California Coast Road Trip | Alexandra Keller Photography

I’m peppering this blog with some personal posts because while I miss my old blog, there’s no way I could possibly keep up with one now. So if you’re averse to gritty vacation pics, skip this one. 😉 This summer we decided to play it low key with our vacation. And by low key, I mean, pack our two kids, my parents, and 863579 pieces of luggage into our SUV and trek up California’s Central Coast to San Francisco for several days. I mean, nothing says peace and calm like hours and hours in the car with two kids, right? 😆

It actually was a wonderful and completely memorable trip that the girls loved. So much of it brought back memories from my childhood, which was partly the reason I wanted to embark on this little adventure anyhow. I loved that my parents were able to come along with us – they have such a close relationship with our girls and I know it meant so much for them to be there. Our first stop was Solvang, the darling Danish town located about an hour and a half north of home (Thousand Oaks). Had to stick the girls in the giant clog – I’ll have to dig up the same picture of me at their ages in it! I wonder if it’s the same shoe…

We made it up to Morro Bay that afternoon, where Gigi and Emmy had the time of their lives romping along the beach, collecting sand dollars that you’d never believe were real.
This collection of 4 frames embodies Emmy’s spirit perfectly:I love everything about this image…Peek – a – boo! I made it into a couple pictures. 😛We spent the night at an Embassy Suites in San Luis Obispo, which I cannot recommend enough. First of all, happy hour. They welcome you with a reception of free snacks and alcohol. And then a heated pool. A win for everyone involved. The following day we found ourselves in Carmel, enjoying powdery white sand in between our toes, and freezing wind in our hair. Clearly these ladies didn’t mind…We spent the night in Monterey, before heading up to San Francisco in the morning. We had to make a quick pit stop at one of our family’s famed vacation stays – The Casa Verde Inn, which has remained largely unchanged since 1987. There’s a photo circulating around the family of me mooning the camera circa the late ’80s at this very motel.Once we reached San Francisco around lunchtime, my sights were set on one place only: The House of Nanking. Amazing Chinese food, and a must try if you’re ever in town.What trip to San Francisco would be complete without a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge? The wind was out of control, as you can see from these pictures, and I just love it. We also made it to an amazing Children’s Museum, Fisherman’s Wharf, and several other hotels’ heated pools. We soon discovered that the key to a great trip with kids is a hotel with a pool. That’s really all you need! I got burnt out of schlepping my camera bag with me, so the next couple days aren’t pictured, but we had a fantastic time. I really was not expecting it to be so cold in August, but that’s apparently how it is during the summer out there.One last view of the bridge…

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