July 28 Monday
We arrived late in the afternoon at our campsite at the Modesto, CA Reservoir. What a great, quiet place!
There were Canadian geese on the lake & John took some nice photos of a beautiful sunrise at our location. We never left our site, just enjoyed the 2 nights of rest at the reservoir before leaving the next morning for Santa Cruz.
July 29 Tuesday
We finally arrived at Santa Cruz Harbor around 3pm. How beautiful the weather was there, mild 70’s. We were overlooking the harbor where it seemed that millions of boats were docked. Our neighbors were so friendly & helpful that it was a real pleasure to be there. After we set up our camper & had a light lunch, we decided to explore Santa Cruz. We first went to the famous Boardwalk, lots of rides & just like at the carnival. We were able to walk to the beach, took our beach chairs & just enjoyed the weather.
We had to empty our shoes of the beach sand.
We left the Boardwalk & went a short distance to the Mark Abbott Lighthouse, location for the Santa Cruz Surfer’s Museum. Along the way we discovered the bronze statue commemorating the Santa Cruz World Surfing Reserve.
July 30, Wednesday
Today was our grandson, Tavin’s 11th birthday so we were able to talk with him. We left early for our drive to Monterey, which was about thirty minutes away from Santa Cruz.
When we arrived in Monterey, we had a chance to talk with our friends, Kathy & Jim & they recommended a restaurant called Old Fishermen’s Grotto on Fishermen’s Wharf so we parked our car and enjoyed the half mile walk to the wharf. We feasted on appetizers of popcorn shrimp, an entree of salmon & the most delicious sour & chiabatta bread. After we walked back to the car, we decided to go to Ghiardelli’s Chocolate Company on Cannery Row where we split a delicious hot fudge sundae, which is the world famous dish at the ice cream & candy store.
We left there and drove to Carmel by the Sea, a short distance away.
We stopped several places to take photos, especially driving the scenic route around the town. As John was driving, I saw Clint Eastwood’s place, Mission Ranch & realized that he had been the mayor of Carmel for several years. It was a beautiful drive from Carmel to Big Sur. We photographed several places along the Pacific Coast Highway, but the fog was still too heavy to provide good photo spots. After the drive to Big Sur, we decided to drive back to Santa Cruz to a McDonalds so John could upload our photos for the blog.
July 31 Thursday
Today was our grandaughter, Hannah’s 5th birthday in Miami where she was celebrating with her family in Orlando at Universal Studio. Thanks to all of you who are hanging with us as we continue our travel.. It has been a challenge to try & get the blogs out without cell or internet. John has a hotspot on his phone to work on the internet but since we didn’t have any cell service, it became impossible for us to have access to it. This is our last day in beautiful Santa Cruz; we still have no internet but some cell phone service.
We left Santa Cruz this morning for our Yanks RV Resort in Greenfield. We arrived there in the early afternoon, checked in & had plenty of time to set up our camper & rest.
Our RV Park was really nice, surrounded by lovely mountains & each site had ample parking for our trailer & car. We learned that the wind was extremely gusty in the afternoons so we were advised not to put our awning out.
August 2, Saturday
We left around 8am for San Simeon for our 11:30 tour of Hearst Castle.
When we arrived, we learned that due to the severe water shortage, all the indoor restroom facilities had been closed, but they had provided plenty of alternatives.
We had time before our tour bus departed to go to the Hearst Theatre & see the 40 minute video about the Hearst Castle.
The tour bus took us up a steep mountain for a 10 minute ride. We noticed how hot it had become since we rode to the top, around high 90’s. I’m so happy we had taken a bottle of water with us to keep us hydrated. We followed our tour guide as he told us about William Randolph Hearst, who had the vision to see a castle built on this steep mountain which was part of the Santa Lucia mountains. It was truly fascinating to experience this amazing castle with all it’s grandeur. We noticed that none of the fountains were on, due to the water shortage & the Neptune Pool had to be drained due to a leak. We did get a photo of the pool without the water. After the 45 minute guided tour, we could just walk around the grounds which were not closed off to the public.We saw a lot of the beautiful flowers & fruit trees on the grounds. Our guide shared with us that Hearst had provided food for most of his staff by raising everything from fruits, vegetables, cows, chickens & beef. At one time, he also had a wildlife preserve on the grounds.
We ate a light lunch & then drove back down the mountain for scenic Morrow Bay and then on to San Luis Obispo.
Due to the heavy fog, we were unable to get the photos we wanted; but we did take a few before we drove the 2 hours back to our park.
Look out, San Diego, the Freeds are coming!!!!!!