Far Out Flora

Coastal Roadside Detour

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No highheals please.

No highheals please (on the beach?)

OMGosh, it’s Memorial Day Weekend.  We’re staycationing this holiday, but really getting the itch to do a little road trip soon.  Until then, we need to wet our appetite with a rewinding to some roadside fun from our last romp down south.

Giant Rodeo Hat - Salinas, California

Giant Rodeo Hat - Salinas, California

Just about two hours after leaving San Francisco, we saw the Salinas CA town sign.  It felt like we just got on the road, but decided to make that unexpected right hand turn completely out of our way. We heard about the biggest cowboy hats…how giant can they be?  Well, larger than a breadbox and smaller than a Mini Bus.

Bubble Gum Alley, San Luis Obispo

Bubble Gum Alley, San Luis Obispo

Bubble Gum Alley is disgustingly sweet.  When you get on the main drag in SLO, you really have the jerk your head fast to see it.  Fortunately, we were traveling on a holiday (and over winter break for the college), so plenty of parking.  Yes, gum is stuck to the walls floor to about as high as a 10 foot latter will allow.  Curious Places has some great pics on the place.

Hendry's Dog Beach

Stacked stones - Hendry's Dog Beach, aka Arroyo Burro Beach, Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara was our first pit stop in our adventure.  We’ve already blogged the pants off of Santa Barbara such as our <3 for Dudleyas.  We found this great dog friendly beach called Hendry’s Dog Beach.  Plenty of sand and waves for you and your dog to burn off a little energy.  It’s out there a ways, and worth it.  Bytemaps goes into location and details.

Shark on Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara

Shark on Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara

Ah, the Stearns Wharf is okay…kinda of what you expect where main drag meets ocean.

Flowering Aloe Spikes.

Flowering Aloe Spikes.

But there were Aloe Blooms all over the place.  Yeah, don’t try to find them this weekend…they should be all spent by now.

Harrison Ford's Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Harrison Ford's Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Next stop, Hollywood.  If you like cheesy head down to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and be a good tourist.  I screamed every couple feet, “Megan Look!  (insert famous celebrity star’s name here)!”

Bob Hope's hands and footprints at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

Bob Hope's hands and footprints at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

Check out our Flickr to see who Megan and Matti picked to stand in their shoes.

All wigs.

All wigs.

So many wigs, so little time.

Runyon Canyon Dog Park in the Hollywood Hills.

Runyon Canyon Dog Park in the Hollywood Hills.

Another great Dog Friendly find, Runyon Canyon Dog Park.  Located in the Hollywood Hills, you can see the whole enchilada here, Hollywood sign (not on same hill), the backyards of the famous, & Downtown LA to the Pacific Ocean.  I can’t say for certain, but think I saw a celeb in big dark sunglasses on our hike.

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

Nothing like hanging out on Santa Monica Pier at sunset, picturesque.  Save enough time to get on the Ferris Wheel.  We didn’t and missed the ride.  Oops, something to look forward to next time.  Speaking of Santa Monica, Plant Propaganda has experience gardening there…it looks heavenly.

Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle

On the backside of our trip, we had to check out Hearst Castle.  Pre-2010, I had Zero % interest seeing this place.  Long story short, spent New Year Day 2010 in dog friendly Cayucos, CA…just 30 mins from the Castle.

We are this close..may as well see it right?  Holy Crap, it was awesome.  Now we visit anytime we are in the area…rain or shine.  Yeah, it was a moody that day at the castle…still great time was had by all.

So where were going?  We want to do a mini road trip in June, and a longer one in Aug (good time to get away from SF fog).  Any suggestions?

– Far Out Flora

13 Comments

  1. Oy I live fairly close to Grauman’s. Of course I am here in England right now. Did you do the whole Runyon trail? It is kind of brutal for the “not in great shape” like me. My friend saw Sarah Silverman there and got a picture of him holding her.

    Have you been to Mendocino? Great vacation area, lots of plants, the botanical garden is wonderful. Not going to really get you away from the SF fog though. In fact the fog may be even worse.

    • We did do the loop…kinda by accident. It was one of those rainy days and Max needed a big run. We saw a trail to the right, and we just wanted to get a little higher up to see what we could see. Finally, making it to the top…by a bench that could look on forever (probably…again…the mist was keeping some sights hidden)…we figured that the trail probably made a loop around. S. Silverman…cool.

      Funny you mention Mendocino. That is exactly what I was searching on google as your comment came in. We’ve been a couple times, and thing that may be our short weekend getaway. Great garden up there, lots for friendly people, scenic drive either Hwy 1 or 101.

  2. hop on I5 to I10.from there it’s 1500 miles to the island oasis.

  3. I haven’t been back to Mendocino since 2003. I really need to try and get up there this summer at some point.

  4. It is always nice going over pictures of old trips. Also, no better way to get the travel itch going. :-D

  5. You had a lot of fun on this trip. The scenery is very beautiful. Wow, I have never seen so many aloe vera blooming all at once at the same time!

  6. Hearst Castle and bubble gum alley, my hood! Not sure if I mentioned this before, but you have to go to the beach across from the Castle if you haven’t before. And not just the beginning, where the tourists go. Walk all the way to the right, to “The Cove,” and go up a little trail into the blue gum euc and Monterey Pine forest to “The Point, it is awesome.
    As for the aloe spikes, I’ve been watching them go to fruit all over SF — really cool little round things, I hope to gather some when they ripen and dry out a bit.
    Road trips…..Baja? (if so, take me!), Big Sur (though it will likely be super hot mid-summer), Oregon Coast up to Portland and then onward to the Olympic National Rain Forest and Puget Sound. Hell, why not Alaska then?

    • Crazy advice for the beach. We always stop at that beach just south 5 mins with the bridge to run the monkeys out if Max before heading to the Castle. Not sure when we will hit Baja…sorta want to make it an epic trip…maybe in an old skool VW van, or in a fast red convertible with white seats..Fear and Lothing style.

  7. baja in june could be pretty fun! might hit some june gloom, even that far south. it would promise to be an adventure! (can’t wait to try your dog friendly hollywood hike and hang at the santa monica pier–haven’t been there in years, oops, decades!)

  8. Hey you two! How about going to the Calaveras big trees! It is so wonderful going up there and seeing those huge trees! We used to go there a lot when I was a kid. It is beautiful! Looks like you have been having a great time!

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