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The next day of our trip was wrought with adventure… two very different kinds of adventure.

It began like most vacation days do. We slept in as much as we could while suffering from pretty major jet lag. We had a delightful breakfast courtesy of our hotel. We hit the road for the longest drive of the trip, along the Pacific Coast Highway.

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From what I understand, perfect weather in California is a pretty common thing. I still felt so lucky to enjoy such a beautiful day. I think the views would have been amazing regardless, but…

We made a quick pit stop at Big Sur to look at some (very) big trees, but most of the morning was spent stopping along the side of the road to take in vistas like these:

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After driving for a few hours, we realized that part of the PCH was closed up ahead. We also saw a sign that said “no alternate route.” WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Would we eventually just hit a dead end?

We decided we should stop and ask. Luckily there was a town (that ended up being a post office/convenience store/restaurant all-in-one-place) called Lucia. The nice lady at the post office/convenience store/restaurant printed out a map for us; we had clearly not been the first people by.

Our options were:

  • Drive back the way we came for about 90 minutes to find our way to another highway.
  • Keep going and drive up and over a mountain using a narrow, curvy, not always paved road and through an army training camp. 😳

Naturally, we opted for adventure.

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Thankfully, it ended up being not nearly as scary as we thought it might be, but we did come out the other end starving.

There wasn’t a ton to choose from nearby, but lucked upon a highly rated joint: Taco Mafia. And it was as wonderful as you’d think.

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We finally made it to Santa Monica, but the excitement for the day was far from over.

Throughout the day, we had been going back and forth with a friend of a friend about meeting up for dinner. First, it was, “I don’t care. I’ll go wherever.” Then, after making a suggestion, it was, “Well, that’s kind of far for me.” And we landed on, “Pick any place…within a couple of miles of the WeHo/Beverly Hills area.” We settled on a sushi place I found online, and sent him the info.

Even though I had never met the guy, it was easy to spot him the moment we walked in, as reclined in his bar stool. Did I mention he’s a former soap star with zero online presence?

He didn’t order anything, and it took me a while to get used to him, but once I did, I have to admit that he was cracking me up.

The night ended with him literally running away from us outside the restaurant, presumably to avoid actually saying good-bye? We were left there wondering. Is he kidding? Is he coming back? No and no.

Looking back, it was a really long day, but one of those really fun and strange ones that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

What’s that? The trip isn’t over yet…

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