Road Trip! Newport to Cayucos

Thanks again for tuning in to Day Two of our slow-travel up the coastal highway from San Diego to Seattle.

The morning began with a walk down the beach at Newport. It couldn’t get more California. Joggers in shorts, tourists in sweatshirts, street preachers, dog walkers, fishermen … all being themselves. The Dude abides, indeed.

We headed down (or I guess "up" Highway 1, slowly making our way through the greater Los Angeles area. We passed what seemed like a hundred donut shops. Finally we left the city and resumed our view of the Pacific coastal scenery.

"Baby Blue", our Mini-Cooper S, seemed to come alive on the winding roads.

We eventually pulled in to Lompoc. The stunning scenery of rolling hills outside Lompoc took it’s toll because somewhere I made a wrong turn and ended inland. But we managed to find the 101 in Santa Maria and make it to Cayucos before sunset.

Weather remained Chamber-of-Commerce-ish today. Hardly a cloud in the sky. Temps in the mid-60s. (I hear it is c-c-cold in Vegas. You have my empathy, brothers and sisters.)

Our Cayucos bed and breakfast faces the main street and backs up to the beach. People are inordinately friendly in bed and breakfast joints and the evening "gathering" for wine and snacks finds my introspective personality at its most chatty (which is to say not very chatty, but I will say "hello" when provoked.)

In the morning these same "happy" people will be lucky to get an acknowledgment of a lifted eyebrow until I finish my coffee and newspaper.

Anyway, the evening finished with a walk from the B-and-B to "Hoppe’s" — an nice restaurant that the always reliable Internet says is owned by a chef who defeated one of the "Iron Chefs" on the popular Food Network show.

That’s true. But before he died. Don’t know who’s cooking now, but it was very well prepared. Good wine list with many regional options.

We’ll spend one more night here before heading to Napa.

(Postscript — Thanks to all who have sent suggestions of places to visit and eat. We will get to a few of those recommendations tomorrow. You can comment on the blog or write me directly at

Newport in the morning. Many Las Vegans know this area well.


Do you see the Pacific Ocean? Me neither. But after a wrong turn in Lompoc, we found Santa Maria and got back on track. All who wander are not lost.


Here’s the view from our bed-and-breakfast porch.


Here’s our excellently prepared dinner at "Hoppe’s" in Cayucos. Butternut squash with mushrooms and a Balsmic reduction. Wine is a Kenneth Volk 2006 merlot from Paso Robles.


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