Day 8: Twist and shout, you know you twist so fine

2 Moose on the Loose California Car clam chowder Laundry travel YOLO

Despite an early wake up, we weren’t out of the room until 9:30. We grabbed the provided continental breakfast and hit the road. We were hoping to get to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, apparently one of the best in the US, but it didn’t open until 10 and it was a beautiful day out - Big Sur is the highlight of the pacific highway, so we wanted as much daylight as possible.

We drove by Point Lobos - a highly recommended State Park with a few cove lookouts but the line up to get in was out the gate AND ALL THE WAY DOWN THE HIGHWAY. So we noped out of that. No regrets, we read that as recommended as it was when you have time, it’s pretty similar to the 17 mile scenes and where we were going - so as a tourist, if you’re going to skip something, this was it. Phew! No #FOMO today.

Just after we passed Carmel, oh man, we were pulling over every 3-5 minutes to take pictures. No joke. It was the most ridiculous drive and although we hit faster speeds than we did with No Ragrets, we were not moving any faster. We got a lot of “déjà vu”s to the Mongol Rally though with the sightseeing and the feel of being on the road, in the sun. It was wonderful! We had a lot of conversations that took us back - it feels like it was a lifetime ago!

None of our pictures do it justice, we’re just not even capturing a fraction of what we could be but it’ll be imprinted in our head and still took our breath away. We saw cliffs, funky trees, stunning houses the size of a mall, ancient castle looking-like houses ON THE CLIFFS (not sure if I’d be able to do this), and so many animals en route today: a coyote crossed the road right in front of us, an owl flew directly above us, a crab the size of my plate, a sea urchin, sea lions, and don’t get me started on the seagulls the size of our dog! Hopefully the GoPro captured the coyote and owl because I didn’t move fast enough for my phone.

We kept driving over bridges and I asked every time “was that the Bixby Bridge?”, justin kept saying to relax and we’ll know when we hit it.

We knew. Holy moly. So so beautiful and by far the most beautiful scene on this trip so far. Just took your breath away to stand on the edge of the world with the bridge to break up the cliffs, the bluest water below, and nothing on the horizon as far the eye could see. Justin got the drone out and I drove for a while so he could get some shots of us driving along the coastal cliffs.

We stopped at the Big Sur Roadhouse to grab some to-go food and ran into a parking lot full of Porsches, Corvettes, BMWs, and whatever other fancy cars along with a sad van. The people in front of us in line were from the Everyday Driver show and they were driving the coast filming. Poor guy in the van with the equipment - so they kept alternating to give him a chance in the nice cars haha. This was a wild road so justin was missing his car a little bit and drooling over theirs. It only got crazier later on!

But before that, we took our food and got to Pfeiffer Beach where the sand was purple and the waves were coming in through arches. We had a picnic on the sand looking out, I chased a seagull, and took a million photos. We had about 1.5 hours of sun left and with the highway closed up ahead from landslides, justin wanted to take a detour TO the detour by going through some crazy roads up in the mountain which took us across to the 101. We wanted to still have daylight for this drive so we packed up.

But we didn’t get far before having to pull over for the McWay Falls in the canyon. The colours were heaven for the many photographers set up with their equipment every few steps. Justin got the drone out, got some good shots and we were on our way. Only a few more pullovers before we got to our road, and it was eerie driving through the part that JUST opened up again - you could see all the remnants of the landslides and the clean up effort. Then we got to our detour.

Look up Nacimiento-Fergusson Road in Limekiln State park. On the map, I thought it was just a crazy road through the park. Wrong. It was on the edge of the cliff 80% of the time through the mountains. Now we definitely were thinking about our past trips and Justin was loving it while my knuckles were stone white. To add to this, justin had just finished telling me about the stereotypical BMW driver only to have one right in front of us and he was EVERYTHING justin said. He would ride people’s asses, then slow down to a crawl hit the gas to speed up and break like crazy and sticking his finger out of the window, he CLIPPED THE EDGE every chance he could, passed people around blind corners (and this road was ALL turns. It didn’t even have lanes, some parts were not wide enough for two cars, and it was all 180 zigzag turns. We kept our distance, especially after he spun out and did a full donut. We got ahead to stay out of his way while he restarted - he seemed to calm down a little after that so not sure if it was on purpose or not, but what a moron - not the place to do drive like one. Luckily though we had sun right up until we hit the straight road through nowhere directly to the highway so at least we didn’t have to worry about that. Also, the roads had almost no traffic and we saw maybe 6-8 other cars the entire hour so Justin had a pretty good drive.

We got on the highway and made it down back to the coast to Cambria. This town is TINY - literally 2-3 streets. When we asked what to do on a Saturday night, everyone kept pointing us to the only bar. But it had live music every night! We were also out of clean underwear and were planning on doing laundry at our next hotel so we tried a few places before found someone with a vacancy. No laundry. They pointed us to the only laundromat in town but it was closing, so we went back to the room to hand wash our things like plebes. It was 8 by the time we finished and we were hungry so we wandered between the 3 restaurants still open in town and checked out their menus. We picked the Sow’s Ear and I thought of dad. The whole restaurant had a cute charm to it with a fireplace and ambient light... and the decor was all PIGS! Every imaginable pig statue, pig painting, knickknacks, it was adorable. Not much pig on the menu though - mostly steak and seafood.

We ended up spending our entire evening here and it was amazing. We both agreed the best meal we’ve had on this whole trip. How have I never heard of shrimp scampi before? Is it always delicious and taste like this or was this just outstanding? I don’t think I’ve ever gone speechless over meal and not be able to figure out even one ingredient in it before. Even the clam chowder that came as Justin’s app was to die for and probably better than the best one we had in SF. Wow, just wow. Also, $24 for a WHOLE LITRE of wine (really good wine, too) is a bonus. Unfortunately we forgot what it was but we doubt LCBO carried it to our dismay.

All in all we had a very good night even though it was pretty quiet for a Saturday night ¯\(°_O)/¯

We’ll party next week. Probably good to coast for now anyway. The place we want to go see in the morning, the Hearst Castle, opens at 8, so we’re hoping to hit that for open before it gets busy.

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