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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

California Vacation - Day 5 - Pismo Beach

Just a lazy afternoon here at Pismo Beach, Cliff Resort.

Since we will have to drive for the most part of tomorrow, going through Santa Barbara and right into LA, Universal Studio City to be exact, we have decided to spend a somewhat laid back afternoon here at the resort. Especially since Gor came down with a little cold. :(

We woke up early enough to catch up with some work, even though we are away, we can’t seem to part from the work that we do for more than a couple of days. So morning started early with some e-mailing and some conversations (all work related).

Then we have decided to catch on with the fact that we are on vacation and we went down to the spa to have a couples massage. 60 minutes of bliss, laying side by side with two therapist working their way through the stress and tension of our bodies. By 12 p.m. we felt better and took a walk through the private beach that our resort grounds have, as you can see on the pictures it was very nice.

Later we took a quick drive down to the downtown of San Louis Obispo and had a nice lunch there sitting on the patio and overlooking a creek that goes through the town.

As I said nothing much to report, just a lazy afternoon in front of TV.

Pictures from today are here

California Vacation - Day 4 - Carmel and Rt 1

I can’t believe that this is actually day 4 of our vacation and that we are almost half way through with all the fun and entertainment. But so far it is great to be here!!!!

We woke up in our enormous suite, made some coffee, took a bath and enjoyed a quite peaceful morning on the patio. Carmel resort was filled with love and quite beauty of nature. It is filled with upscale golf courses and multiple tennis courts, aside from the spa and delicious restaurants on the territory. This resort grounds stretch out for 1700 acres. A lot of the suites as it turned out are condominiums and do belong to someone, primarily some golf maniac, but very upscale. :)

Since we don’t play golf, yet, and we weren’t up to tennis, or swimming or even spa activities, we have decided to hit the road in the morning to see more of California.

After a delicious breakfast we were on the way to Pismo Beach where we are staying for the following two nights. As a route for our journey we picked famous for its scenic way Pacific Coast Highway or Rt 1. As you can see on the pictures the views are just mesmerizing. The whole road takes your breath away, by the combination of different floras combined together in one environment. I hope you can see it on the pictures.

To us the whole ride, which with all the stops took us approximately 4 hours or about that time, was an enchanted forest that came down on us with its live ocean and sun that hides behind the haze and then comes out to shine at you again.

I felt like a little girl from a fairy tale. Ok, ok, maybe I am not a little girl, but we were part of that enchanted forest and it was amazing.

Nature has it way with you when you are exposed to it, it affects you deeply on the levels that we are not able to comprehend or understand, in a mean time it interacts with you and becomes an integral part of your life. Seeing the ocean move on its on with spontaneous combustions somewhere in a middle was wonderful and weird at the same time. Seeing palm trees integrate with evergreens was funny. Nature has combined its sources here on the coast and allowed us to participate in this joint venture of humanity integrated with raw nature. If it makes any sense at all, we were drunk with visual information that we processed on the way. We are happy to live in this world and to explore some parts of it that were unknown to us before.

This trip is turning out to be an awesome adventure and an excellent road trip.

Enjoy the pictures from today Pictures

San Jose and Carmel - Day 3

Finally a piece of heaven!!!!

We woke up to the fogs of San Francisco and as mentioned before couldn’t wait to get out of town to see more of California, hopeful for the great places that we have been told about. After having a quick breakfast we went to Alamo car rental to pick up our compact car. Two and a half hours standing in line and witnessing to British tourists going off on the poor worker of the car rental place, we finally got our compact car that can fit about 10 people inside and were off on the road to meet our friends in San Jose.

On the way to see our friends at their suggestion. (Thank you) we stopped by Santana Row. And HEAVEN began to come down on earth. Santana Row is a very colorful street filled with cosy restaurants (I am not sure if the pictures can really reflect it) and some great shops where we bought our Ace of Base CD for the road.

Quick stop for margarita and guacamole and we were on the way to see our friends.

Meeting friends is always a positive and enlightening experience, especially when it is accompanied by two adorable and sweet kids. Dinner was great, conversations cheery and we were back on the road to our nightly stay at Carmel Valley Ranch.

My God! If there is God, the God bless American Express platinum who helped me book this resort.

Aside from being treated like royalty we are staying at the property stretching out many miles in all directions. With its own golf course, tennis courts, swimming pools (in multiple) and Jacuzzis (one is conveniently located right outside our suite. Yes, we are staying in a suite that is bigger than our apartment. Living room with cosy couch and arm chars. Large closets and enormous bedroom with fully functional fire place and a bathroom that is 3 times bigger than home with both shower and a bath. We are also of course, are in for a complimentary late check out at 4pm, free breakfast and lunch.

I love this place and I feel like we are on top of this world.

Tell you more tomorrow, because now we are off to burning a log in a fire place and taking a bath with out complementary bottle of wine and cookies.

OH HEAVEN!!!! Pictures

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Vacation in California - San Francisco - Day 2

San Francisco has officially failed any touristy expectation that I had. We grade it an overall - F.

Good things first, if you are going to look at the pictures you will see the beauty of some of the Victorian houses that has been remodeled after the earthquake and have some interesting detailing on the facade. With the real estate costing millions of dollars and being build on the grounds that will not sustain an earthquake, makes you wonder if this is a worthy investment.

The hilly parts of the city have excellent views and do look quite delicious to some. We weren’t impressed. And I can see the fumes coming out of the ears of those who love this city. I apologize, but it is not what we expected at all.

Golden Gate Bridge is impressive, with its built in movement and historical significance to the city altogether, we have graded our experience with the bridge at a - B-

China Town - is great touristy place, it stretches out quite a bit and is located right next to the Union Square having a French Quarter by the entrance to the China Town. (French Quarters by the way sucked), but back to China town. It does have a lot to offer and more colorful then the one in New York, but its the same shops and the same souvenirs with just a different city name printed on tee shirts. Overall, you will see some rated R figurines that we photographed while window shopping. Impressive - China town gets a - B+. You have to appreciate the preservation of culture and decorations on the buildings. I think out of the two and a half days we have been in San Francisco, China Town was the only place we could actually enjoy the walking and looking around without being abused.

Here is the scoop.

San Francisco is a beautiful city, it has a lot to offer to the wondering eye of a tourist. It holds different dynamic and cultures around every corner. Aside from general shops like Saks, Barney and CHANEL which every American city has, it also holds that authentic taste of personable shops and tons of souvenirs. We loved this part which was completely overshadowed by the number of homeless people on the street.


Homeless here are aggressive and not in a good way. We got abused by a women clearly in need of psychiatric help. And all the homeless asking for money are actually in your face. Coming from New York, we know a thing or two about homeless, but never in our life have we experienced such pursuit of their need for money and food. It is disgusting to walk the streets and only see the homeless. Where are the people that live in the city? I understand that this is the weekend and all of the busy people of San Francisco do not come to work and therefore spending time in the suburbia, but common, the amount of homeless on the street is enormous. What happen to the tax payers money that are suppose to go into shelters and social programs for the poor.

And there is two kinds of crazy here, the aggressive homeless asking for something and almost grabbing you and the friendly crazy aggressiveness of liberal activists marching down the streets protesting for something and forcing you to take their flyers. They would not leave us alone. Do I look liberal to anyone?

We can’t wait to leave to be quite frank with you and I am hoping that the rest of California is not homeless!

Love to everyone home.

Pictures are here San Francisco - Day 2 -

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Vacation in California - San Francisco day 1

Ok so we set on our trip to California, and our first destination San Francisco.

You have to understand that we are both very BIG New Yorkers. We LOVE our city and of course extremely critical of everything around us.

I Left my heart at San Francisco - I don’t think so, my heart belongs to one and only city of New York.

After being here for a day San Francisco scored a B- in my grade book.

Fisherman Wharf was pretty good - B+, it reminded me a lot of Ostenze a small city in Belgium, with its colorful and rich sea food market and enormous selection of eateries.
The food is great and the spirit around the pier 39 is cheery .

Ripleys Believe it or Not museum was so so, we had fun though, but we are on vacation, we will have fun anywhere and with anything. :)

The 3D ride at the pier was great, I think I was the only one screaming during the ride.

Overall, the city impressed us with its architecture and cosy little streets and of course the numerous shops. But the homeless problem is huge. Trust me coming from New York, we know a thing or two about homeless, but here it seems that they are everywhere and some of them are really aggressive.

I left my heart in San Francisco, well instead of my heart I left 5 dollars to support AIDS organization because the person collecting the money would not leave us alone.

And my personal favorite today - Our guide on the hop-on hop-off bus said - “There are a lot of money our government spends on the City Hall, we have an office for Arnold Schwarzenegger being that he is the Governor and all. He was here once then he told us “I will be back” and never returned to the site”. :)

I loved the joke!!!!

If you are interested in seeing pictures please follow the link and enjoy!