Monday, April 8, 2013

A {Central} California Adventure: Part 1

It's been quite a few years since I've had a real spring break.
A little over a decade actually.
And in that decade I became friends with two of my favorite people in the world, Cari & Betsy
Actually, they started out as two girls in one of the first Bible studies I ever led.
We started in Romans.
Bible Study Rookie mistake. Romans is not easy for a 21 year old to understand, let alone explain to a group of 14 year olds. 
10 years later I can honestly say I love these girls (and the book of Romans) more than I ever imagined.

So, Wednesday morning, me and my bad self hit the road...

and met up with Cari & Betsy at our exact halfway point, San Luis Obispo,
 where we checked in for 3 nights at the iconic Madonna Inn,
& each room has it's own theme.
(Check out their site for pics!)

Ours would be the budget friendly, "Fabulous Fifties".
Which, was... fabulous, and fifties.
Mint walls, pink molding, brown shag comforters with leopard trim, and ornate gold mirrors and fixtures.

I felt like I took a step back in time.
Or into my grandma's house.
Same, same.
Our first night in town, we explored downtown San Luis Obispo.
Which, despite a few brief drive throughs in decades past, was my first time checking out SLO.

Also my first time checking out a bubblegum alley.
And probably my last.

We walked around town, peeked in some of the adorable shops and cafes and had a nice little dinner.
It was a fun night to reconnect and all three be in the same place at the same time.

The next morning, we hit the road, and out to the coastal town of Cambria

And found an abundance of antique shops, which seemed like endless mazes of treasures.

Before we knew it, we had spent an entire morning perusing adorable, and quirky, finds.

Cambria had kept us captive all morning...
...and afternoon.

And found a local secret spot.
It's a hard find, and as the owner told us, they have been so busy lately, that some days he'll hid their shop signs so people won't find them.
I love hearing that a small business is doing so well they are almost turning away customers.

After we basically ate our way through Cambria, we headed out once again for our highlight destination, Hearst Castle.

We had pre-booked an evening tour, hoping to get fantastic sunset views from the castle on the hill.
Sadly, the fog was not going to cooperate with us, and as we rode the 20 min drive up the hill, we entered into a fogpocalypse.

And left 2013 behind.
This was what greeted us when we arrived.

We found ourselves in William Randolph Hearst's 1930's.
Despite interfering with the sunset, the fog actually seemed to be playing a part as characters floated in and out of the iconic poolside.

Even the towers of the castle were hidden in the fog.

But as we got closer, the fog started to descend the hill, and the towers became more visible. 

Stepping inside, we continued to be transported into the 1930's.
Headlines, martini's, telegrams, and even See's Candies surrounded us.

My favorite room of the castle is the dining hall.
I remember going on a tour here as a kid, and looking at all of the nicks and scratches in the table, and wondering who made them? What was the story behind that ding, and that dent...

And as we walked along the open cloisters, the fog settled below us.
We seemed to be floating in a castle in the sky.

And peeking through the clouds, along the horizon, were the magical colors of the sunset.

And the last stop of our tour, the Roman pool.
Quiet, serene, even eerie as the castle settled into the darkness of night.

We ended our tour and day here.
Full of amazing California history and beauty,
friendship, food, and fun.

Two fabulous days of spring break complete...
Two more full of adventures to share in another post.


  1. you're pictures are magnificent!
    and you're grandma should start the norcal version of the madonna inn.
    those cookies look positively sinful!

  2. that is just gorgeous. all of it.

  3. I visited the Madonna Inn last fall and fell in love. My dream is to actually stay there. My jealousy knows no bounds at the moment.

  4. Oh wow... You made me want to go visit Cambria!

  5. ok. the hearst biz. AMAZING. please let's go.
    also, i appreciate the closeup of the gum wall. nice.

  6. gumball alley is nasty.

    linn's pies is the YUMMIEST! did you know their pie was on "Best Thing I Ever Ate?" I agree.

    I {heart} that you are friends with gals that are younger, that you led at one time. Those are my favorite friendships! I love being a "big God-sister."

  7. Linn's pies were my absolute favorite.... before I had to go gluten free! Glad you had some for me! I haven't been to Heart Castle in the fog or at night... makes from some pretty magical photos, though! Was it freezing? It's usually freezing when there isn't fog, but maybe you're used to that in San Fran! :)

  8. you got some great photos! loved getting to spend such quality time with you, and am so thankful for how you began investing in my life over 10 years ago, and God has grown it into a friendship i cherish so deeply. i love you kim!