Tuesday, March 10, 2009

7th Anniversary Vacation

This February 25 was the seven year anniversary of when Josh & I met online through Match.com and we decided that we wanted to celebrate by taking a vacation to the central coast. We've been wanting to take a vacation to this area for several years now, but it finally was a possibility this year. We each took 3 days off work and decided to visit Atascadero/Paso Robles, San Simeon, Cayucos/Morro Bay, and Solvang. The beginning of our trip was spent staying at my good friend Jeff's apartment in Atascadero. We've known each other for almost 13 years after having met on a mission trip in 1996. He generously offered his extra bedroom for two nights and from there we were able to visit San Simeon - specifically Hearst Castle where we took two of the five tours offered. We also had the opportunity to go to church with him and he took spent an afternoon taking us on a driving tour of some picturesque country roads with lovely green valleys, beautiful old trees which sometimes created tunnels over the road, a pretty creek and gorgeous ocean vistas. Then we spent an evening in Cayucos at a quaint little hotel right on the ocean. It was a wonderful place to stay and we both wished we could have stayed longer enjoying the ocean views and the constant sound of waves crashing. After we Cayucos, we had lunch at a yummy BBQ restaurant in San Luis Obispo recommended by my boss Erica called Mo's Smokehouse. It was delicious and definitely someplace we'd like to visit again. We spent the night in Lompoc before spending several hours touring quaint Solvang. It was full of beautiful architecture, amazing bakeries with delicious pastries, and cute little shops including one called the Sock Loft which was full of adorable socks and foot-related items. We had a wonderful vacation that was very relaxing, very peaceful and very beautiful. We would love to go again so that we can take the additional 3 tours offered at Hearst Castle and spend a few more nights in Cayucos.

Waiting on the bus to take Tour 2 - Upper Floors of Casa Grande including Hearst's bedroom & study and the kitchen.

The Enchanted Hill - Hearst Castle as viewed from the Visitor Center (with our super zoom camera)

Casa Grande - the main house. Hearst Castle was built over a 28 year period and is uncompleted but full of amazing architecture and art and is a neat glimpse into life in Hearst's time.

The meeting room - guests were expected here each evening for cocktails before dinner and a movie.

Hearst's personal study

The dining room - dinner was served between 8:30 and 9pm and all guests were required to be there. Food was served on fine china, but paper napkins were always used.

The kitchen - it had some neat displays of the china, liquor cabinet, medicine cabinet and ovens/stoves.

One tiny corner of the huge library - thousands of beautifully preserved books.

One of the bedrooms in the Cloisters - every bedroom in the main house and 3 little houses had its own bathroom with flushing toilet and shower or tub. This is amazing since at the time most homes across America still had outhouses and one communal stand alone bathtub.

One of the ceilings in one of the main house bedrooms.

Another ceiling - this one is in Casa del Sol.

Pretty pink tree in the gardens.

Casa del Sol - one of the little houses. Each little house had several bedrooms and bathrooms, but all meals were served only in Casa Grande. No room service here!

Neptune Pool

The indoor pool - everything that looks like gold is 24 karat gold!

Ocean view coming down from Hearst Castle - at one time Hearst owned over 50 miles of coastline among many other properties.

Beautiful view

Shoreline Inn...on the Beach in Cayucos, CA.

Ocean view from our room - so beautiful!

Gorgeous ocean vista!

Elephant seals sleeping on the beach near San Simeon.

This one was flirting with the camera!

Pretty creek

Friends for almost 13 years - Jeff & Keri

Montana de Oro park - beautiful views!

Friends at the ocean - Josh, Keri & Jeff

Happy 7 years!

View of Morro Rock (means rock rock :) from our dinner at Embacadero Grill.

Kissing on the beach in Cayucos :)

Solvang, CA

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