I've received some good advice on these forums in terms of my itinerary - but still have a question on which approach I should take.
I think there are two approaches --
1) The first option is to start in San Fran - then go a little bit each day. Doing the touristy things in that particular area for the day and then stopping for nights in the different towns: Monterey, Big Sur, Cambria, Santa Barbara -- or something like that. Then each day you're packing up to go to the next place.
2) The other option is to stay put in one town -- then take day trips to the areas. Again - one day hit the Monterey/Carmel area -- next day hit the Big Sur and some of the different state parks, then do another day to Cambria or Solvig, etc. But each night return to 'home base'.
So - that's what I can't quite decide. The upside of option #1 is that you never have far to drive before hitting the next exploration point. The downside of course is packing up every morning to get to the next place. Plus if you feel you'd like to stay another day in that particular area -- you can't as you really need to get to the next town for your next hotel reservation.
I'm leaning towards option 2. Then stay at some rustic place in Big Sur. There are some campers and apartments to rent. I'd just book one for the entire week - put down our roots there then go out on day trips.
What's not entirely clear to me is how feasible this is. I need some advice - If I go with option 2 are we spending most of our time just driving to where we want to explore? Is this option feasible? I like the idea of unpacking once.