Road Trip Extras: Pheiffer Beach and Oakland

California was pretty much a smoggy whirlwind. However, there were a couple of highlights that couldn't be overlooked.

As we were leaving San Simeon, we were encouraged to visit the elephant seals that have taken up residence just a short drive north a bit from the town-proper. It was pretty foggy, but we did see some elephant seals, which was a good segway for our visit to Pheiffer Beach. This little gem hiding near Big Sur on the Cali coast was a great stop. There were a lot of people, but the air was fresh and the surf was fabulous.

elephant seals, pelicans and sneaky seagulls all make me smile
Another extra I would like to share was our stop at possibly one of the most dramatic LDS temples. The temple in Oakland involved a drive out of San Francisco across the Bay Bridge, which afforded great views of the city behind us. At all the temples we have visited, I have observed one commonality: they are all serene and calm, like an oasis in a chaotic desert. As we walk the grounds, appreciating the views, architecture and landscaping, I drink in the overwhelming feeling of peace. Regardless of your flavor of doctrine, these sacred spaces are a wonderful respite of meditation for weary travelers.


and, our view backwards towards the Bay Bridge -
you cannot see the Golden Gate which is hiding in the fog