Weekend recap

May 19, 2010

This weekend we went down to Santa Maria to visit my mother for a belated Mother’s day, and had a bit of a day-trip date. It was really quite nice. Rob had a poker game he’d been looking forward to on Saturday, so we headed down for San Luis Obispo (SLO) on Sunday morning. We got a late start, mostly because Pandora the Cat had sensed that her presence was needed (so I could lock her in the house), and was no where to be found at her usual breakfast time.

We managed to get our behinds on the road in time to have a late lunch with Mom in Santa Maria. I showed her the video of my first event competition with Whisper. Then we met her very nice friends Alejandra and Jerry who own Blosser Urban Garden. I had a great time talking about food! I’m going to make a whole post about CSA’s later this week.

Lately is seems we usually go out to AJ spurs when we’re down on the central coast, but Rob had the brilliant idea to take Mom to SLO and back so we could go to her (and our) favorite restaurant, Big Sky Cafe. AJ Spurs is a fun and tasty steak house. Big Sky is “fresh market cuisine” with creative vegetable dishes, along with meat and fish. It was at Big Sky I had sweet potato fries for the first time. I had the “Brown Sugar Brined Pork Roast with apricot-fig mostarda & yam risotto”. I now have to figure out how to make a “mostarda” (which seemed a lot like a chutney to me) and yam risotto. We finished with a beignets sampler.

[edit: the kitchn covers mostarda!]

After driving Mom back down to Santa Maria, we drove north yet again and stayed at the Inn at Avila Beach. It was quirky and quite comfortable. I hope we have an opportunity to stay there again. We’d planned to do some body surfing on the beach, but Monday dawned gloomy and wet, so we just took a walk on the beach. Then we had breakfast at the Breakfast Buzz in SLO and headed up along the coast on Highway 1. We stopped for a bit in Morro Bay while Rob took a phone call, I found a few neat bookstores. After that we decided to go to Hearst Castle.

I grew up in Paso Robles, just on the other side of the mountains from Hearst Castle, but this was my first visit. I’d seen a show on the castle, possibly this A&E show: America’s Castles: Hearst Castle: San Simeon. I liked how he made his home into a resort of sorts, and I’ve been dreaming of a similar setup ever since. 🙂 I loved the architecture, gardens, pools, layout, the rooms for different uses, and the attention to detail. I wasn’t really all that impressed by the scale of the furniture and rooms, the overall effect wasn’t “comfortable” to me, but I’m not sure that was what he was going for. If I were able to build my dream castle, it would look a little different. I wonder how much you have to donate to get to swim in the pool?

IMG_3206

As you can see from the photo, it was rainy and wet when we took out tour, but we got to warm up in the large format (I think that’s generic for “IMAX”) theater to watch a short movie about the castle and Hearst. Did you know that the grounds were built be a very successful WOMAN architect, Julia Morgan? Back when women weren’t architects? I’m glad they make of point of talking about her and her achievements.

Anyhow, after that we made out way up the winding coast to Monterrey to have dinner at out favorite restaurant there, Montrio Bistro. I had a Martinez cocktail, the precursor to the Martini, and we split a boeuf bourguignon, lobster mac and cheese, a bean salad, and topped it off with a bread pudding. Then we were home in our own warm bed with out purring cats.

It was a really nice weekend adventure!

By levanah