Friday, April 5, 2013

California Dreamin' - Pacific Coast Highway to Los Osos

Breakfast at Paul's
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
Too soon, it was time to leave the OC (Orange County, California) and start the drive home. But first, Dave joined us for breakfast at Paul's Pantry, where the waitress was energetic and sassy and the food was hot and plentiful. I love a diner atmosphere in the morning. Looking out the window at the spectacular weather, palm trees, and flowers made me wish we were staying on for a few more days. Or years. I seem to feel that way about every place I visit, don't I? Our friends Dave and Reggie had been wonderful hosts and great company. It was hard to leave. It always seems to be. [Thanks again, Dave and Reggie. Looking forward to seeing you at our place soon!]

The coastline in Southern California looks so much
different than in Northern California!
Photo from moving vehicle (again) by Chris.
All rights reserved anyway.
We decided to drive up the coast rather than going back home the same way we had come. It had been many years since we'd been up the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway), Highway 1. What a beautiful drive it is. Blue skies, beaches, palm trees, surfers riding waves. Massive homes on the edges of cliffs, overlooking the panorama. I thought of scenes from films, with large gatherings of beautiful people dripping in diamonds and designer clothing, sipping cocktails on the pool terrace while the sun sets. Not something I'm likely to experience anytime soon, probably. But daydreams can be wonderful things.

Just because you can never see enough sunsets...
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
Beach Boys music played softly in the background of my thoughts as we passed Malibu, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach...and we realized it wouldn't take long to get to Los Osos, where our nephew and his family are happily ensconced. And so, on the spur of the moment, we decided to drop in on Stephen and Jessie and the boys, just to say, “Hello!” We had intended to stay at a hotel in San Luis Obispo or Morro Bay, but they wouldn't hear of it, even though they were preparing to leave for a weekend camping trip. Yes, we really do have that kind of family. Are we blessed, or what? Steve and Jessie are very environmentally minded, and Steve has built an addition to their home that's made of straw bales. It's an all-purpose room with study areas, couches, and the guest quarters. The thickness of the walls surprised me, as did the smooth stucco covering. The windows are set deep into the walls, so the windowsills act as shelves, with plenty of room for knick knacks or pictures. Jessie is working on smooth stone mosaics to cover the shelf surfaces. The room is pleasant and comfortable. I was proud and impressed at their skills.

The Green Flash forming.
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
We arrived just in time to rush up to the state park, leave our vehicles, and admire the beautiful sunset over the Pacific Ocean. As the sun dipped, we saw “The Green Flash!” Wow! Not just any green flash, either, but a huge one! It was the first time I'd ever seen this environmental phenomon happen, and how special to share it with Steve's little boys. All of us held our breaths for a moment. It was so unexpected and wonderful and thrilling.

Steve and Jessie at Sylvester's
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
What could we do after that but go to their favorite burger joint to celebrate? Sylvester's serves up a fantastic burger. If you don't like the Hearst Ranch beef, you can try the elk or buffalo or turkey or chicken or black bean or veggie or...well, just check out the menu on the link. They have a couple of locations, but the one in Los Osos is the original. There are lots of entertaining “customer birthday” photographs on the walls and ceiling. The restaurant is casual, and the staff is friendly. Los Osos seems like it would be a relaxed place to live. Well, once the city is all finished tearing up the whole place to put in the sewer system, anyway!
View of the sandspit, Morro Bay, from Los Osos
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.


  1. Replies
    1. Indeed, Marsha. So much beauty right at our fingertips. There'll be more California Dreamin' to come!


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