Last week, Clyde and I took his mom on a bucket list vacation to California. We were hosted by Clyde’s brother in Seaside (about 90 miles south of San Francisco) and had a blast touring up and down the Pacific coastline. Clyde and I even took a couple of days to head up to Napa and Sonoma for a little research. 😀
Here are some highlights from our trip:
The first day in California we took a drive around Monteray Bay. There was a high surf warning due to a storm out to sea, so we had fun watching the big waves crash against the rocks along the coastline. This rock is named ‘Bird Rock’ although it was covered with Sea Lions and not birds while we were there. I was pretty impressed that the sea lions could stay comfortably planted on the rock despite all the big surf.
Clyde and I left his mom in the care of his brother for two days while we headed up north to Napa and Sonoma. We enjoyed a gourmet lunch on the Napa Valley Wine Train, where I snapped the picture above and the first one of Clyde that you saw at the beginning of this post. Napa was still pretty green while we were there and the train gave us a wonderful view of the whole Napa Valley floor. You can see a selfie of us on the back of the train on facebook by clicking here if you’d like.
The next day we enjoyed a tasting at Grgich Hills, lunch at Bottega, and then headed over to Sonoma Valley for a tasting at a must-see on our list: Iron Horse Vineyards. We fell in love with the champagnes available from this winery, and also enjoyed the pinot noirs that they make. This winery had all their vineyard blocks in view of the tasting bar, so it was fun for me to look out and see the topography of each of the wines we were trying.
After we finished at Iron Horse, we headed back to Seaside, making sure to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, although it was dark so I didn’t get any pictures of that part of the trip.
Back in Seaside, Clyde’s brother kept us entertained in his backyard by feeding pistachios out of his hand to a local blue bird called a scrub jay. The jays would eat a couple of nuts, and then bury the rest in the mulch around his garden.
On Saturday we headed south on Highway 1 towards Big Sur. We stopped to check out Hurricane Point before heading on to our destination.
We ended a local favorite restaurant called Nepenthe. It was a beautiful clear day so we were able to sit outdoors and enjoyed that fabulous view while we ate our lunches. It was pretty tough to take I tell ya! 😀
On the drive home we stopped at Rocky Point to enjoy another view of the Pacific coast. The high surf was starting to die down on Saturday, but the ocean still put on a good show for us.
Another highlight of the trip was a visit to the Monteray Bay Aquarium. The jellyfish exhibit was spectacular and I grabbed this shot of Clyde, his mom, and his sister-in-law looking at the purple striped jellyfish in one of the tanks.
On the aquarium’s outdoor decks, the seagulls kept an eye out for any food that we might be offering. This guy (or gal?) was a real super model, striking poses for me for a good 5 minutes!
And finally, we went to the Kelp Forest Tank where we watched the fish being fed. That diver was swarmed by the fish almost as soon as she entered the tank, and we watched her feed the sharks just as calmly as she fed the rest of the fish – Wow!
This vacation was a long time coming, and I really have to thank our neighbor Crystal for taking care of the animals here at Peaceful Bend as well as Connie who kept the shop open for us. Last but not least, our brother for hosting us throughout the week – we had a great time!
I hope we can provide as wonderful a time on your vacation to Peaceful Bend as we enjoyed in California. And if you’d like to see more pictures of the coast, wine country, or other silly photos of Clyde, come on in and let me know! Cheers to vacations!