The vacation photo marathon continues today with many thanks to those of you sticking around while I force you to sit through yet another round of “you gotta see this” and “but wait ’til you see this”. I can’t help myself. I hope you all can see these places in person one day.

So, after our weekend in San Fran, we headed down the Pacific Coast. We only had to drive a couple hours on Monday and we arrived at our next pit stop: Monterey. It’s such a cute seaside town with the famous Cannery Row and beautiful 17-Mile Drive of some of the gorgeous Pacific Coast line and Pebble Beach.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express on Cannery Row which was very nice with views of the water and a cute courtyard…

And it was right next door to the Monterey Antique Mall, which was just an added bonus!

While Monterey is full of cute seaside souvenir and gift shops, near-by Carmel is a little more seaside chic with upscale home decor stores and well-known establishments like Tiffany, Coach, Anthropologie, and even (my personal fave) a Kate Spade!

I really needed this clutch for my trip, but the price tag told me it just wasn’t meant to be, so I just took this pic so I could hold onto the moment.

With rows and rows of gorgeous shops, you could spend hours (and lots of money) in beautiful Carmel.

Gorgeous flowers are everywhere you turn as well, and I had to snap a pic of this sidewalk garden of succulents…

I also had to snap a pic of the Normandy Inn, which was just exuding European charm. So close to the ocean and absolutely adorable! Click here for their website.

And the residences! I couldn’t resist taking a couple of shots of those, too. Aren’t these two dreamy?

Ahh.. we loved it. And the adventure continued yet again the next day as we headed further down the coast. There are no words to describe the beauty, so I’ll just shut up for a minute.

We drove and stopped and drove and stopped for an hour or so. And a friend of ours had advised us to buy some food before we headed into Big Sur where there would be no more restaurants, so we stopped at a General Store for some sandwiches and later found a great spot on the side of the road to stop and eat. Note: there are also very few (maybe one) bathroom along this road as well, so do make the pit stop before driving through!

Our friend and advisor for this trip had also told us to stop at Jade Cove and walk down to the water to search for the jade that washes up here. Super cool!

A little further south, we came to a trail for the Salmon Creek Falls, and took the little hike. We were warned by other hikers to watch out for Poison Oak, and we did see a lot of it, so keep that in mind if you visit. It’s pretty tricky with lots of rocks to climb as well, so bring the right shoes as well!

Just a few minutes further, and we arrived at our stop for the night: Ragged Point Inn and Resort.

The hotel is nestled there behind those trees, right on the edge of the cliff! And that winding path going down? Yeah, we tackled it. I thought at the time I might not survive it, but even Lola did a great job. And the view is unbelievable.

The grounds are amazing, with a view of the mountains behind, and the ocean in front.

These were our rooms…

And this was our view…

There is a restaurant on the property, but we chose to drive a little farther south to Cambria where we found a few more options.

Just south of the hotel, we stopped to see the elephant seals basking in the sun. There were hundreds of them!

Later that night, we bundled up to watch the sunset (it was freezing!) and then headed back to the rooms (which each had a fireplace) to warm up.

And that was the end of Day 5 of our adventure. Days 6-10 still to come. See you soon!