Thursday, May 4, 2017

Modesto, Hearst Castle, and Beyond

Before leaving Modesto, we spent another day mostly with Frank & Dottie, starting with a trip to the Saturday morning farmer’s market. The weather was nice, and we loved seeing all the fresh produce, as well as hand-made products of many varieties, and listening to live music.


We even found time to have lunch with a long-time RV friend, Pat Livingston, who was part of our “Loosey Goosey Gang” led by Dennis & Carol Hill to Alaska in 2011.


We had dinner later with Frank & Dottie at Fisherman’s Galley. We tried to get in to Outback but there was a 45-minute wait for a table, whereas we were only one of three groups at Fisherman’s and we all enjoyed the meal and chance to continue our visit.

Here’s a picture showing Bella’s face. Do you think she looks like a slightly larger Gigi?



Our next stop down the road was to tick off an item on Don’s bucket list: Hearst Castle. He had never been there, but I had visited several times when I lived in California, and then took all 5 tours (as offered then) in 2003 when I first started full-time RVing. If you’ve been there I’ll spare you the tedium of looking at all my pictures. If you haven’t been, look at the Hearst Castle website for professional pics. Here are just a few of the many I took.

We arrived early for our 10:00 tour of the Grand Rooms so we explored the gift shop. Somehow this style hat doesn’t exactly suit Don, but he had fun modeling it anyway.


We could see glimpses of the castle from the bus on our ride up to the top of La Cuesta Encantada (The Enchanted Hill).




How would you like to be a guest at this dinner table?


And sleep in this bedroom?


We took the Grand Rooms Tour on Monday, then the Upstairs Suites Tour, followed by the Cottages & Kitchen Tour, both on Tuesday. After climbing more than 300 steps on the second tour plus all the walking and steps on the other tours, our legs and feet were tired. We decided to check out a nearby restaurant recommended by one of the guides: Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill in Cambria. Their clam chowder was really good – we had it in sourdough bowls and it was a hearty meal. The outdoor seating offered a great view of the Pacific Ocean too.


The Atascadero Elks Lodge was our home for these few days, and we enjoyed having full hookups with 50 amps for $25/night – inexpensive for this area. Yesterday I drove the 34.8 mile distance to Oceano, where we are again staying at the local Elks Lodge paying $25/night. This time it’s water and 30 amps with a dump that is hard to get to, but it’s just a block from the ocean and all the other RV parks here charge even more than around Atascadero.

We again had clam chowder for dinner last night, this time at a small cafe in Pismo Beach called Splash. The chowder is creamier but doesn’t have bacon cooked in it like Moonstone does. Both chowders were good, just different. We’re enjoying the cool ocean breezes here, but I hope it warms up and the sun comes out so we can take Gigi to the beach.