Whew, we made it :)

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A very late night in San Francisco, but we made it through our Route 1 trip!!

Yay!  It was absolutely gorgeous and so worth the extra time to go this way from LA to San Fran.

We stopped in Cambria, San Simeon and Hearst Castle.  Hearst Castle was surreal.  I cannot even begin to imagine how life was back in the 30’s and 40’s for these people who visited Hearst Castle.  We learned a ton of info about the family and the property.  It was a treat and I highly recommend a visit if you have the chance.

We then motored on to Elephant Seal Beach.  Those seals are HUGE!  It was funny to see them all lying around and tossing sand on each other.  Very cute, but I wouldn’t want to get in the way of any of them.

Then we headed to Monterey.  A very quaint town.  Fantastic seafood.  We did a walk along the fisherman’s wharf and had dinner there.  The crazy thing was that I could hear the seals very early in the morning from our hotel, which was further inland.  But it was like the birds waking you in the early morning hours, except that it was the seals yelping!

So we stayed overnight in Monterey and then headed to Carmel in the morning.  A little backtrack, about 10 minutes, but worth the visit.  Very charming town and gorgeous beach there.  The sand is so white and clean and the water was calm.  We had lunch at Hog’s Breath Inn…it was so so.

We then drove to Santa Cruz for a pit stop and then to Half Moon Bay for another pit stop.  Both beautiful beach towns, but unique in their own way.

We arrived in San Francisco around 4pm and had about 2 hours to see a few things before meeting up for dinner with the woman who owns the house in Spain where we stay.  We had never met in person before, only spoke by phone and email, so it was a treat to meet her and her husband in person after speaking for 3 years.

Headed home tomorrow 😦   🙂  We miss Coco, but could definitely stay in San Fran for a few more days.

The California coast has been spectacular!

Olallieberries in Cambria

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Hi everyone! Today we drove up from LA to Cambria, close to Hearst Castle. It’s cold up here! I can’t complain though, since we were burning up a couple of weeks ago and getting eaten by mosquitoes. We stopped in Santa Barbara and went to a place called Mac’s, which is famous for their fish and chips. They were featured on a show of Diners, Drive In’s and Dives. Mom got the fish and chips, and I got southern fried chicken and chips. Morgan got a meat pie 🙂 We went to the police station there, because one of our favorite shows, Psych, takes place there. It’s actually filmed in Canada, but the overhead and exterior shots of the police department are shot there. That show is hilarious!

So we drove along the scenic route 1 to get to Cambria. We walked around town and looked in a few cute home stores. We went to a place called Sow’s Ear, where we got comfort food like chicken dumpling soup (not as good as mom’s!) and pot roast, which was really yummy! After that we went to a famous dessert place called Linn’s, which has amazing pies! The olallieberry, which is a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry, is grown only in certain areas. It tastes so good! Morgan had the olallieberry pie, and I had Chocolate Raspberry Bavarian Cream Cake. It was delicious! We had our good share of food today. Tomorrow we are heading to Hearst Castle and Carmel. I really miss my Fluff 😦

Pickles and Pie, oh my!

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Blogging has not been my favorite thing to do this summer, it has felt like summer homework sometimes and I already have summer homework! However, I do enjoy writing about food and being a published food critic! (in Spain)

So today we left our family in Los Angeles and drove to Santa Barbara where one of the best TV shows takes place, Psych. It is one of Maddie and my favorite TV shows. It is hilarious and you can watch all of the seasons on Netflix, except from the current one.

So our ultimate goal is to get to San Francisco by Thursday, so we decided to stop in Cambria tonight.  But first, we stopped in Santa Barbara at Mac’s Fish & Chips on State Street.  We went there because we saw the Guy from Diners, Drive Inns & Dives went there.  We got steak and potato pie, fish and chips, chicken with curry, deep fried pickles ( they were super thick cut and just dreamy to eat)

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and chicken and chips.  They were so nice there and the food came out very fast.  The cooked it as soon as we ordered. The owner said that we ordered a ton , but Mom reassured him that we could handle it 😉

After Santa Barbara, we drove up the coast a little further to Cambria.  It is a cute town very close to Hearst Castle, which is where we are going to visit in the morning.  We are staying a place right by the ocean and we have a fireplace in our room!  That is a big change from a few weeks ago when we were sweating to death in the heat and mosquitos in Italy.  Now we have a fire on and are wearing sweaters!!!

In total, it was about a four hour drive from LA today.  When we arrived, we decided to take a walk through the town here in Cambria.  There was a cute pet store.  I miss Coco so much.  We walked around and saw a place that had chicken and dumplings on the menu and we had to go in because Mom makes the best chicken and dumplings, but we had to check 🙂  My vote is Mom still makes the best and hers has  soft carrots in it which I love 🙂

My Aunt and Uncle told us about a place called Linn’s and they said the Ollalieberry Pie was to die for and it was!!! Ollalieberries are a cross between raspberries and blackberries.  They are delicious!  Best fruit pie  I say!  And coincidentally, the Food Network voted them Best Slice of Anything, I think.

Ok bye for now.  Tomorrow we are going to some castle.  I din’t know they had castles in America???

Baseball and Fireworks

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Hi everyone! Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve last posted!

We have been in LA since Thursday. We gave Coco to Melania for a week because it would be hard for us to leave Fluff alone in the house. I miss her very much! But we have been doing a lot and I know she wouldn’t have been very happy.

When we first arrived, we went to some of our favorite restaurants here: Red Onion (Mexican), In N’ Out Burger, and Hof’s Hut the next morning. I love Hof’s! The hash browns are the best, and their pecan rolls are to die for! We went there twice actually! We also went with the whole family to Lamppost Pizza, which is tradition for when we come to visit. The biggest reason why I love to come here is because we get to see our family and spend time with them.

We went to the Hollywood Bowl last night with all our family and some friends. 22 people in all! It was the Tchaikovsky Spectacular. They played some famous parts of Swan Lake, some movements of his 2nd symphony, and to finish it off, the 1812 Overture. They had fireworks to go with the 1812 Overture, and it was just amazing! It was very pretty and I love that piece. Unfortunately, my phone died right before the fireworks started (thanks iPhone for having terrible battery life), but my Aunt Kristin let me take a video on her phone 🙂 We celebrated Grandpa’s (and our cousin Josephine’s) birthdays with a picnic of food and cake at intermission. Everyone had a great time!

Today we went to the Angels Stadium in Anaheim to watch an Angels v. Astros game. We got a lot of food: Cracker Jacks, popcorn, hot dogs, pretzels, chili cheese fries (really yummy), peanuts, and Red Vines. It was super hot too, but I really enjoyed the game! We were nine or ten rows from the front row, behind first base. We didn’t catch a ball, but a lot came close to us! We left at the top of the ninth inning, and the Astros were winning. Whenever there was a home run, fireworks went off! In the middle of the day! I had so much fun. We said bye to Uncle Geoffy and Aunt Erin and Uncle Pete and Aunt Shelly, because tomorrow is our last day and we may not see them.

On Tuesday we were planning to take a drive along Route 1 and go up to San Francisco. It takes 2 days to get there, so we may stop at Carmel or Half Moon Bay or somewhere around there. We haven’t done this road trip before, so this will be something new for us!

On the road again…

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Oh dear, I have been in a fog since we landed in NYC.  My sleep schedule has been a mess.  Waking up at 2 am…going to sleep at 7:30 pm…

As good as it has been to sleep in my own bed, I really haven’t felt like we have been home.  It has just been comfortable to be in our own space.  this morning, however, we depart for California 🙂  It is my Dad’s 70th and our whole family is meeting up in LA to celebrate.  We always look forward to our trips out west to see our family and friends that live there.

There will, of course, be a day trip to Disneyland, can’t miss that, but we will also be doing something new.  Exploring Route 1 on the California coast.  We have never driven up the coast from LA to San Francisco, but will venture out on another road trip ( am I crazy or what?) Don’t answer!  I can’t believe I could actually think of getting in the car for a long road trip again with the girls, but it is a new experience and Route 1 is supposed to be one of the most scenic drives in the US. Looking forward to Big Sur, Carmel and San Francisco, which the girls have never been.

Coco is staying home on this trip 😦  We will miss her terribly, but she is in good hands.

I had better go wake the girls.  9 am flight.  Only 1 suitcase this time around though 😉

See you in California!

Sleepless in NYC

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So, we arrived home last night.  I fell asleep at 6:30 pm, then woke up at 2:00 am.  This is always the dilemma for me when we return from Europe.

We are going to be home for a few days then we head west to California.

I have so many mixed feelings about the last part of our trip in Italy.  SO much that I didn’t want to write for the whole week.  I just wanted to take it all in a process it.

It was the first time that we had “really” been back to the place that we lived in Tuscany, to stay, to sleep, to visit the local people.  We visited last summer to see our friends there, but we really didn’t stay in the place where we lived for a year.  So this time, it was very emotional for me, and the girls.  We all had different reactions.

We did have a fabulous time with our friends in Camaiore, Tricia, Nick and Sebastian.  They live in Virginia, but happen to visit the same places that we do in Italy and have a house there.  Georgio also was with us there and we all had a great time going to the beach in Forte dei Marmi, having dinners outside in the evenings.  Tricia and Georgio and I worked together 18 years ago and have remained friends.  Tricia and her family in Virginia, and Georgio in Cyprus.  It was really amazing to all be together again.

I am grateful to be home in my own bed, even if I am on the sofa now 🙂

The last week in Italy was unbearably hot and we are all bitten up from the mosquitos and we had a terrible time sleeping, so I am so looking forward to a few good night’s sleep in my bed with AC!!!

More to come.

Fauglia was very emotional, more than I expected.

We left Milan yesterday and I just couldn’t believe we were leaving Italy. The view there of the snow-covered Alps in the backdrop of Milan and then arriving in Manhattan.  Very different.

Part of me is always there.  My girls do not feel the same way, but for me, I have another life there.  I miss it, every day.