coastal cliffs, a camaro, and a campfire

The last week of my America trip was spent wandering up the central coast of California with Joey. He took a break from Jazzfest to meet me in L.A., rent a convertible, and drive north with really nothing planned. We left L.A. in the afternoon, pulling over abruptly for tiny farmers markets with their portly, cheerful farmers and balsamic lemonade, and trying to gauge each other’s true feelings about this no-plan plan we were embarking on. Obviously he hadn’t read my blog.

Our first stop was Santa Barbara…eating fresh seafood at a beachside restaurant and realizing we didn’t pack clothes that were NEAR warm enough. We stayed at the Cabrillo Inn, one of those classic beach hotels where the carpet feels a little damp, there’s sand in the shower and there’s probably a painting of a seagull or a sailboat from 1979 above the bed. We loved it.

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetWe made a brief stop at Pismo Beach to stretch our legs and get some fish tacos and jumped in the frigid water and took beach naps at Avila Beach. Wandered aimlessly in Morro Bay, and finally ended up in Montana de Oro state park, just south of Los Osos. Here we camped on a bluff overlooking a large cove and beautiful sea cliffs. We had purchased only one bundle of firewood, and our dinner consisted of good cheese, nut crackers and a veggie tray. And a lot of wine.

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IMG_1439 IMG_1442So beardy after five months in Asia
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IMG_1477IMG_1486IMG_1488IMG_1489IMG_1499IMG_1504IMG_1511wineIMG_1514IMG_1516IMG_1517IMG_1525IMG_1530IMG_1544IMG_1546I may have gotten carried away with the sunset beach shots…sorry I’m not sorry.
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Processed with VSCOcam with 4 presetPost-camp look

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When we were stopping for coffee in Morro Bay the afternoon before camping, Joey had called a ranch in San Luis Obispo and set up a surprise horseback ride. He wasn’t thrilled with the place, but I was more than happy to start my morning on the back of a horse.

Processed with VSCOcam with e5 presetIMG_0785Joey also found an amazing Airbnb to stay at in downtown SLO. The little courtyard was covered in plants and rustic Spanish tile work and fountains, with a little aviary full of lovebirds. We had the top apartment of the side house – it was quiet and beautiful and there were even fresh chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen. Win.

We ate sushi downtown and spent the late afternoon lazing around our little space with a Naked and Afraid marathon. We walked downtown to find dinner and stumbled upon SLO’s huge farmers market/street festival. That night we did end up in a few bars…I think this was the only time I can say I “went out” on my entire trip to the states. I’m getting old, I guess…and I like it.

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Processed with VSCOcam with se3 presetOur last morning, Joey made breakfast for us to eat on the big front balcony, we went for a run and a little park workout, and then had to head back to L.A. to get me to my flight to Bangkok on time.

I’m being moderately vague…but details or not, it’s safe to say it was really hard to for me to leave.

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