Posts Tagged With: California Coast

Road Trip: Carmel to Pismo Beach

Someone’s cell phone in the next room woke me up multiple times during the night.  The walls at “grandma’s place” were so thin, it sounded like the phone was on my night stand.  So, we got a bit of a slow start in the morning.  Grandma’s place provided a free breakfast, so I had and english muffin and Claire had a bagel and cream cheese before we hit the road.  It was a bit of a “carb-fest.”

We got back on Highway 1 and continued down the coast.  As beautiful as the California coast is, Claire and I both agreed that we thought the southern Oregon coast was actually more picturesque.  Traffic was extremely light and was mostly tourists like us who stopped a lot along the way for photo ops.

One of the cool stops along the way was a sea lion rookery.  There were hundreds (maybe thousands) of the big boys stretched out on the beach.  They seemed to enjoy all the attention from the tourists like us who were madly snapping pictures.

We stopped for lunch in Cambria at a funky little place called the Indigo Moon Café.  Claire was disappointed that the sweet potato fries (her vice) were soggy and over cooked.  Other than that the lunch was wonderful, and we continued cruising until we reached Pismo Beach.  We decided to splurge and get a beach front room at The Cliffs Resort.  The room was so comfortable that we decided t stay in, order room service, and watch a movie.

Since we are ahead of schedule, our daily drives are getting shorter and shorter which means later morning starts, more stops, and earlier arrivals.  From here we are going short way to Santa Barbara to do some wine tasting and more hard core goofing off.

Big boys on the beach

Great spot to shoot a pirate movie

Driving a thousand miles of coast

Spending a lazy evening

Beautiful room with a view

These little guys are watching over the sea lions

All my funniest captions were inappropriate … Make up your own.

King of the winding roads …

Chief navigator, and Queen of the winding roads.

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Road Trip: Down the California Coast

We woke up early as always and started a fire in the little woodstove.  We had no internet or even cell service, so our morning ritual of sipping coffee and catching up on the goings on in the world was cut short.  I know we made fun of the Inn in our last post, but it was actually a very pleasant experience, and the people running the place (especially Teresa) were delightful.

Instead of “tippy tapping” on the internet, Claire made our own entry in the guest book.  She laughed one more time about some of “in depth” entries that previous guests had made.

We walked down to the beach in the early morning mist.  One of the seven cats who inhabit the Inn followed Claire like a dog.  Where she went, the cat followed.  The sand was much darker than in Oregon, which made it feel less pristine, but the rock outcroppings where spectacular.

We had breakfast with the other quests, and then were on the road again!  We stayed on the coast until we got north of San Francisco and then cut inland through Oakland to avoid the city traffic.  We then cut back to the coast and rolled into Carmel by the Sea around dinnertime.  Claire checked us into the Carmel Inn & Suites; nothing fancy but right in the middle of town and the rates were reasonable.  The room is large and decorated like your grandma’s parlor.

We had dinner last night at a well-reviewed Mediterranean place called Dametra Café.  The meal was excellent.  Claire had a steak, and I had a Greek combination plate that included lamb, a chicken kabob, hummus, and a Greek salad.

After dinner we strolled around town a bit.  This is clearly a place where the well heeled come to shop.  Just another day on the road for us …

Why yes, i will have some wine…

We met another retired couple …

Hanging with our new friends

The main house at the Inn

Breakfast at the Inn

A girl and her cat …

Walking on the beach

They said the cat’s name is “Scraper”

View of the Inn from the beach

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The Road Trip: Redwood Forest

Woke up in our beach front room to the sound of the waves and the gulls. For some reason, we have been waking up at 5 am ever since we returned from our time in Michigan a few weeks ago. The nice thing about getting up early is you get a lot done before most people have rolled out of the rack!

Claire went out and did a power walk, while I cleaned up some eMail and did a blog post. Then we strolled on the magnificent beach. The Oregon coast looks like something from a sci-fi movie or a video game. The giant rocks that jut from the sand and the water provide unique views from every angle.

A dozen sea lions were warming themselves in the morning sun, and we had to be careful not to step on the random starfish that had washed up on the beach.

From Bandon, we continued south on 101 enjoying our last views of the Oregon coastline. We stopped for lunch in Eureka, California, and then entered the redwood forest. Although we have gotten somewhat used to big trees living in Washington state these past three years, we were still stunned by the groves of magnificent redwoods! Claire has fond memories from her childhood of seeing a car drive through a hole cut in a giant, living redwood tree. Apparently there are three such trees in the world, and we had to take the turn off’s to see at least two of them. Disclaimer: unless you are driving a very small car, you would be best advised NOT to drive through. I wasn’t even temped to try and get our pickup truck through the hole.

Claire did her online research along the way, and found us a B&B on the coast to stay the night. We pulled into the Howard Creek Ranch around dinnertime. I am not really sure how to describe the “ranch.” It is a cross between a homeless encampment and a hippy commune (but in a good way.) “Quirky” is the word Claire chose to describe it.

Claire booked “the beach house” which turned out to be the sturdiest building on the site. The other buildings included an old farmhouse and a barn that had been converted to the proprietor’s residence, guest rooms, and a bit of a museum. I am guessing most everything at the ranch has been scavenged over the past 40 years, and the owners have lovingly used what they could find to construct the compound. Once we settled into the beach house, we poured ourselves some drinks and laughed ourselves silly. However, the real laughing began when Claire started to read the entries in the guest journals of the beach house. Apparently the ranch attracts an “artsy” clientele who feel the need to express themselves (sometimes with poetry) as they recorded their life stories for future generations of guests. I honestly don’t know that I have ever seen Claire laugh so much!

Anyway, the place was a great part of our adventure, and we got a good night’s sleep before hitting the road for another day.

Yea! We are retired!

Anyone need any driftwood?

The blow hole …

Sea lion beach

Stars on the water …



Drive-thru tree #1 of 3

Can’t drive thru this one!

Roosevelt Elk

The might redwood

Mighty Claire holding up the might redwood

Drive-thru tree #2 of 3 (in the world)

The “beach house”

Historic Inn or dilapidated barn … You be the judge.

Home for the night.

Historic Inn from another angle.

Precious antiques or old junk … You be the judge.

How YOU doin’?

Gorgeous coast …

Glad we had this stove because the “beach house” had no heat, and it got down right chilly in the morning.

The bed was clean and comfy though …

Guest are provided with boots in case the want to ford the stream …

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