Saturday, April 7, 2018

Road Trip :: Morro Bay

     Cheap travel tip of the year -> No one goes to the central coast for spring break.  So if you're looking to get away from mankind, this is a great way to do it.  It was nice to be able to immediately eat somewhere, not be fighting crowds to get a good view, and most of all, no traffic on PCH.  (Side note:  The 101 freeway is a whole different story.  That was a total sh*t show because you basically pass through it during rush hour if you leave in the morning or if you return in the evening!)

     First stop - Solvang.  Next time, I think I'd skip Solvang.  I've been there too many times, and it's always hit or miss.  I wonder if it would be any different if you stayed a few nights in Solvang and really explored what it had to offer.

WARNING:  Dog photos up ahead!  I was able to find a place on that was dog friendly and didn't charge a fortune to bring your pup.

     This cinnamon crisp was too sweet.  You've been warned.

     I don't know why I never noticed it before, but Morro Bay is quite small.  This was probably my third or fourth visit to Morro Bay, and I'd never noticed what a small town it is.  I knew my way around town within a few hours of being there.  I have a feeling that the emptiness during this time of the year had something to do with it.  

     On a giant chessboard across the street from Dorn's.  I was bummed that the giant chess pieces weren't out. :( 

     Nearby was this BBQ place called Brickhouse BBQ.  The service was fast, and the BBQ was pretty good for a super casual place.  You can get a 3 meat combo for about $15.  Luckily, they had outdoor seating.  I was so pleasantly surprised at how dog-friendly Morro Bay was.  Yes, that's a dog stroller.  My dog's high maintenance LOL. 😊

     These smoke stacks are apparently from an old power plant, and it would cost more to tear them down, than to just live with seeing them.  I'm sure they've become part of the iconic look of Morro Bay by now.

     So what I've learned is that it's very hard to focus on your long exposure photography or to use your new ND filters when you've got a dog to take care of.  This is all I've got - sorry! 😏

     This is such a quaint little town.  Once the sun sets, it's really nice to just walk around with the cool air and the lack of crowds.  

     At this little place called Sun-N-Buns Bakery near the waterfront, they have these cute little dog biscuits.  My dog loved them, and they have four different flavors.

     I kid you not that this liquor store is Morro Bay's best kept secret.  If you don't believe me, just check out their Yelp reviews.  This place has everything.  It's like a Wal-Mart of liquor stores.  To top it off, they have a deli that serves up some pretty tasty food at great prices.  
     Their selection of drinks is pretty extensive.

     Someone's about to get their tasty treat! 😋

     I really wanted to take a short drive up to San Simeon the next day.  It was actually a nice little drive at slow speed limits.  The pier was nearly empty, and the beach was, too.  It was awesome.  

     I met this little cutie named Minnie on the beach.  The people on the central coast seem to really love their dogs.  This is my kind of place.  For a brief moment, I even considered retiring here.  Then I looked up property values on Zillow and changed my mind LOL.

     I loved seeing my dog so excited everywhere we stopped.  Look at this face! 😍

     We stopped for a quick lunch at - you guessed it - Bottle Liquor!  That BLT sandwich was pretty amazing. 

     They have this little patio on the side with outdoor seating.  

     The next time I drive out to the central coast, I definitely want to stop at Lake Cachuma along highway 154.  It looks so serene, and if you have dogs with you, they'll probably love a walk on some of the trails.

     After unpacking my gear, it was obvious to me that I brought waaaaay too much gear.  Had this been a photography trip with friends, maybe this would've all gotten used, but to be honest, I used about three of these lenses.  I mostly used the 16-35 f4 and 70-200 f2.8, and I might've brought out the 85 f1.8 once or twice.  The rest of this could've stayed home!

     I might have to make the central coast during spring break a regular thing.  Sometimes you just need a break from the SoCal crowds, and a quiet beach town minus the glitz and pretentiousness of SoCal beach towns is just the ticket!