America Eating Abroad

The Pacific Coast

November 29, 2013

We picked up our rental car (a solid American number- Chevy Cruze, nicknamed Penelope) when we first arrived in San Francisco but it didn’t feel like the road trip had started until we were leaving the city and heading out onto the Pacific Coast Highway. Even though we come from a country surrounded by the ocean, we were still overwhelmed by the magnificence of the coast line. We crawled down the coast for two days before making it to LA; the steady pace necessary to take in the sights, battle the winding roads around the cliffs, and race against the early sunsets. 

Our first stop was the seaside city of Monterey, once a bustling fishing town, now a trendy stop for those into diving and other outdoorsy pursuits or just lounging on the beach. Looking for somewhere for lunch we headed towards Cannery Row, where all the old cannery buildings have been transformed into touristy shops and restaurants. We’re not really into themed restaurants but thought we’d give Bubba Gump the benefit of the doubt; though it’s ridiculously gimmicky with its Forrest Gump quiz and dishes named after characters, the food was pretty decent and my Jenny’s Favourite smoothie definitely satisfied my craving for ice cream.

 

We took the well known 17 Mile Drive; stopping what felt like every couple of minutes to take in sights like Seal Point, Bird Rock, Pebble Beach golf course, and Cypress Point. This made it quite easily the slowest 17 miles we will ever drive but the sun was shining and there’s no point rushing these things! It also timed perfectly for us to catch the sunset somewhere in the middle of Big Sur, though winding around the cliffs in the dark was less than ideal… we were pretty happy to finally reach our motel that night. PacificCoast_CyprusTreeThe next morning we took a detour to Hearst Castle, the elaborate hilltop mansion built by newspaper mogul William R. Hearst. It takes about a 15 minute bus ride to actually reach the mansion; winding up the hill, through the ranch which apparently still has animals roaming around… there was mention of zebras though we didn’t see anything on four legs! Everything about this place is over the top- the obscene homage to European architecture, art from all over the world lining the walls, the luscious indoor and outdoor pools, the gardens… it was like stepping onto the set of the Great Gatsby! If only someone had served cocktails by the pool…

PacificCoast_HearstCastle

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  • I’m jealous. We did a California road trip in sept incl pch and 17 mile drive. I am in the process of blogging about it!! Enjoy your trip!!

    • Thanks Richard! I had a nosey at the map of your US trip, looking forward to reading about it. As kiwis, we also enjoyed the posts about your NZ trip!

  • Connie, it’s always interesting to see what tourists do in your own neck of the woods. Although we live in Texas now, I grew up in Cambria (just south of Hearst Castle). Maybe next time you can put this hike and food stop on your list! https://kineticheart.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/the-cove/ I love your blog and am taking notes for our European trip next year!

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