Wednesday 3 October 2012

California Part 4: Salinas, Monterey County & the Pacific Coast Highway

Read these first :)
Part 1: San Francisco | Part 2: Yosemite National Park | Part 3: Palo Alto 
Again, sorry for the delay in updating. I've been bombarded with tests left, right and centre. I swear, the life of a student is having no life. 
This is one of my favourite legs of the trip. We make a quick stop at the Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway, then we head to Monterey County and beautiful Pebble Beach. Then we head on the Pacific Coast Highway to head further south. I fell in love with the Pacific Coast Highway. It was a beautiful road. 

 Mazda Raceway in Salinas. This was my big brother's must see destinations. The racetrack is also featured in the game Gran Turismo. Pretty cool. 
 On the day we went, there were some BMWs racing around the track. 
 Their famous corkscrew portion of the track. 
That's about it for the raceway. 
We arrived at Monterey and found out that it's pretty cold there for this time of year. It was very cloudy and windy--reminded me of San Francisco. It was cold for California standards. 
 The admission price was quite expensive. My parents chose not to come in with us. 
 You jelly? 

 I've been to the Boston aquarium as well. So far Monterey has the neatest collection of jellyfish. 

In the end, I was a little disappointed by the aquarium. There was nothing too special about it and it definitely wasn't worth the price ($32 for students).
 Y'all know what this is. 
 Lamborghini Aventador (and Gallardo in the back)!! The first time I've seen an Aventador in real life. They were conveniently parked in front of a hotel and a lot of people took pictures with them. 
 17-mile drive at Pebble Beach. If you're a golf fan, they have the world-renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links golf course. Wikipedia says that it's one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world and I believe every word of it. 
 The coastal area across the golf course. On a sunny day, the scenery would be even better. 
 I was fascinated with the little flowers growing in the sand. They carpeted the coast and were so pretty. 

The famous "Lone Cypress Tree" in 17-Mile Drive. I'm not sure why it's famous. This picture is also crooked, but if I fixed it, it'll cut off parts of the tree. Sometimes life isn't fair. 
 Succulents thriving in the sand and rocks. I found them pretty interesting. They also turn red and were very pretty. 

Now we go on the Pacific Coast Highway
Taken from inside the car. Man, I miss this place. 
You can pretty much stop anywhere along the highway--there are lots where you can park and stop at vista points. There were also beaches that you can stop at. 
 One of the many vista points. 
 You have to drive on this road before you die. Put it on your bucketlist--you will not regret it. Of course the drive is challenging here, but so worth it. 

Cows on the side of PCH. These cows are living a pretty nice life, even I'm jealous that they get to see this everyday. 
 Super strong sunlight + dirty GND filter equals this picture. 
 Prettiest golden hour ever.
 Photocred to my big brother for this one. Note my super chubby cheeks (thank you fast-food). This was on the side of the PCH and there were a bunch of these shrubs everywhere and I scratched up my leg trying to find the best place for the sunset. 
 One of my absolute favourites from the trip. Look at how pretty this place is. 
The best picture I could take of the sunset. I wasn't too satisfied with it in the beginning but then again, I got to see the best of it with my own eyes. In the end, that's what really matters. Kudos to my dad for stopping a lot to accommodate for my photo needs, you're the best! 

Where the road trip has taken us so far. Distance traveled: approximately 700 miles!

Most people go to California and tell me about how great the food and the shopping is. They recommend  shopping centres and the most famous beaches. After seeing the PCH, I can't believe that nobody has recommended this place. When I go on trips, I want to see the places that people don't generally explore. I want to see the untouched, pristine and beautiful coastlines and beaches and that's what I got when we drove through the PCH. 

Some of you may think "it's just a road," but it's so much more to me. The winding roads remind me of how difficult life can be but along the way you get to see the most beautiful scenery. We could take the easy way out but look at how much we're missing--the sunsets will never be as beautiful and the waters will never be as clear. The simple fact that I'm alive to witness the beauty is also something I realized.

Appreciate your life no matter the circumstance. Every day is a blessing :)

Next stop: Solvang, Santa Barbara, Malibu. 



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