It all started here...

It all started here...

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Back from Morro Bay

Morro Bay Mini Vacation, Day 3 -- October 16, 2015

Last day of this mini vacation, time to head back home for the busy weekend. We slept very well last night and woke up refreshed but a little sad that we had to end this fun trip. After we enjoyed the complimentary breakfast at the hotel, we gathered our things and checked out of the hotel. Breakfast was quite decent with all the basics but they also had hot food like scrambled eggs and sausages. Very nice!

Breakfast room

Food spread in the connected room.

We had a pleasant drive down south on Hwy 101 on this beautiful morning.

MOR wanted to check out the antique store in Solvang where we have made some good purchases before. Unfortunately, we found out that they were closed. They only open on weekends now.

Solvang is a popular tourist spot in California, a Danish town.

Very quiet on this Friday morning.

We just walked around a little, checking out an estate sale where they were selling out all the furnishing and supplies of a closed-down restaurant, and got some pastries from a bakery before leaving this town.

Lunch was at the Andersens in Buellton, a restaurant we have passed by many times but never visited. 
They are famous for their pea soup. I am not a pea soup person but MOR is.

They have a huge gift shop before entering the restaurant. The restaurant was quite busy, with mostly older adults for the nostalgic feel and taste, I suppose.

I had their Monster Burger which was delicious! It can very well be one of the best burgers I had.
MOR had the Traveler's Special for $10.99, all-you-can-eat pea soup, a basket of bread (3 different kinds), and a drink, which includes the thick milk shake and that was what he had. 

After lunch, we were ready to get home in a couple of hours, at least that was what we thought.
When we got near Santa Barbara we hit bumper to bumper traffic on the south bound side. It took us 2 1/2 hours just to get through the city of Santa Barbara inching along the 101. After we past Summerland the south bound side opened up and we saw the huge traffic jam on the north bound. Friday traffic, we thought.

We did not realize that the problem was actually on Fwy 5 where there was a huge mud slide after the flood the night before near Grapevine which closed that freeway. This closure caused all the cars taking the 101 instead, both north and south bound. Then there was the police activity on 101 which closed the 101/134 area so we had to take 126 through Santa Paula/Fillmore to Santa Clarita per the GPS recommendation to save time.

By the time we reached San Gabriel Valley it was past 7:00PM. We had spent an extra three hours on our way return trip.
Nevertheless, we had an amazing time to just get away and spent some relaxing time with each other. I am sure we will remember all the precious moments we had on this trip like all the ones we had before.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

San Simeon and Morro Bay

Morro Bay Mini Vacation, Day 2 -- October 15, 2015

We did not sleep well last night because there were some rowdy people outside the street during the night. They probably came out from the bars nearby on Main Street. The air situation didn't help either. It was a good thing that we did not have to start early so we basically slept in until it was time to get up and go for breakfast. We could hear our 'neighbors' busy getting ready to hit the road. I believe they were a cycling team from Canada. 

We did use the coffee maker to start our day with a fresh pot of coffee.

Peaking out the window on this foggy morning.

Basic breakfast but they did have a waffle maker.

We decided to take a walk down to the Embarcadero before checking out.

So quiet and serene. The Hofbrau is right there in the middle of the picture.

Embarcadero barely waking up.

Morning swim?

Walked up from the Embarcadero to the Comfort Inn where we would stay for the second night. It looked nice from the street, modern and clean. Again, we used another free night certificate, but a more expensive one. Our room was on the second floor on the left side.

After checking out of the motel, we drove back down to Embarcadero and had lunch at Giovanni's. We were here the day before but it was closing time when we walked up so we decided to have lunch here instead. This was a bowl of clam chowder, good but not as good as Hofbrau's.

ChC had some kind of wrap.

We shared an order of BBQ oysters. Very good but not cheap. $12 for six.

Dining on the patio at Giovanni's.

We ordered two live crabs and they cooked it right there.

Definitely fresh!

After lunch, we took a ride to San Simeon, not to Hearst castle but to see the elephant seals.
We also took time to enjoy the scenery of the coastal towns along the way.

Arrived at the Elephant Seal Rookery near Piedras Blancas.

Hundreds of elephant seals

sound asleep

This one was flipping sands over its body.

While the other one was trying to get her attention.

"Can't you hear me?!"

This used to be a tiny and quiet area with just a small parking lot. Now, they closed up the small lot and opened up a huge parking lot to accommodate all the vehicles that stop by, including RVs and buses. Walkways were built and volunteers nearby to make it a more educational and pleasant visit for tourists.

After checking out the seals we drove back south and stopped at the William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach. Again, they have made this into a huge picnic area and now a state park.

This pier was built by Hearst to ship supplies in when they were building the Castle.
A couple of people were fishing at the end of this long pier the day we were there.

A nice beach to swim in on the left side.

Highway 1--Pacific Coast Highway.

After we got back to Morro Bay, we checked into the Comfort Inn.

Not a room with a view but we could still see the Rock partially.

Bright and airy breakfast room.

The big window around the corner of the stairway.

After resting a little, it was almost time for dinner. We thought it was a good idea to drive over to the "Rock".

I was wondering why there were so many cars parked there with people sitting inside. Then I realized that they may be waiting for the surfers. Maybe some surfing lesson was taking place?

There were many surfers on this side of the beach.

It was much quieter on the left side. A close-up look at the Rock.

Beach on the left side, much calmer.

For dinner that evening, we headed over to the Brickhouse BBQ in town. We had enough fried food and meaty BBQ sounded delicious.

Different kinds of BBQ sauce. The original was tasty, then they had the strawberry chipotle and mango something. They were all very good!

We all ordered the 3-meat, 2-sides combo for $13.99 each. I had the tri-tip (great!), chicken, and pork ribs with garlic bread and garlic parmesean green beans as sides. Wonderful meal that didn't cost too much.

pork ribs
We all had leftovers to take home!