Pismo Beach, CA, is a town I have visited many times throughout my life. Funny how the reasons have changed over the years.
My very first visit to Pismo Beach was with a friend who attended UCSB. We picked her up in Santa Barbara, and drove up past Solvang, to eat at Splash Cafe. We had all the time in the world, in those days. So, to drive a few hours to see a friend and have a bowl of clam chowder, before heading back home, was nothing at all.
We've driven up to ride quads on those amazing sand dunes in Pismo Beach. We've stopped there on the way to other Central Coast cities. But, never have we stayed in Pismo Beach, on a "romantic getaway". There's a first time for everything!
My husbands and my schedules have been intense these past few months, so we truly only had one night to to spend away from the daily grind. One night to celebrate our anniversary. As always, hubby planned a wonderful trip.
He did some research, and found the Shore Cliff Hotel, which literally sits on an enormous cliff, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It is home to the largest ocean front pool in Pismo Beach, and incredibly beautiful grounds.
Knowing my propensity to enjoy a view, hubby booked a second story, ocean front room with a balcony. Views from our balcony did not disappoint in any direction.
So, what did we do our first day in Pismo Beach? We arrived around 1:00 pm and were allowed to check into our room early. As usual, I ran through the room excited to check everything out and get out on that gorgeous balcony.
While I was exploring the room, hubby was setting up all of his electronics, the music, the phone chargers, and all of the techie things that I never have to worry about. I love him!
During all of the commotion of us settling in, there was a knock on the door... a bottle of Sparkling Apple Cider on ice and two champagne flutes to help celebrate our anniversary. I found that to be a very sweet touch, especially since hubby does not drink.
Settled into our digs for the night, hubby and I had our Sparkling Apple Cider on the balcony, and got ready to walk to a late lunch at Ventana Grill, a restaurant on property.
Ok, so lets talk food.
To start, I ordered a glass of local Rose. It was tasty and made for a nice nap after our seaside lunch.
We ordered two appetizers, the Corn Dusted Crisp Calamari, and the Asian Style Nachos.
Both were good. The calamari was your usual, run of the mill calamari, but, if you like calamari, than this is just what you would expect.
The Asian Style Nacho dish, was basically what should have been a stacked Poke dish. It was messy, it was hard to eat, some bites had too much wasabi, while others only had ginger. On the off chance that you did get a bite holding all of the ingredients, it was delicious. Meh!
After the good, but uneventful appetizers, we ordered one order of Carne Asada Taco's to share. The skirt steak simply melted in your mouth, the goat cheese went really well with the rest of the flavors in the taco, and the sauces that accompanied the tacos were very much on point as well.
Being the well rounded eaters that we are, dessert was par for the course. Flan!
I loved it, hubby thought it was just ok. He's had better, made at home by a very good friend of mine. We miss her flan.
SHORE CLIFF HOTEL PROPERTY
The weather that weekend was incredible, so we decided to go for a walk and explore the hotel grounds a bit. We were in awe of the hight and vastness of the cliff we were sleeping and dining on. The number of Pelican's perched there was fun to see, and we loved the landscaping.
The wine, the walk and all the food, was the perfect recipe for a nap. We kept our balcony doors open, listened to the crashing waves below us, and dozed off, the way only two tired parents of toddlers could.
We were told that there would be an incredible sunset visible from our balcony at 6:33pm. So we set an alarm, to wake up and watch the sunset. We absolutely did not regret it.
THE OYSTER LOFT
Whenever we travel, we try not to make too many plans. We like to explore and try new places along the way. So, when it came time to our anniversary dinner, we knew we wanted something a little more upscale, and we were really looking for something, well, delicious!
We found exactly what we were looking for at The Oyster Loft.
We started our meal with 1/2 a dozen Charbroiled Oysters, the only dish my hubby and I could have done without. Please don't get me wrong, it was insanely good, and very flavorful. But we are raw oyster people. So, if you are like us, pass on the Charbroiled Oysters and get an extra order of the fresh stuff. If you don't eat raw, this is a beautiful option.
The Oyster Loft serves nine types of fresh oysters, and because I'm a largely indecisive person, we went with our waiter's recommendation, the Paradise Oysters from Baynes Sound, BC, Canada.
If you are a fan of raw oysters, these are the ones to have. They're large, but not too large, they are crisp and sweet, and leave your tastebuds urning for more.
Next, we ordered the Orange Glazed Octopus Salad. Again, it was very filling, and the two of us enjoyed sharing it.
For our main course, we had the Wild Mushroom & Asparagus Risotto. This dish had our taste buds a little confused. As you take your bite, the flavors are incredible. But the longer you chew, the sauce kind of just, evaporates, and all you're left with is very bland rice. The only bites that stayed flavorful through the end, were bite that contained the wild mushrooms. It's complicated!
The dessert was thick and creamy and crunchy and everything I love in a dessert. Hubby did not feel the same. We ordered the evening's special, the Fig Cheesecake.
Now, I need to rant and rave about the best drink I have ever had. Yes, I will go so far as to say that it's quite literally, the best drink I've ever. It's called a Whisky Fifty, and its made with Maker's Mark, Sweet Vermouth, Cointreau, Vanilla Simple Syrup, and Orange Bitters, on the rocks. Yum!
We wrapped up our night, walked around Downtown Pismo Beach for a bit, then headed back to our hotel.
SOLVANG, A LOVELY STOP ON THE DRIVE HOME
For years, we have been making the drive up North, but have never made a stop in Solvang. There's a special place in my heart for Solvang, because I grew up doing day trips there with my parents. My mom would check out all of the antique shops, my dad and I checked out toys, souvenirs and all the food that Solvang has to offer. It was always a beautiful drive, and a really nice day with my parents. I miss those days.
As a matter of fact, when I got my driver's license, I drove my parents to Solvang, for my first "long" drive.
But it's been years since I've been there, and hubby has aways kind of had a feeling that it was overrated.
Well, he finally caved, and we had a really lovely stop.
First, it was packed. I mean, I've never seen so many people on the streets of Solvang. But, the feel of the town was still the same, the shops, the diners, the restaurants, the Aebleskiver. It felt nice to be there.
We stopped for lunch at the Solvang Restaurant, which is known for their Aebleskiver. I love that they have a walk-up window, as well as a full service restaurant inside.
I was really excited to see the Creamed Herring on the menu, while hubby ordered the Ham & Tilsit Cheese Sandwich. We were both very happy with our choices.
Of course, we had to try the Aebleskiver. Did we love it? Eh... it was alright. Very very thick and doughy. Kind of like a giant bite of pancake.
After lunch, we walked around town a bit, then headed to OstrichLand USA to feed the birds!
We had such a nice night away. It was just what we needed. We find it to be so important to make time for each other, and to make room for our relationship, even though it may feel like we have no time at all. As always, our latest trip, has helped us reconnect, and balance life.