Tuesday, August 19, 2008

back from Southern California

"He's your brother, right?" -- random drunk lady to Mom

I just got back from Southern California with my parents. The plan was to leave Saturday morning, but the trip was postponed because the hotels were all full. Delays aside, this was a great way to end the summer.

Day 1

The trip began at 10 a.m. with a drive to Paso Robles. Our first stop along the way was Paraiso Vineyards in Soledad. The view from the patio was amazing, making it a perfect picnic spot.

Dad took us to several other wineries after lunch. A funny thing happened at one of them: a woman asked if I was 21 as we were in the parking lot. She then asked my mother if I was her brother. It's obvious she's had too many drinks. That was completely random, but Mom was flattered as it made her feel young again. ^_^

The traffic on the way to Paso Robles was light. There was lots of time to explore the area after checking into the hotel. For dinner, the three of us went to an oceanfront restaurant in Pismo Beach. The food was slightly overcooked but otherwise all right.

Later in the evening, my mother and I watched some movies on our portable DVD player. I saw Sunshine before going to bed.

Day 2

The first stop of the day was Solvang. I had a great time checking out the restaurants and gift shops. Though the pastries looked delicious, nothing here was cheap. High prices aside, Solvang was the highlight the trip. This was followed by lunch at a Japanese restaurant as it was already 1 p.m.

Dad took us to Santa Barbara after lunch. The reason for going there was to visit the University of California, Santa Barbara. The campus was beautiful and had a homely feel. UC Santa Barbara was actually my second choice when I was applying for college.

Our hotel was located in San Luis Obispo. Because it was pretty late, my family had dinner at a Chinese buffet restaurant after unloading our stuff. The food was a bit salty but not too bad as far as Chinese buffets go.

The hotel gave us two free DVD rentals. I chose Blade while my mother preferred comedies. However, because Dad was exhausted and wanted to go to bed, the two of us decided to follow suit so as to not disturb his sleep.

Day 3

I finished watching Blade after breakfast. The final fight scene was pretty cool. :-)

The purpose of coming to San Luis Obispo was to see the California Polytechnic State University campus. Cal Poly is another school I had applied to. I liked UC Santa Barbara better, but that's just me. We then went to downtown San Luis Obispo before heading home.

The rest of the day was uneventful, although we stopped at the Gilroy Premium Outlets so Mom could look at shoes. I guess the stereotype that women love shoes is true. Back in the Bay Area, my family had dinner at Pizz'a Chicago before arriving home.


Considering that we don't go to Southern California often, this was a refreshing experience. Of the places we visited, Solvang was my favorite. I'd love to go there again in the future.

At any rate, I should probably get back to studying as my classes are starting soon. In the meantime, feel free to check out my pictures from the trip.

Update: The pictures are now online.

Currently listening to: The Collector's Series, Volume One by Celine Dion

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