Last Sunday at this time, Chris and I had landed at LAX, rented a convertible and were on our way up the Pacific Coast Highway for a week-long adventure that opened my eyes to why so many people live in California.
I had always wanted to drive along Highway 1 – I heard it’s one of the most scenic highways in all of America and it’s true – it really is. But first, we had to make our way out of Los Angeles. One of the first streets we were on out of the airport was Manchester – which, in a way, is similar to St. Louis’ own Manchester – store after store after store on either side – only the ones in L.A. have a distinctly more Hispanic feel to them. Once we got onto Highway 1, the sightseeing began but overcast skies and temperatures in the 60s kept us from getting the full convertible effect.
We cruised through Malibu and Santa Monica taking in the hills on our right and the Pacific Ocean on our left. At a few intersections we’d watch surfboarders in wet suits unloading their boards from their rooftop carriers on their way to hanging ten and we knew we definitely had left the midwest. Once we got past the larger communities the road got windier, the hills got prettier and the clouds finally gave way right around the time we were getting to our first stop on our journey – Morro Bay.
Chris had looked into places to stay as we made our way up the coast and she picked a great one. It wasn’t quite a bed and breakfast but it had that feel. We dropped off our luggage and headed down to the pier for a sunset dinner and we marveled that just a few hours earlier we had left the kids and work behind in St. Louis and set off to see what we would see. Morro Bay is a small fishing village, best known for Morro Rock – the remains of a volcano that was named by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo back in the 16th century. It juts out of the ocean and makes for a nice photo, particularly at sunset.
Everyone we talked to seemed extremely friendly. It’s interesting that when you mention St. Louis, people know one of two things about our city. We have an Arch. We have a great baseball team. That was about as far as the knowledge base seemed to go that day. But that’s okay. I didn’t even know there was such a place as Morro Bay before last week and I certainly didn’t know they had a famous rock that I’d want to post a picture of in this blog.
But they do and I did and that was Day One of our Journey.
More to come.