I've never understood people who spend their weekends being lazy indoors. Don't get me wrong, once in a while a weekend of Netflix and couch-hugging is much needed after an especially long week or busy past few weekends, but any more than that and I start to go stir-crazy.
I am the person who is always planning mini-adventure vacations for the weekend and convincing my friends to get on board. Anything less than 6 hours away is fair game in my opinion. For me, getting away and experiencing new places is the best way to rejuvenate and relieve any residual stress from the week before.
On Valentine's Day, I made the 3.5 hour trek from Tahoe to the Bay Area, entertaining myself on the familiar drive with some of my favorite Podcasts. Any "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" fans out there? As soon as I arrived and dropped off Daisy at my friend's apartment, we hoped on the Caltrain to go for dinner in San Francisco at Le Colonial. Charlie made the plans from Greece with the help of a friend so I would still get a nice romantic dinner out. It was so sweet.
The next morning we began frantically looking for available camping spots, which was nearly impossible on a three-day weekend in California. We called and drove all around the peninsula without much luck, but even the drive was beautiful. We drove through massive groves of Redwoods and Eucalyptus trees, along the rugged coast on Highway 1 and through the curvy roads with quaint artist towns scattered along. Eventually, we gave up and sat on a beach in Santa Cruz watching surfers and exploring tide pools until the sun went down.
Not wanting to admit defeat, we pitched a tent in our friend's backyard in Gilroy and sat around the fire pit, making S'mores. Yes, we camped in a backyard. The next morning we woke up early, hopped back in the car and went to our favorite Chilaquiles spot in Half Moon Bay before heading to the beach once again. We watched the sunset from the dog-friendly back patio of Moss Beach Distillery, enjoying drinks and oysters next to the fire pits. All of this was accomplished by Sunday.
Though this weekend was an especially adventurous one, with us traveling up and down the coast several times, it made me realize how much you can do and experience in just a few days if you don't let a little driving intimidate you. Preparing the night before and getting an early start the next day can make all the difference in extending your weekend adventures.
Even an easy day trip will leave you feeling much better about your weekend come Monday. I've found that the perfect equation for a day trip is fun outdoor activity or destination + carefully selected dining option. Berry picking in Santa Cruz + fish tacos at Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery. Long hike in Tahoe + slow-roasted pulled pork burrito at T's in Incline Village. Reading and lounging in Golden Gate Park + Super Duper burger.
With a little help from Google, there is no excuse for hiding out at home on the weekends. You'll thank yourself later.