5/20/14

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
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