We’ve had this crazy idea for a while now to get a group of girls together and go road trip for a few days, escaping from the realities of work and life and taking in the beauty of this world that surrounds us. Just this past week it all came together and the Grace Belle community hopped into five cars and headed up the coast to Big Sur, CA with 15 adventurous ladies!
We started off our trip by meeting bright and early at 7am to introduce ourselves (as most of us had never met before), load up the cars, and hit the road! Five cars, 15 ladies, and a whole lot of stuff!
Our car ride to the campsite lasted a longggg 8 hours but it was the perfect time to get to know everyone. Each car had a walkie talkie and we made sure to stay close so we could communicate with one another and even get a little lost together 😉 On the way we stopped for snacks and then for lunch at In-N-Out of course!
Finally, around 3:00pm we arrived to our beautiful campsite in Big Sur! Well…four out of the five of our cars arrived. One car got lost and there was no cell service so we couldn’t contact them! But eventually all 15 people were in the same place, camp was set up and decorated the “Grace Belle way”, and our very own Chef Lauren began cooking up a DELICOUS dinner.
We ate chicken, quinoa, salad, and avocado and sat at one long table where we got to eat, laugh, and talk with one another.
Then it was just about time to get cozy and make s’mores around the campfire, yum! However, shortly after the sun went down we were greeted by some new friends…raccoons! These sneaky little creatures caused some of us to flee to the tents. I think it was a clue that it was time for bed. One of the biggest lessons learned this night was to clean up the food around camp right away!
Before we knew it day 2 rolled in. We were up by 8:00am to eat yet another delicious meal by Chef Lauren and drink some much needed coffee, Coffee Blocks of course! The perfect coffee for camping AND it tastes amazing, chef recommended.
We packed lunches and backpacks and headed out for a day full of exploration. We drove up the coast and headed over to the Lime Kiln and Waterfall trails to hike to some beautiful waterfalls. We were so in awe of nature’s beauty we just HAD to stop about every 30 seconds to capture the beauty.
After the hike we certainly worked up an appetite for lunch. We picnicked right at the base of the hike where we fueled up with our favorite protein shakes be Svelte and we got to try Chef Lauren’s brown butter cookies. I think I could eat multiple of these everyday, they were that good!
With full bellies we filed back into the cars and caravanned over to the espresso bar next to Whale Watchers Café. We fueled up on a second round of coffee and perused the small shops for some Big Sur souvenirs.
After getting sweatshirts and stickers to remember Big Sur by, we headed back to camp for the rest of the day. We took afternoon naps and played some games until it was time for yet another amazing dinner. We ate chicken and apple sausages in hot dog buns with salad on the side and then lit up the fire for more s’mores and campfire popcorn! The campfire consisted of fun games and a LOT of laughter. Thankfully our raccoon friends chose not to visit this night!
Soon it was 7:00am and it was our last day together. We packed everything up in the morning, ate breakfast, packed lunch, and headed out for our last Big Sur adventures. We packed up our bags with plenty of sunscreen, protein shakes, and snacks!
Our first goal was to go see McWay Falls. After stopping at a few viewpoints along the way we made it to the crowded but absolutely gorgeous Instagram famous location. The falls were a highlight of the trip and definitely a sight worth seeing. On the other hand, we could have done without the parking tickets we received upon returning to our cars! But hey, it’s all part of the adventure and a story worth sharing, right?
After spending some time at the falls we hit the road once again making stops along the way finding the perfect photo opportunities.
Finally we made our way to the last iconic stop on our list, Bixby Bridge. But…we drove right past it and decided as a group it was surely not worth all the hype. It was crowded, not much parking (and by this point we were scared of more tickets!) and honestly not as beautiful as it may seem on Instagram! So we continued on all the way to Carmel. We were in search of a picnic spot on the beach but after driving around for a while we decided to gas up and actually ended up eating in the gas station parking spots! Not the original “picnic on the beach” plan but we were all together and there were more of Chef Lauren’s amazing cookies so everyone was pretty content 😉
With many exhausted faces we decided to say our fair wells to the beautiful Big Sur and Carmel and make our way back to L.A. The sights at Big Sur will surely be remembered but the relationships made between the 15 women that went will be cherished. There was no sight more amazing than women coming together over the Internet and connecting through the love for adventure. From artists, to photographers, to chef’s, and everything in between, lifelong friendships and memories were built.
We LOVED Big Sur and invite you to come on our next adventure!
Special Thanks to:
Our #GraceBelleTeam including Alyssa for video taping, Courtney for writing the blog post, Janel for helping manage the event, Leslie for designing and putting together a playlist and everyone else for helping out!
Chef Lauren 😉 for planning all the meals, gathering all the supplies and cooking for the whole trip <3
Rachel for being our main photographer
We created these beautiful backpacks and had them filled with sponsored products:
Wayfaren Co. : Travel Notebooks
Drink Svelte : Protein Shakes, Looking Good Tshirts, Frisbees
Coola Suncare: Sunscreen
Coffee Blocks : Butter Coffee Packets
Enjoy Bottles are from us, if you want to purchase one email us at Hello@gracebelle.com for details 🙂
Sackcloth & Ashes: Photo Prop Blanket
Fair Seas Supply Co: Picnic Blankets
*** To see the rest of the photos check out our dropbox folder and feel free to download them. If you use them anywhere be sure to tag @gracebelle and @rewisterman.