Monday, July 18, 2011

Pismo Beach

In May I took a trip to Pismo Beach, California with my mom. Mom and Dad lived there when Dad was serving in the U.S. Army. For many years now, they've traveled back to enjoy Pismo and the surrounding area each year, but were unable to the last 2 years before Dad passed. Mom wanted to make one last trip so she asked if I would like to go along. We flew from SLC to LA and then to Santa Barbara. From there we drove north to Pismo. On our way, we stopped in Buelton at a place called Pea Soup Andersons where I had some of the best seafood pasta ever (as much fresh seafood as pasta). It's a quaint little Danish restaurant and gift shop that first opened it's doors in 1924. Owned by Anton and Juliette Andersen. The place is famous for it's pea soup (no, I didn't try any) that was first made by Juliette who was an expert chef from the east of France.

Our next stop was Pismo Beach. I had been there once or twice when I was a teenager but I don't think I appreciated the beauty that surrounded me. This time, like a child I was in awe of the ocean. I felt as if I was standing on the edge of the earth, and I was mesmerized by it's grandeur.

While we were there, we drove up to Avila Beach and had dessert at the Olde Port Inn Restaurant at the end of the Harford Pier.

Another day we drove to the Hearst Castle. 

It's more like a museum. Before going, I got on the internet and read about William Hearst, the castle and the artifacts. During our tour, our guide ask a question and wanted the first person who could answer it to shout out the answer. "Who was Millicent Willson?" Several people made guesses but were wrong. I'm not a real loud person, but I finally shouted out, "She was his wife." For the correct answer, I received the miniature pink rose from our guide's lapel.

At the castle, I was once again struck by the beauty of it and the surrounding area. The castle was 28 years in the making and was actually never completed. It's an architectural wonder. William Hearst was an avid collector of art and artifacts. He combined lots of different styles from many time periods and somehow made they all work together. This Egyptian sculpture dates back to the time of Moses.

For me, the castle was one of the highlights of our trip. Unfortunately, you have to see it firsthand to really appreciate it.

On our way to and from the Castle, we passed Morro Bay where this huge volcanic plug (581 feet high) is located just off shore from Morro Bay.

As we drove up and down the coast, there were miles and miles of vineyards. Of course, we were in Wine Country. Mom said years ago there were miles and miles of different produce. So, what are we going to eat when all they grow is grapes?
(I took this picture while we were driving)

Another one of my favorite places was Solvang. It's a Scandinavian city with lots of flavor and atmosphere. Mom and Dad always brought home fudge to everyone from here. I also tasted gelato for the first time.

Mom and I had lots of fun walking up and down the old part of Pismo, taking in the sites and smells, the birds, the flowers, the shops, the people and eating lots of good food (especially seafood).

Thanks Mom for taking me on this trip!!! Also, thank you to Jenna for coming home and holding down the fort while I was gone. By the way, we had such a great time that we decided we need to go "one more time".

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pirate Ship

Many of you on my street have watched the progress of an amazing fort/ pirate ship being built. I've watched with particular interest because the builder was once one of my little Mia Maids. Dacia is now a mother of 3 boys. After pricing playground equipment she decided she could build her own, but even the materials were outrageously expensive. So..... trips to D.I., online shopping, along with Dacia's fabulous imagination have produced something far better than any kit. For more details to the story you can read the Vernal Express article at,1640283. You can also check it out at and leave her a comment.