Friday, August 5, 2011

Highway One Lately...

We have been road trippin' along California's Highway One and looking at beautiful scenery like this beach on the way to Santa Cruz from our starting point in San Francisco. Here are a couple snaps and stops of things we found along the way....
A must-stop along Highway One in California is Sam's Chowder House in Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco. The New Orleans Style Gumbo ($7.95) is perfection in a bowl. Dungeness crab sprinkled on top of this smoky stew that's filled with okra, green onions and big swimming chunks of andouille sausage. Sam's is consistently voted #1 seafood restaurant in the bay area with a waterfront patio serving sustainably-fished seafood that is delivered fresh daily.
What really drew us to Sam's Chowder House was The Maine Lobster Roll ($21.95) which was selected as one of the Top 5 Best Sandwiches in America by NBC's The Today Show. My half of the sandwich (above) was not soaked in mayonnaise, but in butter and there ain't nothing wrong with that. Yes, $22 is pricey but it was worth it. The sandwich was filled with meat from an entire lobster.
The lone cypress tree at Pebble Beach during our 17-Mile drive along the coast and property. The tree is over 250 years-old and has become the symbol for Pebble Beach.

Look! I'm SO happy.
Did some jumping around at Tolosa Winery in San Luis Obispo, also known as the #1 Happiest Place in America. Why so happy? The downtown is pedestrian-friendly and charming, the people are active (lots of bike trails and the beach!) with a strong sense of community. Fast food drive-thrus are banned here, the sidewalks are up to 16 feet wide with lots of small cafes and emphasis on maintaining green space.
We squeezed some grapes in the giant vineyard and tasted five different wines for only $8! I can't stop drinking all the Californian wines. The crisp chardonnays are my favourite so far and refreshing after a long drive in our tiny hatchback rental.
Soaking up the California sun
Inside the Tasting Room
What can I even say about the Madonna Inn and how to even begin? First of all, you need to google images of this place - it's crazy/legendary. We took a peek inside the dining room, which was like a drag queen palace with pink leather banquettes and a fairy grotto-type theme. It's a must-stop in San Luis Obispo and each hotel room is themed to the MAX.
Madonna Inn Dining Room
Hip + urban husband biking along the coast of Santa Barbara. Check out the retro Beach Cruiser bike - want! It's finally getting warmer the further south we get. I ditched the fleece sweater for sundresses and sandals. I could live here...
Vitamin D please! Hanging at the beach in Santa Barbara.
Stay tuned for more adventures from our road trip through California...