Monday, June 27, 2011

Coastal Cali Part 1: Natural Abundance

Nothing is quite as refreshing as spending a vacation out west. Ranking high on my list are the wide open spaces, the welcomingly monotonous 70 degree and sunny weather; the immortal, all season plants and flowers; and of course the abundance of ripe avocados! A California wedding was the reason for visiting but I would have been foolish to not turn the visit into a full blown state tour, am I right? We went coastal, leisurely making our way up Cali's famed seaside perimeter, Highway 1.

After flying into LAX, we headed up to Morro Bay as the Lonely Planet aptly calls "the town with the big rock and the smokestacks." Yes, alas there is a lovely seaside power plant but the beach is still beautiful. And how about that kelp? Dried out, the bulbs look more like onions than sea plants!

The downtown was quite charming as well, very Cali-esque, complete with surf shops and a local farmer's market.

Oh Route 1, your beauty is so powerful it makes me nauseous- literally, those curvy roads are killer. No worries however, it was a great excuse to make frequent photo stops! The scenery is tr√®s dramatic, waves crashing at the bottoms of sky high cliffs with flocks of pelicans swooping over fields of wild flowers as your car weaves through poofs of clouds and sunshine. We also enjoyed nice roadside picnic complete with bread, cheese and wine of course.

Regular beach goers include the adorable elephant seals whose main pastimes involve pretending to be rocks and wallowing in the sand. They are gigantic and can grow to be up to 10 feet long. Their name comes from the fact that the males have a funny long snout that looks and moves like an elephant's trunk. No pachyderm sounds here though, their bark resembles that of a sputtering motor boat! Oh to be this lazy...

Images via: Me

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