A Travellerspoint blog

June 12-15 Santa Barbara


semi-overcast 21 °C

Tuesday was Kevin Patterson's last day with us before he flew back to Adelaide - so it was his choice of activities

In the morning, after a little bit of stretching, we took the electric shuttle-bus right along the bay (25c per trip) and back and then had walk along in the main restaurant, bar and shopping area along State Street. Then it was lunch with Adrian at Dargan's Irish Pub (he works nearby) so we could all watch the Poland vs Russia game which turned out to be the match of the Euro2012 so far



A post-prandial stroll back down State Street took us straight onto Stearns Wharf, a wide, short pier from which there are magnificent views back across town with the high mountains (up to 4,500') immediately behind


Then, on the drive to the airport, we stopped at the lovely Mission Santa Barbara, the 10th of the string of missions established by the Franciscans in California. The buildings were started in the 1790s, some of which still exist today despite several earthquakes


Ken, Steve and I drove back into town via the very scenic Cliff Drive and stopped off at the marina for a beer and a look at the sea urchin fishing fleet. The evening meal with Adrian was a good Indian feast at The Flavor of India


On Wednesday, we walked the "red tile" trail around the historic district to see all of the old adobe houses and very conveniently ended up at Dargan's pub again to meet Adrian for the Holland vs Germany game. Then we drove (i.e. Steve drove) up a very scary road into the Santa Ynez mountains immediately above Santa Barbara. In the evening, we met Adrian at the Santa Barbara Brewing Co. for a couple of beers and tacos


Thursday, after checking out of the Avania Inn, we took a slow stroll up State Street which strangely led to Dargan's pub for Spain vs Ireland game. We then tried to check in to the Alamar Motel which seems to have a real problem getting rooms serviced - the room wasn't ready at 1:30pm, so we drove Steve to the airport for his flight back to the UK and swapped the big SUV for a sub-compact car which turned into a Chevrolet Impala! After 2 more attempts at checking in, we finally made it about 3:30pm


Friday was a really bad fog day and it didn't clear until about 8pm. We had final lunch with Adrian at Dargan's to watch Sweden vs England, then walked uptown to see the remarkable Courthouse. Early evening, we went back to the Endless Summer bar-cafe in the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum building - great views, great beer, great music


Posted by kforge 08:02 Archived in USA Comments (1)

June 11 Atascadero to Santa Barbara


semi-overcast 21 °C

We got up early for breakfast at the old Carlton Hotel, so that we could get back to the motel in time for the France vs England game - we shouldn't have bothered

Atascadero..n_Hotel.jpg Atascadero..lton_Hotel2.jpg

We left at 11am and had a very scenic drive through the mountains down to Santa Barbara on Highway 101 and then 154, stopping for a short while at the Lake Cachuma Recreation Area. When we left Atascadero the temperature was 88F but just 20 miles away as we approached the coast the temperature fell to 59F due to the bank of fog rolling in from the sea


At 2pm we checked into our new home for a few nights (the Avania Inn, just a block or so from the waterfront) and then went for a long walk along the bay as the fog had cleared

In the evening, we met Adrian at the Enterprise Fish Co. for some nice fish and a very average salad

Posted by kforge 07:24 Archived in USA Comments (0)

June 10 Atascadero


sunny 30 °C

Today Adrian and Lynne picked us up at the motel in a chauffeured 8-seater mini-bus that would take us on a day-long tour to 5 wineries in the Pasa Robles area - Castoro Cellars, Pear Valley (where we had lunch), Bianchi (where I thrashed Steve at bocce), Eberle and Tobin James (very close to the place where James Dean crashed his car and where Jesse James used to hide out at his grandfather's place)


Late afternoon we returned to Adrian and Lynne's house, swam in the pool, listened to the Sonos music system, drank some wine and ate some burgers

Posted by kforge 22:55 Archived in USA Comments (0)

June 9 Carmel to Atascadero


sunny 21 °C

After an early in-cabin breakfast, we drove down to the bay and spent a short while walking around the sand dunes and admiring the magnificent view before heading back up Ocean Street for a coffee


We then paid the $9.75 toll so we could follow the 17-Mile Drive around the beautiful Pebble Beach coastline


Then it was back on Highway 1 for the start of the spectacular part of the drive from Carmel to San Simeon. First stop was Big Sur for a sandwich, a beer and the 1st half of Germany vs Portugal. For those who don't know, this stretch of the highway runs high above the sea and very close to the cliffs that soar for hundreds of metres above the pounding surf - and there are lots of scary bridges


After this spectacular part of the drive, we came back down to San Simeon to catch our breath and let Steve and Ken (the drivers) have a bit of a rest


The final run into Atasacdero from just south of Cambria on Highway 46 climbed from sea-level to 1750' in very short time, providing more spectacular views of the coast and the Australian look-alike interior


And so we arrived late afternoon in Atascadero and after freshening up at our Rancho-T Motel, we drove just a couple of miles into the surrounding hills to meet up with another old school-friend Adrian and his wife Lynne and her daughter Rachel and son Michael. We had a lovely meal and then moved outside to spend several hours reminiscing over the short 40-year period since we last saw him! Lynne is a professional photographer and later in the evening we were ushered into her studio where she took several really good shots of us all


Posted by kforge 17:29 Archived in USA Comments (0)

June 8 San Francisco to Carmel

Highway 1

sunny 22 °C

On Friday morning, we strolled down to Fisherman's Wharf (in the sunshine again) to pick up an SUV for our drive down to Santa Barbara - we had hoped to be a bit lairy in a Mustang but there is no way it can take 4 adults and luggage, so a Ford Escape it was. We left San Francisco through the Golden Gate Park to the Great Highway and then joined Highway 1 just a few minutes later. We stopped at Half Moon Bay for tacos and Russia vs Czech Republic in the 2012 Euro Championships and then stopped at Monterey Bay to take photos in a freezing cold onshore gale. We arrived in Carmel around 5pm and checked into our little cabins at the Carmel Resort Inn - very comfortable and a great location but in need of a little bit of maintenance


Posted by kforge 08:28 Archived in USA Comments (0)

(Entries 6 - 10 of 57) « Page 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 .. »