monterey bay

A few snaps from the calmest weekend by the sea. President’s Day crept up on us this past February, resulting in a last-minute road trip a couple of hours south to Santa Cruz and Monterey.

As mentioned on instagram a few weeks ago, I had embarked on a long, laborious journey last summer when I decided to pursue an MBA degree. Self-studying for the GMAT exam after 10+ years of focusing on a design career was a harsh adjustment that came with a lot of self-inflicted pressure as I struggled to get past what I considered to be significant “flaws” in my application: lack of quantitative skills exercised in my creative career and a highly unattractive college GPA. (Unfortunately, being hyper-self-critical is also in my nature as a Virgo!) I approached the entire process with an “all or nothing” mentality, resulting in an intense period of self-reflection over the holidays as I poured my heart out into the application essays.

By the time President’s Day rolled around, I had submitted my application to Haas (the only school I applied to) and completed an interview with the admissions office. Every step of the process that was in my control was officially out of my hands and all I could do was wait for the admissions team to make their decision. At this point, even though the uncertainty of what was to come was still hanging over my head, it was extremely liberating to have completed all of the steps. I’m so grateful to have had the freedom to get away for a few days, just a few short hours down the coast to this beautiful town for a bit of respite.

Early AM surfer-watching in Santa Cruz over breakfast burritos.


Sea views in Monterey. Deep breaths, slow exhales.


Jellyfish in the Monterey Bay Aquarium. (I’m really not an aquarium person, but heard so many glorious things about this one we had to give it a shot. Worth it, but patience for crowds is 100% required.)


Speaking of respite, we were delighted to stumble upon Studio Cafe in Monterey. Behind this (heated!) bench is a small pond. According to the owners, the cafe’s coffee and tea compost + algae made by the fish swimming in the water feed this garden wall. The endless innovative methods of sustainability continue to amaze me in California.