A Road Trip Through Northern California

 

So when we had the opportunity to shoot a wedding in Placerville, California last year... We immediately decided to take advantage of the fact that we were going to be in Northern California, and took a road trip.  I mean... Why not, right??!

We flew into San Francisco and made our way into Saint Helena in Napa Valley, where Danée's sister lives.  We spent a few beautiful days with her and her family, did some wine tasting (of course), and then hit the road to Placerville for the wedding.  It was actually Danée's cousin getting married, so there was tons of family around making for a super fun weekend.  Their home was completely breathtaking... set aside a beautiful pond and surrounded by mountains and forests.

The wedding was awesome... but we were so so excited to venture out on this adventure!! We made our way down the mountain and headed North! ONWARD!! 

This entire drive was beautiful... But as soon as we hit Mendocino, California... We just had to pull over and snap some photos!!  Little did we know... that we would be pulling over time and time again... :::siiiiigh::: [heart eyes] 

You guys... As we drove... I swear it was at though everything kept getting prettier and prettier.  This was one of our favorite views.  Definitely had to take a break from jamming in the car to take in what was in front of us.  

Back on the road... and we found ourselves on The Avenue of the Giants... A scenic highway in Northern California which runs through the Humboldt Redwoods State Park.  We drove through a 276 foot tall coast redwood tree known at the Chandelier Tree, crawled inside the trunk of a fallen tree, made a little green friend, and just had an absolute blast!

Of course we were exhausted from an already perfect start to our trip.  We found ourselves in a tiny little town called Miranda where we stayed in the cutest little room tucked away in the redwoods. The next morning we couldn't wait to get back out into these magnificent forests.  These trees are no joke, people!! One of Danée's favorite memories from the trip was taking a moment to lay down on the forest floor and stare up at the trees towering over her.  She claimed to "feel like an ant"! 

I think the both of us can agree that our time spent in the redwoods was both of our favorite part of the trip!!

To be honest... I have no idea where exactly we were for these next few photos.  All I remember was trees, trees, more trees, hiking down a hill through loads of brush, and finding ourselves here.  A little hidden gem indeed!!! 

When we decided to take this road trip, we knew that we wanted to make a stop at Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, California.  To be honest, we were sadly a little disappointed at the amount of sea glass on the beaches [or lack there of].  Over the years, a very large amount of the glass has turned into souvenirs for visitors.  Danée spent the afternoon searching and collecting oodles of pretty colored glass tucked in the sand... But was sure to leave it there upon leaving.  It's a shame to see the glass dwindling.  Wish we could have seen how beautiful it was years ago!!

That evening we booked a room at the Little River Inn in Little River, California.  What an awesome spot!! They had a super cute restaurant and bar overlooking the ocean... And delicious food! Our room had a large balcony which we shared with a few other rooms.  We had our own set of wooden rocking chairs and the most beautiful view of the ocean.  Our neighbors were pretty awesome as well... A mother and daughter having a special weekend together.  The four of us shared a few joyous laughs, a bottle of wine, and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset! We will definitely go back to this place!!

The next morning, we were movin' a little slower just because we knew that our trip was coming to a close.  We would be making the remainder of our drive back down the coast, and back to Danée's sister's home in Napa.  We pulled off to the side of the road one final time, and took a bit of a hike out onto some cliffs overlooking the ocean.  Wow.  We fell in love, and ended up staying there for quite some time.  We even blame this location for inspiring our decision to have a cliffside wedding ceremony.  We just might find ourselves back here... with an officiant. ;)