The Central Coast of California

A few trips up and down the coast.

First thing this morning…

October 3

First thing this morning we’re off to Hearst Castle to use the passes from Ben and Bonnie (thanks B&B!) for the Experience Tour, and it was great fun as always, as many times as you go.

Today was one of…

October 4

Today was one of the most bird-a-delic day Ever in my whole long life. So many many…many of them and many different kinds.

These were pelicans skimming across the waves in exact lines and the lines waving up and down like a roller coaster. It was the first thing we saw first thing in the morning and SO much more to follow.

We had a nice…

We had a nice wine tasting at the Harmony Cellars Winery just down the road from Cambria and just up the hill from the glass blowers and the pottery work shops.

On the way from…

October 1 (before arriving in Cambria…)

On the way from Death Valley to Cambria, rather than doing an 8-9 hour drive, we stopped for the night in Bakersfield.

That is correct. Bakersfield. Because I wanted to go there. For what seems like forever I’ve been wanting to eat in one of the many Basque restaurants in Bakersfield. And I’ll tell ya, Bakersfield is full of Basque restaurants.

The restaurants most commonly mentioned (and I should add that most are within walking distance of each other) are Wool Growers, Benji’s, Chalet, Noriega, and Pyrenees.

(I got these logos and pics from the internet.)

We chose Noriega’s (also…

We chose Noriega’s (also called Eskualdunen Etchea-The Basque People’s House) and it was swell. You sit family style down the length of a huge table and pass the dishes as they come pouring out of the kitchen. There is always more of whatever you want near at hand.

The menu: salad, soup, beans, bread, pickled tongue (quite tasty and a favorite of many), cottage cheese with herbs, salsa, pasta and red sauce, french fries (very excellent), carrot salad, cauliflower with vinegar sauce, blue cheese, beef stew (yum), baked chicken, dessert. Bottles of house red wine line the center of the table.

And what might be missing in quality (the meal costs $20 total) they make up for in charm. Everyone, including our table mates were entirely delightful and every one was from Bakersfield or the surrounding area. Truly, we were the only genuine tourists we could find and that was most surprising of all.

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