I’m Stephanie, a wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Warrenton, Virginia. Whether I’m by the mountains of Colorado or Virginia, my soul feels at home, surrounded by rural living and the raw beauty of nature. I genuinely love what I do, and feel so passionate to share the enthusiasm and joy of these celebrations with you!



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February 27, 2014

California Road Trip | Route 1 Carmel & Monterey

Day 6: Route 1 … Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, Cambria
I have to say besides Yosemite, this was another favorite among the places we ventured on this trip! We went from the HUGE CITY life of Los Angelesto mountains of Yosemite with nothing in sight except natureto the city life again of San Franciscoto the wine country of Sonoma … to now, nothing but the beach! Once we arrived in Monterey, we could not help but to be amazed! Absolutely gorgeous!!! The coastline was FILLED with succulents creating a colorful view … and in the distance, you see the bright blue water crash into the huge rocks lining the coast. Absolutely amazing! We definitely had to pull over in Monterey for some photos! We were also suggested to go check out the Monterey Aquarium … however, the line stretched around the building! There was no time for that, so unfortunately we had to pass as we plan to be back again! 🙂 Not knowing the area, we found ourselves at a toll to get onto the “17 mile drive” and after looking at the map, we decided to do it! Basically this 17 mile drive is a road along the coast of Monterey/Carmel with amazing HUGE homes! Really, they were breathtaking … and they don’t come cheap as for fun we looked up a price … $25,000,000!!!! Don’t think we will be moving out here anytime soon. 😉 After finishing our “tour” through the amazing homes and the beautiful beaches, we hopped back onto Route 1! Since we drove into Santa Cruz when it was dark, we didn’t get to see much of Route 1, but I believe we really didn’t miss out as the experience definitely turned up as we drove south in daylight towards Big Sur! Let’s just say that Route 1 has to be one of the scariest drives! And we drove many scary drives on this trip … I do love that they have a pull off basically every half mile for either resting, photo opportunities or allowing faster drivers to pass. It was a pretty amazing drive! We stopped in Big Sur (you’ll see below) for an AMAZING lunch we recommend 100% to anyone driving thru! I was on the look out for the famous seals I’ve heard of … but found out that they are located closer to Cambria. Fortunately, that is where we planned to stay the next two nights! I was STOKED when we found the seals! They are crazy in size and the little ones are so cute! After arriving in Cambria, we decided to relax the remainder of the night. Finally time to relax! 🙂 Here is the story of the day through photos below…

We started our adventures in Monterey where we found a cute spot called “Lovers Point”!
california_roadtripcalifornia_roadtrip_4_route1_carmel_monterey-3_webLOVE THIS! We hung out here for a bit looking out on the ocean … it was breath taking! Thank goodness for a tripod and self timer!
california_roadtripcalifornia_roadtrip_4_route1_carmel_monterey-3.1_webLook at these COLORS!
california_roadtripcalifornia_roadtrip_4_route1_carmel_monterey-4_webWe were driving along the coast after Carmel and I instantly saw an awesome small canyon! It looked like it was manageable to get to it so we turned around and began our random spontaneous hike! SO worth it!
california_roadtripcalifornia_roadtrip_4_route1_carmel_monterey-5_webThe canyon was FILLED with Calla Lilies!
california_roadtripcalifornia_roadtrip_4_route1_carmel_monterey-7_webThen … the scary Route 1 adventures begun!
california_roadtripcalifornia_roadtrip_4_route1_carmel_monterey-9_webI had Kyle take this photo over the edge because I was too scared. Lol!
california_roadtripcalifornia_roadtrip_4_route1_carmel_monterey-10_webThe edge…
california_roadtripcalifornia_roadtrip_4_route1_carmel_monterey-11_webThis was our random AMAZING stop that we couldn’t stop talking about! The Big Sur Deli and Tap House! We knew when going on this road trip that we had no expectations and were going to wing it … and that is exactly what we did! Along the way, we discovered AMAZING food and attractions! Definitely recommend this little place to anyone who is traveling through!
california_roadtripcalifornia_roadtrip_4_route1_carmel_monterey-12_webCan my family farm like this with the ocean in the backdrop?! Lol!
california_roadtripcalifornia_roadtrip_4_route1_carmel_monterey-15_webBreathtaking views calls for a self timer shot!
california_roadtripcalifornia_roadtrip_4_route1_carmel_monterey-19_webLOVE HIM!
california_roadtripcalifornia_roadtrip_4_route1_carmel_monterey-20_webSEALS!!! So awesome! In the left photo (I apologize for the lighting and the lack of bringing my telephoto lens) … is in fact a HUGE elephant seal! To compare it to size, the black dots surrounding it are regular sized seals which are the females. He’s the male. Whoa.
california_roadtripcalifornia_roadtrip_5_cambria-1_webAnother comparative sizing with better lighting here. 🙂 I only noticed the cute seal looking at me when I was editing the photos. Love discovering the little things afterwards!
california_roadtripcalifornia_roadtrip_5_cambria-3_webMADE IT to Cambria for the night! And yes, there was an AMAZING sunset on the shoreline! 🙂

Tomorrow’s blog post will have the GORGEOUS and incredible Hearst Castle feature!!! AH! Cannot wait to share these next adventures with you!!!

  1. Simone Fox says:

    I love those lounging seals!!!

  2. Stephanie I am LOVING your photos from California!! It’s so funny you stopped and went down that canyon – I did too! Both times I was there. I love that little place. It’s so incredibly beautiful in the summer when all of those plants are blooming. Love it!

    Glad you guys had fun!! xoxo

  3. […] really getting antsy for spring now! This warm weather is such a teaser and after Kyle and my road trip in California, I’m so set on warm weather. 🙂 I was looking around yesterday just hoping to see some […]

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