We LOVE California! My hubby Beau and I went to San Luis Obispo, Big Sur, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach and San Francisco this fall. It was great to take a "mommy-daddy vacation"! We stayed at the SeaCrest Oceanfront Hotel in Pismo Beach. It was perfect sunny California weather! I loved sitting on my ocean view patio just taking in the sunshine and watching the ocean. We also enjoyed the hot tubs each night... it was very relaxing!
We enjoyed nearby San Luis Obispo for the public street market at night. We visited Chamisal Vineyard in San Luis Obispo... for wine tasting. I like that it is common for people to bring their own picnic foods to eat at the wineries. It was the idyllic setting to sit and enjoy their fabulous wine! We strolled through the vines and tasted their sweet grapes... pure perfection!
Big Sur is my favorite! We started with a stop at Morro Bay Beach, I loved watching the surfers while enjoying a Kona Big Wave Golden Ale. There is a spectacular huge rock on this soft sand beach. On our way up HWY 1, we saw the gathering of Elephant Seals at the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery. It was so cool to see so many elephant seals on the beach and the large males fighting in the water.
There were some fantastic, breathtaking views of the coastline on California HWY 1. We enjoyed the drive so much! There were many surf spots along the way. I really enjoyed the smell of the eucalyptus trees... The Huge Douglas Fur Trees smell wonderful too! The road would wind around cliffside turns and it feels a lot like the road to Hana in Maui... Beau did a great job as the driver, I am too afraid of heights to have the task of driving this highway! The end of our travels on HWY 1 took us to a wonderful Nepenthe restaurant with a drop dead gorgeous view. The food was really good and the dessert was delicious, but the view was even better! There is a nice shop there too called the Phoenix and we stocked up on unique gifts there for our kids!
We were losing light and I was so looking forward to seeing McWay Falls, and that was the spot we ended the daylight of our adventure to watch the sunset into the Pacific ocean. We enjoyed the sunset and the extremely perfect views from the McWay Waterfall House. This spot was even better than I imagined from the pictures that I've seen. Beau drove us safely back through the dark night on the treacherous HWY 1!
After an evening under the stars in our Seacrest Hot tub, we were relaxed and ready for a new day of wine tasting in Paso Robles! We went to Opolo Winery where the wine and woodfired pizza was yummy. Then we went to Whalebone Winery, my favorite for the atmosphere and the best tasting wine I had while in California. We loved the Bob Wine, and we had to bring home a couple bottles for Beau's dad Bob! Beau was insistent that we must see a sunset so we headed back to Opolo atop a hill to watch the sunset over the rolling vineyard hills of red and gold.
The next day we had to go to San Francisco for one night before taking off back home. I was happy to see the Golden Gate Bridge and Beau wanted to eat some clam chowder at the fisherman's wharf... we saw Alcatraz off in the Bay, we parked on one of the steepest roads in San Fran! I learned that I definitely prefer the countryside of California and I will avoid cities in the future... I guess I have really turned into a country girl! We found a German restaurant near our hotel that was so comforting after walking forever to find a place to chill out. With a stop at the "Painted Ladies" and a driving tour through the Golden Gate Park, we said goodbye to the ocean, we said goodbye to the last great view of the Golden Gate Bridge... off we flew back home... until we meet again! ~Bethany