Wednesday, April 03, 2013

California Dreaming!

"All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey 
I've been for a walk on a winters day
I'd be safe and warm if I was in LA 
California dreaming
On such a winters day" 

For me, the epitome of a 2 week dash around CA was the drive on Route 1. The coastline on one side, stopping at several scenic spots, laughing, talking, eating and singing till my throat was hoarse. After a great 2 days of 'Park' fun at Disneyland, Orange County and meeting Shamu at Sea WorSan Diego, it was time to head up to Santa Barbara and crash. 

We woke up to a glorious bright cold day in December, headed for the really beautiful Hearst Castle. Now, if you've read Jeffrey Archer's Fourth Estate or watched 'Citizen Kane', the house would certainly be a stop on your drive. The Turkish pool, the Grecian columns, the mega-giant-supersized dining table, the guest cottages et al were man-made and stunning, but the real piece-de-resistance is the view! The view from the garden is to kill for, and I can easily imagine a life lounging in the garden watching the sea, reading a book... for a long time in my life! 

Julia Pffeifer Burns State Park
Then the long drive.... we drove to SFO leisurely.... stopped wherever I wanted to take a pic (read every 5 mins!). The Big Sur coastline is a must-see. The Pacific swirling, crashing on the rocks, merrily frothing and gently kissing the coast....bewitching! The entire Big Sur area has many many untouched, pristine spots, but I recommend the Julia Pffeifer Burns State Park, for its well-kept walkways, wonderful spots and excellent photo-ops. Bird-watchers would be especially delighted. A gull decided he liked my sandwich and until I gave him my PBJ, insisted on perching on the open door of our car!

The sunset was spectacular, cold (December, remember?) and romantic (after all, we'd been married 6 months only!) We watched the sun set with an old couple who were apparently celebrating their 48th year of marriage. Awww! Late in the night, when it was too late to click anymore with our beginner's camera, we wound up at Carmel-by-the-Sea, a quaint little town. We stayed at a cute little boutique hotel. But those stories later! 

Route 1 means different things to different, nature, good roads, togetherness, romance, happiness, money, but best of all, great memories! That mixture does it for me :) 

Consider carrying adequate snacks and topping the gas tank in your car before you set off, it could be a nerve-wracking drive otherwise!

Ps: If you are wondering about the title or the lyrics, its a great song by The Mamas and Papas, a 1960s band which a bunch of us attempted to sing in B-school, and whether we succeeded or not, we sure remember the lyrics well :) 


  1. Lovely lovely lovely post ! You have got the traveler in me all restless ! Driving on route 1 is a Dream !

  2. I missed California during my visit to the US!! Your blog inspires a visit... ;)

  3. California, here I come. This year I will be making a trip again. :)
    I haven't heard anyone mention The Mamas and Papas in a long long time!

  4. I've heard the song. Perfect title for your post - a great read!

  5. I agree that that route 1 is the best thing to do when you visit California! Even Shamu cannot compete with the beauty of the sights on that route!

  6. You sure are a seasoned traveler. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
    California dreamin' now!

  7. Great post. I recently went to California for the first time in my 79 years. You describe it very well. I enjoyed your pics as well. Best regards. Ruby.

  8. Amazing California! You have traveled a lot! :)

  9. Amazing California! You have traveled a lot! :)