Monday, December 30, 2013

An Escape During the Hectic Holidays

What better way to avoid holiday crowds than head out to the coast?

That is what Jillian and I did recently, taking a trip out to Half Moon Bay and Pescadero. Usually I drive but ever since she got her new car she always wants to drive!   

By the time we arrived we were starving, and decided to head over to Pescadero to eat. We stopped by Arcangeli Grocery Co. and purchased some artichoke bread and a couple bowls of soup. We highly recommend this place if you are in the area. The bread is delicious and the artichoke soup is just the thing to warm you up on a cool day at the beach. Very nice location in a wonderful small town as well. It was just what we needed. We headed out to the beach and ate lunch on a picnic table at Pescadero State Beach.

After lunch, Jillian relaxed on the beach reading a book, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. She seems to be enjoying it so far, but I will wait till she is done to make any real determination for her.

Jillian's choice for a nice spot to read.

Meanwhile, I took a walk along the beach with my camera as the clouds began to break up and the sun came out. The waves gently washed onto the soft sandy shore. Seagulls stood near the edge of the water, hoping for tasty tidbits to wash ashore. The air was crisp and clean, and quite a welcome change from that of the city.Though the sounds of the waves can be quite loud at times, there is a wonderful calm and peace that can be found while walking an empty beach.

Here are some of the shots from Pescadero State Beach.

The beach was virtually deserted which was awesome.

The waves turn an effervescent blue while they crash toward shore, creating a wonderful spectacle.

Seagulls following the edge of the surf, hoping for bits of food to wash ashore.

A mother expresses concern for her daughter who was playing below the cliffs as the tide began to come back in.

After a wave rushed back out to sea, the ground was left shimmering like a sheet of wet glass reflecting the shore and sky.

After Pescadero we headed over to the Half Moon Bay area, where the coastline has a different feel than Pescadero State Beach. The shore is much more rocky and rugged.
California Fur Seals are a common sight along the coast. This one was very interested in me, perhaps because of my camera, or perhaps because of my interest in him!

Large flocks of seagulls and cormorants took refuge on the rocks to avoid the pounding surf.

The tide started to come back in and with it came larger waves and rougher surf.
As it neared sunset, we decided to head back down toward Pigeon Point Lighthouse. We had never been there and decided to take a chance on seeing sunset from the grounds of the lighthouse. This payed off immensely. The views were spectacular, and the sunset was absolutely incredible. We even had the opportunity to see a pod of dolphins swimming by. No pictures though as I only had a 70-200mm lens with me.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse. It is the second tallest on the west coast at 115 feet and was built in 1872.

Tide rushing in during sunset at Pigeon Point Lighthouse.
Pigeon Point Lighthouse, with a beautiful dusk backdrop.
Another photographer kindly offered to take our picture after I took one for them.

I could not have asked for a better way to spend the day. The weather cooperated beautifully, presenting wonderful views and pleasant weather all day. The coast of California is a wonderful place to visit and experience a much needed get away. Especially during days when most people would not want to make the drive out. Empty beaches are so relaxing and gorgeous to behold.

What about you guys? Where do you go when you need a break from the daily grind? Are there places nearby that you can venture to? What are they and what makes them special?


  1. Oh my stars. ALLL so gorgeous. Many frameworthy. Especially the lighthouse and one below it.

  2. Oh my gosh this is so much prettier than my 14" of snow!
    Wanna trade?