Few things when you are planning a road trip (especially a solo one).
2. Places you want to see/do
3. People you want to see
4. Time (how long) (I went the 2nd week in March just missing the rain/started to warm back up from winter months)
Once you have those things figured out, you can start planning. I was already flying out to San Francisco for one of my best friend's birthday. Since we were exploring SF/Sonoma, I set that as my starting point. We had a blast renting a party bus and going to Sonoma on the Saturday I was there. We had lots of delicious meals for the 3 days we were in SF like having the best drink (mucho gusto) and great guac at Tacolicious, brunch the back patio at The Tipsy Pig, and dinners at District and China Live. I also explored my favorites spots on my own: Japanese Tea Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers.
I would also like to take this opportunity and say how grateful/blessed/happy I am to have such amazing friends and have the opportunity to visit such amazing places. It amazes me every day how incredibly talented people are and how we all truly have such beauty all around us.
Let the road trip begin. I planned my trip between Sunday night-Friday night.
1. Sunday night: SF to San Jose (stayed at my cousin's...thanks Cuz)
2. Monday: left SJ at 5 AM to beat traffic.
Monterey/Pebble Beach (17 Mile Drive): I followed the shoreline until I met up with 17 Mile Drive. Followed that into Carmel then hopped on PCH 1 for Big Sur. (got gas here)
Was able to drive the full PCH 1 route through Big Sur. Did Hearst Castle ($25 for main tour which will take 1.5 hours). Took a pit stop in Morro Bay. Visited Solvang for a coffee, cookie, and walked around. Also had some great charcuterie at The Succulent Pig. Had dinner in Santa Barbara at the Boathouse at Hendry's Beach to watch a gorgeous sunset. Ended Monday staying at my dear friend and business partner home in Ojai. Carol is a talented author who has written many Chicken Soup for the Soul books.
3. Tuesday: Went for a hike with Carol up to the viewpoints to see the Ojai Valley. Then drove to meet up with friends Tara and Katrina at UCLA. Took a dance class at Millennium Dance Complex in Studio City. Drove to Santa Monica to explore the pier. Attended my friend Mike's viewing party for the CW show Roswell that he is currently starring in in West Hollywood (or WeHo). I then drove to Costa Mesa to stay with my friend Nicole which she graciously invited me to stay with her just a week before the trip!
4. DISNEYLAND!!!! I had purchased my park hopper ticket in advance and was able to park use my app to get in the parks. I happened to be there for Food and Wine Festival which was amazing. (Be prepared to spend all your money) I also had bought the fast pass for my phone ($15) which was glitching. After speaking to Riley at guest services and telling her about my solo trip, she gave my unlimited Fast Passes!!!!! Never be afraid to talk to the Disney employees....they are amazing! I stayed at the parks until about 9 PM then drove to San Juan Capistrano to stay with the one and only Aana Camp (top income earner of Neora).
5. Went for a beautiful hike with Aana. It was so clear that day we could see the ocean and the snowy mountains. From there, I went and had brunch with my friend Jake from UNH at a cute breakfast place in Dana Point called What a Dish. I drove up to see the view from the Strand in DP then was off to SD. I stopped in La Jolla to go to La Jolla Cove where I saw all the sea lions playing which was quite entertaining. I went to my final visit for the trip in San Diego to stay with my "sister" Samael. We went downtown and had dinner in Little Italy and ice cream at Salt and Straw (yes there is always a line).
6. Explored the San Diego Zoo at 9 AM and was done by 12. Walked around Balboa Park and the Art Section where I found some cute gifts. Headed to PB (Pacific Beach) to have a massive marg at the Baja Beach Cafe. I then headed back to enjoy the pool at Samael's which looked like a pool at the MGM in Las Vegas. After getting somewhat of a tan =P, I packed up my things and headed to the airport. Dropping off my rental car (I used Sixt) was easy and painless. I handed over the keys, grabbed my bags, and took the bus to my terminal.
Overall, what a trip it was! This was one of bucket list trips I will always remember. I look forward to doing the Vancouver to SF journey next!
Happy travels everyone!