. As you drive up the coast, we stopped at McWay Falls, Julia Pfeiffer State Park, Bixby Bridge, Nepenthe, Henry Miller Library and Big Sur Bakery. We crammed a lot of Big Sur into one afternoon and evening and it was AWESOME.

Driving through Big Sur, Bixby Bridge in background

Oh, and we saw a double rainbow. Let’s just say that is #98 on the bucket list!

All in all, day two was one of the best days of this year. My senses were on full overload as we laid our heads down to sleep, trying to recall everything we saw. And before I can think about our schedule for day three, I’m already fast asleep under the stars, reliving all my bucket list victories.

This trip was sponsored in part by Vintage Surfari Wagons.  If there’s one thing we’ve learned from this trip so far, it’s that taking a camper van on the road is a totally unique experience.  We’re getting closer to nature than we thought possible with nearly every creature comfort from home.

Jade Broadus is a spunky girl hailing from Jacksonville Beach, Florida. She’s addicted to traveling and has a strange obsession with maps and globes. A lover of dogs, fashion, fish tacos, marine biology, and college football, she has a broad range of interests. Jade has a strong passion for the film “Love, Actually” and has watched it 176 times. Her interests include singing really loud, impromptu dances, shopping, and dressing up in cute dresses and extravagant hats. She has written for Gadling, AOL Travel, Discover Los Angeles, LACOT, LandLopers, Wedding Nouveau, and The Vacation Gals. She is currently the social media and marketing director for Inside Out Media, a media company that owns and


  • Reply September 29, 2011


    Ohmigod, all those seals on the beach, it’s like Kangaroo Island!!

    Looks like you guys are having a fun time!

    • Reply September 29, 2011


      It is EXACTLY like Kangaroo Island! So much fun- we could have spent all day watching them play!

  • Reply September 29, 2011

    Camels & Chocolate

    This is my very favorite stretch of land in California. So glad you guys are getting to experience it (and having awesome weather, too, it seems)!

  • Reply September 29, 2011

    Tripper10 : Tripsiders

    Amazing pics… specially the “Elephant Seals playing”
    Nice post… :)

  • Reply October 2, 2011


    The pics are very beautiful… Waking up to the sound of sea waves is just amazing…
    Have a fabulous Sunday:)

  • Reply October 2, 2011


    You guys saw so much!! We definitely missed out on some of this (most notably the cookies) and we somehow managed to cross the Bixby Bridge without realizing it?

    I am SO GLAD you guys are having such an amazing experience! I can’t wait to hear the rest!

  • Reply October 3, 2011

    On seeing the photos I felt as if I was really there at your camping site.Such a nice pics.I wish I was there with you.Very nice camping site.

  • […] Bob and I were looking for things to do along our California road trip, I stumbled upon the Elephant Seal Rookery just south of Big Sur. Immediately I was reminded of our […]

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