15 May 2021

Big Sur, CA (2021)

Big Sur has been on our bucket list for years. It did not disappoint. California's Central Coast is great.

We tried an all video format this time.

13 May 2021

Pismo Beach, CA (2021)

We have had a great couple of days on California's Central Coast. It was new to both Allyn and me.
Pismo Beach is actually quite touristy, but a fun beach town.
(No sound) The next beach north Avila,  is much more quaint. We had lunch at Custom House which has been there for over 100 years.
The highlight, though, was just exploring the beautiful beach right below our hotel.
We had a superb dinner at Ember Restaurant in Arroyo Grande, another community just down the street.    We ate at their "chef's table". Besides great food and service, the vibe was the best. If it were in our Las Vegas neighborhood, it would be our go to place.

11 May 2021

Westlake Village, CA (2021)

We celebrated my 75th birthday with my cousin Mike, at Mastro's Ocean Club located right on the beach in Malibu.
Notwithstanding its amazing location and fabulous lobster cocktail, we wouldn't be quick to return. The uniformly terrible service throughout the evening could have put a damper on the entire experience. We did not let that happen. 
The next day we walked to a great fish house, Lure, by our hotel, The Four Seasons in Westlake Village. Even though it was Mothers 'Day and jammed everything about it was top notch.

11 May 2021

Santa Barbara, CA (2021)

Santa Barbara is a year-round tourist destination know for its fair weather, downtown beaches, and Spanish architecture. 
As other places, covid took its toll here economically as well as health-wise. To give the economy a shot in the arm (get it?) as well as the people, they closed off State Street, a main street, to vehicles, and added lots of outdoor seating. Hopefully that will draw in people both for dining and to give retailers some help too.
It is now a lovely pedestrian street.
Dinner was at Brophy Bros, right on the pier. We sat outside a stone's throw from the water. Just around the corner, right downtown, is the beach.
We spent quite a bit of time at our hotel, The Ritz Carlton, a destination resort. and just great for relaxing.. However as in the other 5 star hotels this trip, the service has been quite subpar. The one exception has been Montage Laguna Beach. I guess it is true that you just can't good help these days. 
Hpwever, the room was great, located right up from the beach.
Interesting factoid - I am shocked to learn only today that there were any Japanese attacks on the US mainland during WWII. It turns out there were a few, albeit small scale. The first one was right next to our hotel, just up the coast from Santa Barbara. That attack influenced the internment of Japanese Americans.
Night two dinner was at an amazing Italian restaurant. Even though we stayed on our diet (that is we had no pasta or bread), it was still amazing. Thumbs up to Olio e Limone Ristorante. Great restaurant. Interesting though, the muscles were better recently at Lure, Westlake Village.

09 May 2021

Seal Beach, CA (2021)

Yes, Seal Beach is named after seals, but they are not around too much anymore.

Yes, Seal Beach is generally great for kitesurfing and windsurfing, because often it is quite breezy. 

And yes the properties are extremely expensive. Living on an  oceanfront lot in California that is not a postage stamp is a quite a treat and a rarity. 

We were treated to stay with our good friends Wendi and Jeremy at their jaw-dropping Seal Beach home.

However the highlight was having dinner at her amazing restaurant, Original Fish Company in Los Alimitos.
You must go there if you are near north Orange County along the coast. The food is great; the vibe is great; and the prices are very reasonable.