Copyright © Ruby's Musings
Design by Dzignine

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Three R's : Rest, Relaxation and Rejuvenation

“Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.” 
― Isabelle EberhardtThe Nomad: The Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt

I had lost myself in the last few years. Between hardships and health issues, somewhere along the way my inner self, my true self became more buried, more deeply hidden than a pirates treasure. Like that treasure, waiting to be discovered and yet in many ways forgotten about more and more as days, weeks and years passed. I had a chance to rediscover that in which I had myself forgotten was lost. It sparked in me renewed hope of regaining some of myself, some of my happiness and joy and freedom of spirit. Who was to know that a simple thing like a vacation, the first in 7 long years was the key to opening doors that the locks had become rusted with time . 

My husband and myself finally found ourselves able to take a long needed and awaited vacation back to our former home town and area in which we had lived for many years and had not been back to in 7 long years. My health was finally going to allow a trip further than to the local wine regions near our home, and we had the financial means to make it happen and do it right. Our destination, the Central Coast of California. We began our trip on a bright and cool Sunday morning just two weeks ago. Bags packed, rental car gassed and the gps programmed we headed towards our first destination Monterey. It was to be the first stop of many during our week long vacation away from home. 

We had booked a lovely room at a hotel, Hotel Pacific, walking distance to Fisherman's Wharf. We had arrived in the early afternoon, and after dropping off our bags, we first took a drive over to Carmel by the Sea, I wanted to see the cottages there, and we thought about stopping and walking about the sea side town, but it was very crowded and busy and choose to go back to our hotel and take a walk there. We took a stroll down to the wharf. As chance would have it, a whale sight seeing boat was on its way out to sea in 15 minutes and it having always been on my bucket list to do this and actually see whales up close, my husband convinced  me to be brave, I do not actually like boats as I get very sea sick, and fulfill this one bucket list item. I am not 100% sure that I can say sea sickness was worth it, but we did indeed see whales, and not just one, but many. We oohed and ahhed as they breached the surface, slammed their tales on the ocean's surface and sent sprays of water high into the air. It was truly the most majestic and magical thing I have ever witnessed. We also were lucky to see many sea lions, a variety of sea birds and even some jelly fish. I snapped photos one right after the other and took many videos, so many that it would fill many blog posts to share them with you. But look closely in the photo collage above and you can see one of the Humpback whales we were able to witness. 

After our excursion and once the sea sickness had settled, and nearly three hours later, we were back at the wharf and looking for a bite to eat. It had been a very long day and my appetite was back and I was craving clam chowder. There is almost nothing but places to eat along the Fisherman's Wharf there in Monterey. So many to choose from and each with staff out front trying to draw you in to eat under their roof. One had been suggested by the boats captain, and I honestly at this moment can not recall the name, but when we were walking along it looked to be the nicest place to eat, and we were not wrong. Upon entering, we were greeted with formal waiters, white table clothes and dim lights, if it were not a tourist area, I would say we were very under dressed. We dined by candle light, I on the most amazing clam chowder that I had ever had, my husband the scallops. We sipped on sparkling wine and later shared an amazing "chocolate dream cake" , it was romantic and a wonderful way to start the trip. Although I can not recall the name of where we ate, any of the fine restaurants there would be a great place to eat from what I understand. The next day, after a good nights sleep, rare for me when on vacation, we enjoyed a good and light breakfast the hotel offered and took our morning walk and then headed to the famous Aquarium that is located at the equally famous Cannery Row. Lucky us a group of ladies passing by as we headed towards the entrance offered us their passes to get in as they could not use the second day that was covered and we got in for free. I had heard how I simply must visit this amazing aquarium, and everyone was right! There was so much to see, to witness and to take in. We spent a lovely morning there among the fishes.  Once done, we took a nice stroll in the area and soaked in the sights and sounds, before heading back on the road towards our next destination. We had decided to follow Hwy 1 down the coast and soak in the views and take our time getting to our next stop, Cambria Ca. 

We took the leisurely drive, stopping in Big Sir at a very cute road side cafe for a bite to eat and to stretch our legs, and eventually ended up at our hotel along Moonstone Beach there in Cambria. Once settled, at our hotel there, The Fog Catcher, fresh baked cookies in hand from the front desk, we dropped off our bags and walked along the boardwalk , we actually did it more than once and got a good walk in at that, and never has there been a more enjoyable place to do it. There was a warm breeze, and views that are hard to do justice to with a snap shot. We could feel all cares slip away. Muscles loosened and finally we were so relaxed that it felt like the real world was very far away. When the sun began to slip down beyond the horizon, we stopped at Moonstone Bar and Grill and dined on once again, clam chowder, and scallops. We watched the sun go further and further down, casting a gold glow over everything within sight, and once we had finished our meal we strolled back to our hotel, lit a fire in the fireplace, dined on those fresh baked cookies and sipped some bubbly. 
Morning greeted us with a hot breakfast provided by the hotel and another adventure. We checked out and headed back north a bit to San Simeon , the home to Hearst Castle, we had a 10:40 tour of the second story rooms and the gardens to partake in. The rules state that no photos are allowed to be published without permission, and I am kind of breaking the rules here. I do hope I do not get in trouble... but because of that, I snapped only photos from the gardens with a tiny bit of the castle walls peeking out here and there. If you ever get a chance to visit there, do so. I know each time we go we notice something or learn something new and interesting. 

After our visit to the castle, we drove down into the historic section of Cambria, walked about the shops we had once visited on a regular basis, went and had a proper tea, complete with scones, Devonshire cream and lemon curd at The Tea Cozy,  and having quite happy bellies , drove on a bit further on a winding back road to partake of a sampling of wine and then a country drive before we headed to our hotel that would be where we stayed for the remainder of our time on the Central Coast. As early evening came upon us, we arrived at The Sand Castle in Pismo Beach, checked in, again grabbing our fresh baked cookies, and deposited our bags. Our room had an amazing view of the beach, of course the Pacific ocean and the famous Pismo Pier. We were back in our own stomping grounds. Many a happy time from childhood till my late 30's were spent at this beach, walking along the beach collecting sand dollars by the dozens, listening to the gulls and watching the local surfers. We walked to a local pizza parlor and dined on a wonderful pasta dish, and then went back home to watch the sunset and get some rest and relaxation before our planned early morning walk along the beach the next day. 

The next day, just as planned, we had an early morning breakfast at the hotel and then took a five mile walk along the beach to burn it off. After getting the sand off our feet and freshening up, we headed over to Avila Beach for some wine tasting at Alapay Cellars, where we are wine club members, sight seeing and lunch by the bay there. 

While in the area, we found one winery ( Kelsey)  that had at least a dozen or more Peacocks that roamed free, that you could feed and sit and watch while sipping wine. We sat in the warm sun, surrounded by hills and greenery , sipping wine, with the sounds of a nearby fountain and when a good friend called me to confirm some plans for the next day, she asked how I was, and I simply answered, " comfortable". I was that indeed. I think even my aches and pains had slipped away, my mind was at ease, and I felt truly like myself, more so than I had in many years. I found I could not get the smile off of my face and I did not wish to leave this little part of heaven. We had to though, as we were meeting friends for dinner in the town that we had once lived, and where I went to school, grade 5 through high school graduation, Arroyo Grande

We arrived early to the historic area of Arroyo Grande, strolled along back streets, across the swinging bridge and back again just as I had all my youth and eventually met up with a former co-worker and close friend and her husband to treat them for dinner at a local favorite place to eat McClintocks, where we had a great dinner and wonderful conversation, spending what was to be far too little time catching up before we headed back to our hotel. The next day we returned to sample wine at a local wine bar there in the village as it is known, then meet up at another winery Letecia,  to meet up with another former co-worker and friend to do more of the same. That evening after visiting a few of her favorites, we said our goodbyes and my husband and myself went on to watch a play at The Great American Melodrama . We always make a point to visit this fun night out, munch on pop corn, sing along to old time tunes, laugh, boo and hiss the villain and cheer on the good guys and enjoy the vaudville after the show. No visit would be complete without a night spent at this local landmark.  Before we knew it, it was our last day in Pismo Beach. We packed our bags, checked out and gave a final wistful glance out at the view from our room, and got on the road. We decided to stop for breakfast somewhere with a view and soak it in one last time, in Shell Beach a burb of sorts of Pismo,  before heading back up the highway towards one , or so we thought, last stop in Paso Robles at Clutiere and then Rio Secco and  for some more wine tasting before ending back home.  

Now you might notice that it says "last day" truth of it is that we extended our trip by one day. We simply were not ready to go back. So on our way home we called some friends in San Jose  and stayed with them, and then the next day we stopped in San Franciso, and then drove the long way, going up Hwy 1, through Point Reyes, stopping for lunch, then on to Bodega to have a "surf" of wine at our favorite little wine bar there, one I have shared many times with you, the reader, and then stopping for dinner at our favorite place to eat in Santa Rosa, Ca Blanca, again a place I have share with you at least twice and you can find the blogs in the travel, food, and wine labels here. We finally reached home at about 10 p.m, tired, but fully rejuvenated all at the same time and planning our next trip "back home" .

All smiles after a wonderful vacation. 

1 comment:

  1. California is such a beautiful state. The coastline cannot be rivaled. Your descriptions and pictures brought back a trip I took too California many, many years ago (Elvis Presley died when we were in San Francisco and Groucho Marx a few days later when we were wandering Hearst Castle watching old films of Carol Lombard) My friends and cousin from Ireland drove from San Francisco (actually I did all the driving) and meandered along Highway 1. It was one breathtaking scene after another. I have never seen such beauty. How wonderful you were able to get away and wrap yourself in it and enjoy quiet, romantic adventures with your husband. Such trips are necessary for couples and friends to build their relationship, form closer bonds, or heal worn ones. The whale sightings was worth the trouble. A gift nature gave you to remember. I wish I were with you bumping down the roads to wineries and to old towns packed with history, or perhaps having a scone looking out over the wharf and watching the sun send its soft fingers of color across the sky. What peace you found. Thanks for sharing... Lisa White


Simply adore all your comments! Thank you so kindly for leaving one! They mean the world to me...more than you know! I love hearing from my readers. XOXO Comments will not appear until I approve them, due to spam bots.