California Coast, part 1.

We arrived back at the Pacific Ocean to continue our adventure down the west coast. The drive from the Sacramento Valley to the Coast was a long one – lots of holiday travelers returning home from Thanksgiving gatherings and a few accidents on I-5 kept us inside the truck for almost 5.5 hours. I was exhausted when we finally arrived. One really great thing about California is that it’s December and the weather has been sunny and perfect so far.

Avila Beach

This was home base for a week while exploring the central coast of California. It’s been about 20 years since I was here and I was honestly shocked how nice the place had become. It’s really quite a destination now. We parked for 5 nights on the side of a hill with a view of the ocean and the Port of San Luis. It was awesome!

The town of Avila Beach and the Pier.
Space 11 in the Deluxe Ocean View section.
All setup and ready to enjoy the experience.
Simply perfect weather, couldn’t have asked for anything better.
The Kraken Coffee house in Avila beach made a really delicious Chai Latte.

Happy hours were the best with the gas fire pit at sunset and the sounds of the harbor seals roaring and honking in the bay.

M2 Wine, best of the best for the best!

Fun fact: this location and this view over the fire is front row seating for SpaceX rocket launches at Vandenberg SFB in Lompoc. I didn’t get to see anything blast off but what a cool unique experience that would be.

Pismo Beach

Ahhh, Pismo. Lots of memories here from my early twenties when I would drive over from Fresno just for the day to see the ocean and was too poor to afford a motel room. Everything about this place takes me back in time – the pier, the smell of the ocean, the kelp washed up on the beach, the little town … it all reminds me of my younger days.

View of the bluffs from Dinosaur Caves Park.
The iconic Pismo Pier.
The visitor center is a vintage Airstream on the pier.
Lily and I went for a cute little hike around Dinosaur Caves Park.

And you know, I must absolutely patronize local business, so here were my two indulgences.

Best Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte in Pismo.
Old West Cinnamon Rolls are a staple when visiting Pismo. My freezer is stocked!

Pacific Coast Highway – State Route 1

Lily and I took a drive north on the PCH to check out the coastal towns and see if we could get into Hearst Castle. Unfortunately, it was closed but we got to see the elephant seals beached near San Simeon and enjoyed a stop in Cambria for a Mexican Mocha and homemade cinnamon bun.

Morro Rock and Morro Bay off in the distance.
Quaint little town of Cayucos sitting right on the Pacific Ocean.
Lily checking out the San Simeon Ranch pier.
Distant view of the glorious Hearst Castle – this was the closest I got that day.
Stopped in Cambria to fuel up on a delicious Mexican Mocha …
… and a homemade cinnamon bun.
Elephant Seals beached on the sand soaking up the sun.
Elephant Seal gurgling in the surf.
Distant view of the Piers Blancas Light Station. This was the farthest we drove up Highway 1.

Paso Robles

There is really only one reason to visit Paso Robles – wine! But, I was a bit wined out from my previous stops. So, I came to Paso to see the Bruce Munro Light at Sensorio. And it was stunning! A half mile walk along the trail through the light fields revealed this.

Phenomenal sunset over the field of lights.
The sun was completely gone and the fields glowed with waves of color.
Light towers! Empty wine bottles stacked and filled with LED light strings.

Arroyo Grande

We left our perch in Avila Beach and drove a short distance to stay overnight at Murphy’s Oak Hills Ranch. I had a great time visiting/catching up with everyone and also enjoying the amazingly delicious Mexican food that is everywhere in California. In case you didn’t know, California is literally Mexican Food Heaven. My freezer is now stocked full of homemade tamales!!!

Perfect day and perfect parking next to the barn.
Local Brew “805” with some amazing authentic Mexican food.
This windmill was working hard but I’m not sure what it was pumping.
Lily trying to play with the horses during their breakfast.


We pulled out of the pasture and headed south to our next destination where we will park for another week to collect some Amazon packages and take care of some business. This place is a cool little spot near the Ventura Pier that only hosts Airstreams, vintage and new. More to come in the next blog, but here’s a sneak peak at Waypoint Ventura.

Today, December 5, is the one-month mark since we left Seattle to start this adventure. It’s also my birthday 🥳 but I’m more happy to celebrate the Airstream life and living this dream. We are having such a good time and I wake up every morning in awe that we are actually going places and thriving. Everywhere we stop people come up and ask about my Airstream and I usually give at least one tour a day. It’s really really cool and I still feel blessed.

Lily is loving life and letting me know all about it.

See you soon for the next adventure update!

4 thoughts on “California Coast, part 1.

  1. Darcy December 5, 2021 / 5:57 pm

    Continue to enjoy this amazing adventure! So much more to see and visit. Keep on keeping on!


  2. lifehousefoundation December 5, 2021 / 6:51 pm

    I am faceless so I can’t post comments, SO. Happy ‘B-day’ my (M) friend, loving the blog as it takes my family back many years! Very glad you are letting your hair down. 😉


    —————————————–From: “Paul and Lily go places!” To: [email protected] Cc: Sent: Sunday December 5 2021 4:44:30PM Subject: [New post] California Coast, part 1.

    paulcary71 posted: ” We arrived back at the Pacific Ocean to continue our adventure down the west coast. The drive from the Sacramento Valley to the Coast was a long one – lots of holiday travelers returning home from Thanksgiving gatherings and a few accidents on I-5 kept u”


  3. Amy Jones December 5, 2021 / 7:00 pm

    Looks amazing. Loved the lights is PR. Wishing you a very happy birthday!!


  4. Sharon and Dorn December 8, 2021 / 3:49 pm

    You’ve come a long way from “under the desk”. So proud and happy for your new retired life. Vio con dios!


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