California here we are!!

Old Jan 19th, 2022, 01:58 PM
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Luv the pics of the elephant seals. We saw them at Pt. Reyes but were not nearly as close. They may look lazy but they can move quickly if they decide to charge.
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Old Jan 20th, 2022, 02:03 PM
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Glad you are enjoying your trip! Hearst Castle is closed because the road up to the castle was damaged and is being rebuilt. You were lucky to see the elephant seals during pup season. The place in Cambria where you had great ribs was maybe Firestone Grill?
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Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 07:05 AM
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Yes, it was indeed the Firestone Grill!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 07:36 AM
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Morro Bay made a nice stop off on our way down to Pasadena. In some respects it reminded me of Cornwall, the county of my birth back in England.

Had stopped here mainly to see the sea otters that are supposed to frequent the bay. We parked up near the big rock in the bay were they were supposed to be but no sign of them only a lot of strange rodent like animals:

it was only as we were driving past the harbour that Carolyn noticed a bunch of people looking at something so we stopped and there they were. We have been so lucky with the wildlife on this trip!

Morro Bay

Squirrel maybe??

Sea Otters atbpaly

Who you looking at?




Really wish I had brought my proper camera!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 08:02 AM
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Your timing was lucky... Hwy. 1 is currently closed from a few miles south of Carmel Highlands to a few miles north of Big Sur Campgrounds due to a wildfire. Dramatic flames visible from Bixby Bridge.

Yes, the critters at Morro Bay are California ground squirrels. They can be pretty aggressive if you have food.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 08:20 AM
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Santa Barbara was very much what we expected. A very upmarket, clearly wealthy beach town. Why else would Prince Harry and Meghan chose to settle in nearby Montecito? We did plan to pop in to see them for a cup of tea but sadly we ran out of time!

Unfortunately for us, much of the town seemed to be closed, whether because of covid or because we were there on Monday and Tuesday I am not sure (many of the shops had signs indicating they were closed on those days but many seemed to have closed permanently.

We stayed at the Lavender Inn by the Sea which was in a great location but not up to the same standard as the previous two place we had stayed. More like an upscale motel than the quant B&B that the name implied. It did however have some very nice, friendly fellow guest that we got chatting to during the evening wine and snacks session, something all the places we have stayed at have offered. A great idea!

Our two nights here really only afforded us one full day of sightseeing so we decided to spend this on a self directed walking tour (aka wandering around).

Our walking tour commenced down by the beachfront. We walked along the "boardwalk" alongside the wide sandy beach to Stearns Wharf, a long wide pair stretching out into the bay. We strolled along to the end of the wharf from where there were great views of the city, the bay and the mountains beyond. A seemingly idyllic place to live, though still a lot of homeless people around.

During our time on the wharf there we squadrons of pelicans circling endlessly around. Huge ungainly things, they seemed incapable of flight but at the same time , quite beautiful and fascinating to watch. Reminded us of squadrons of bombers in those old WW2 films.

We spent a lot of time on the but time to move on so back towards the beach and off we head up State Street with a short diversion to the "Funk Zone". Short because everything was closed up either because it was Mon/Tuesday or we were too early. Either way it didn’t seem too funky!

Back to State Street, parts of which are pedestrianised with outdoor eating areas up the middle of the street. I can imagine it is really buzzing in the evenings.

Two of the key sights in the city , the Mission and the Court House were both closed to visitors. We didn’t get around to the Mission but did visit the outside of the Court House. What a wonderfully pretty building. If ever I was on trial for anything, I would want it to be here! There was a couple posing for their wedding photos in the very pretty gardens at the rear of the building. What a terrific place to tie the knot.

Starting to get hungry now and one of the things we always make a beeline for wherever we are is a fish market. So , having seen Santa Barbara Fish market marked on the map, we head off to the harbour area for a late lunch. Turns out the "market" is a small shop so we just grab a couple of poke bowls of salmon and tuna and, at the suggestion of the shop owner, buy some sushi rice from the place next door and sit down at one of the tables outside. We love raw fish at anytime but this was just so fresh!

We return to the harbour for dinner later that night to Brophy Bros. a place recommended to us by the hotel reception. The restaurant was really buzzing. Great views, friendly service and amazing food we shared a cold platter of crab, mussels, oysters, prawns etc which was superb. I followed this with the fish and chips which was off the scale delicious. Fish and chips may well be England’s National dish but believed me, it just doesn’t compare!

We have thoroughly enjoyed our trip down California Highway 1. Tomorrow we head to our friends place in Pasadena.




Across the road to State Street








The avian version of a stealth bomber

Incoming!

So many pelicans!


If you have to go to court, this is the place….



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Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 09:09 AM
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Great pictures. Glad you enjoyed my little corner of the world. Morro Bay is a very special place since it is one of the last remaining true fishing towns in California. Glad you didn't miss the otters. Tourist seem to like the ground squirrels but trust me, no local does!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Jean
Your timing was lucky... Hwy. 1 is currently closed from a few miles south of Carmel Highlands to a few miles north of Big Sur Campgrounds due to a wildfire. Dramatic flames visible from Bixby Bridge.

Yes, the critters at Morro Bay are California ground squirrels. They can be pretty aggressive if you have food.
Yikes! We were lucky to miss that. Saw quite a lot of evidence of wild fires as we drove down H1. lots of charred Redwoods. I read somewhere that they should recover. Hopefully that is the case.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by AustinTraveler
Great pictures. Glad you enjoyed my little corner of the world. Morro Bay is a very special place since it is one of the last remaining true fishing towns in California. Glad you didn't miss the otters. Tourist seem to like the ground squirrels but trust me, no local does!
loved your little corner of the world, as I mentioned, it very much reminded me of the place where I was born.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 10:22 AM
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The inside of the courthouse is truly spectacular. Really too bad it’s still closed. Tile work that rivals the Alhambra and lovely murals in different rooms. I did have jury duty in that courthouse, luckily I wasn’t picked but spent the day inside one of the courtrooms. Lots of people get married there in the big grass courtyard. Yes, we have homeless because of temperate climate and a somewhat sympathetic local government. Montecito where H & M live is a bit more strict.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 11:11 AM
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I'm so glad you were past Big Sur well before the fire began.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 06:14 PM
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Glad you got to to see the Elephant Seals they are amazing!
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Old Jan 24th, 2022, 03:53 PM
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Tdiddy and I enjoyed meeting the crellstons on Saturday in Downtown LA. I don't want to spoil his report so readers may want to hold off clicking on this link (TDiddy missed this). I had no idea this guy had a fan club.

https://twitter.com/dtlaviking

Last edited by mlgb; Jan 24th, 2022 at 03:56 PM.
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Old Jan 25th, 2022, 01:51 PM
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When I lived in Santa Cruz, Cannery Row was actually that. A long row of Canneries but after the sardines left, it has turned into the new Cannery Row. At least they didn't tear it down.
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Old Jan 26th, 2022, 08:45 AM
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Street Crazies/characters in downtown LA



I have been remiss in updating this TR in recent days, partly because my attention has recently been focused back home taking acre of a few things and partly because we have just been so very busy on this trip. Will try and get back on track soon.

However, a brief diversion following on from mlgb’s comment above. More about our mini gtg with mlgb and Tdiddy will follow but for now:



We parted company with Tdiddy following his highly enjoyable tour of downtown LA and the three of us were walking back to Union Station. We stopped to cross at one of the many intersections. At said crossing we noticed a bike riding, masked, bearded guy dressed as a Viking complete with horned helmet circling around the intersection yelling and apparently trying to sell baseballs??



We have met a number of street characters/crazies on this trip and for some reason they always seem to make beeline for me. Maybe I just have that sort of face or, perhaps, in this case, it was the way I was dressed?



As this guy circled around he notice us and rode straight over first offering a baseball for sale and then stopping right in front of us and yelling in my face "you LAPD ****, why are you with the LAPD you ********. **** off you LAPD ****"



I paraphrase, but you get the gist. The response of all of us was to laugh it off but this guy would not go away, her circled around and kept coming back. At one point mlgb put her arm in front of me and said "stand back", I am protecting the tourists! Eventually, lights changed and he seemed to follow us for awhile but soon found another target and on we went unmolested.



I can only assume that the reason he thought I was with LAPD was that I was dressed, indeed as I usually am, in black tee shirt and jeans and wearing Raybans - maybe the normal apparel for LAPD officers?



An entertaining end to a grey day - more to follow on the rest of that day
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Old Jan 26th, 2022, 02:06 PM
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I assume crellston meant 'great' day it has been beautiful weather, hardly grey! My friend of the broken light bulb knew that character.

It is nearly 20 years since I worked downtown, and probably 5 since my last visit so I've lost practice on the best pathways to avoid homeless encampments. But this guy is apparently randomly spotted all over the region..just crellston's lucky day.
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Old Jan 26th, 2022, 06:10 PM
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"At one point mlgb put her arm in front of me and said "stand back","
And here all this time I figured mlgb was a he. Not that it matters.
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Old Jan 27th, 2022, 07:24 AM
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I wondered what MLGB meant when she said the "Tdiddy missed this"! In my years of giving tours downtown I have ran into a number of "elevated" individuals who were living on a planet unseen by the rest of us. Once on a tour I was by the Central Library explaining how the library sold the air rights above it, long story there, and one of the "enlightened" heard me and said, "You can't sell air!!" and he would not let it go. He followed us around the library grounds berating us about the theft of the air above the library until I called a security guard who led him away.
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Old Jan 27th, 2022, 10:14 AM
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DTLA Viking was probably the most "elevated" individual that I can recall in 20+ years of Downtown experience. At first we were laughing, but I started to worrry he would get aggressive if he believed crellston was LAPD. Can't have our beloved crellston falling victim to one of LA's wackiest!
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Old Jan 28th, 2022, 04:18 PM
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Yo Crellston,
Another merci for posting this TR. Fave shot: the sunny courthouse. I too initially wondered about your timing and that fire. Glad to see that you dodged that bullet, if not some homeless characters. Btw, I thought your choice to cycle those specific areas was brilliant! And you referenced Neil Young--he still has had that ranch in Santa Cruz, no?
Btw, on my sabbatical year while we were visiting Gorda, I was offered a permanent teaching job at a Big Sur school--the head of the Parents Council was also the owner of the yurt hotel where we were staying.
Waiting for your next installment here. In the meantime, some associated musical accompaniment below:
I am done. the surf

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