California Cruising!

Hey everyone!  I'm back and feeling much better after a bit of a get-away with my sweetie.  We did a bit of "California Cruising" in the form of a road trip.  We only made one reservation ahead of time and that was for our first night.  We wanted to stay in Carpinteria, and it did not disappoint on the "cute and quaint" scale.  It's only about 15,000 population, but goes the extra mile in making your stay memorable and making you want to go back.

We typically look for Best Westerns, because they are generally clean and pretty well cared for, but this was definitely not your typical Best Western.  From the minute we entered to check in, we were made to feel so special and this place was oozing in charm.  We quickly booked another night!

Lovely fountain to greet you at the entrance.

This interior courtyard was so beautiful and the perfect place to........

Relax and sip a glass of wine!

The prices were so reasonable we want to go back again and stay for a week!

There was even a nice little restaurant upstairs that served breakfast, lunch and dinner.  We picked a table looking out on the courtyard for our breakfast each day.

There was a really cute downtown with sweet little shops to sip coffee, hunt for an antique treasure or simply to stroll and enjoy the beautiful Jacaranda Trees.

We didn't eat here (maybe next time) but I just liked the sign!

When was the last time you saw one of these?  

I cannot believe I didn't get a pic of the beach here, but trust me when I say, it was gorgeous.  It was within walking distance of everything.

Next up, we headed for Santa Barbara.  It was so beautiful just traveling along the coast.  We kept seeing news reports about all the fires, but we didn't encounter any or smell any smoke -- thank goodness!

We were told by our son that Brophy Bros. was the place to eat.

This was the view outside Brophy Bros. -- lots of fishing boats, but also plenty of 
"I've got too much money and need to show it off" boats!

This was the view inside Brophy Bros. -- I always forget to take pics of my food before I start to eat, but I had to show you all this deliciousness anyway!

We explored some roads less traveled -- so beautiful.

Next up was Morro Bay.  The Man and I just had to chuckle when we saw this shop.  Our "Chefy Son" was a total "Skateboard Dude" when he was a young teen!

A view of The Rock from our lunch site.  The Rock is the last peak of the Nine Sisters (all lava plugs) and was used as a navigational aid for mariners for over 300 years.  In 1986 it was declared a state landmark & is a designated bird sanctuary & home to the Peregrine Falcon.  We drove out there after lunch but did not see any falcons, just lots of sea gulls and "poop!"

While we waited for our room in the Shelter Cove Lodge in Pismo Beach to be readied, we strolled the grounds.  This handsome fella allowed me to get quite close, but then I started thinking about Hitchcock's The Birds, and backed off a bit......lol!

This hotel sat on a cliff and had such beautiful views of the ocean.

This was a super-nice room, vaulted ceilings, spacious, but the best part was the balcony.

We sat out here for a couple of hours, enjoying some wine, people watching, ocean watching, and
drinking in the clean ocean air.

Some view!

This is the Pismo Beach Municipal Fishing Pier.

At 9 o'clock in the morning, this beautiful beach was fairly void of people.

We are soooo.......bad at selfies!

By the time we left the pier, the parking lot was starting to fill up -- lots of kiddos with sand pails, parents loaded down with umbrellas & sunscreen, and plenty of young (and old) tanned bodies carrying surf boards.

We headed for Solvang.  We had been here about fifteen years ago and remembered it being quite different.  Over the years it has become much less quaint and much more touristy.  

It's still very "Disneylandish" but there was so much traffic, it was difficult to get a pic.  The town is pretty much all about eating and tacky little tourist junk shops.  We wandered around for awhile and then hit the road.

We love driving around little towns and capturing the essence of the life that use to be and wondering about what goes on today.  This is in Santa Paula and is the historic Santa Paula Train Station.  It is now serving as the town's Chamber of Commerce and Visitors' Center.

If it looks a bit familiar, you may remember it as the "outback" train station in the TV miniseries,
The Thornbirds.  Do y'all remember that?  The year was 1983, and I had already read the book while vacationing in Mazatlan.  My young kiddos were hustled off to bed a bit early each night this series was on -- I completely swooned over Richard Chamberlain!  It was the second most popular miniseries right behind Roots.  Sorry, I got swept away in a nostalgic moment!

Well, once we start seeing these, we know we are homeward bound and in for a long, boring drive through the hot & dry desert.  Thank goodness for audio books!

This was a wonderful little get-away that both The Man and I needed and very much enjoyed.  I hope you have enjoyed seeing some California sites with us!

Have a great week!
I'm partying here:
The Tablescaper at The Tablescaper for Oh, The Places I've Been


  1. Oh Carol, how pretty!! Next time call me first and give me time to get my bags packed so I can tag along, lol. Now I have never seen a Best Western that looks like this, certainly not in my part of the world. You and hubby look so young!! I am also glad that your feeling better and that your back to posting.

  2. What a great trip! The pics are beautiful! So, I don't think I've heard about Pismo Beach since watching Clueless "back in the day". I so loved that movie!!!

  3. Thanks for sharing. It has been many moons since I've been to California. It looks like you both had a wonderful time and found some very wonderful places to stay, lounge & eat!

  4. Wow, Carol, that looks like a great getaway! That Best Western is certainly a beautiful place. The pictures of the courtyard had me swooning. I love a great courtyard! It feels so intimate and serene. Everything looks fabulous!

  5. Oh Carol!!!! You're making me miss Cali soooo much!! I LOVE California and everything about it. :) I even went back and looked at your pics again. So pretty! Your hotel looks gorgeous and I love visiting quaint little towns along the coast. The Brophy Bros food looks delicious! I loved seeing the Jacaranda trees. It's good to have you back and I'm so glad you enjoyed your trip!

  6. It looks like a lovely vacation Carol and yes, I remember The Thornbirds!! I begged my mom to let me stay up late and watch it during the week...on a school night. No DVR recording back then!! :)

  7. Oh- Carol- I got so carried away reading your whole post. I felt like I was right there with you. You two are just so cute together and I am glad you had so much fun.

    I DO remember The Thornbirds. I read the book, too, before the movie came out. I too loved Richard Chamberlain. He was wonderful as Father Ralph and I loved Rachel Ward, too. I just bought the movie about 3 or 4 months ago on one of those discount tables. I watched it right after I bought it and was smitten all over again.
    He also was in a movie shortly after that where he was the "evil" caretaker for Lauren Bacall. xo Diana

  8. So nice to get away! Glad you had a great trip and I am glad you are back!! Cheers.

  9. I enjoyed looking at your photos Carol and so glad you had a marvelous time! I love small quaint towns like Carpinteria and would love to stay at that beautiful hotel you stayed at too!

  10. What a great getaway! Your pictures are so pretty! I am glad you had a good time. Enjoy your day. Maria

  11. Lovely photos. I love visiting California too! Looks like you had a wonderful time.

  12. In July I am taking my youngest son on a road trip but we are going North first, near Lake Tahoe, then over to Bodega Bay (where they filmed The Birds) then down through San Fran and along the coast to SoCal. Will definitely be staying in the Pebble Beach area and Morro Bay at least 1 night each. Now that I see your photos, it makes me more ready to go than I already am! Cannot wait! So glad you got away and had a fun trip with your hubs!!


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