Monday, November 2, 2009

Vacation, Part 1

"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale
A tale of a fateful trip . . . ."

Well, my vacation's over, and it's back to work for me in the morning. Time to reminisce a little.

Because my back was so painful on Sunday, we didn't know if we'd be able to leave or whether we'd have to cancel our plans; needless to say, when we DID decide to go, we got a late start on Monday, getting on the road around 1 p.m. for a five hour drive. And you probably know I like to start every trip at Starbuck's, right? Well, we decided to stop in a large town along the way and had a difficult time finding a Starbuck's--oddly enough!--so our progress toward the ocean was further delayed by that side excursion.

Our first vacation destination was Pismo Beach, where we had reservations for two nights at the Kon Tiki in a room looking out on the ocean. When we finally arrived a little after 7 p.m., it was dark, we were tired and hungry, my back hurt, and we were both in need of a restroom; the desk clerk told us the closest restroom would be in our room. Unfortunately, when she checked the computer, she found our room had been released when we hadn't called to confirm by 2 p.m. WHAT?! Well, by way of background here, Hubby had called to make the reservations in the first place--because he's handicapped, it's usually best if he can talk to someone on the telephone about his needs--and when he made the reservations, he wasn't told we needed to call ahead and confirm. In fact, when he offered to secure the room with a credit card, he was told it wasn't necessary. So there we were, in a strange town with no place to stay. I think at that point we both could have just sat down and cried. I know I thought seriously about getting back in the car and driving home to Sacramento!

The clerk DID offer to help us find another room in town, but because we still needed a restroom, we declined her help and left. Eventually we stopped at another hotel in the same area that had a vacancy sign, the Shore Cliff, and Hubby went in to ask about a room.

To make a long story short, we ended up staying at the Shore Cliff for two nights in a suite--a living room, two bedrooms, and a bathroom--for only a little more money than we would have been charged at the Kon Tiki. Suddenly what was starting to look like the vacation from Hell had turned around considerably! Oh, and the BEST part? Our suite had balconies off three of the rooms looking both north and south along the shoreline.

Here's the living room--the balcony there looks out over the hotel pool and north along the shore.

And the two bedrooms--

They shared a balcony. I pulled these photos off the hotel website because they were better than the ones I took, but our weather was MUCH, much nicer than what you see out those windows!

Once we unpacked, we headed into town to find something for dinner and ended up at the Splash Cafe--oddly enough, it seemed like our car just found this restaurant on its own. The reason I say it was kind of odd? Soccer Son--who went to college not too far away--had specifically mentioned this restaurant and asked us to stop to pick up some clam chowder for his lovely-wife-to-be-someday before we came back home at the end of the week. How we just ended up here in the dark, not knowing where we were going, is a mystery to me, but clam chowder sounded perfect!

(I grabbed that photo above off their website--it was dark when we arrived, so I couldn't take a photo of the exterior.) I had the chowder in a bread bowl and Hubby ordered fish and chips. Yum!

We didn't have any real plans for vacation other than to relax and enjoy ourselves, so with a suite overlooking the ocean at our disposal, we decided to spend much of the first day relaxing and enjoying the view. On that Tuesday morning, we went out to do some limited exploration of Pismo Beach and the surrounding towns, stop at a couple thrift shops (and one small fabric shop), and gather up provisions from a nearby grocery store.

Here's a photo I took of the hotel--that's our suite on the corner of the bottom floor--the one with Hubby sitting out on one of the balconies. There's another balcony over around on the left side off the living room. I'll share a few photos of our view in a later post.

And me? Well, here's what I did with my afternoon:

I even got a little bit of a sunburn sitting out on the balcony! As far as I can remember, I think we stayed in for dinner that night--I just fixed some salads and stuff we'd picked up at the grocery deli. But we DID go out for dessert--it WAS vacation, after all!

The next morning, on Wednesday, we checked out of the Shore Cliff and headed north. More about that tomorrow.


Eileen said...

Gee, that clam chowder does look good. What a great hotel room for two.Three beds is pretty good for two people.

PunkiePie said...

Sounds like a wonderful start to vacation, despite the search for a new place to stay.

Carin said...

Glad the rocky start didn't ruin your vacation and that things turned out even better :O)

Faithful Quilter:Elaine's Journey said...

So close to me and so far away! We were also on vacation,a cruise to New England and Canada, and here you were... practically in my own front yard!

I "heard" that the weather here was fabulous! Glad you had a great time...

Elaine in SLO, Ca

Karen said...

My son went to Cal Poly in SLO and I, too, had clam chowder at the restaurant you went to. My DS said that it was the best he'd ever had and we HAD to go there when I went to visit him. You truly are in God's land in San Luis Obispo. I wish I was there now....I'll just have to settle for sunny, warm, Sonoma County (not too far from your stomping grounds!)

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

So glad that the hotel situation worked out for the good instead of a disaster.

Christina D said...

Splash Cafe has the BEST Clam Chowder
we have ever eaten. Lucky you!