Ventura to San Simeon, 197 Miles
"If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased."
The reason why so many people live in California is because it's so amazingly beautiful. While there's plenty of beauty in San Diego and Los Angeles, it's at the expense of a snakepit of freeways, with off ramps over on ramps over flyways over freeways. Once we got out of the labyrinths of concrete, we were blessed with fabulous landscapes without the cars, trucks, noise and paving.
Rolling hills were just turning green after a long winter. Yellow somethings bloomed and carpeted patches in the hills. Lush shrubs and trees with deep green leaves break up the hills. And often we got close to the Pacific.
Today's crowning beauty was Morro Bay. We turned off Highway 1 on a hunch and rode into town, a nice little town with shops that didn't scream Durango Slick. We missed a turn and found ourselves at a dead end, and oh my. It stopped at a hilltop with a view of fishing boats, Morro Rock, the bay, a sand spit, and the Pacific Ocean in the background. Quilter Girl pointed to the adjacent old house. "I could live right here." Then she turned to the condos, lined up like a battalion of soldiers, with clerestory windows. "Or there." Oh, yeah. What a view.
We snacked a bit, fired up and found our way down the hill and rode past the fishing village, out a narrow spit of land to Morro Rock and enjoyed the view of the town from the sea side. It just kept getting better.
Little shops and restaurants lined the place, blending both tourist trap with fishing village. QG pointed out a shell shop. Yes, they even sell shells. The name of the place was, 'She Sells Sea Shells Down by the Seashore.' Okay maybe not.
The weather helped our perception too, as the sun shone all day and the temperatures climbed into the high 70s inland and the low 60s at sea. Once in awhile it got breezy, but nothing too terrible. Often we were treated to the smell of hyacinths. Or something.
Could I live at Morro Bay? I think I could, between the relaxed lifestyle, the excellent weather, the views and the fresh sea air. But living in California? Deal breaker. The cost of living is ridiculous.
And now, with wind tossed hair and sun kissed cheeks, Quilter Girl!
We left Ventura on highway 101 which was still a freeway, yuck. There was quite a bit of traffic headed south, but our traffic was a lot lighter. The route got better with every mile, less suburban mess and more scenery. I took lots of pictures, it seemed that every time I turned the camera off there was another great shot needing to be taken.
We took a side trip to Solvang, a cute town that we have missed in our previous trips to this area. It is too bad because this place is a great place to visit. We had a nice brunch at the first place we found, Paula's Pancake House, a Danish restaurant. They had Danish pancakes which Kevin tried with eggs and a Danish sausage. The pancakes were a lot like crepes, very thin and light, wonderful. I admit it,I did steal a bite. I had a grilled ham and cheese sandwich which was also very good, lots of really tasty ham. We walked around town for a bit, enjoying the warmth and sunshine. It was warmer than San Diego!
Tomorrow we'll tour the Hearst Castle. See you there.