Here are some places we visited during our stay, all of which I highly recommend!
1) Shell Beach - Shell Beach is adjacent to Pismo Beach. Contrary to its interesting name, there are no shells here; just smooth rocks, but it is beautiful. We climbed through a rock cave and came out the other side to a private cove - so fun! Shell Beach is 23 miles south of Morro Bay.
2) Morro Strand State Beach - beautiful waves, and tons of sand dollars to collect
3) All of the stores on Morro Bay Blvd. "Beads By the Bay" was one of our favorites, as were the thrift stores and antique shops.
4) Morro Bay State Park - This is where our friends camped, and it was a nice, medium-sized campground with flush toilets and showers. Right across from the Park is a marina where you can rent kayaks and boats, too.
5) Los Osos Oaks Nature Reserve- we got a little lost in here, but every trail loops and eventually we found our way back. The kids did great, as this was an easy hike.
6) Montana De Oro State Park - tidepools, caves, rocks to climb, streams to explore...and just beautiful!
Two of my favorite memories from our trip were:
-Tuesday night we went to the campground that our mutual friends were staying at. The kids played together (7 kids + 2 babies) while the parents chatted around the campfire. We all had s'mores and stayed up late catching up.
-Wednesday morning, Anna, April (who was staying at the campground) and I had a "girl's morning out." We grabbed a pastry at La Parisienne, then went over to The Rock Espresso Bar for coffee. These two girls were both roommates of mine in college and were both in my wedding (and I in theirs). Spending time with them was like food for my soul. It is not often that moms get a morning out to themselves, and we were so grateful to our husbands for watching the kids for us so we could have this quality time together. I will never forget it! We walked along Morro Bay Blvd. and visited the fun shops, and found some interesting finds along the way (see shoe picture above!)
On our way home we stopped for gas and discovered that we had a nail in our tire. We could hear the air hissing and leaving the tire. Thankfully, the mechanic at the gas station offered to fix it for us in 5 minutes for $8. While he was fixing it, we walked across the street to 7-11 and got Slurpees. We are so thankful that God protected us from having a blow out on the freeway! Unfortunately we hit rush hour, so our 4 hour trip turned into 7 hours. I was never so happy to make it home!
Although we packed a lot into our stay, I felt refreshed and not too busy. Everything was close by, so I even got a nap in one day. It's always hard coming home from vacation, from the high of visiting new places and reconnecting with old friends. Today I stayed in my pajamas until noon, avoiding the chores I needed to get to, and wishing for just a few more days of vacation. Until next time, Morro Bay...
(Here is a cute video of the kids watching Tom & Jerry cartoons. They had never seen it before and were cracking up!)