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Published: April 6th 2006
Front door to main house "Casa Grande."
Just 135 miles north of Santa Barbara on CA 101 is the charming town of Paso Robles, pop. 28,000. We stayed at Wine Country RV Resort, right smack in the middle of 100 vineyards and tasting rooms - kind of like a Disneyland for wine lovers. The Central Coast is the third largest wine producing area of California. One can’t drive down too many rural roads without seeing wineries, olive oil tasting rooms, and organic farms. The wine selections here are very good, much better than other places we’ve visited so far. Our “wine cellar” is well stocked.
We visited Hearst Castle, near the coast at San Simeon, south of Big Sur. Cute little place with 3 guest houses, the smallest of which is 4,000 sq. ft. There are two small swimming pools, indoor @ 200,000 gallons, outdoor @ 345,000 gallons. The Neptune Pool (outdoor) is marble and has a pediment from ancient Greece (before it was illegal to import antiquities). Both pools are surrounded with marble statuary. The Roman Pool (indoor) room is completely covered with gorgeous blue and gold 1” mosaic glass tiles, including the ceiling and walls - quite stunning!
After visiting the castle, we headed
Nice place for a pool party, huh?
north about 30 miles up CA 1, which hugs the Pacific coast. Since there’s been lots of rain, we saw some great waterfalls and flowers. We spotted several whales migrating north and a beach full of elephant seals. We had lunch at an isolated coastal inn and took a walk around the bluffs where we spotted a wonderful ‘black sand’ beach 1200 feet below us, but no way to get down.
On Friday night, in the little bitty village of San Miguel, we shared a delicious 9-course Basque dinner at a very small restaurant with 9 other diners at our table. The restaurant is reservation only, open 3 nights a week, and fills up quickly. The dinner took nearly 3 hours, but was a very special treat with lots of laughter and fun, including everyone sharing a “boda” bag of Sangria.
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