While Hubby and Shaggy played golf last week at the beach, the girls and I took a drive up the coast for the day. Lollipop Pop was my photographer from the passenger seat. Highway 1 runs along the ocean for much of our state and offers a view into some beautiful scenery. This stretch of beach is Cayucos and is one of my favorite towns in the area. It is rustic, quiet and full of antique stores.
San Simeon is the home of Hearst Castle. This gem is a must see if you are ever in this neck of the woods. The mansion is perched on the top of the hill overlooking the ocean and mountains. There is now a wonderful Visitor Center from which you take a tour bus to the top and you are quite likely to see zebras that are descendants from the original herds. There are several tours to choose from and they are all well worth doing.
A bit further up the highway (a two lane highway), we arrived at our destination. The Elephant Seals stay here year round. At certain times of the year, you can see the bulls arrive and mating begin. Other times there are babies to ogle over. We saw the Mamas and mostly teens this time with some bulls thrown in the mix. These creatures were just lying in the sun and sunbathing. There is a wonderful boardwalk built above the beach for easy viewing and a large parking lot to park safely. The first picture shows one tossing sand on himself...natural sunscreen/cooling mechanism. It was super windy, but well worth it.
The Piedras Blancas Lighthouse offers tours, but I goofed and got too late of a start...maybe next time.
Hubby had to return home the following day, so the kids and I headed down the coast to Santa Maria. Santa Maria is where my Mom went to school and my grandparents lived until they passed away many years later.
We played miniature golf...
...rode bumper boats...
...climbed rock walls...
|(I adore watching Shaggy help his sisters do something)|
...and raced cars.
We then went to a pizza place that Shaggy knew of. Klondike Pizza had a yummy salad for me as well. The experience comes complete with baskets of peanuts and a dirt floor to toss the shells on. Perfect fun! The bathrooms were cute, too.
We also took a drive past my grandparents' house...made me sad. It was always a crisp white paint with black trim. The rose garden is gone and it isvery unkempt.
I still have the wonderful memories, however.
Our final day at the beach was spent in Avila. Avila used to be a sleepy fishing village and had all of the character that implies.
There was an oil leak years ago and the oil company did a massive cleanup and rebuilding of the downtown.
|There is a yummy restaurant on the end of the pier|
Avila Beach is now lovely and filled with great restaurants, shops and hotels, but I miss the Avila of my childhood.
It is usually less windy than Pismo Beach where we stay and Thursday was near perfection.
Shaggy dug a hole for his sister to stand in...
...and they all worked on a fort of some sort.
We just relaxed and enjoyed the sun, the sea, the wildlife and each other.