Day 19 – 10th September 2008 – Cambria
So Day 19 starts off in the San Simeon Pines Resort – well we didn’t expect that! This is a lovely resort – each room has a patio or terrace – nice and roomy – breakfast is provided and they even have a little par 3 golf course – very nice!
I must share this with you – I was looking around the resort first thing in the morning – taking in the fabulous location of the Pines when in the car park I see the most wonderful brilliant red Lamborghini Diablo – I ermark to a person crossing the car park what a beautiful car it is and he tells me that it is his car – he gives me its potted history and I ask him if he would consider exchanging it for my rental vehicle but unfortunately he couldn’t afford the extra $20 that I asked for to clinch the deal – oh well you have to be tough in the world of car trading – lovely car!
Ok fed, watered and packed we say goodbye to the San Simeon Pines Resort and head off for Hearst Castle which is only a few miles up the road. This is described as one of the most opulent houses ever built - built between 1922 and 1947, it was the glamorous retreat of the media magnate William Randolph Hearst, who entertained famous movie stars and politicians here. Hearst acquired all sorts of artefacts from across Europe, including medieval choir stalls, Flemish tapestries, French fireplaces, Greek vases, Moorish tiles and his Gothic study. This should be good.
We arrive at the castle only to be told that the next tour will not take place for over an hour – we think about it and decide that we will look around the things on display in the entrance building and skip the tour – we have seen plenty of stately homes and although this promises to be something special we don’t have to time to spare – I know we are so impatient – but taking the tour would have meant that we wouldn’t have been able to do anything else today.
Anyway, having had a good looked around at what was on offer in the entrance building we walk back to the car to consult the map and decide where to go next.
Morro Bay – we decide to see the Rock. From memory it was about a 30 mile drive – in American terms this is on the doorstep. We have a pleasant drive down and arrive around 1:00pm. Now with Morro Bay you get what it says on the label – a rock – to be fair it is a big rock but at the end of the day it is still just a big rock in the sea – once you have seen it that is pretty much it! There is a long wide beach and when we were there it was pretty much empty. After photographing the Rock from just about every conceivable angle we take a stroll along the beach and return to the car – for the first time in three days the clouds begin to retreat and the sun comes shining through again – whoohoo!
I’m sure we didn’t do Morro the justice it deserved - we didn’t visit the town and try to find anything else of interest but by this time we were more interested in returning to Cambria and checking into The FogCatcher.
We drive the 30 miles back to Cambria and decide to visit the old town – oh this is such a wonderful little town – we are really taken with it – we decide that we will return to the old town and have a better look around either later today or tomorrow – for now we head off to check in at the FogCatcher.
Well what a place the FogCatcher is – this is the best accommodation we have stayed in on the whole trip – the Fog Catcher is tremendous – everyone must stay at least once in the Fog Catcher – in fact I insist that you go do it now – go on, log on to their site – I’ll wait…………………..
Done it – great – you will not regret it – The FogCatcher is located literally just yards from the Moonstone Beach – it describes itself as having “rounded thatched-style roof, flower-lined brick paths and fireplace in every room, FogCatcher Inn is the perfect romantic getaway” and believe me it is - to die for!! The FogCatcher has an outside pool which plenty of guests were using but we decide on this occasion to give it a miss. Instead we shower and change and walk up to the Moonstone bar/restaurant (probably no more than 20 yards away) – grab a terrace table and watch the sun go down.
The sunset that evening was one of the best on the whole trip and I indulged myself to the full. Food was fabulous – it was just the most perfect place to be in the world.
What a fabulous little place Cambria is – Lyn is absolutely besotted – never mind that on this trip we have visited the Las Vegas Strip – seen such awesome natural wonders as the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce and Yosemite National Parks – the beautiful man made wonder of Lake Powell – the austere magnificence of Death Valley – one of the most scenic drives in the world with The Pacific Coast Highway – the fabulous city of San Francisco……… no little Cambria has knocked them all off of top spot – this is the place that she has not stopped talking about since we returned. I also loved Cambria – its right up there with the rest as far as I am concerned but I can no longer place them in order – there have been so many wonderful experiences that I think it would be unfair to place one above another – they all have their own uniqueness and beauty and they are all beguiling in their own way.
We have too much to drink at the Moonstone Bar (which in Lyn’s case is probably two cocktails – bless) and giggle all the way back to the FogCatcher. 11:00pm and guests are still in he pool!!
We settle back in our room wishing that we had booked into the FogCatcher for longer or wondering how expensive the properties were – could we afford to come and live here – I think he cocktails had well and truly taken over now – but it was beautiful.
Tomorrow we will try and get the most out of our stay in Cambria before moving onto the last leg of our trip – Los Angeles – shame it’s nearly over!