Posted by: Kim | February 16, 2007

T&L ’07 Day 1 – San Diego to Half Moon Bay

Santa Barbara margaritasYes, that’s right.  Those are margaritas basking in the sun.  But I’ll get back to that.

We got a good start out of San Diego this morning by 8am.  Traffic was tolerable thanks to the impending President’s Day holiday weekend.  I opted to drive Muff through/past some famous areas to the north as she hadn’t made it through LA with me on the tourist trail.  Being the impatient one, I used the 73 toll road to jump farther up on the I-405 (and to drive through the O.C.—pretty but plastic), then on to the 110 into downtown LA.  We saw Staples Center and experienced the usual traffic jam.  On to Hollywood sign and the 101.  Did you know that the Church of Scientology Celebrity Center sits right on the highway?  We didn’t see Tom Cruise or John Travolta, though.  On past the Capitol Records building and Ford Theater.  Then we climbed the hill through Universal City and out of the particular bad layer of brown smog to the coastline toward Santa Barbara.  Now back to the margaritas.

We stopped at a fine mexican establishment right on State Street in downtown Santa Barbara and snagged a couple of prime seats in the sun facing all of the action on State.  The tang of salt and sweet went down smoothly as Muff wiggled her sock-free toes in the glow of the sun she so rarely sees in Seattle.  It was a fine 78 degrees and after a nice meal, it was time to get back on the road.

Muff in SolvangWe made a quick pit stop in Solvang, just off the 101.  If you’re in the area, it’s a must-visit as the whole town is done up in a Danish style.  Here is where I caught Muff playing tourist.  For those of you who watched the movie “Sideways,” you might remember the restaurant that Miles and Jack visited while wine tasting and Maya worked as a waitress at said restaurant.  It turns out that the restaurant is “The Hitching Post II” and we drove right by it on Hwy 246 going out of Solvang.

We finally jumped on Hwy. 1 in San Luis Obispo and did the gorgeous drive up the California coast through Morro Bay, San Simeon, and on through Big Sur to Monterey.  I took this route with Dieter a couple of years ago and it rocks!  California CoastlineThe views of the mountains on the right and ocean on the left are keeping your eyes thoroughly entertained while you spend your time navigating the hairpin turns at 20 mph.  Unfortunately, we are not driving Dieter this time, but it was still gorgeous.  The only drag is that we had a couple of inconsiderate drivers that refused to utilize the turnouts for slow traffic, thus causing a slow traffic jam.  One particular one was so horrible (she braked during the straight sections with no one in front of her!) that two motorcycles and a car got tired of following and decided to pass during a “no-pass” zone.  Nothing like being so frustrated that you throw your own personal safety (and the others you are passing) into the wind.  I understood, but it wasn’t worth dying over it.

We finally rolled in to Half Moon Bay about 8pm and now I’m looking forward to a nice night of sleep.  After an entire day of driving, my eyes are too tired for any knitting.  Tomorrow’s agenda is all about wine.  Napa and Sonoma, here we come!

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