Part 2….this is where the 1,645,876 miles of driving come in to play (ok well more like 400 miles).

I left my heart in San Francisco and then it was time to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway and through Big Sur, ultimately arriving in Pismo Beach. Things started off rather smooth. But then there was a little traffic…and then…a little more traffic. Enough traffic to wipe out the 2 hour stop I had planned in Monterey. Lisa and I pulled into the visitor’s center, and took a quick walk to the beach to snap a quick pic, use the restroom and then get back on the road. We joked that we could write a travel book “Monterey Beach in 24 minutes”. I was truly disappointed. But we knew we had to keep to a schedule to arrive in Pismo before dark, and most importantly, not miss our dinner reservations =)

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24 minute parking at the visitor’s center. lol!

The next 4 1/2 hours (225 miles) were filled with the most picturesque views and windy roads ever. I have actually never enjoyed driving more. Basically no stoplights or stop signs or cross streets. We took a few pics along the way. Even came across some elephant seals. Oh, and of course now I want to run the Big Sur Marathon! How could I not? They have a strict 6 1/2 hour time limit which sounds like a lot of time but it’s a VERY hilly course. My slowest to date is 5 1/2 so I think I could do it! =)

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We got to Pismo Beach just in time for the sunset. Then had one of the most outstanding meals ever. Carne asada nachos to start followed by Halibut fish tacos for the main event. Ventana Grill makes their own corn tortillas right at the restaurant. Dessert for me was raspberry chocolate mousse. Lisa opted for the mocha almond fudge mud pie. AMAZING!

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Sunset in Pismo Beach

OK, now that we’ve got that out of the way I can tell you about my lovely run the next morning. I woke up before sunrise. First put on some flip flops and walked down a big flight of stairs to get to the beach. I had my camera and was hoping to get a gorgeous sunrise. But it was cloudy and so nothing really was photo worthy. I returned to the room, swapped my camera and flip flops for my Garmin and my running sneakers and decided I’d just run about 1-2 miles out and then turn back. I wanted to keep this one short so I wouldn’t delay our departure. Also, the weather was a luxurious 59 degrees! I knew it would be refreshing and thought I could make this a speed workout (of sorts). It was my fastest run of the trip. And if it weren’t for a hill toward the end and a few stops to take photos, I’m guessing it would have been even faster. There’s nothing better than unchartered territory! I love running by the beach at home but this run meant that I’d actually be running ON Highway 1. I’m a nerd so that was cool.

1045232_10201479870260349_1898931787_nMy distance ended up being just about a 5K. And that was perfect. Enough to get the endorphins going and sweat out the traffic stress from the day before, but not that long that I’d be spent for the rest of the day. The Cottage Inn where we stayed had a continental breakfast included so I had a hard boiled egg, a waffle and some coffee. From there it was time to hit the road for some more miles (driving AND running). Next stop: Los Angeles. Stay tuned for Part 3…

In the meantime, go here and read The Rescue Baker’s recap of our trip with an emphasis on our dining experiences of course;)

Questions: Do you prefer to run by the beach or in a park with trees? 

2 Comments

  1. I love your vacation recaps! Big Sur sounds amazing, let me know when you’re running it, I may have to tag along! 😉

    • well of course! I think it’s late April….so that would mean i’d have to run it instead of the NJ Marathon:( Well if not 2014 then maybe 2015=)

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