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Big Sur, California

Max decided, for his birthday and for other nefarious reasons, that we should go to Big Sur to give one last hurrah for 2013. We drove down in Lemonade, a little yellow car full of nooks and crannies, to Big Sur Camping and Cabins. Our “camping cabin” was a bit of a new experience – we had a bed with linens, plus electricity, but other than that, we had your normal car camping setup – a good ol’ picnic table, a campfire pit, and bathrooms. With no insulation and the cold December nights, we rather froze our first night!

After an exciting camp breakfast (our first with eggs), we want to Andrew Molera State Park to do a nine mile roundtrip hike up the ridge and down the bluffs. We were almost entirely alone during our hike (it was quite a trek up) and we snuck through some trees to just sit and relax in the sun once we made the top. (Best hike lunch ever: Jetboil + backpacker food + tea!) We went out to Ventana Inn for dinner, which had a lovely terrace for watching the sunset. After we got back to our cabin (and accidentally locking ourselves out), we made friends with our neighbors and ended up sharing beer and swapping stories over their fire for hours.

The next morning we decided to drive down to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and try our luck on the Ewoldsen trail, which promised not just a great ocean view from a quintessential California hilltop of oaks, but also redwoods and creeks as we crossed the ridges. We almost didn’t make it to the lookout, being unsure of the distance and the signage being scarce due to some trail construction, but Max persevered and convinced me to keep going. After a bit of rest and some food at the top, we wandered over to a bench…. A very special bench as it turns out, because we got engaged on it!

Once Kristan’s brain recovered from shorting out, we headed back down and over to the Sierra Mar restaurant at Post Ranch Inn for a special lunch tucked into a sunny corner with a little balcony. It was an absolutely beautiful day and just the perfect place for celebrating our engagement with champagne!

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