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Old 1 Oct 19, 12:24 PM  
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smithlane
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The BIG Little Lies California Road Trip - 23rd July 2019 - PCH, Morro Bay & Solvang

Day 6

Woke to the alarm at 8. The plan was to meet the Leans at 9.30am at the petrol station up the road from us.

I quickly got going with sorting out the rest of the washing, stripping the beds, packing, putting the food and drink into bags then finally jumping in the shower.
Jim packed up the car and we were on our way just before 9.30. Goodbye house!









Some more cute cottages on the way





We both needed to fill the cars up for the long journey ahead. I went in to get some snacks for the journey and $40 of fuel. Poor Nick had got a severe bout of motion sickness possibly Vertigo that had come on early this morning and could barely walk straight so poor Helen had to do all the driving today
There was a cafe opposite called Toasties so thought we’d get some breakfast to takeaway. From the name I figured they’d do a form of cheese toastie but had nothing of the sort on the menu, odd



Instead went a few doors down to the Red House Café.











Still no toasties but I had a bagel instead which was perfect. Jim had a breakfast sandwich and the kids were ok with the snacks we had bought from the petrol station.
We quickly ate in the car then made a move as we had a lot of driving and a lot of stops to make today. The part I was most looking forward to, the Pacific Coast Highway!

Goodbye Pacific Grove, we'll be back





Stunning views within minutes of joining the PCH, I was glad being the passenger so I was on the right side to see it all. It felt so eerie seeing the fog roll in.















First stop was Bixby Creek Bridge. Stopped briefly at Rocky Creek Bridge which is just before.





We couldn't see any way down to this beach, meaning it was left totally unspoilt. Just beautiful









This bridge is so iconic and has been in so many films and TV programmes including Big Little Lies, it was a real pinch me moment.
Lucky we got there when we did as the traffic was backed up trying to get into the car park. Idiot Japanese tourists who don’t know how to park didn’t help as they were blocking the entrance way

There was some road work going on so we stood at a standstill on the bridge which was a bit nerve wracking especially when we were thick in the fog







Soon got going, our next stop Pfeiffer beach. The temperature difference between the coast and inland is crazy. 13 degrees higher driving through the Andrew Molera State Park than by the bridge!





We had to make a sharp right turn off of Highway 1, there was a ranger stopping each car at the top to inform them it was a bumpy 2 mile road down to the beach and that it’s a $12 entry fee to be paid at the bottom.









There's plenty of parking available so found a space then gathered some snacks and drinks to take to the beach. Went for a quick wee first, word of warning it’s just a toilet over a hole in the ground, no flush!
Only a 2 minute walk to the beach we then found somewhere to lay. It’s just beautiful, we wish we had all day here! I had a lovely chilled lie down writing up some notes and reading, the kids and Jim paddled and played football and some of us had a nap . The water was getting warmer the further South we were heading. Not quite swimming temperature though!















After a while Helen, myself and the girls went for a wander. The sand here is gorgeous with various shades of pink in it.



















We made a move at about 2pm, could have easily stayed here all day but we had many more miles to drive and our bellies were rumbling.











We drove 15 mins up the road to Cafe Kevah to get some lunch.
Unfortunately the Cafe was closed and the restaurant had an hours wait for a table.







Absolutely stunning views from up here though!





The lady on the podium said there wasn’t much going south for quite a while so we would be better off going back up north, we had passed a few places on the way.
The first stop we came to was Big Sur House at the top of a campgrounds site. That only opens Wednesday to Sunday but a lady said to go further into the campgrounds as there’s a silver trailer serving food. Pulled up outside but the only thing they served was a Mexican wrap and fruit salad. Not having much luck but it was very pretty down here.





Further north again and a couple mins up the road we stopped at the Big Sur Deli. This was open and served fresh sandwiches, perfect!









Ham for Hope, BLT for Sam and hot BBQ beef for Jim and I. $45 with sodas, crisps and 4 Big Sur postcards. Took a few mins to make up then we ate as we drove.



It was now half 3 and we were seriously behind schedule .
Next stop was San Simeon Elephant Seal beach which was 1 hour 40 mins away.
This section of the PCH was just breath taking, bit scary being the passenger though as there’s some sheer drops your side!

















The cliffs were that high up that you were pretty much at eye level with the birds of prey soaring around. Impressive sight though! Jim had to concentrate so hard. The bends are seriously hairy, one wrong move and you’re a gonna
Pulled up at 5.15pm. These are some seriously impressive Seals, they’re massive!









Stayed to watch them for about 10 minutes, it was quite windy so didn’t stay for as long as I’d like. Beautiful views from up here with the sun getting lower in the sky.







Originally I wanted to be in Solvang for about 6 to check in and have dinner there but obviously that wasn’t going to happen so Plan B was to stop in Morro Bay for something to eat instead. This was about a 30 minute drive away.
We could see the huge Rock from quite a distance away. It was a shame there was a giant power station ruining the view





Found parking easy enough just back from the coastal road, again it was so quiet around here. Took a walk down to the boardwalk, Morro Rock looked huge up close.









Had a quick browse in a few shops, I bought a huge bag of assorted flavoured taffy. I was literally a big child in a sweet shop . I then bought the obligatory magnet and postcard.



















Time for food. The problem was a lot of places shut at 6, Morro Bay clearly isn’t a party town . We did come across this place that sold live crabs though!



Eventually found a place called Beach Burger that didn’t shut until 8.30, perfect.
I went with fish and chips, Jim shrimp and chips, both kids a hotdog and we shared some mozzarella sticks. The 2 drivers both had a Bud Light, I think they deserved it!
I kept popping outside to take a few photos with the sun setting behind Morro Rock. Just stunning.















Food soon arrived and was nice enough, the mozzarella sticks were lovely though!



Bill came to $82.95 per family including tip. We paid up then walked back to the cars, window shopping on the way. Thought this was pretty cool for Boris



One last photo before we got on our way



It was now 8pm and we had a long drive to Solvang so made a move. I took over the driving now.
Very boring drive in the dark but pulled up outside of Svendsgaard’s Lodge at 9.30.













Went to check in which we did ok but Helen is having problems with Nationwide cancelling some transactions so they had no booking. The kind lady at the front desk got them a room sorted at the same low rate as I had booked which was nice.
We were room 18 just around the corner from the lobby. This hotel is tiny so no need to move the car.

Bid the Leans goodnight and got our suitcases from the car. The room was quite dated but a good size with 2 doubles and a separate dining and dressing room area. We settled in and watched Mrs Doubtfire on TV, loving spotting the sights we had just seen in San Francisco including the house itself!
Lights out at 11

Edited at 08:35 PM.
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Old 1 Oct 19, 07:52 PM  
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KayLouise
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Another perfect day. Love your sunset photos 😊
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Old 2 Oct 19, 08:32 AM  
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It really was the perfect day, thank you!
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Old 2 Oct 19, 09:25 AM  
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The photos of the sunset are just stunning!
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Old 2 Oct 19, 09:30 AM  
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Originally Posted by pinktraceb View Post
The photos of the sunset are just stunning!
Thank you, I love a good sunset photo. Something very calming about watching the sun go down on the water
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Old 2 Oct 19, 09:31 PM  
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The beach and the sunset photos are lovely
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Old 3 Oct 19, 08:07 PM  
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What an amazing drive. It looks really interesting, lots of lovely photos today of the coast and the scenery. How awesome to drive over that bridge too.
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Old 6 Oct 19, 03:59 PM  
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Originally Posted by CrispyA View Post
The beach and the sunset photos are lovely
Thank you Elizabeth!
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Old 6 Oct 19, 04:03 PM  
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Originally Posted by Goldia View Post
What an amazing drive. It looks really interesting, lots of lovely photos today of the coast and the scenery. How awesome to drive over that bridge too.
Thank you Abby! There were stunning views around every bend, I took so many photos it was hard to choose which ones to add to the report.
It’s such an iconic bridge that I’ve seen in so many shows. It’s bloody high up though 😳
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Old 10 Oct 19, 07:31 PM  
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This is the best trip report that I have read in ages. It is informative, helpful, has great photos and in addition, I am shamelessly cribbing from it for my Easter Trip when we have 2 nights in Monterey and 3 in San Luis Obispo in order to see the section of PCH that was closed by the mudslide when we visited in 2017.

.. and no endless pictures of food either!

Thank you for the help that this is clearly giving. It means that in addition I must now binge read the rest purely for enjoyment.
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