There is nothing quite like the Central Coast of California. There is something about it, almost like you are in another world: a dreamy, perfect, windy other world. For my birthday this year we decided to take Hansel on his longest trip yet, up the coast to Santa Cruz and then back down.
In true "go somewhere new" fashion, we went to Panther Beach in Santa Cruz. At first, I was skeptical- I felt like Ian just wanted to go to climb on some rocks, and he did. But I usually don't mind, because it leads to adventures, and we definitely made the right call going to this beach. It was crazy beautiful- I think because it isn't very popular yet, it feels super special. We had the whole beach to ourselves, and explored for a few hours. SO WORTH IT.
After the morning on the coast, we balanced out the beach, with some mountains.. by checking out Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. We hiked to the river, and Ian caught some scared lil' crawdads, poor things, I felt bad for them! He let them go of course, but in that moment, I was sympathetic to the little buggers.
We were kinda winging it with the whole, sleeping / camping situation, which I don't usually do well with (not the camping thing, the winging it thing). We ended up pulling off PCH and camping off the side of the road, not entirely sure how legit this was, but hey, others were doing it (I don't usually say that, like ever, but whatever- we didn't really have another choice). I just enjoyed the sunset on my birthday and was thankful for a van with a comfy bed, and my new birthday sleeping bag, and being in Santa Cruz.