Date: Wednesday August 5, 2015
Theme/Title: The 'Real' Coast
Overview: Woke up and had breakfast at the hotel restaurant. I finished watching Citizen Kane as we packed up our room. The night before we had seen an "elephant seal viewing point" sign a few miles before the hotel, so we went to see that before our Hearst Castle tour. Elephant Seals are not the cute ones! But they are really fun to watch - there were a few honking at each other and playing in the shallows and a big cuddle party on the shore. Babies too!
Hearst Castle, which was beautiful. Before heading off on our long drive south, we went to a local fishing pier beside a small beach to dip our feet in the ocean for the first time. Teri and I took a quick walk through Cambria to get some lunch. We drove down the coast and by the time we got to Sana Barbra it was time for dinner, I was using my phone to search for a place to eat - specifically Mexican food - when I discovered that we were arriving during their annual Spanish festival complete with food stands. We made our way into the center of the city (free parking, very impressive) and walked through the festival grounds. We grabbed dinner at one of the various food stalls and browsed the other vendors. There was live music and lots of people selling strange confetti eggs which looked really fun! A few more hours driving brought us passed Santa Monica, I could see the lit up pier - it looked quite intense at night. We stopped for the night at a hostel in Long Beach.
Woke-up: 7:00am with a view of the ocean at San Simeon Lodge
Transportation/Distance: Drove 405 km
Meals: Poached Eggs at San Simeon Beach Bar and Grill. Picked up some baby carrots, cheese strings, and dried peas at a grocery store for lunch. Fish tacos from a food stand at the Old Spanish Days Fiesta in Santa Barbra.
Highlight of the Day: The drive along the coast at the Sana Monica Mountains, passed Malibu, was beautiful. It was just how I pictured the California coast in my head - sand beaches, palm trees, lush hills, amazing mansions, exclusive looking clubs, bright sun, and a perfect blue ocean.
Lesson Learnt: Even if you buy your tickets online ahead of time for an attraction, you still need to show up with a lot of time to spare in case there is a long line to pick them up. Teri and I thought we went to Hearst Castle early enough for our tour but only just made it onto the bus in the nick of time. The line to pick-up pre-purchased tickets was the same as the one to buy them, so it moved very slowly.
Song of the Day: "Sana Monica" by Theory of a Deadman
Night's Accommodation: Hostelling International San Pedro, South Bay (Long Beach)