Quirky Day in California

posted in: California | 0

Definitely the Quirkiest place we’ve stayed…

Quirky AirBnb near Solvang
Our little Courtyard

Early morning we did a little exploring around the grounds of the Airbnb we stayed at. We were fairly beat by the time we had gotten in last evening, managed to have a beer outside then straight to bed. The grounds were an mix of mix of homemade and eclectic furniture, chicken pens, and an old piano… Quirky…

Well were all in the mood for a melody…
Chicken Coupe
Our Neighbours

We then headed back in Solvang. We had checked it out last night on the way to the Airbnb, but by the time we had arrived must of the town had shut down. As Dayna had mentioned in the previous post, the town was settled by the Dutch and shared a lot of Dutch architecture. Apart from the quirky Windmill in the middle of town, all of of the building themselves reminded us of what we saw in the Netherlands.

Solvang Dutch house
The style of houses in Solvang were similar to those of a Dutch town
Delft Blue
California Delftware
Quirky Solvang Windmill
Solvang Windmill

From Solvang, we continued north stopping off at Pismo Beach. Pismo Beach is unique where its one of the beaches in California you can drive on. ATV rentals are available and the are dunes to explore. We skipped the ATV’s and decided to give it a go with the Mustang… If you decide to do the same stick the the hard packed sand, it didn’t take much to start spinning!

Pismo Beach Mustang
Pismo Beach
Birds at Pismo Beach
The Birds were INSANE! Thousands of them everywhere!

Pismo Mustang
Cruzin down da beach in Pismo

Elephant Seals!

Our original plan had us staying here a bit longer and swimming, but the surf was quite strong, and we didn’t feel like sharing the water with that many birds. We were back on the road to our next stop in San Simeon. We were told there was an Elephant seal colony on the beach here and we were hoping to catch them. It was about an hours drive up the coast and we pulled off to a lookout area that was set up just above the colony.

Pressing North on the Pacific Coast Highway
Elephant Seals!
Elephant Seals!
Elephant Seals at San Simeon

California Pacific Coast Highway
Back on the road pushing North

The coastline was starting to change as we started getting further North. No longer were we seeing mile long stretches of beach. Instead it was rocket outcrops with perhaps a small beach along the cove. Now, we hadn’t thought about the fact there were going to be less beaches as we moved up the coast and one thing we had wished was that we spent a bit more time at the beaches further south. We were still having an amazing time thought. We pulled over at almost every look off to take in the view around us as we made our way through Big Sur.

Rocky Outcrop over the Pacific Ocean
Rocky Outcrop over the Pacific Ocean
The Big Sur Coastline
The Big Sur Coastline
Big Sur tunnel
You make your way through a few tunnels along the way
Bixby Bridge
Probably one of the most photographed landmarks of Big Sur, Bixby Bridge

How to spot tourist… look for the Mustang Convertible…

Mustang Bixby Bridge
A silver Mustang Convertible crossing Bixby Bridge… but not our Mustang

By this point we had been a ton of cars just like ours and noticed every one we saw had the same type of barcode sticker on the windows that rental companies use to manage their inventory. It became a game to see if we could find a convertible without these stickers. It never happened…


Dayna Hynes at Bixby Bridge
I think Dayna is falling in love with California…

The area was breath taking, but our Airbnb for the evening was just south of San Jose, so we needed to keep on moving. A little less than 30min further north we found ourselves in another quirky little town of Carmel-by-the-sea. We found a little place for an early dinner, then spent some time exploring their unique little town.

The beach near Carmel-by-the-sea

Quirky is an understatement when it comes to these houses…

Hobbit House in Carmel-by-the-sea
Is Bilbo home?
Either an extremely talented brickmason, or someones first day on the job…


The Hobbit Castle…

Now that we were getting closer the Bay Area, we were starting seeing more traffic. We wouldn’t be heading all the way into San Jose tonight so we stopped into the next larger city of Monterey to stock up on supplies.


Highway into Monterey
Highway into Monterey
Cannery Row in Monterey
Cannery Row in Monterey

We had a run in with the law…

Despite what appear to be parking lines ahead of us and a car parked off to the right in this frame, we weren’t supposed to be taking our car on this pier…
Monterey Sailboat
I think it was while I was taking this photo Dayna notices a Police SUV approaching us with his lights on…

So as we’re taking pictures on this wharf, a Monterey Police SUV comes up on us quite quickly, lights flashing. “What are you doing here!?!?” The officer asks. We apologize off the bat saying if we were somewhere where we shouldn’t have been we didn’t know, and tell the officer we just wanted to grab a couple quick photos. Realizing we’re just a couple of tourists he asked us if we want him to take a photo of us on the pier… We’ll the only response to that is, well only if you get in on it..

Monterey Police Selfie
Officer Badass

Deep into the Redwoods…

Its crazy to look back at how varied the landscape was over just one day from the long sandy beaches near Pismo, the rugged shoreline of Big Sur, and now we were heading into the Santa Cruz Mountains to find our little back woods cabin for the night. We had started to see a few growths of Redwoods earlier in the day, but these where something else. These trees tower over you like New York City skyscrapers.

Santa Cruze Mountains
The Roads heading into the mountains had a bit of an eerie feel to them

It was getting dark again by the time we made it to our Airbnb for the evening. Again Dayna managed to find a quirky little place with a ton of character. It was a very small cabin in the deep in the Santa Cruz Mountains surrounded by the biggest trees I had ever seen. It felt very Californian, with an outdoor tub facing the Redwoods, separate outbuilding for the bathroom, and a cosy little bunkhouse. Dayna had a bath and I had a couple beers as we ended one of the busiest days of this trip so far.

Another quirky Airbnb…

Mustang Convertible
Our Trusty Steed
Outdoor tub AirBnb
Our Outdoor Tub
Outdoor tub
A Tub with a view… or a view of the tub?
It may look like an outhouse, but its fully plumbed with running water
Santa Cruz Mountains
The Bunkhouse
Our View
Santa Cruz Redwood
Massive Redwood
Outdoor tub
Maybe we’re the quirky ones..

One last thing, this was a particularly long post, and if you liked it, (I’m assuming you do or wouldn’t have made it this far) would you consider signing up for or e-mail list on the side bar? Promise no spam, just updates on when we make a new blog post or upload a new video.  You can also check out our Youtube page here. Thanks for following along!


P.S. If you’ve never used Airbnb, you can follow this link and save $50 off your first booking.

If you want to see this particular Airbnb follow this link!