since so many people had told us about Avila Beach, just south of San Luis Obispo, we backtracked to it come Saturday morning. It wasn't far - about 10 miles - if that.
We kinda knew that we were in trouble when we got there around 8:30 am and it was already busy. Our thought that it was a little more quiet then say - Pismo Beach - probably wasn't quite right.
We did find a nice little corner on a street to park however, and so headed off to the beach. First stop, this little marine park.
Then to the beach. It is large and it does look quiet here but by the time we left a few hours later it was pretty packed.
We stayed until just before lunch and then hung out at the van for a bit - surprisingly we had gotten a wifi signal and so with lunch I was also able to do a post.
Then back on the 101 and then the 1 - destination - Morro Bay.
Morro Bay …… another California coast gem. We arrived in the early afternoon and didn't leave until about the same time the next day. It was fairly easy to find our way to the shore and scored a nice street parking spot not far from there. No signs about time limit and no parking fee.
Morro Bays famous rock. Here we are down at the shore walking along the main strip in and among the shops and restaurants.
Morro Bay is a seaside - fishing - community. It reminded us a lot of Cowichan Bay back home on Vancouver Island - just on a larger scale.
I'm a sucker for Shell Shops - ever since I was a kid visiting in Florida looking over all the large shiny shells one rarely finds on the beach.
I even go in for all the tacky things they make with the shells, but alas, I never actually buy anything. There is just something about finding your own shells on the beach - even if they aren't big and perfect.
From the lower dock area we walked up into the downtown - grabbed this elevated view from the top of the stairs.
Imagine our luck to find a street market going on once we got there!
Mmmmmmm - best milk ever from Rosa Brothers Milk Company - orange, chocolate, strawberry and root beer.
Then back to the van for a little while - yup - we even spent the night here.
Later in the afternoon we went for another long walk along the docks - with Rufus this time. Along the way we ran into Ruth with her dog (can't remember his name now! sheesh!) - she was headed back down to Garritt and their boat. We visited with them for a while and even got a tour - Cassia was pretty impressed. Nice to meet you Ruth and Garritt - see you in Mexico next winter!
Once Rufus was returned to the van we headed out for dinner. It has been a while since we have gone out for dinner - we've been using our 'out to eat' fund for craft beer. BUT - we decided to splurge on some seafood since we were where it was the freshest.
We had read an article about Mark Tognazzini and his restaurant - Tognazzini's Dockside. We wondered if that was the best place for seafood - or where? Morro Bay is filled with seafood restaurants. Where to go? While we were in the van a Harbour Patrol truck pulled up at the neighbouring house - so Derek went and asked. Yup - Tognazzini's is the place to go.
Since we had a 45 minute wait - it is very popular - we decided to walk around. We headed over to the Tognazzini Fish Market. While there we recognized Mark from the article and struck up a conversation with him. Since Mark has been up to the Yukon and Alaska we had a lot of travel conversation, among other things. Super nice guy! Thanks again Mark!
Our dinner was definitely worth the wait! Here's my very yummy chowder in a bread bowl. Perfect for a cool evening.
Derek's fish and chips - excellent batter - nice and light with equally crispy fries.
Oh! And here's Brandon - our very friendly server! Our dinner was a great experience because of the fresh seafood and nice conversations with Mark and the Dockside staff. Thanks again everyone!
We woke to a very foggy morning. That wasn't going to stop us though and we walked to the Morro Rock. You can drive but there is a nice walkway as well.
There is also a nice large beach out there - many surfers this morning.
Prior to our walk we had moved the van down by the restaurant - along the docks. Upon our return we went back to the fish market because Derek wanted to take the opportunity to get some oysters.
Here's Cassia playing with two of Mark's dogs - Dakota and Korea.
Derek shucking his oysters. Since he had twelve I decided to finally try an oyster. Not really my thing - it wasn't bad - just not something I need to eat. Eleven oysters - quite the breakfast for Derek though.
With that our time in Morro Bay was done. A nice place but we decided with all the fog we would continue up the coast. And look what we found not that far away! Sun and blue sky.
Not far up the road we found an area with numerous pullouts and access to trails and the beach. That is where we spent the day - we really needed a rest day.
Those pics up next!
Just to get you up to date - we are now north of San Francisco in Stinton Beach and today is Wednesday. It is pouring rain! Sheesh.
Although we had planned to visit downtown San Fran, last night in Half Moon Bay we decided not to. My research showed that parking is very difficult in San Francisco and we didn't want to park in an expensive RV park and take transit. And with all this rain it wouldn't have been much of a visit anyway.
We are sitting at a beach side park getting wifi from a nearby coffee shop. We'll spend some time here to see if the rain lifts a bit. This part of the #1 highway is VERY VERY narrow and windy - forget about the drive from Cambria to Big Sur - that was a breeze compared to this. Not really a day to be doing that kind of driving.
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