I like to have plans when I travel with other people because I HATE the whole "What do you want to do?" "I don't know. What do you want to do?" business that generally happens.
So there was high potential for me being cranky when Katie and Heather and I departed on Friday afternoon for the central coast. We had a hotel reservation for two nights in Santa Maria and a reservation at Hearst Castle on Saturday. And that was it. No other plans. I was a little worried.
But there was no need because what I forgot to factor in was that we were driving along the coast. And when this is your view for most of your trip,
you can't help but have the Blue Bird of Happiness tucked deep in your heart.
At the beginning of the trip we decided that since we had no plans we would do everything on a whim. It was the Whim Weekend! If any of us saw something that we liked we would pull off and enjoy.
So on a whim:
1.) We stopped in Carpinteria and picked up some hamburgers and ate them on the life guard tower while we watched the sunset (it really was that golden);
2.) We saw a pretty little bay that looked inviting and got off the freeway and ended up instead at a pretty little farm that sold fruits and homemade pies;
3.) We eventually made it to the bay which turned out to be a dog beach that was hosting a Great Dane festival. Have you seen dozens of Great Danes frolicking in the ocean? Your heart will break;
4.) We went to see the rock at Morro Bay and ended up at an art show where we purchased lovely hand-crafted jewelry and soap. (Fact: I am a sucker for hand-made soap because it's nicer on my allergies. Also, and this is the highest praise I can give, this soap was sitting in a bag at my feet in the car for hours and smelled the whole place up and not once did I feel like sneezing, wheezing, gagging or throwing it out the window. And it makes my skin feel nice.);
5.) We rescheduled our reservation time for Hearst Castle to make room for more whims. But we eventually made it and we learned all about the Life of Elegant Leisure.
Although we also learned that that life is only for the rich. For the paying tourist it is a whole bunch of "Hurry up! Stay with the group! No loitering!" Which went against my natural instincts, and, might I add, the whole vibe of the place. It's begging you to loiter, but your tour guide is shoving you on the bus;
6.) We headed down to Cambria and ended up having dinner at a fancy restaurant and then antique shopping, where I bought yet another brooch. Friends, I need another brooch like I need another toe. But how am I suppose to resist? It was a whim! We also wandered into a hat shop and I found this beauty:
The Official Hat for the Woman of Elegant Leisure!!!!! I would have had to take out a loan for it but just knowing that it exists fills me with joy.
7.) We played Uno at the poker table in the lobby of our hotel. It was a very old hotel and full of charm and tchotchkes and we thought it would be fun. It was.
Heather modeling her saucy new hat:
Me smiling with my eyes while losing:
Oy, that was a lot of cards.
To sum up: whims=fun