Monday, February 22, 2016

Central California Coast - CliffsNote Style

What does one do when her college daughter has a 4 day weekend that almost matches her youngest daughter's 4 day weekend? 
 She invites college daughter to bring friends with her to spend with us at the coast and makes arrangements for youngest daughter's weekend to increase to a 5 day weekend. 
She then returns to her travel agent roots and takes them all to see the sights along the central coast of California and has a great time. 
 A college friend drove the girls  up from school Friday night and we enjoyed a delicious dinner at a newly opened restaurant
 Hubby deemed his Fish and Chips the best he has had in the area. 
 My review of the shrimp tacos concur.
Saturday was spent soaking in the sun at Avila Beach on Saturday.
The sun was bright, the waves huge for the area and the beach packed with people but everyone seemed to have fun.
 I even kept from being completely knocked over by one wave while taking pics of SPF. 

She was in hysterics...I was just soaked. 


 A quick visit to the nearby fruit stand to pick up some treats and a relaxing evening spent at the house with and old. 
The young ladies that came up with LPP are funny, kind, articulate, inquisitive, interesting AND interested.

Valentine's Day dawned with SPF receiving special treats from her new friends before wandering through San Luis Obispo.
Some shopping and people watching before visiting a "must do" in San Luis. Bubblegum Alley.
 Still just grosses me out.

Miss D is an avid lover of all things dinosaur. 
This park was a must. 

 SPF was included but gave the older girls time to themselves as well. 
That can be a tricky thing to work through for a little sister, but I was proud of her.
She even took pictures for her 4-H project.

Monday and Tuesday were spent up and down the coast.
Breakfast at Mon Ami for awesome crepes with Hubby before he had to depart for home.
LPP had been craving them for months and as usual, we were not disappointed.
Driving up the coast to San Simeon was lovely as well.
Hearst Castle was spectacular and the weather could not have been more ideal.

The deer were out in full force as were the zebra grazing with the cattle as we left.
We toured the Upper Suites of the main house which included rooms I had never visited before.
 A bedroom under the bell tower was where Hedda Hopper stayed.
From her vantage point, she could hear and see all that went on in the courtyard below and then wrote about it the following day in her gossip column.

The libraries were places in which I could live quite happily, I think.

And the views.

I could imagine riding a horse or taking a walk through this mile long fruit tree and grape covered pergola or seeing a polar bear in Mr. Hearst's private zoo.

The money involved was staggering, but he also did good for the small town down the hill.
 He helped feed and clothes those in need and when he brought electricity to the hill, he brought it to the residents of San Simeon and paid for it as well.
Pretty remarkable in that respect.

A short drive up the coast had us watching the Elephant seals.

 It really is interesting to see so many basking in the sun, although the males were noisy, aggressive and blubbery. 
Kind of icky.
I had made dinner reservations in my favorite beach town, Cayucos, at sunset.
  We visited, ate like queens and watched the sun fade into the ocean.

Miss A. had lived in California as a very young child and remembers family photos in Cayucos before they moved across the country.
She found the location and captured a photographic moment in the same place. 
Pretty sweet.
Tuesday had us all cleaning and packing.
We worked like a well oiled machine and had laundry done and the car packed ahead of schedule. Another favorite breakfast spot for a donut and fruit bowls left us stuffed and happy as clams. 
The requisite Salt Water Taffy was purchased for friends and family and we made it out of town without the German Shepherd, Australian Shepherd or Lab babies in the pet shop.
They were such cuties.
Even though we were taking the girls back to campus, we had planned several more stops on the way. 
The Butterfly Grove had us all amazed. 
The max count this season was 28,000 and while this is the tail end of their journey, it is still impressive.


A quick stop for strawberries in Santa Maria (still a bit early in the season, but yummy anyway) before visiting Solvang. 
Such a sweet town and I think the girls want to visit again when there is more time.

 Feeding the ostriches and emus is always fun and filled with laughter.
This was no exception.

We made it back to campus and delivered three appreciative and non-stressed college girls to their dorm.
 Mission accomplished.

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