Untapped editor Ann travels up and down the Pacific Coast Highway, documenting the local wildlife. She also eats donuts and uses iPhone app ScoutMob to get free stuff.

What I’m Eating:  Dynamo Donuts. Locals get to Dynamo early for the best pickings. You’ll be lucky if there are any donuts remaining after 3pm on a weekend. My current favorite is the Chocolate Rose, with Ginger Orange a close second. I’m also a fan of their Sticky Bun, made from left-over donut dough-it’s super sticky…and very tasty.

The display plate on the Dynamo countertop showcases the available flavor offerings of the day.

Most Untapped thing I did this week:  I needed a mini-vacation away from San Francisco, so my boyfriend and I drove down the Pacific Coast Highway in search of a beach. There are plenty to choose from along this scenic route; it seemed like such a shame to limit ourselves to one beach. So we decided to visit two: one in Santa Cruz and the other in Monterey. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is home to California’s oldest surviving amusement park, founded in 1907. Though the facilities were closed while we were there, we were able to walk through the empty park grounds, beneath the shadows cast by the still and silent rides looming overhead:

We eventually made our way to the beach and joined a flock of seagulls on the sand:

Next stop: Monterey. We left Santa Cruz for Monterey with the intention of catching the sunset there, but various stops for tea and toilets put us a little behind schedule. Even though we missed the sunset, the beach at twilight (Fishermans Shoreline Park) was stunning:

A Coast Guard Pier juts out from Fishermans Shoreline Park and into Monterey Bay. On a whim we started walking along the pier, admiring the boats and the twinkling city lights across the bay. A resonant bark to my left broke our peaceful reverie. I ran to look over the railings of the pier and was surprised to discover that my fellow pedestrians and I weren’t the only ones enjoying the evening:

The sea lions were so close that I could have reached out and touched them. Most of them slept, waking up periodically to stretch, howl, or sneeze (in no particular order). It was time to go home-I was starting to feel sleepy. But before we made our way back to San Francisco, we stopped for dinner at a lovely vegetarian restaurant, Julia’s. Service was excellent, and the food was delicious. A perfect meal to end a perfect day.

Most Untapped event I’ll be attending this weekend:  Yoga for Hope. This Saturday, 9/17, hundreds of yoga practitioners will descend upon Union Square to fundraise for City of Hope, an independent medical and research institution specializing in cancer research. Local yoga teachers Stephanie Snyder and Darren Main lead two back-to-back classes, transforming  Union Square into a quiet oasis in the middle of bustling downtown San Francisco.

What I’m Using: ScoutMob. I’ll be honest. At first I was skeptical when my iPhone app ScoutMob offered me free coffee from Ritual Roasters in the Mission. But not anymore. This app, available for use in various cities across the US, alerts you to deals (and free stuff!) in your immediate area. You don’t need to open an e-mail announcing the deal of the day (as with Living Social or Groupon), nor are you required to print out a voucher or an e-mail to claim your goods. Just open your app; see what business near your present location is offering a deal; and once there, show your iPhone (“Use the Deal” page on the ScoutMob app) to the service/goods provider. The best part of this app, however, is the Stache Cam-ScoutMob gives you the power to “stache” any person (or object) within your camera’s view. Happy scouting!

I “stache”-ed my teapot.

Follow Ann on Twitter  @annylam81.