In May, Michael received a job offer that he had been anticipating. After he put his two weeks in and found out the start date of his new job, we realized we had about a week and a half between the two. Knowing we couldn't waste a week and a half, we began our spur of the moment trip-planning to see California.
Before our trip we treated ourselves to a new camera, the Contax G2. It's a little film camera that is the perfect snapshot, grab-and-go camera. I probably shot more photos on the Contax on this trip than I did with my actual digital camera, and after developing our film and looking back through it all, the photos from the Contax are my favorite and most cherished photos from the trip.
So, I decided to share them here.
The first day was mostly travel; MEM > LAX > SFO and from there, renting our car and driving about 4+ hours up the coast for the one sight I couldn't leave California without visiting:
Our second day was completely dedicated to seeing Avenue of the Giants. It was everything I had dreamed of and more. It was incredible how tiny they made me realize we are, and the realization that these beautiful, living, breathing monuments had stood long before we even walked these woods.
After the majority of the day spend there we hopped back in the hard to head back down south to Monterey, CA.
We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge on our way back down through San Francisco and, at the time, I was a tad disappointed that the only photo I got of the Golden Gate Bridge on this trip was a very foggy view of it from the passenger seat.
After Michael and I got back home we both agreed that we were glad it was too foggy and we liked our silly little passenger seat photo better than if I was able to snag a traditional, 'perfect' picture of the bridge.
I think that is one of the things shooting film has taught me, it doesn't have to be 'perfect' to be perfect.
A Foggy Golden Gate Bridge San Fransisco, CA
Hey, that's me! Michael snapped this while we were on the beach.
After a night spent in Monterey, CA, we poked around the colorful, coastal town for coffee and a quick walk through a pink meadow that ran along side the rocky beach. There we made several squirrel friends, and even met a very nice lady who walks dogs who informed us of a dog beach in Carmel, a little town just south of Monterey, so on we went.
We had lunch in Carmel and enjoyed pup-watching for a bit, before we (begrudgingly) loaded back up in the car, unknowingly on our way to my favorite part of the trip: the drive down the Pacific Coastal Highway to Big Sur.
Pacific Coastal Highway, CA
When I say it was the most scenic drive of my life I am not exaggerating. Along the coast we drove, weaving in and out around the curves of the mountains; in and out of a foggy cover that blanketed the higher altitudes and dissipated when we dropped.
Amidst this drive, we crossed Bixby Canyon Bridge: a photographer's dream and anyone who fears height's worst nightmare.
(Lucky me, I am both of those.)
Bixby Canyon Bridge; Pacific Coastal Highway, CA
We didn't get to explore much of Big Sur since parts of the park were closed due to landslides earlier this year, but the drive down there in itself was worth it and one of the most beautiful days of my life.
We knew we wanted to spend the last couple of days we had in California exploring Yosemite National Park, so that's just what we did.
We spent the first day in Yosemite Valley, but it's seriously impossible to understand and take in the vastness of this place until you see it from the valley and from Glacier Point.
(If you're interested, or ever planning on visiting Yosemite National Park, we wrote a super helpful article on things you should know about navigating through the park, the hikes, and stuff.
Check it out here.)