My husband and I just returned from "California Roadtrip '08". We live in VAncouver, BC and have done a California roadtrip approx. 6 times now.
This year we went June 6 - 21. Our weather in Vancouver this spring has been really depressing and when we left on Fri. June 6 it was really bad ... rain, rain, rain.
When we woke up in Roseburg, Oregon the next day and every day thereafter for the duration of the trip the weather was fabulous.
Our stops were: Roseburg, Ore. one night, Mendocino, one night, Pacific Grove, two nights, Bev. Hills one night, Palm Desert three nights, Bev. Hills two nights, Paso Robles two nights, San Francisco one night, Mendocino one night, Eugene, Ore. one night and then home.
I feel very sorry about the fires in California ... when we went through Big Sur it was so spectacular ... clear as a bell .. and now ... so sad for everyone who was intending to go and had to be turned back and for the people who live there.
Stayed at the Allegria B&B in Mendocino on the way down and at the Joshua Grindle Inn on the way home. The breakfast at the Allegria was very nice and the proprietors were very nice but I didn't like our room the "Driftwood" ... and we paid quite a bit for it ... $229 I believe. Had dinner at The Moosse Cafe both nights (on the way down and on the way home) ... my husband HAS to have the chocolate pudding thing ... and we enjoy the atmosphere.
Loved the "Green Gables Inn" in Pacific Grove ... we had the "Gable" room. Ate dinner at "Passionfish" and it was very, very good. Also ate one night at Bubba Gump's ... it is what it is .. and it was fine ... I had a couple of really cold Tecate beers and a plate of shrimp with coleslaw .. pretty damn good actually.
Stayed at The Beverly Hilton in Bev. Hills .. had a Wilshire Tower room which was very nice. Spent one afternoon by the pool ... very, very hot, not alot of breeze in that enclosed pool area. Also had lunch poolside which was pretty good albeit pretty expensive too for what it was. Had drinks one night at the Trader Vic's bar ... meh ... nothing to write home about.
Had dinner on our first night in Bev. Hills at "Pizzeria Mozza" the Mario Batali/Nancy Silverton restaurant (with sister Osteria Mozza next door). Very good food, nice waitstaff (our waitress recommended an excellent red wine ... I think they are all under $50). It was very, very loud though ... for some reason the music is 70's rock ..???
Oh, and the Beverly Hilton has a "courtesy car" for use within the Golden Triangle of Beverly Hills. We made use of it 3 times. Turns out to be a great big, black, seven series BMW with very nice drivers (two times with a young man and once with a very nice woman ... she took us to dinner at Chaya Brasserie and then gave us her card to call her to come and get us even though Chaya is actually out of their "range"). Highly recommend using the car service. Our taxi ride to Pizzeria Mozza was $20 each way ... much nicer and easier on the wallet to go in the car and tip the driver.
Speaking of Chaya Brasserie ... this was the restaurant I was really looking forward to and it was the one that I enjoyed the least ... don't know what it was really .. the menu just didn't have anything on it that interested me and my "tangerine martini" tasted like dishwater ... what up with that??
Stayed at Marriott Desert Springs Villas II in Palm Desert. Excellent accommodation ... we had a one bedroom villa. The temp was 100 to 101 degrees ... but it got much hotter after we left. Had a very good dinner at The Cork Tree ... we arrived at 8:30 and were told the kitchen was closing in 10 min. ??? We sat in the bar area and ordered food ... it was really, really good and the service was excellent. Also ate at Ruth's Chris and at Pacifica. Pacifica has a good bar ... 125 vodkas from around the world and any drink made with vodka is $5.00!! Whee.
Stayed at the new Marriott Courtyard in Paso Robles. Very, very nice. Had the pool to ourselves one morning for a couple of hours (yes, there is a highway running right by but we hardly noticed).
We went to approx. four wineries. "Four Vines", "Rotta", "Halter Ranch", "Grey Wolf". We would have gone to more but we ended up chatting quite a bit at each one we visited. We have been to Paso 3 times before and have been to most of the wineries at least once.
Had dinner at McPhee's in Templeton and then on a recommendation from a Paso shopkeeper had a dinner at "Chico's" downtown Paso ... will not be a repeat.
Stayed at a brand new Holiday Inn in Eugene, Oregon ... boy was it new ... I think we were the first people in our room ... top floor, corner (windows both sides) ... everything new, new, new. There is a full bar and restaurant and we ate at the bar at approx. 9:30 p.m. All the staff were new but very nice .. the bartender bought us each a drink ...
Then a long drive home from Eugene and now .. back to work ... what happened to my vacation???