Our Mid Life Crisis Trip (Chapter 1.)

Chris decided to accompany me on my mid-life crisis. We
went to The Hearst Castle, San Francisco, Napa Valley, and
best of all, to see my Uncle John, Addie and my cousin Cathy & Eric in Santa Rosa.
We had a blast!

December 7, 2000 - We had a unique set of circumstances recently. Johnny rolled his truck accidentally while coming down from a snowboarding trip. As a result, we got the use of a neat Chrysler Sebring Convertible
At the same time, I am between jobs. I could have got depressed but instead took the opportunity to take Chris on a short trip and went to see my Uncle Johnny in Santa Rosa. Here's a synopsis of what we did! We had a blast!


This car is a lot of fun... Its white and of course I had to take down the roof as often as possible. And of course, Chris kept getting mad at me because it was too cold (she was right). Anyway, we left at about 6:00 AM on Friday and set off for Camarillo. Our goal was to get to IHOP in Camarillo by 7:30 or 8:00 AM for breakfast. We made pretty good time, because the traffic was light.

We didn't pack much. This was a spur of the moment trip. Actually, I wanted to surprise Chris but she had too much going on so I had to tell her. She surprised me with her response. She said, wow that sounds fun! Yippee.

Well we had a nice breakfast. It was kind of cold though. I had blintzes and Chris had the usual eggs and hash browns. We decided to head out to see Hearst Castle first. It was a pretty long ride. At about 9:30 we stopped at AT&T Wireless' office in Camarillo on the outside chance that they might have found my sunglasses. I lost them there a few months ago while loading up my car with some equipment. No such luck. So without my sunglasses, we were off. Its quite a long ride up the coast. The weather was cool and a bit cloudy but the sun peaked through from time to time. We went through the towns of Ventura, Santa Barbara, Gaviota (population 98), and then turned inland and through the towns of Solvang (only stopped for directions there). We did visit the famous "Anderson's Pea Soup" restaurant. Trust me, we didn't have the soup... been there, done that. We did collect a few brochures and browsed the gift shop though. It's a cute place to stop... but don't go for the soup.









After our little rest, we took off for The Castle. We drove up through the towns of Santa Maria and Arroyo Grande. Both seem to be nice towns that are growing. Once we hit San Luis Obispo, we decided to turn off and get some gas. We were hoping to find a cheap gas station in town and maybe get some directions. Well we were lucky because it just so happened that the street we turned off on was Highway One, which was where we were supposed to turn off. It took us on a scenic route through the old town section of San Luis Obispo. Really pretty. We got some gas took a bathroom break and set off for the coast.

There was some nice scenery on the way to the coast. This one giant rock stood out off to the left side of the freeway. It just didn't seem to belong there but it was interesting... right there in the middle of a farm field. I wish I would have taken a picture of that.

Anyway, we reached the coast and got off the freeway in a town called Cambria. Chris slept for a bit while I checked out some of the hotels in the yellow pages at a gas station. Here too, we (by luck) ended up in the old town section of the city. I wrote down the numbers of a bunch of bed and breakfast places. Most of them had vacancies but were a bit expensive. We drove past about 30 nice hotels that face right up to the beach. This is a pretty area and the coast and waves were beautiful I can see how it gets filled up during the summer.

Well, we figured that getting a hotel wasn't too important so we just kept on our way and went to the Hearst Castle. It was only about 30 mile north of where we were. We figured that if we had to, we could always come back down this way to find a place to stay. Besides, it was only around 12:30. I had called ahead to the Castle and made reservations using our credit card to see a movie about The Hearst Castle and to take the 1:20 tour.