When you live in California and you don’t like making long-term plans all you got to do to have fun trips is pack lightly, get a car and use Hotel Tonight! We wanted to go away and flight tickets are ridiculously overpriced during the Holidays. So we packed on Christmas day after a hangover and we hit the road. No destination – No plans
We are not “first-timers” on this trip. This should be the third time we are doing it but, this time we took a different route! We went down Highway 101 and we made as many stops as we felt like! We didn’t know where and for how long are stops would be. We left home in the afternoon and we missed most of the day-time. Our first stop was Paso Robles. A cute little place with a downtown, a park, candy stores, restaurants and cure boutiques. On Christmas day it was a “walking-dead” place with some Christmas lights and a candy store open. Creepy but cute. We crawled into the only restaurant open that looked like a dinner and an inn; fully booked and only option for food was an overpriced Christmas buffet. Not out type of thing.
Action plan: use their wi-fi and look for accommodation down the road. There should be food around there. We got so lucky! A huge room with a fireplace and two king beds for less than half its price, right on Pismo Beach! On our way there we made a stop to San Luis Obispo for dinner. Again, only just a few places open and those mostly american pubs which was ideal to us! After all, we are tourists.We woke up to the view of the beach on the picture above and then we scrolled down to the shops and the pier. The Splash Cafe is a legendary old-school expensive burger place were surfers used to hang out. Now there’s a huge line and all the surfers have found a different spot. At least on Christmas day.
As we continued out trip I was so adamant about making a stop to the Mission La Purisima. I had a feeling that it would be something special. There was no disappointment there. In fact, it was more than we expected. Such a well preserved mission and big as a small village. It was so serene and quite and it felt so recent in history yet so primitive. To me that was the nearest I have been so far to the American history. This was something older with lots of culture and truth in it. It was definitely an experience.
On our way south we knew we were probably going to end up to Santa Barbara. We have accepted this to be our destiny! Every time we have no plans we end up there. Another place we have heard a lot of but never visited was Solvang, the Danish village. We didn’t know what to expect as the sound of it is a little off. A Danish village in SoCal? The day after Christmas the place felt like Disneyland. Overcrowded, everywhere Danish pastries, the name “Andersen” in almost every sign, and horse carriages trying to make their way among cars and tourists. We probably spent an hour in the village, opened Hotel tonight and found our next hotel a little outside Santa Barbara.
Did I mention that I freezed to death in this trip? I underestimated the cold and given that we were going south I wasn’t expecting this. Pismo Beach was the only warm place that I could take off my coats and all my other layers and take a decent fashion blogging picture. At least I did that!
The funny thing is that as we were approaching Santa Barbara we started craving Mexican food. We ended up dining outside, exhausted and cold, listening to Mexican music and sipping margaritas! That was a nice but no luck on getting warmer!
Waking up in Santa Barbara is one of the most rewarding things. Even though we didn’t have the best night in the hotel due to the cold we made the next day so much worth it! First thing we did was to book the next place for the night; a place we wanted to book earlier but missed the chance: The Goodland hotel! Then we took our skates and rolled down the pier and the ocean front of Santa Barbara.
The sun was shining and the palm trees were reaching the sky! We resumed the day with our favorite mexican food in Santa Barbara: Los Agaves and then stayed in the Goodland for the rest of the day. This place was the best way to finish this trip! Amazing rooms with aesthetics that bring the summer out of you.
I would do it all over again! Tomorrow..