The Central Coast


I sure can cram a lot into a few days – and what a few days I’ve had.

Briefcase has had a particularly brutal last eight months at work.  He’s always a workaholic (!!), but he’s had a lot of extreme demands (and a nonstop travel schedule) these past several months.  As a special treat/break/reward for surviving – he booked a vacation weekend for just the two of us.

I have yet to upload all my photos from the trip (and damn, I lost a card full of photos before I ever got them home).

Here’s a quick look (journal style) of what I’ve been up to the last few days –


• Play hooky from The Neanderthal (regret this decision later).

• Drive a few hours north to Santa Barbara.  Walk around the town/beaches for awhile so I can inhale the town I love.  (If I don’t do this often enough my soul withers and dies.)

•  Drive north of Santa Barbara to one of my favorite spots in the universe, El Capitan State Park.  Watch the dolphins play.  The beauty of this place is intoxicating.  (I love it so much, I’ve even asked my family – after my death – to scatter my ashes here.)

•  Late afternoon:  Check into the Bacara Resort.  Ooh! and Ahh! at our upgraded/recently remodeled room.  Head out for a long beach/photography walk before the expected storm arrives.

•  Pig out on way too much food/drink at Bistro (one of the resort restaurants).  Moan and groan with a too-full tummy afterward.

•  Return to our magnificent room.  Light the fireplace and candles.  Ooh! and Ahh! over the room even more as rain begins pouring on our private deck/balcony.


Barn – Central Coast, California

•  Wake up to sunshine, beautiful skies, and rejoice the storm has passed.  (Wheeee!!)

•  Make a quick stop at Starbucks and begin the breathtaking drive up the coast.  (One of my favorite drives anywhere in the galaxy.)

•  Drive Briefcase crazy by stopping to take photos every few minutes.

•  Turn inland once we arrive near Santa Maria – Destination:  the famous Foxen Trail.

•  Drink in all the rural surrounding me.

•  Spend the day wine tasting at some fabulous wineries.  (Regret the decision not to eat prior to driving north.  Wine on an empty stomach – whee!)

•  Meet some wonderful people while wine tasting.  Intrude on their party, make friends, and follow them on to more wineries.  (Thank you SO much for sharing your picnic with us!!!)

•  Drive from “wine country” to downtown Santa Barbara, just to enjoy dinner at my all-time favorite sushi restaurant, Arigato.

•  Pinkberry frozen yogurt is dessert while we walk State Street and window shop.  (Such cute shops!)

•  Return to Bacara and wonder at our willpower to ever leave the resort – !

•  Light fireplace.

•  Light candles and place them around the huge bathtub.

•  Soak my painful arm/upper body/damaged parts forever in a hot bathtub lit by the fireplace and candles.

•  Contemplate never, ever, leaving the bathtub.

•  Fall asleep all cozy with a big puffy duvet, candlelight, and a fire softly glowing in the fireplace.


•  Wake up to Briefcase announcing he’s booked a “Couple’s Massage” at Bacara’s beautiful spa.

•  Toss on a pair of yoga pants, brush my teeth and head downstairs for a quick cup of coffee and light breakfast.

•  9 a.m. – Couple’s massage in a candlelit room in the spa.  Briefcase snores through most of it ….

•  Sauna and Eucalyptus Steam Room – I might be in heaven?  Follow-up with a shower using yummy smelling spa bath products ….

•  11:00 a.m., check-out of the resort and drive to the quaint, charming, town of Los Olivos.

•  Order an exquisite “gourmet” boxed lunch from the Los Olivos Cafe.

•  Drive to Rusack Vineyards.  (There are no words to describe the beauty of the drive – or the vineyard itself.)

•  Picnic on the beautiful deck, under majestic oak trees, overlooking the vineyards – while tasting excellent wines.

•  Contemplate never, ever, leaving this spot.

•  Take photos, talk to lots of really nice people, drink wine.  Repeat.  Repeat again.  And yet – again!

•  Sunday evening – make the long drive back to South Orange County, unpack multiple bottles of wine upon arrival back home.

•  Sigh heavily as reality returns.

I’ll have more details (and photos) in upcoming posts.

11 Responses to “The Central Coast”

  1. Jan's Sushi Bar

    Color me green with envy…

    And I suppose it would be kind of inconvenient for you to have the fam scatter your ashes before you were dead.

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      I debated on that sentence for a long time, Jan. If I didn’t put the “after my death” part in – people might assume I’m a smoker and that I asked my family to dump my ashtrays in the ocean!
      : )

  2. Denise

    Los Olivos is the most charming town. Next time, drive north to SLO County and I will try to meet up with you for a coffee. We had high surf all weekend and I’m sure you would have taken some fabulous coastal shots.
    The whole weekend sounds delightful, glad you took the time.

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      I will! I love SLO and I’ve spent a lot of time there in years past. I plan to take my son for a college visit there sometime in the next 3 months! : )

  3. Missy

    Miss taking those trips up to Santa Barbara while my daughter was in photography school there. I was in Santa Ynez last year for a weekend and that’s just a lovely spot filled with really nice people.

  4. Linda

    oooh, sounds divine. Glad you had such a nice time sweetie- you deserve it.

  5. karen

    Lucky girl! Love your pics… and now I’m going to order Moxxor from your link on the sidebar. I’ll let you know what I think.


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