Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Labor Day Weekend, Part I

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The most recent Labor Day holiday was celebrated from August 29 through September 1, 2008, along the central coast of California, in accordance with the plans of Jamie and Jen.

Jamie and I set off for our adventure on the last Friday in August. We had quite a weekend ahead of us: our friends Sonya and Jeff were getting married up in Monterey and Jamie was turning 32! We had booked places to stay and discussed a few stops along the way we wanted to explore, but for the most part, we were gonna wing it.

Day One
The plan: Drive up the gorgeous southern and central coast of California and take in its stunning, awe-inspiring beauty.

What happened: Up and at 'em at 6 in the morning, Jamie and I jumped in the car and headed for the Pacific Coast Highway. It was an overcast morning, but we were sure the marine layer would burn off in no time. We stopped in the small military town of Lompoc for a bite to eat and some much-needed coffee.

And then we were off again!
As we continued up the coast (waiting for the pesky fog to burn off), we began to see signs for Morro Bay. Jamie said there was a rock there... and i really like rocks... so we thought, "Why not?!"

Along the way, we came across the North "T" Pier, home of the $1.25 barbecued oyster. The very, very delicious $1.25 barbecued oyster.

After some pelican watching, we bought some fudge from the boardwalk's candy store, and headed to Morro Rock.

Yup, there it is... right... there.

After playing on the rocks for a bit, we hopped back on the PCH... patiently waiting for that fog to dissipate. As the hours and miles went by, it was still a bit overcast... which was fine, because we had plenty of things to pass the time.

Next stop: Hearst Castle! Hearst Castle is actually a giant museum, but California State Parks strives to keep the estate looking like a private house. They offer five different tours everyday, and Jamie and I got there just in time for Tour 2, the Casa Grande Tour.

Jamie loved the Gothic Study

I loved the library

We both loved the artwork and ornate architecture

And the insane indoor pool

We were positive that after all the time we killed at the Castle we'd be welcomed by sunny skies and a crisp view of the coast... but alas... it was past lunchtime, and it appeared we were destined to drive through fog the rest of the day. As we were discussing this misfortune (and deliberating about driving down the coast on Monday), we saw our first of many elephant seal hangouts.

But we were starving, and were eager to get up to Big Sur... so through the clouds we drove... and drove... and drove...

we were above them!?!?!?

no joke, folks, here we are, above the clouds!

After a gorgeous photo opportunity,
we were Big Sur bound!

Jamie found this terrific spot for us in Big Sur called Fernwood Resort. This place had it all: tent camping, cabins, motel rooms, a tavern, a restaurant, a general store, hiking, and the Big Sur River! We opted for a tent cabin - something we had never done before - but will certainly do again!

We attempted to find a hiking trail, but ran into a few problems with the map... 

But then we found this terrific natural amphitheater in the woods and decided to get our dance on...

All that hiking and dancing definitely began to take its toll on us (as if our daylong drive didn't wear us out enough!), so we headed up towards the tavern for some dinner. We didn't go far before hearing someone shout, "Jamie!" (Small world, no?!) And wouldn't you know it, there at Fernwood was Jamie's friend Kris, along with her husband and adorable son Malcolm (more on these guys later!!). We chatted fireside about Sonya and Jeff, our Republican neighbors at the campsite, and what we each had planned for the rest of the weekend. 

And finally, after some cocktails, fish tacos, a smoked salmon quesadilla, and a gaze at the stars,
we were ready to call it a night. 

Check back soon for Day Two of our Labor Day Weekend!!!


Helen said...

I'm hooked! I can't wait for day 2! I really have to drive up the coast...25 years in LA and I've never done it

Jamie said...

I'm hooked and I already know how it ends!!!