Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Central Coast Secrets

Morro Rock Sunset
A bit of a departure for my artblog, but thought I would pass along some favorite places to take pictures, relax, day dream, and explore.

We spent a long weekend in our favorite place -- California's Central Coast -- this time, staying in Morro Bay at the Masterpiece Inn. This is a nice, off-beat little place with prints of famous artwork in all the rooms and hallways, etc. They even have a guide to the numbered pieces. Staff was very friendly, rooms are quiet and very clean, and continental breakfast and early evening wine and cheese are offered. There is a very large indoor spa downstairs and it is a pleasant walk to the harbor. Plenty of art galleries and throughout the year there are art shows, wine festivals, and a farmer's market on Saturday's. Not at all expensive, either, although we are "gettin' there" and got an AARP rate.

The Galley restaurant on the Morro Bay Embarcadero intrigued us with its "naked fish" offerings. Just simple, grilled fresh choices with a variety of sauces available on the side. Small, unobtrusive, great views and excellent service.

We were a week late for the Roll Out The Barrels wine festival and a week early for the art show, but even with Mother's Day on Sunday, we never felt crowded or stuck in traffic or any of that nonsense.

Drove up to Cambria and had lunch at one of the Linn's restaurants there. Excellent food and we came home with not enough Olallieberry preserves and syrup. This little blue door is from the pottery store courtyard in Harmony, pop. 18, between Cayucos and Cambria.

Wineries we liked: Domaine Alfred, Tangent, and Stephen Ross Tasting Room in San Luis Obispo. We talked to a brand-new Cal Poly Business/Vinticulture graduate and a wine growing family, and learned just how the economy is affecting them, but everyone seemed upbeat and willing to work through it. Wine growers, especially, take great pride in their vineyards and the time (as much as nine years before viable production) it takes to create their dream. It gave me new perspective on artists, too, as it takes a lifetime to produce one, whether that lifetime is long or short. Sort of like a great wine, some take longer than others.
Pelicans at Stearn's Wharf, Santa Barbara.

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