Adventures in California

“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard

Last fall E and I ventured to the coast of California, where we discovered elephant seals, monarch butterflies,  rolling sand dunes, and bubble-gum alleyways. It was a quick trip with its share of hiccups thanks to the wonderful world of non-rev travel (benefit of Evan's luggage handling job over the summer), but it was well worth it for a few days in a fresh environment.

We flew into LA and drove north a few hours to Pismo Beach, a quaint beach-town known for its clam shell festival, gelato, and Italian cuisine. Our first full day was spent exploring the sand dunes right along the coastline and soaking in as much sun as possible before heading back home for Minnesota's "hibernation" season. Tip: By entering the dunes via the Oso Flaco Lake entrance we avoided ATV craziness and noise. 

Another day took us up North to a hike in San Luis Obispo called Bishop's Peak. We were told there's a spectacular view of the ocean from the summit, but we enjoyed the mystique of fog-wrapped cliffs instead. 

A few years ago I spied an awesome photo in National Geographic of an alley covered in bubble gum. It wasn't until after we made our travel plans to California that I discovered we were headed right towards the famous bubblegum alley ... 

Other adventures included checking out (and smelling!) the elephant seals, which migrate along the coastline that time of year. After we returned home I got in the habit of visiting this live seal cam every day! Up close they really look like creatures from some horror movie ... and wait until you see them fight! 

My favorite dinner was probably at Giuseppe's in Pismo Beach. Giuseppe himself, an elderly Italian man, sat by the front door playing his xylophone all night! The fresh clams at Steamer's weren't bad either. Since Pismo Beach is known for their clam chowder we had to sample some at Splash Cafe - quite tasty, although we had to fend off seagulls. As I alluded to earlier, our return trip from LA didn't go very smoothly, so we spent our "extra day" at Venice Beach and dined at a little cafe right on the boardwalk called the Figtree Cafe

We loved our cute little unit, just two blocks from the beach. It was cozy but had everything we needed, with a little courtyard out front. Completely furnished with Ikea ware! 

Now that spring break season is upon us we're kind of sad we aren't jetting off to somewhere warm. That's why I made this little slideshow to recap our travels last fall - come enjoy this virtual spring break trip with E+C!

Music: "Learn Me Right," by Birdy and Mumford & Sons - from the Brave soundtrack
Perfect for St. Paddy's Day!

Check out our other travels: last spring we were skiing in Colorado and two years ago we were in St. Louis!
Anyone else getting the travel bug this time of year?

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