California Love

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North America » United States » California
August 2nd 2006
Published: August 2nd 2006
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Sunshine, ocean, mountains, surf, vineyards, lakes, valleys, deserts, forests…California has it all. Joe and I finally arrived in LA after almost missing our flight and Joe losing his passport. We drove down to Camarillo to stay with Joe’s uncle. Being that it was late when we arrived and Joe’s uncle was an Irish priest performing mass next morning, I figured it would be an early night. 3:30 in the morning and many glasses of wine, the night ended.

Our early wake-up call informed us that Joe’s passport was found and on the way over. We had an easy day driving to Santa Barbara Beach and around Lake Casitas. My big purchase of the day, Lonely Planet, was the start of planning the Cali road trip. We started out road trip travelling down the south coast stopping for a ‘real-life’ view of Laguna Beach. I was hoping to see the Laguna Beach cast but the rocky cliffs protruding onto the beach was just as satisfying. Then we drove to Cardiff-by-the-sea, a small seaside town 20 miles outside of San Diego. We watched in amazement from the cliff as the ant-sized surfers tried to catch a wave. Our sunset dinner consisted of subway and a spot for 2 on the beach. Now, this trip was to see if Cali was a potential settling point but after hearing the price of houses we were a little put back. Still, we drove around the quaint town of Cardiff to look at houses.

The next day we arrived in Ocean Beach, San Diego to experience the surf life. Once we checked into our hostel, we decided to give surfing a go. You see…OB is very popular with the surfers and very crowded, which was probably to worst place for Joe and I to test out our surfing skills. Joe flipping off his board, me almost breaking a surfers leg with my board and both of us constantly getting knocked back by waves lead us back on the beach to observe the experts. I will admit I rode 1 wave in-1 point for me! After the workout, we decided to treat ourselves to ice cream and a walk down the pier where fishermen lined each side and the sun disappeared.

I wanted to show Joe more of San Diego so we drove around to Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, downtown, Oldtown and Coronado. The highlight of our day was touring the Midway aircraft carrier-Joe enjoyed views of the jets while I enjoyed views of the Navy men. Since it was impossible to find accommodation, we drove back to Camarillo.

Next day, the central coast was on our itinerary. The scenery was so diverse with views of the mountains, crashing waves, vineyards, elephant seals, Redwood trees and the blinding fog. Our goal was to find a campground in Big Sur but all 1000 (bit exaggerated) of the campsites were full not to mention any vacancies at any hotel. We managed to go back to one campground where we pitched our tent, grilled our chicken and brought out the box of wine.

In the morning the box of wine suddenly was not the best idea, but it didn’t stop us from our ‘Sideways’ tour. First, we needed strong coffee, which we drank on Cayucous Beach. Next, we stopped in Los Olivos testing some wine and over to the Rusack Niveyard where the Syrah was to die for-so we bought a couple bottles. Back to Camarillo, where we met up with the uncle, another priest and a nun and chatted over a glass of wine. To continue our ‘Sideways’ tour we all went to a wine bar indulging in gourmet food and more wine. By the time I go back to the house, I could hardly keep my eyes open and was sent to bed. Our trip came to an end and I was even more impressed with the beautiful state of California. I guess I will always be California dreaming!

Additional photos below
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Joe's uncles backyard view

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