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LBmuskoka's picture

LBmuskoka

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California Dreaming

I'm back!

Fantastic Trip.  Had the best meal ever - red abalone in a sauce that is simply indescribable in a little restaurant in Cayucos which is a town - town is too big, a village with a main street of a block.  Fabulous, simply fabulous, and if anyone ever plans to go to California make Cayucos a stop.

This is Cayucos

These are the views from our hotel, the room was right on the beach.

Did I mention it was heaven!  All night I could hear the crash of the surf.

 

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LBmuskoka's picture

LBmuskoka

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Just outside of Cayucos was the Hearst Castle

The drive up, in a bus provided by the State thankfully was worth the price of admission alone

But the castle was equally beautiful.

LBmuskoka's picture

LBmuskoka

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And the drive along Hwy 1 was everything everyone had ever said.  Spectacularly terrifying and worth every minute...

LBmuskoka's picture

LBmuskoka

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And then there was San Francisco.  What a beautiful city.  Incredible architecture, amazing views, down or up hills, stretching to the ocean.  Cable cars and street cars.  Wonderful warm, friendly and funny people.

 

 

 

And of course, the seals....

 

and pelicans diving

LBmuskoka's picture

LBmuskoka

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And if I haven't bored you yet, you can click here - LB's California Adventure and view the mission at Carmel, Monterey and Big Sur.

 

Did I mention I had a great time

 

all the leaves are brown
and the sky is grey
I've been for a walk
on a winter's day

if I didn't tell her
I could leave today
California Dreamin'
on such a winter's day

The Mamas & the Papas, California Dreamin'

BethanyK's picture

BethanyK

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Wow amazing pics!

AaronMcGallegos's picture

AaronMcGallegos

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So beautiful! Did you know I'm from Santa Cruz? Your photos make me homesick!

 

A

LBmuskoka's picture

LBmuskoka

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A, I can tell by the shades and the hat

 

We got lost in Santa Cruz!  The only time Penelope - our GPS - let us down, well it wasn't really Penelope's fault, she was trying to send us to Big Basin Redwood State Park and I wanted Big Basin Redwood State Beach Park - you can see the confusion.  Plus the signage for Hwy 1 is rather confusing in Santa Cruz so we ended up going in circles - what we saw in that round about trip was lovely, I can understand your homesickness.

AaronMcGallegos's picture

AaronMcGallegos

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Yes, everybody taking the Highway 1 route gets lost in Santa Cruz the same way you did. I'm sure it's a plot by the local Chamber of Commerce to trap visitors in town for a longer period of time!

pommum's picture

pommum

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LB - I love your pictures. I have always wanted to go to San Francisco, and you have me wanting to go all the more. My parents had a stop over there on the way to Hawaii, and my mom didn't want to leave and said she enjoyed it more than the remainder of their trip.

Northwind's picture

Northwind

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Wow LB. Thanks for sharing those pictures. They are gorgeous. I am glad you are home safe and that you had a good trip.

carolla's picture

carolla

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Fabulous pics LB - and I'm sure there are lots of crazy stories to go with!  Thanks for sharing.

SG's picture

SG

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I remember a cafe and coffee shop that was to die for in the middle of Monterey's Cannery Row.

 

When you did Monterey, did you also do Salinas? LOL No, not to tour street gangs or the famed lettuce fields tour... It was also the home of John Steinbeck.  I loved Old Town Salinas' architecture.

 

Aren't pelicans the most graceful landing on water birds you ever did see?

myst's picture

myst

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LB - those photos were just what I needed after a month of the rainiest, soggiest month here on the wet coast! Although maybe viewing them was the wrong thing to do - I'm thinking of packing my bags and driving south.

LBmuskoka's picture

LBmuskoka

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Stevie, sadly I did not have time to get to Salinas and make a pilgrimage to Steinbeck's home - that will be for next time! 

 

We spent the one day we had in Monterey at Fisherman's' Wharf, Cannery Row and getting lost in Carmel by the Sea (poor Penelope she had a hard time there too - sending us off into a residential area of very narrow, very winding streets).  We also visited Mission San Carlos Borremeo del Rio Carmelo which was beautiful even in the rain.

 

And now you tell me about a great restaurant in Cannery Row!  Although we had lunch at Rocky Point which is a restaurant that hangs on the side of one of those Hwy 1 cliffs and I watched the seals feed in the rough surf marvelling at how they didn't get smashed on the rocks.

 

Speaking of restaurants we went to a little place in Seaside recommended by our hotel - just drive down the street to a little pink building - which was one of the weirder experiences on the trip.  The place was packed with a diverse clientele.  All the staff but the host were males.  I had a direct view into this tiny kitchen and I swear the chefs all looked like they had done time.  It was wonderful.  The food fantastic, the service better than any of the uptown restaurants we went to with the servers doing tag team and my coffee miraculously filled without my asking or seeing.  It was one of those times where you wonder what the heck you got yourself into and discover something incredible.

 

And seals and pelicans, what can I say, I love them.   You have no idea how long it took me to get that pelican shot - those birds plunge into the water faster than you can point and click.  Seals - my poor partner had to suffer the unbelievable bad smell of hundreds of seals lying at SF's Pier 39 while I took pictures although my favourites where the truly wild ones we saw on the drive.

 

Sigh, and now its back to reality.  I came home to fog and rain, back to work today but I have my memories and pictures to get through the winter.

 

 

LB


A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.         John Steinbeck

 

Beloved's picture

Beloved

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Greetings!

 

Beautiful photos - sounds like  a wonderful trip!

 

Hope, peace, joy, love ...

ninjafaery's picture

ninjafaery

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Welcome back, LB, and thanks for sharing your artful photos.

I think "prison chic" is in right now.  All those guys in the restaurant are probably actors between gigs.

And thanks alot for telling us that seals stink. 

 I'm shattered.

 

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

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LBmuskoka wrote:

Sigh, and now its back to reality.  I came home to fog and rain, back to work today but I have my memories and pictures to get through the winter.

 

That's the spirit!   A great holiday can stay with you forever. The work conflicts you wrote about may still be there -  but, in my experience, a good holiday has a way of making them seem more manageable.

A word of caution m'dear, beginning a description of one's holiday by describing what one ate is a tell-tale sign of advancing years -  I should know!  

SG's picture

SG

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My Salinas and Monterey tour guide was a brilliant local guy, prison educated, covered in tattoos with hair halfway down his back in a braid.  He loved Steinbeck as much as I did. He took me everywhere... Steinbeck House, grave at Garden of Memories, the walking tour, the museum to see Rocinante (the truck from Travels with Charley)... then some missions... Maybe he was in your restaraunt? LMAO

carolla's picture

carolla

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Hey LB - we saw the sea lions too when were on a day cruise off Tofino this summer.  They are just TOO amazing!  According to our guide - the ones you saw were probably mostly female & young pups.  The males spend most of their time in the north Pacific - then head on down to Cali to 'get it on' with the girls for a while, then head north again to their bachelor pads near Tofino, to burp and fart and bark and lol about until they get in the mood again next year!   What a life!  They were truly hilarious to watch, draped over the rocky islands or floating around on their backs, barking & watching us right back.

LBmuskoka's picture

LBmuskoka

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Ninjafaery, my apologies for shattering your dream but, whew, pack that many seals on a dock and the smell is ferocious and Carolla, if they were all females they are one grumpy group of girls - fighting and barking loud enough you can hear them four blocks away - maybe because the boys are off playing in Tofino.

 

Pilgrim, when one revels in the experience of heaven on a plate it is not a sign of age but the wisdom of the years to know   But you are right the hassles of work have all been washed away by the crashing surf plus the fact that two of the main causes apparently left while I was gone.

 

Stevie, I think you and I have learned never to judge books by their covers which is good because some of the most interesting people I have met were the ones who made me question appearances.  Case in point, the SF cable guys, what a strange looking crew they are but get them talking and they are a blast.  We aimlessly rode the Hyde cable car at night, jammed into the back, and the brake man was another rather scary looking chap with this elegant Asian girlfriend he was romancing in between stops.  He was a hilarious rhymer who would put words and streets together like a song - I can still hear him saying packy, stacky, whacky to get the people on board.  The car broke down half way up Hyde Street hill - which for those who haven't been there is beyond steep and we all had to disembark, milling about the street waiting for the push truck and this guy almost dancing amongst - quite the charmer and I quickly understood how a guy who looked like Lurch from the Addams Family won the affections of a beautiful woman.

 

As you can tell my partner and I like to engage people when we travel, two other cable operators we met had Canadian connections - one his father was from Montreal and we had a bit of difficulty explaining how far away we were from that city and the other had family in Ajax.  We also met a couple from Kenora whose neighbours were from Muskoka - very nice people although I did question their sanity when they said they were going to drive their RV down Lombard Street!

 

And back in Cayucos, where we began, there was Jake - the hotel's breakfast greeter - an old springer spaniel with soft floppy ears, who would rise, slowly, and amble over to each guest for a pat and maybe a piece of scone.  Everyone was an old friend even if they had just met.

 

Ah, the best part of travel is the people we meet and, of course, the food we eat!

 

 

LB


We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.          Fydor Dostoevsky

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