Apr 11-15 - Paso Robles CA
The drive south from the Bay Area to Paso Robles was relatively uneventful. (Paso Robles is pronounced "Pass-oh Row-bulls" for some reason, and the town motto is "Darn Near Paradise".) Despite the threat of rain, we encountered very little. About 250 miles is a comfortable day's drive in the RV. Last time we were in this area was in February of 2000 - and CBSI was sold to Wicks while we were here. No such surprises this trip.
Tues 4/11 - After checking into the RV Park (nicest one we've been in so far), we drove to the coast (about 30 miles) to scope out the elephant seals and find out how long the ride to Hearst Castle would take. The elephant seal colony north of San Simeon is home to several hundred animals, and this time of year the females and youngsters are molting. No bulls around. These youngsters are about 3 months old, and probably weigh 2-300 pounds. Last time we were here was birthing time - somewhat messier than molting.
Wed 4/12 - We'd seen a flyer for a melodrama playhouse in Oceana, CA - just south of Pismo Beach (which is just south of San Luis Obispo), so we headed that way to see about tickets. Purchased same for Thurs nite and then headed back to the RV to treat Judy's sudden migraine. Post dinner, we drove back to the coast for our evening tour of the Hearst Castle. We'd taken all of the daylight tours last time we were here, so this one completed the set. Hearst Castle is spectacular anytime, but especially so in the twilight. Costumed docents dressed in period wardrobe added a nice element to the tour. You can't use flash or tripods when taking pictures, so exposures were very iffy. We guess they sell more books that way.
Thurs 4/13 - Beautiful day. Headed back to the coast around lunchtime, and then south on highway 1, intending to explore. On the north side of Morro Bay is the town of Cayucos, a beach resort/artists colony. We found surfers in the water, sunny warm weather, and the guy hosting at the artist's co-operative art gallery who was familiar with Reedsport, as his family had hosted a "student swap" Reedsport kid about 40 years ago. Southward to Morro Bay, just a neat town to wander around in with an ice cream cone. Head inland from the south end of Morro Bay and you bypass San Luis Obispo and come out in Pismo Beach. Never did find out what Pismo is (or was) - but the town today is a beach resort, full of kids for Spring Break. The Pismo Clam (no joke, there is a Pismo Clam) is highly prized and harvesting is strictly limited. Spent some time near the pier, and then found some dinner before the Mellerdrama. The play was actually one of those standard double entendre "right bed wrong person" dinner theater shows (Lend Me a Tenor), and very well done. They do real melodramas in the summer.
Fri 4/14 - Lazy day. Did a little shopping and went to see the new Disney animated movie "The Wild". We'd hoped to get down into Santa Barbara County and the Danish town of Solvang, but we never got around to it.
Sat 4/15 - We hit the road and headed East - over the passes to Las Vegas for roller coasters, Cirque du Soliel, Hoover Dam and whatever else appeals.
Al's Highlight - Hands down, the Hearst Castle tour. They do the evening tours only in the spring and fall, when it gets dark at a reasonable tour hour. If you get the chance, you've got to do it.
Judy's Highlight - Sorry - same as Al's! We had a grand time. The play in Oceana was a close second, though. After the main event, "Lend Me a Tenor," they had a short Vaudeville revue. All the actors in the company are multi-talented. The company has been there 29 years, I think they said. The theater was packed - we had food before going, which was a good thing, as the lines for food at the theater were LOOOOONG.
Click here to see a slideshow of some of our pictures from this leg of the trip.
Stay tuned . . .