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Sunday, July 22, 2007

California Central Coast - Day One

We were supposed to drive the California Central Coast in September but after Al found out his long weekend sked, we set out to do it this weekend. My friend Mo and her son Der went along with us for the ride. Friday night, Al and I went to the SJ airport to rent a 2007 Mitsubishi Endeavor SUV. It was really nice. To top it all off, the guy gave us the GPS system for free (normally it costs $10 a day). We were also able to book at La Cuesta Inn in San Luis Obispo, even though it was last minute (originally we wanted to stay overnight at Solvang, but it was booked everywhere, even Cambria and SLO).

We woke up around 5 to get ready for our little vaca. Mo and Der arrived at 6 and I wasn't ready yet, but we were on schedule leaving at 6:30 am, after passing by McDonald's to grab some breakfast. We drove along the Highway 101 countryside, had a little stop-ver at a gas station to fill-up and buy some drinks, and arrived at Solvang at around 10 am.

It was such a nice town with tons of shops and old charm appeal, that's why it's called the Danish Capital of America. The building styles were tudor-like since the town is like a little Danish town. On the way to the main downtown area, we passed by landmarks such as the Ostrich Farm and the Hitching Post, Obviously we walked around to go shopping. Our fave stops were toy shops, and like little kids, we were all playing with toys, hahaha. We got hungry for lunch, so we ate at the restaurant in Heidelberg Inn. This little town has been featured in the movie Sideways and we are definitely coming back. Note to self - go back and eat at Solvang Restaurant and buy some of their cream-puff like pastries (gosh I forgot the Danish word for it, was it ableskiver?) and visit the Hans Christian Andersen Museum. Also go wine tasting at the vineyards and eat at AJ Spurs. For the complete Sideways map, click here.

After Solvang, we headed to Pismo Beach. I thought the appeal was more like Monterey, but Pismo Beach reminded me of Santa Cruz beaches. They had nice little shops around it, and this world famous clam chowder at Splash Cafe (the line was always long, going around the block). The beach is a public beach packed with people. We walked around, had our ice cream fix, and drove to the inn since it was check-in time (plus we needed to go to the restroom and the beach ones didn't look too appealing, hehe).

The room we got was more than I expected. I was expecting a B&B or motel type surrounding, but it was actually a nice hotel. We got a king size bed, a little patio outside with views of the mountains, and a computer desk with free wifi internet access. Mo and Der had their own room with two queen beds. Afterwards, we drove back to Pismo Beach to shop at the Pismo Beach Prime Outlet stores where Al bought some cool sneaks. We also drove around downtown San Luis Obispo, shopped around (yikes, I bought a pair of earrings, swimsuit since I forgot to bring one, a nice white shirt, and two pairs of shoes). For dinner, we all ate at Mo's Barbeque just for the heck of it since it's Mo's birthday and it has her name on it. It was actually a good choice since its probably the best bbq ribs I've tasted so far (and they garnered awards rightfully so every year). they had a shirt that said 'Just Say Mo' on it with big bold letters so you know we had to buy it for Mo. After dinner, we went shopping some more, drove around and went back to the hotel to go swimming and spa. The good thing is we had the pool and jacuzzi to ourselves, and it was sooo relaxing that we lied down to watch the night sky and stars afterwards. We also drove around at night again passing by Cal Poly and grovery shopping at Solaris for chips and drinks. Then we called it a night.


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