Saturday, January 05, 2008

Day Seven, Ragged Point,
Hearst Castle, and Ventura

Wow, what a day of contrasts. We started "down the ridge" at Ragged Point, driving to Piedra Blancas and the elephant seal beach, spent some time at the Hearst Castle, ending our trip at Ventura on the beach, just in time for another storm. This has truly been a great trip, everything I had hoped, except yesterday, although we made an incredible memory.

This picture shows how we felt when we finally arrived at Ragged Point, and then it was one adventure after another coming down today, from the incredible surf and southern Big Sur coastline, to Hearst Castle. When we arrived in Morro Beach, we ate lunch at a Subway, and felt like we had arrived back in "civilization", or at least where food was affordable again.

We have many more pics than we can post, but hope these give you little idea of our ride through southern Big Sur and Hearst Castle.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Day Six, Big Sur to Ragged Point
The Best, now the Worst!

Well, we've had some incredible times here in Central Cal, and today was no exception. Today was our day to experience a series of firsts. It began last night.

First, I went down the road from where we were staying , and stepped into a time warp, where there was a restaurant full of "Maynard's" from the Dobie Gillis Show, look him up if you don't know. I thought I was living in the 70's again, in a room full of hippie wannabes. It was an experience everyone needs to have in Big Sur. Beatniks are alive and well.

It got really crazy from there. Have you ever driven in 70-mile an hour winds around 200 foot cliffs, neither had we until today. Have you ever been in a monsoon, neither had we until today. Have you ever driven through rock slides, where you literally had to clear the road to get through, neither had we until today. It was interesting to watch snow plows, used to move rocks, never seen that before, until today.

Everyone around here is grateful for the rain, we just wished it could have held off for one more day. We're losing power every half hour. The winds are blowing at sustained winds of 40-mile-an-hour, gusting to 60-70, and it's supposed to get worse tonight. They closed Hearst Castle early today because of the winds and power loss, so we're hoping they will be able to open in the morning, that's how we're planning on beginning our day.

These pics represent our experience. I would have taken pics of the rocks, but we were too concerned about getting our rental car out in one piece or of them coming through the roof of the car. I would have taken some pictures of the ocean, but we couldn't see it.

So, this leg ended at Ragged Point, the name for the rocks around here, and our nerves! I should have taken a hint from some college students at lunch today, when the waitress thanked them for coming, and told them to stay dry, to which they responded, we hope we stay alive!

Day Five, Santa Cruz to
Big Sur Lodge

At Big Sur Lodge we weren't able to post on our blog, because there was no internet. Sorry about the delay, we're okay, just enjoying being in the middle of nowhere. Last night we found ourselves in a forest of some of the most beautiful redwoods, we just couldn't take pictures because of the storm that rolled in late that afternoon. But, I'll write this like it was yesterday.

We started in Santa Cruz, driving to Monterey, around Pacifc Grove and Pebble Beach, Carmel, and the northern part of PCH 1 known as the Big Sur section. It was a great day. The winds were picking up as the day went on, but the weather has cooperated so far. No "top down" today, but the drive was great once again. The internet is a little slow where we're staying, so I'll post some pics, but not as many as the others.

Highlights; Sunrise at Santa Cruz, Monterey's Cannery Row, Pacific Grove's 17-Mile-Drive, Pebble Beach, downtown Carmel, and some of the coastline of Big Sur. Check it out.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Day Four, Pacifica to Santa Cruz
on PCH 1

We started our trip down the Pacific Coast Highway today, beginning in Pacifica, ending this leg in Santa Cruz. The picture above is the beach in Pacifica, where it all started.

The scenery again is too difficult to describe, so I'll let the pics do the work for me today. Like Terry said, there isn't any one place we could stop where there wouldn't be a great picture somewhere to take. That is so true.

As you can see in the picture above, today we finally got to drive with the "top down", and froze the top of our heads off. The heat was cranked, but we made it all the way down the coast. I'm hoping the weather cooperates so we will have more days like this one. Terry was a real trooper.

Today we saw sea lions, some incredible beaches (like the one above), surfers, pelicans, light houses, a pacific ocean sunset, ate on a pier, saw one of the oldest missions in California, and are now ready to crash, and it's only 6:15. Again, guess I'm not a west coaster.

Enjoy the pics, and I'll post again tomorrow from Big Sur Lodge.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Football, Football, Football

That's what New Year's Day is all about, but watching football on the west coast has been interesting. Michigan kicked off at 10:15. The early games began at 8:30 this morning, and watching the Rose Bowl kickoff at 1:45, and all the games over by 8:00 at night isn't what I'm used to. The NFL playoffs this weekend will be crazy as well with the first ones starting at 10:00 am. I'm definitely not a west coaster.

A couple of thoughts, because I feel like ranting.

I'm really glad that Michigan beat Florida, they played great. Props to Michigan, that's probably the team you all expected to have this year. Hart is still a mouthy kid. He really needs to learn to shut up and play football.

Wisconsin choked; too bad, would have been nice to beat another SEC team.

Illinois has had some terrible breaks in the second half, and I really don't like USC. What a bunch of thugs.

All in all, not a bad showing for the Big Ten today. Looks like Illinois is done. They sure didn't play like this against Ohio State.

On to the big one. Go Bucks!!
Happy New Year!
Thought I'd wait a couple of days before posting this, but this picture is the last of it's kind. This is the last Holiday season we'll spend with a daughter that is single; Kelli got engaged on her 21st birthday December 27. Their big day is August 16, and this "boys" name is Chris Bowman; so life continues to move along, whether we're ready or not. He spent Thanksgiving with our family this year, so he knows what he's getting into.

It's official, our babies have grown up.

Welcome to the family Chris!

Our babies have grown, and it's now time for grandbabies. Is this fun, or what?