After spending two weeks in Indio we headed to the LA area for a short stint, as Charlie wanted to visit with a high school friend he had not seen for 45 years. On the way to our campground we stopped by the Nixon Library. We spent a few hours there, found it very informative and well done.
Charlie and I sat behind the desk in the Oval Office and got a feel for what it would be like to be the president :-).
Our campground, Walnut RV Park, was located in Northridge. It was a small campground that, for us, served the sole purpose of being the closest place to Charlie’s friend where we could park the RV. We originally had reservations at the Malibu RV Park, but that park was damaged by the wildfires that tore through Malibu last Fall and it isn’t scheduled to reopen until mid summer. We were quite disappointed.
In the picture below you can see the Malibu RV Park to the left. Note the blue tarp and burnt trees.
This is a picture showing the scorched mountain region around Malibu and a roped off area of where a house once stood. It is really sad to think about what the residents had to endure as the fires raged, especially up in the Paradise, CA region.
As I mentioned earlier, our main reason for visiting the area was so that Charlie could meet up with an old friend of his. Don, and his wife Penny, had us over for a great dinner. Don works in the film business doing sound editing for movies. We were able to see a small portion of what he does, as he was in the process of editing an upcoming movie called Ford v. Ferrari starring Christian Bale and Matt Damon. It was fascinating to see how voices and sound effects are added, accentuated, tweaked, etc. to impact how the movie is viewed.
Per Don’s suggestion, we had lunch in Santa Monica at The Lobster. We sat at a window table which gave us a beautiful view of the Pier, beach and ocean. The food was excellent!
Our last day in the area was spent at the Reagan Library. It is a beautiful facility on top of a hill in Simi Valley. We absolutely loved this library. The Air Force One jet and Helicopter used during Reagan’s tenure are at the library and you are able to tour them. Charlie was imaging what it would be like to be the helicopter pilot.
I was imaging what it would be like giving a speech to everybody from the President’s pulpit.
The Pompeii exhibition was at the library while we were there. They displayed true artifacts, including wall-sized frescos, marble and bronze sculptures, jewelry, and full body casts of the volcano’s victims. The transformation that occurred in this city within minutes of the volcano erupting is almost unimaginable. Seeing this exhibit brings it to reality.
From the LA area we drove up Hwy 101 to Paso Robles. This was our first visit to the area and we absolutely loved it. We found all of the people to be extremely friendly. The city still has a small town feeling to it. We visited a few wineries and enjoyed some great food at the local restaurants.
The area around Paso Robles is just beautiful. I’m sure when the grapes are in full bloom that it is a spectacular sight. We may have to come back for another visit.
We found dinner at Fish Gaucho to be very good, especially the double boned pork chop. Our favorite restaurant though was The Catch. We dined there twice and sat at the bar both times. This gives you a front seat to all of the cooking excitement. The owner, Chico, is the chef. I snapped this picture of him from my seat at the bar, at the end of the evening.
Now, if you like Bloody Mary drinks, then I’d suggest La Cosecha Bar.
We visited the Hearst Castle twice during our week long visit. This was because on our first visit it ended up pouring down rain while we were up at the castle. Therefore, we were unable to see any of the grounds or the views. During our second visit we had beautiful weather. In the end, we took the Grand Rooms Tour, the Upstairs Suites Tour, and the Cottages & Kitchen Tour. We are now Hearst Castle aficionados.
The Hearst Castle architecture is stunning. The house can be seen, sitting on the mountain top, from quite a distance away.
Hearst collected art from all over the world. His collection is outstanding and on display throughout the castle and grounds. The pool is unbelievably gorgeous and the views are breathtaking.
Along Hwy 1, just down the road from the Hearst estate, are beautiful views of the coastline.
While in Paso Robles we stayed at the new Cava Robles RV Resort. We really liked it. There are over 300 sites and while we were there only about 30 of them were occupied. There were more families with small kids at this resort than we had seen elsewhere. That could be due to the fabulous pools and the fact that they have a cafe/bar on-site. Within a couple of weeks the park expects to fill up and remain that way through September. I’m glad we hit it on the off-peak time.