Destination: Cambria, California

Hello, fellow bloggers!

After spending this past week recalling my travels in Scandinavia during the summer of 2012 (for the post that started it all, check it out here), next on my “Throwback Travels” takes us all the way back to 2010, when I spent a good amount of it visiting different parts of California and Nevada. I’ll refer to this series of travel posts this week as the “West Coast,” even though I didn’t visit all of the states in that certain geographical location. But I digress.

Any case, let’s start the travels from the good ol’ US of A…West Coast-style! 🙂

It was the summer of 2010; I was a soon-to-be high school senior who had spent the time figuring out colleges to apply to, as well as beginning to draft my personal statements and taking (and retaking) the SATs for good scores to get me in to some of the best schools out there. In the meantime, it was summer, meaning that there were plenty of opportunities to take a vacation somewhere since school was not in session.

With that said, my family and I decided to take the fact that I was going off to college soon as a way to go out and visit several colleges along the coast of California, and doubled it as a sort of “family vacation” for everyone. I hadn’t been up north before, and was excited to be visiting places within my home state.

After making arrangements with accommodations and whatnot, my family and I packed our bags and road-tripped our way (yes, “road trip” is a verb now!) up to northern California. Our first stop was at the UCSB (University of California, Santa Barbara), which was our second college visit out of four that summer (a few days before, I’d visited the UCLA campus in Los Angeles). We didn’t stay too long, since there was no one there during summer vacation. But I recall it being wide and spacious and wouldn’t have mind going to school there (although I ended up going to a different university instead).

Before leaving Santa Barbara, we took a quick stroll along the boardwalk of Santa Barbara Beach, admiring the rocky coastline of central California.

Santa Barbara coastline.
Santa Barbara coastline.

Next, we hit up some of the smaller beaches along the coast on our way to Cambria; we visited Pismo Beach, aka the “Clam Capital of the World,” and Morro Bay, famous for its Morro Rock, which is a reserve for peregrine falcons. Both were pleasant, although small stops.

*note* In the years after our initial visit to the central Californian coast, we’ve returned time and time again; while we didn’t stop in this area the first time around, Solvang was another little destination that we’ve been to in later visits. Known as “Little Copenhagen,” Solvang is a cute, Danish-influenced town for many tourists to visit…without having to step foot in Europe!

Solvang town center.
Solvang town center.

Eventually, we made our way up to Cambria, arriving in the late afternoon. After checking into our hotel room, we made it down to the beach for a stroll before sunset. We were fortunate to have gotten a hotel in such as good location, for the beach was literally just across the street from us. The coastline was unbelievably gorgeous, and the smell of the fresh, sea salt wind was heavenly.

Although I’ve grown up near the beach my entire life back in Los Angeles, experiencing that in central California is different: it’s windier, it’s chillier, but it’s just as beautiful with its rocky shoreline, treacherous waves, and surprising wildlife that you don’t really see back in Los Angeles (I’ve seen rabbits, even seals, when in Cambria!). The place is perfect for getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life, as it allows you to slow down, reflect, and meditate to clear your mind of stress and other negative factors. Such qualities have, in effect, draw us back to Cambria almost every year as our “annual family vacation,” if I should call it that. And I love that. ❤

Cambria, part 2.
Cambria during the day.
Sunset in Cambria.
Sunset in Cambria.

Besides strolling on the boardwalk, there’s also some good eateries in town, from classic American diners to higher-priced bistros to sports bars serving up some of the most amazing pulled pork sandwiches out there (sorry, vegetarians!). I really do miss Cambria, and I hope to return some day soon.

All right, that’s it for me right now! More posts of my West Coast travels to come soon. Until then! 🙂

— The Finicky Cynic

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