Mini Pismo Beach Vacation

Monday, June 12, 2017

Hi friend. So glad you stopped by. It's been awhile and I've missed you. Back in April my family took a tiny road trip to Pismo Beach and I want to tell you about it and share some photos because sharing is good and also because the older I get the more miserable my long term memory gets. If I don't record what happened I'm likely to forget. Am I the only one?

We actually decided to take this trip at the last minute and since I didn't have a lot of time to research and plan we hired a travel planner to help us. You guys! It was the best decision ever! I'm including a link to the planner we used, Get Globetrotting, because her prices are super amazing and she came up for stuff for us to do that we totally would have missed on our own.

We started out driving down the gorgeous California coast to our Bed and Breakfast in the tiny town of Arroyo Grande.

Here's Ellie on one of the hammocks on the property. It was so perfect, only minutes from a darling downtown and maybe five more to the beach. Jonathan was only able to join us for part of the time because he had other plans with friends that he felt were more important than his family...and I'm only a little bitter. 

Bah! Do you remember those days when you were a teenager and your friends seemed so important and your family was just always there? I can remember coming home from college being so excited to see my friends and my parents being like, "Wait! WE'VE missed you..."

Anywho. We went to a fun restaurant.
And then the next day we went to Morro Bay. The weather was a bit cool and overcast, but it was perfect for beach combing, and boy was that beach ready to be combed! There were hundreds of sea stars washed up on the sand, and the most interesting rocks we'd ever seen. It was treasure hunting at it's finest.

We spent hours exclaiming over all the beautiful bits of rock and glass we found before heading to the Madonna Inn for lunch and their famous cake. This place is seriously over the top! The formal dining room wasn't open for lunch but we had to sneak in and wander around.

Crazy right?!?!
And the slices of cake were like a whole cake. We could barely make a dent in them.
We spent the rest of the day wandering the shops at Pismo Beach and playing games back at our inn. 
Jonathan arrived that night and the next day we got up early to ride dune buggies. This was a suggestion from our travel planner; I wouldn't have thought of it myself.
Waiting for our ride out to the dunes.
 Ellie and I were both a bit timid on our buggies and mostly enjoyed tooling around up and down the hills and watching the boys be crazy. They both managed to get thrown off their bikes while jumping the hills.
This both scared me and made me laugh. Ellie was really the only one who would stay still long enough for me to get a good photo.
After the buggies we spent some time poking around the beautiful San Luis Obispo Mission. It was established in 1772.
I had fun playing art history teacher and pointing out to J and E how those early builders would have been trying to mimic the opulence of the European churches they left behind. They didn't have the wealth or resources of the church in Europe so they got creative with their wood carvings and decorative paintings. I was totally hitting my geeky stride, and the kids were even interested, when all of a sudden this mass of noisy teenagers comes barging in and threw me off my groove. We were a little annoyed and about to leave when they all gathered up and started singing.

It was amazingly beautiful! The acoustics in the chapel were so good, and the kids must have been on a choir field trip because they were very talented and we felt like we were being blessed with a little sacred experience to get to hear them in a place where so many have come to worship for so long. I took a little video for you
On the last day of our vacation we visited Hearst's Castle. It was something I've wanted to do for a long time and while the kids were maybe a teensy bit bored, Marc and I thought it was fascinating. Jonathan bailed on us because his back was hurting from his dune buggy stunts, but Ellie was a trooper.
All of it was almost obscenely extravagant, but man it was fun house to spy inside! I was maybe a little obsessed with the indoor swimming pool. Or a lot obsessed. It's just so sparkly! 
 Who wouldn't want to swim there! I'm adding it to my bucket list right now, filed under "nearly impossible but it's worth dreaming."
After that we drove back home along the coast making a little detour at Seal Beach so we could laugh at the antics of those funny seals and make up stories about them.
Let's end with a video of their floppy goodness.

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