Things I LoveWining/Dining

ROAD TRIP!

 

Lest anyone think that California doesn’t have extremely diverse weather conditions, think about this:  When the hubby and I set out on a week-long CA road trip from Studio City on a fine July day, the route was via Santa Barbara for lunch, then through Lompoc to Pismo Beach along the coast, back to the 101 through Paso Robles, and over Highway 68 to the ultimate destination of Pebble Beach, the temps ranged from a low of 59 to a high of 103 .. and that was in one afternoon!  Both sunburn and chills all in one fell swoop … crazy!
In the beginning …
Sony Walkman for the 21st Century.  That thing has 40,000 songs on it and the hubby knows every one … I do not.
The Inn at Spanish Bay, one of three Pebble Beach properties and our first destination, has simply stunning views.  The sun sets at 8:30 this time of year, with a gradual departure over the Pacific Ocean.  At 5:30 each evening, a bagpiper plays as he walks across the course and one feels like they are at Scotland’s St. Andrew’s — both in sound and view.  We visited there a few years ago … it is a very cool experience, even for us non-golfers.

Dinner at the hotel’s authentic Peppoli started out nice enough with personalized menus noting our anniversary (yep, still milking the upcoming 30th).  Regrettably, it was unacceptably loud for a fine dining room, so much so that the hubby’s impaired hearing was offended.  The manager promptly set us up at a private table in the adjacent wine room, and we then enjoyed a fine meal plus were treated to amazing Affogato dessert.

Lovely greeting in the room …
Just one hour south via the stunning Highway 1 coastline is Post Ranch Inn in the Big Sur area.  Lunch is always an amazing experience, not only for an incredible view but for just fabulous food at Sierra Mar. This is probably a fourth or fifth visit to the restaurant, while never having stayed at the property which is priced rather astronomically ..
 
Clockwise from left: chicken, trout, dessert with pistachio “sponge” cake; view of the completely covered ocean from the restaurant.
Nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea is fun for shopping/browsing with a good selection of restaurants.  I always like going into the art galleries as well for some great home decor items. And of course a trip to Pebble is never complete without experiencing the 17-Mile-Drive.  Since the entire area of Pebble Beach is restricted, there is an entrance fee ($10) if one is simply making the drive while neither playing golf nor staying at one of the properties.  I can’t recommend it highly enough so as to be a looky-loo at the magnificent homes along the drive.  You alternately feel  like you are either directly on a golf course and/or about to go into the water … 
Views from the 17-Mile-Drive
In the interest of full reporting, I was less than thrilled with the Inn at Spanish Bay. Yes, the views are spectacular.  Having said that, for the $$$$ rates, the property definitely seems a bit “long in the tooth,” and in need of updating.  There was a lengthy conversation with the manager upon departure who was most receptive and responsive.  Hey, if no one reports back then how will they know? Just doing my “job” here …  To be continued as we head up Highway 101…
 

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