San Luis Obispo or SLO to those in the know...

Trip Start May 01, 2011
Trip End May 31, 2011

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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, May 16, 2011

After bidding a fond farewell to Los Angeles, we maneuvered Bubba through late rush hour traffic fighting our way to the coast.  Did we mention that the roads in California are badly in need of some attention???  But we found our way to Santa Barbara and spent a little time there enjoying the city.

Getting on our most favorite thing, the city trolley, we explored the city and got off for a walk through the Mission of Santa Barbara.  The mission churches through this area are all unique and beautiful and well worth the stop.
Leaving Santa Barbara, we continued our drive up the coast to the little town of San Luis Obispo (or SLO).  SLO is written up in “Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zone Way” by Dan Buettner, as the “happiest town in the whole USA” and it was indeed happy and cute.  We leisurely walked through the streets entertaining ourselves with…you guessed it, a trolley ride, followed by window shopping and joining the Bishop of the Mission of San Luis Obispo and about 15 families of kids being confirmed.  Just beautiful in this mission church.
This may come as a surprise to y’all but we dedicated our afternoon to wineries.  Although these wineries don’t seem to have the majesty of those in Napa/ Sonoma, it was a lovely afternoon, as is generally true when one goes to wine tasting rooms.  We visited Bianchi Winery, not too good but enjoyed their water fall and koi.  Eberle Winery was pretty darn good.  We got a tour of the caves built by Mr. Eberle to age the wine.  What a place for a party!!  We left there with a half case of wine after tasting every red wine they produced plus a few more.
Rob had told us we HAD to see the Madonna Inn which is close to SLO and our RV park.  So we popped into the restaurant/bar building for what was a jaw dropping experience!  The place is PINK, full of silk FLOWERS (and I don’t mean little flowers) and about a zillion twinkling lights.  The flowers on the ceiling were at least 8 ft. across.  Seems this place was put together by a cattle guy (Alex Madonna) and he and his wife just couldn’t stop decorating.  My thought, who the heck dusts all this stuff?
We had a few drinks just to drink it all in, so to speak, and then did our Dancing with the Stars judging thing on the over 75 year old couples who obviously enjoyed what they were doing.  It was all good fun.  We speculated on what the sleeping rooms might look like but I will save that report for another day. 

Sunday was a great day and we were grateful for beautiful weather after a very rainy night.  We travelled to Hearst Castle in San Simeon.  We hope you have all visited there already because it is just indescribable.  The views, the houses, the estate are absolutely awesome.  If you haven’t been here, put it on your bucket list!  BTW, we saw friend Robin Florence in the Hearst Castle movie. 

After spending about 6 hours at the Castle, we went just a little north to see the elephant seals.  Seems they mate, give birth, and molt in this same small cove every year.  And boy, were there seals…almost wall to wall.  Most were sleeping as it is necessary to sustain them through their molting fast, the 2000 mile trip north and diving 5000 feet to find dinner.  Quite a sight…and smell!
Today we arrived in San Francisco.  Weather is terrible right now (wet and cold) so we are hoping for a better day tomorrow to begin exploring this terrific city.  So, signing off during a rainy night in San Francisco. 
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Melanie Rogers on

You gals seem to be having a blast! The Pacific Coast Highway is a breath-takingly beautiful way to see California. I have traveled it from Santa Barbara to just over "The Bridge" in SF. Hope ya'll can get a chance to visit Muir Woods, just a few miles over the bridge. It is gorgeous.

Safe traveling my friends!

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