San Simeon Adventures

August 9, 2014
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When I was a kid, my dad tried to take my sister and me to Eureka to go camping, and I couldn’t wait to get there for no other reason than to be able to scream “EUREKA! I’ve found it!” most un-ironically. For whatever reason, it was getting late into the day and we realized it would be much too long before we got there and camped somewhere else–I don’t remember where, only that there was a peaceful lake around there and I had outrageously bright fruit-patterned clothes from K-Mart that summer.

I guess some things never change because I was supposed to meet people at a campsite in San Simeon last Friday but didn’t make it anywhere near the time we projected. We had a roomy Highlander lined up for the trip that decided to take a long weekend at the repair shop and on top of that, another trip-mate got into a car accident (the humans are safe, the car–RIP). So my precious and often underestimated Corolla had to step up to the plate to take three of us there. We didn’t hit the road until late Friday night and I gulped down an entire monster to hold me over, but my caffeine tolerance is so high these days that I might as well have been drinking chamomile. It was 2:30AM in the middle of the night when we hit San Luis Obispo and I was too tired to keep going. I parked, tied a sweater around my face to block out the street lamps, and three of us slept sitting right side up on a residential street for the rest of the night.

We met the rest of the group in the morning and rest was as smooth sailing as 21st century life without running water can get, if you ask me. I napped on a warm beach, watched other people have close calls while chopping firewood with axes, and served as a good little sous chef to friends who served up the most amazing meal of grilled vegetables, lamb chops with rosemary, baja shrimp, and three types of salad. I don’t even eat this well in LA. It reminded me of when I was reading Heidi when she came back to her grandfather from living in the city and he nursed her back to health with goat milk and cheese…or was it goat cheese and milk? Well, it sounded terrific, especially since she had those warm bread rolls from her foster family in the city. OK, now I’m sure I’ve completely messed up the plot.

I think LA has a gourmet cuppa culture that would deem instant coffee sacrilege, and while I admit I often contribute heavily to that pretentiousness, sometimes I just couldn’t care less if my caffeine was poured over some science lab setup. Drinking a cup of steaming coffee while tending to a grill of crisping bacon has to be the greatest breakfast there is, and maybe I can afford to step away from my typical combination of kale-chia-almond-goji-cacao-oat whatever just to keep things a little simpler. My cast iron pan got a lot of use on the trip and someone told me I’ll have to re-season the pan with bacon.

Best news I’ve heard all week.

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Only kosher meat here at our prep station

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Cooked over the campfire

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Bedazzled bows in Morro Bay

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The boys decided they needed to check out the infamous fountain bathroom at Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo

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I obviously didn’t see the bathroom myself, but I did see this gumball machine inside a cave.

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