Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Road Trip...Guess Where This Is?

Can you guess where we are?
Here is a hint....we took a road trip down to San Luis Obispo. It is a good half way point from LA and Northern California and where we were to meet up with some college friends in the town where we went to school, one of whom I have known since high school in Pasadena and who has since moved to Australia. I get to see her perhaps once every couple of years, but it seems like we are able to pick up where we left off....one of those kinds of friends.

Tim and I booked a room at the Inn at Morro Bay (a fishing town close to San Luis Obispo) for the weekend with a beautiful view of Morro Rock.....

The View From Our Room at The Inn at Morro Bay
It is a very nice....(and affordable!) place to stay and in a gorgeous location.

The plan was to meet for dinner in SLO town with the group, reminisce about the "good ole days" and walk around town to see if any of the old hang-puts were still there......they were! The town was full of returning college students standing in line to get into the popular bars and clubs. Sigh....were we ever that young?

The next morning we all met for lunch, and most of us headed up to Paso Robles for a day of wine tasting. A more beautiful day we could not have asked for. Low 80's in January! But I think the wine growers are by now a bit panicky about getting some rain!

Paso Robles Wine Country
One of the many great tasting rooms in Paso Robles 
The day was getting on and we were hungry! We went into the downtown of Paso Robles, which by the way is getting to be the Central Coast version of Healdsburg! Charming town square surrounded by great shops and restaurants. I was pleasantly surprised! I have not been to Paso Robles in years and it has undergone quite a Renaissance...

Downtown Paso Robles

We ate a delicious dinner at Thomas Hill Organics....


I am looking forward to another visit soon! French born chef Julie Simon is amazing with her use of fresh seasonal organic ingredients. For a sample menu click HERE to get your mouth watering!

It was time to part ways....some of the group was heading home to the bay area that night, while Tim and I headed back to Morro Bay. The next morning, we stopped in at the Shell Shop in Morro Bay. This place has been here since the 50's, and I am sure still looks just the same. I NEVER miss an opportunity to shop here. They have an amazing inventory and the prices are crazy good! I picked up a few things for the Marin Designer Showcase here....



It was time to head for home. We decided the day was too beautiful to waste, so we headed up scenic Highway 1. First stop....the charming town of Harmony....Population 18....


If you are ever in the neighborhood, it is well worth a visit to the Harmony Glassworks.....


Harmony Glassworks is a studio, and contemporary glass art gallery. You can even take classes there...


We were lucky to have someone on hand that was at work creating another masterpiece....


It was time to get moving, so we headed through town.....


And said our farewells....


And headed up the Highway. We have covered these same miles so many times, but the scenery never fails to inspire and surprise. We passed a huge crowd of people and cars pointing out at the beach, so we had to stop and investigate....


Apparently it is time for a bit of Sea Lion love......


And relaxation.......


There were many besides us enjoying the day.....


Hitting the road again, we made it through what I had forgotten was one of the most hair raising, palm sweating, bone chilling, heart palpitating drives in the state of California....the ever shifting cliff-side road to Big Sur. Had I remembered, sort of like childbirth, I might have given it a second thought. But it is worth every seat clutching moment when one gets to see the glories of Big Sur....


Often we will stop at famous and funky Nepenthe, founded in 1949, for a bite to eat and a look around the Phoenix gift shop (it is a MUST SEE when in the area!)....but this time we stopped at Ventana Inn for a late lunch.... 

Roasted Beet and Asparagus Salad at Ventana Inn. Beautiful view of the Pacific
Veggie Burger with Sweet Potato Fries at Ventana Inn
Honestly....we could have sat here for the rest of the day and into the night....but we had to push on. We were able to catch up with my high school friend, Allison and friend Kevin from Australia in Carmel where they had gone the previous day. We shared a glass of wine and caught the sunset before the final leg home.....

Sunset in Carmel
Road trips always seem to end a little too soon.....


12 comments:

Kristin Codding said...

love the gum wall in SLO! will never forget the first time my alumni husband shared it with me..
such a beautiful part of the central coast!

Merlin said...

Well....have you done the highway to Stinson Beach...in a huge GOOGLE tour bus....prematurely gray! franki

Sarah said...

What a fab weekend Katie! I have driven up the coast when I lived in LA in the 80's and loved it. My roommate and I fled LA after an earthquake in '87 and found ourselves in a motel in Carmel! And I went to a Grateful Dead concert back in the day in Ventura...! Like you said, was I ever that young?? ;-)

Linda in AZ * said...

*** What a SUPERB WRITE-UP of what was OBVIOUSLY a truly WONDERFUL, SCENIC, FUN & MEMORABLE trip!!! Sounds like every minute was SOOOO fun or beautifully romantic... and it can't get any better than THAT!!!

I was born n' raised in SO CAL, & my parents OFTEN travelled South AND North, & my Sis n' I had so much fun!!! NOTHING... zero, zip, nada (!), can compare to the mannnny incredible sights & pleasures Pacific Coast Hwy has to offer... We're going back "home" for a PGA Golf Tourney in mid Feb, and I can't WAIT!!!!!! And your BLOG HERE really excites me even more!!!

Warmest wishes & again, Thanks!

Linda in AZ *
bellesmom1234@comcast.net

MJH Design Arts said...

So incredibly beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Mary

diane said...

thanks for sharing pics of "home". I grew up in Pacific Grove and all of these spots were wonderful weekend trips. Glad you enjoyed it as well

sofa said...

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Gwen Driscoll said...

Sounds fabulous! Thanks for sharing your info! Best.

Kelley said...

What a beautiful road trip. It makes me nostalgic for Carmel, where my husband and I honeymooned. Such a beautiful area!

classic • casual • home said...

Awesome trip! I think my husband and I will have to travel north (we are in Newport Beach) for a fun get away like this. Great tips.

Lisa Graham Art said...

I heart California...North or South. We were in N. CA in 2001 with our two boys. Our oldest fell in love with the NW and now lives there as a forest fire fighter. He started in CA, the Idaho, and next Montana. We loved the Shelter Cove area.

Your trips looks amazing.

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