THE 2019 CALIFORNIA ROAD (PRE) TRIP THEME NIGHT COUNTDOWN – DAY 7 AND 8 (BIG SUR, CAMBRIA, 4th OF JULY!!)

Welcome my friends to yet another post detailing our upcoming California Road Trip and our movie theme nights counting it down.

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This one was a pretty good night. Well, there were a few hiccups. And not the good like, whiskey kind of hiccups. After dinner, as we were about to start the movie, I went to look for my glasses and I couldn’t find them anywhere. Which was odd because I hadn’t worn them out of the house that morning. I looked everywhere. EVERYWHERE.

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I looked in drawers. Under beds. In bags and backpacks. Pockets. I even looked through the recycling bin and the trash. I had pretty much given hope when I decided, on a longshot, to text my Mom since she had come by the house earlier to go to Owen’s soccer game. And it turned out she grabbed them and put them in her pocketbook. When I called her to confirm this, her first question was to ask me if I had put them in her pocketbook. Which immediately had me running through reasons in my head why someone would do such a thing.

To fool her into putting on the wrong prescription?

To give her a reason to come back to our house?

Maybe my glasses had been spotted at the scene of a crime and I was looking to frame her for the job?

Alas, nothing so sinister. She just picked up my glasses by mistake.

And I bring all of this up to say that I slacked a bit on pictures of the night. We even had company – most of the Chagnons (George, Stephanie, and Emily) – and I didn’t get one picture of them. I got pictures of the food pre-crisis. But just know the Chagnons were there. And they were lovely. Sorry Chagnons. But I am glad you came. Next time, come in your Sunday best because I will be playing the part of paparazzi that day.

On with the night…

The movie

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For this portion of the trip, we watched the Chevy Chase/Goldie Hawn classic Seems Like Old Times. I mean, *I* think it’s a classic.  I grew up watching this movie, thinking Charles Grodin was some sort of comic treasure. I mean, between this and Midnight Run, he kind of was.

But yeah, for those who haven’t seen it, the movie centers on a writer (Chevy Chase) who is wrongfully accused of robbing a bank and seeks the help of his ex-wife (Goldie Hawn), who has to keep it all hidden from her District Attorney husband (Charles Grodin.)

Since this is a Neil Simon sort of thing, hijinks obviously ensue. Chevy Chase’s character hides under the bed while Goldie Hawn and Charles Grodin get erm…amorous. Goldie Hawn has both stray dogs and criminals breaking up dinner parties and stealing cars, respectively. Chevy Chase ends up somehow tangled up in a garden hose. That sort of thing. All good stuff.

But the star of the show is of course Goldie Hawn’s Hispanic housekeeper, Aurora. Legit every line out of her mouth is gold. Try watching this movie and then attempt to work in the phrase “getting my feet scraped” at some point the following day. You won’t be able to avoid saying it like Aurora.

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“I got to go to da hospital to getta my feeta scraped.”

But yeah, I love this movie. It’s not high cinema or anything but Chevy is constantly being Chevy here (translation: quick-witted and dry) and this may be my favorite of Goldie Hawn’s movies. I mean, I maybe still have a soft spot for Overboard and Private Benjamin but she’s just so insanely awkwardly cute in this. As for Grodin, he hit peak at Midnight Run, but he’s crazy good in this as well.

The kids. Eh, the kids didn’t agree. Though they did like all the dogs in the film.

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The meal

In the movie, the whole situation comes to a head when Charles Grodin and Goldie Hawn host a dinner for the governor. Aurora is off getting her feet scraped and their server, Chester, has gotten drunk. This leaves Chevy Chase, who has come to turn himself in, to serve dinner. Again, hijinks.

But the meal at the center of this whole thing is the stuff of legend – Aurora’s Chicken Pepperoni. It’s a special request by the governor and it’s obviously a very hard dish to make, given the state of the kitchen when Goldie Hawn attempts to recreate the dish:

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So we obviously had to try and recreate it. But also, we didn’t have a lot of time. Now, there are A TON of recipes out there for Aurora’s Chicken Pepperoni. Even Rachel Ray has one here. And all the recipes are insanely different.

I saw one saying they would expect this dish to be less of an Italian type dish but honestly, if you watch the movie carefully, Grodin specifically tells someone to call Sicily for the recipe. So I am assuming it’s an Italian recipe. Also, what? Aurora can’t make an Italian dish? Racist much?

So yeah, let’s go with it’s Italian. And as mentioned, we were under a time crunch, so we went with the recipe here. And things didn’t turn out too bad. Thanks of course to Nickie’s cooking.

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We’re not inside eating chicken. That’s for sure.

Nickie also made some basic chicken cutlets and chicken parm for the kids, knowing full well they would not eat such a thing.

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And we paired it with some bowtie pasta, keeping with the whole Italian vibe of such things.

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Bowtie is the fanciest of all the pasta.

We also had some Caesar salad and some bread on the side. And I got to mess with my new Samsung S10 wide angle lens.

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It was pretty yumtown. I went for seconds. And also thirds. Also fat.

#CaliFriendsYeah2019 –Day 7 – In which we have a little more Monterey time and see Big Sur before arriving in Cambria

Day 7 is an insanely jam-packed day. Jam packed with family. Jam packed with friends. Jam packed with fun. Jam packed with activities.

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So many.

So we plan on waking up no later than 8:00 AM. Honestly, I think we should plan on waking up no later than 7:00, leaving by 8:00 AM. But that’s just me. I’m a glutton for punishment.

Once everyone (all 11 of us!) is ready, we will head out for breakfast for our first donut of the trip at Red’s Donuts, which is a short, 3 minute walk from our hotel. I envision it will probably be me (and maybe Myles) making the walk to Red’s while everyone finishes getting ready and bringing back donuts to the crew. That’s how we do. Nuts. That’s how we donuts.

For those that don’t know, we have been sort of on a mission to try donuts from all over (check out #GoodyDonutChallenge on Instagram for the pics) so it’s exciting to get to our first spot on this trip. And Red’s seems like a good first stop. The donuts look basic, traditional, old-school donuts. And they look delicious. Plus, points for being insanely affordable. $8.50 for a dozen? Yes, please.

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You don’t like coconuts? Say brainless, don’t you know where coconuts come from?

After breakfast, the plan is to hit the Monterey Aquarium right when it opens. Which is at 9:30AM. Eh, I guess with that late an opening maybe we don’t have to rush so much in the morning. But yeah, Monterey Aquarium. Which is exciting.

Nickie and I visited Monterey on our cross-country honeymoon but we never made it to the aquarium so we are really looking forward to seeing it. It’s supposed to be an insanely great aquarium. And…they HAVE OTTERS!!!

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AND PENGUINS!!!

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So, I am obviously going to have a hard time leaving.

But leave we will have to. I think we only have a couple hours at the aquarium so we will have to cram a ton o’ fish in there.

Tuna fish?

No, TON. TON o’ fish. Dummy.

But yeah, we gotta leave because we have a total of just under 4 hours of driving to do ahead of us. But thankfully, we have a ton o’ stops planned.

Tuna stops?

Ugh.

And this is the drive. This is THE drive. We are going to be seeing a lot of pretty things driving the entire coast. But when people talk about driving the coast of California, this is usually where their mind is going. The Big Sur coastal drive. So let’s get it started, eh?

While the entire drive is sort of the attraction (especially in a Mustang), we have put together a compressed itinerary of spots and I think our plan has us hitting some truly beautiful places.

Upon leaving Monterey, it’s a half hour or so drive to our first big point of interest – Bixby Bridge.

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I kind of can’t breathe already looking at this.

I have such a weird relationship with bridges in that I find them often both beautiful and terrifying. Like Godzilla.

After Bixby Bridge, the next major stop will be at Pfeiffer State Beach, which is largely famous for two things – its purple sand and keyhole rock.

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Hopefully, we get an ok view of keyhole rock as hitting low tide may be tough but fingers crossed we still get an ok look at it, because when the light hits it just right? Amazeface.

We then have lunch reservations at Nepenthe. Which we hear is a place you HAVE TO STOP when making the drive. Perched on a Big Sur cliffside with legit breathtaking views, I feel like we would stop here even if the food was terrible.

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And while I hear people do come more for the view than the food, I do hear the Ambrosiaburger is a favorite. So like, I will get that. Because I enjoy when other people make decisions for me.

The next stop after lunch will be checking out McWay Falls. Not sure if it will be open for us to walk the trail or we will just stop on the road for a view, but we definitely have to stop and see it. I mean, it’s a waterfall. On the beach.

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From there, it’s on to the Big Creek Cove Vista Point for some more OMG STOP WITH THE PRETTY.

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Ragged Point is next on the list as it’s the first vista point signaling the mountainous part of the drive. This point gives you a relatively clear view to the south and I’ve heard to keep your eyes open for dolphins and whales off in the distance.

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While we will almost be at our hotel at this point, I am hoping we will have time to stop to see some elephant seals at the rookery in San Simeon.

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Elephant seals. Nature’s Jimmy Durante.

The drive is gonna be epic. For sure. I just got a new S10 with all this internal memory plus a memory card but I worry I will fill it up with pictures…just of this drive.

But after the elephant seals, the plan is to get to our inn in Cambria to check in at the Sea Otter Inn. And this inn? Looks pretty great. I think it’s one of the first places we booked because we saw some YouTube videos that convinced us it was the place for us. And. AND. We are staying here for 2 nights!

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It’s located right across from the ocean, has an amazing free breakfast (which I will get to in a bit), and appears to have a lot of charm to it.

Dinner that night is still up in the air – either Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill or The Sea Chest. Both look pretty great, have amazing ocean views, and oysters on the half shell. So the only way to lose here would be…um….eh. No way to lose, I guess. Everything’s coming up Wayne.

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Oysters on the half-shell. Oyster power.

After dinner, it’ll be back to the Sea Otter to hang out at the hot tub or pool or just hang by the fire pits and reflect on the amazing we have already experience and talk about what we have to look forward to for the next 10 days. Crazy – we’d still have ten days left!

#CaliFriendsYeah2019 –Day 8 – In which we see a castle and celebrate the 4th of July in Cambria

Ah, America. The land of the free, home of the breakfast burrito.

Right, so Day 8 is July 4th. So, you know…happy birthday ‘Murrica!

The spreadsheet says we get to sleep in on July 4th. But don’t get too excited because it also says that means we are up by 9AM. Everything is relative, I suppose.

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And the morning should be a nice one as the Sea Otter delivers your free breakfast in a picnic basket hanging on your door. Yeah, you heard that right. I think you get a choice of a few options.  I’ve heard the breakfast burritos are quite, you know, Bueno. So we will have breakfast in or maybe out on the patio. Either way. Breakfast burrito. In a picnic basket.

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Afterwards, the plan is to either walk across the street and take a nice beach walk or hop in the car and drive a few minutes down the road to Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, which is supposed to be incredible. I assume we will end up here for a walk since it’s so close and it seems like a can’t-miss sort of thing.

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But we won’t have all that much time to explore because we have 11:00AM tickets to visit Hearst Castle in San Simeon. As it will be our first time visiting, we booked the Grand Rooms Tour, which takes us through the Assembly Room, Refectory, Morning Room, Billiard Room, and Theater. And you are also free to explore the pools and gardens afterwards. I am really looking forward to this, for the tour but also for the views…

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Lunch is somewhat up in the air that day, but I would really like to visit Sebastian’s in San Simeon if we can. Their burger looks legit. ANNNND they have wine. Which is also legit.

There is also the potential for pie. And you know what we say – if there’s potential for pie, that potential be strong. I mean, we don’t always say that. In fact, we never say that. But we should. Because pie.

And the pie in question is at Linn’s back in Cambria. They are known especially for their Olallieberry pie. Olallieberry is a raspberry/blackberry hybrid and is supposedly a sweet-tart kind of flavor. I am obviously in.

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Ohai Pie.

Afterwards, it’s probably back to the hotel to swim and relax (translation: have cocktails). Unless we decide to head to Shamel Park early for the 4th of July festivities.

If we have headed back to the hotel, the 11 of us are planning on picking up sandwiches for dinner from The Café on Bridge St. and bringing them with us to get set up at Shamel Park to watch the fireworks that night. On account of it’s America’s birthday. Also on account of Matt hates having sandwiches for dinner. So I guess that’s a win-win.

So yeah, that’s Day 7 and 8. Pretty awesome, no?

 

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