Ten days wasn't nearly long enough to see the sights in California.
It is a BIG state. A big and beautiful state. We moved from place to place for the first seven nights and did our best to see the highlights of the area.
After our time visiting the national parks (previous post), we headed for the Santa Cruz area and spent the night in the nearby town of Capitola.
These colorful cottages were across from the patio restaurant where we had dinner that night.
A quick walk along the beach the next morning before it was time to move on. The homes and gardens were so pretty and the view they had of the ocean was gorgeous.
I thought this house was particularly attractive.
I often feel a bit timid when it comes to photographing other people's homes, but Brett stood atop of a rock front & center and snapped away. I'm glad now that he is bolder than I in that department.
The next day it was off to Carmel-By-The-Sea.
We spent time looking in the shops and had lunch in a French cafe.
Carmel is a charming little town with fun shops and interesting architecture.
Dogs are treated well here thanks to the efforts of Doris Day, a longtime resident.
Flowers are plentiful.
I couldn't pass up this window box without a picture.. or two.. maybe even three.
Clint Eastwood is a resident of Carmel and plays an important part in it's history with his Mission Ranch. You can learn more about that here. We were told that the restaurant was very good, but it was only open for dinner and by then we were on to our next destination.
The next destinations were found by way of a drive along the amazingly scenic Pacific Coast Highway.
We marveled about the fact that the last time we had been on this road was 1974 for him and 1977 for me. Long before we knew one another.
Once again I was glad Brett was the driver.
I know for certain this part of the trip wouldn't have happened if it were up to me to get us there.
When one is hanging off the side of a cliff hanging over the Pacific Ocean, it is cause for concern when the traffic comes to an abrupt halt. The many curves in the road made it impossible to see what the delay was. Eventually he turned the car off and we enjoyed the scenery. I was secretly hoping we would be moving again before dark, but if we had to be stopped, what an absolutely gorgeous place to be.
In time we were moving again and soon found out the reason for the delay.
Yikes! Not sure how that happened, but there didn't appear to be any serious injuries.
One more look from the Pacific Coast Highway drive.
We moved on to the next charming town, Cambria.
A visit to the Hearst Castle yielded many more photos.
That could make another post in itself. Heck the ceilings alone could be post worthy, but I am reigning myself in here and showing one picture of my favorite ceiling which was found on one of the castle balconies.
We spent one night in Cambria and had dinner here.
It has an interesting history and we were introduced to Olallieberries which we liked well enough to bring home a jar of Olallieberry jam. Sadly we had to get on the road too early the next morning to check out the town. I will say it did look like a fun place to explore.
Now it was time to head to the town of Summerland and the real reason for our trip to California.
There we stayed for three nights in a cute little cottage that overlooked the ocean.
Well, I should say there was a major freeway, a railroad track and the main road through town in front of us, but from where we sat, the ocean view was lovely.
Summerland is right near Santa Barbara.
We visited the wharf and had lunch one day.
This was our first visit to Santa Barbara.
Standing on the wharf, I was struck by the way the view rose from ocean to a line of palm trees to the city rising up with the mountains in the background. So pretty!
Another view of the city.
Lots of palm trees and Spanish style architecture.
This way you see the mountain backdrop.
And this way an ocean backdrop.
At this point the sightseeing was over and the big day arrived.
Because I have already gone on for far too long, I shall save that for my next post.
If you have stuck with me this long you may deserve a medal.
We don't get to California very often so we aimed to make the most of it while we could. I think we were successful with our mission, however I would have loved more time in some of those small towns :D.