Continuing on from Part 1 and Part 2, from here I hit the road to drive up California’s iconic and picturesque Highway 1 from Los Angeles to San Francisco, making a couple stops along the way in Oxnard and Salinas. So, let’s put it in gear, shall we?
Well, firstly, we needed a method of transportation. Mum and Dad have a habit of being too frugal (“cheap”) in my opinion, especially when it comes to things like car rentals. But I said, “look, I’m on tour. I can’t have one of my fans see me riding around in some donkey cart – I need something more flashy. Something like a Mustang convertible perhaps? At a minimum, I mean.”
So as usual, I got what I wanted.
Now THAT’S more like what fans would expect of me.
So with a fitting “steed” beneath my britches, we were off to the races.
Dad elected to drive first, which was fine by me because I wanted to be able to enjoy all the scenery.
That backfired a bit though when Mum – being that typical annoying passenger, decided to start hounding me for selfies together. Ugh.
“Give me a break lady!”
Sometimes your craziest fan is the one you live with.
Anyway, luckily she quickly got a good one and could thus leave me alone to enjoy the ride (fortunately, it’s not hard to get a good selfie if I’m in it).
So selfies out of the way, our first stop after leaving L.A. was Malibu, where we were to take a nice morning hike at the Zuma Canyon Trail. Sounds exotic, and I couldn’t help but wonder what a “Zuma” might look like.
We didn’t see this “Zuma” creature that I kept seeing signs for, but it was still a nice walk through a valley with a view of the ocean.
And not a bad opportunity to work on some of my agility moves.
After that nice morning workout, we were to drive over to the quaint little harbor town of Ventura where we’d hang out and get some lunch.
We went to a little place along the harbor docks called The Parlor which even had a specialty Paw-lor menu for us canines. I got the steak.
Delicious, but they wouldn’t serve me a glass of red wine to go with it, unfortunately. But not to worry, I would get my chance soon enough.
While in the beautiful little harbor though, we decided we might as well explore a bit. So we hopped on a boat tour with a local dog named Charlie who was my tour guide.
He started by saying in his local accent, “ya there a lot of squid fishin’ we do here.”
But it only took the word “fishin'” – my favorite thing in the world, to have me hanging over the side looking for a splash or a jump from a fish. I didn’t see any, but at least I was extremely attentive for the whole tour.
From Ventura, we headed to the Oxnard Beach (nicknamed, “Hollywood Beach”) to spend the late afternoon. By the name, I was expecting it to be a celebrity-studded sand-spit with paparazzi and everything, so I came in my proper beach attire.
I was wrong though. No paparazzi, film crews, or other celebrities. Actually, I was pleasantly surprised. It was a huge expanse of quiet beach with plenty of dogs, people playing catch, and soft waves rolling onto shore.
With no worries of paparazzi getting all up in my business, I was free to take a nice stroll with Mum.
But who are we kidding, Crusoe doesn’t “take strolls”.
And when we I got tired from playing an awesome game of fetch across the sand, we sat to enjoy the sunset. But still – me being me, I can’t just sit idly on sand. I must do as I was born to do; dig.
Mum got a bit annoyed at Dad and I though when she realized that I was tossing sand into her shoes. Which to be fair, was only because Dad told me to dig next to her. (If you turn the sound on you can hear her complaining about us 😉 )
Anyway, by the time Mum cleaned all the sand out of her shoes the sun had set and we were all hungry, so we headed to a nice little place on the Channel Islands Harbor called Waterside Restaurant & Wine Bar.
And once again, I was oh-so impressed to see how amazingly dog-friendly it is around here! There was a friendly Golden Retriever who welcomed customers at the door, and plenty of dogs hanging out on the patio.
I got the burger, but as I’m always watching my figure, I restrained myself to just a few nibbles. How ’bout that harbor view though?
So with our bellies full, it was over to the Residence Inn Oxnard River Ridge for the night.
As I learned the next day though, it seems I’d been spotted while checking in!
The next morning we had a full schedule, as usual.
But we stopped quick at a little breakfast spot we were recommended to go to called the Amri Cafe, and a lovely spot it was. The owners were especially nice though, and very excited to welcome a canine celebrity.
In fact, they even invited me to add my signature to their wall-mounted menu alongside all the other signatures of fellow celebrities who’d dined there!
Then it was back to the car to hit the road, heading to Santa Barbara.
Although, there was more than when time when I told Dad to stop along California’s Highway 1 so I could get a better look at that majestic coastline…
Quite somethin’, isn’t it?
I mean, if California didn’t already have enough to lure me here – like Hollywood, the beaches, the babes, etc – this sort of view might just do the trick.
And all that sand was giving me a certain appetite –
For Mum’s favorite thing – digging! (She kept her shoes away from me this time).
It’s because – you see, I’ve taken on the life philosophy that there could be treasure anywhere. So whenever I go to any beach, I take it upon myself to dig at least several grand-scale holes in search of treasure.
This beach here is Arroyo Burro Beach Park in Santa Barbara, and is once again, totally dog-friendly. In fact, this is one of the nicest dog beaches I’ve ever been to – and I’m not just saying that because I had a fantastic time digging there.
Anyway, when I finally DID dig up some treasure (an awesome tennis ball which as Mum told me was the same one I buried there two minutes ago), I already had new friends coming over to see what I found.
So the lesson here is, if you want to make a new friend, just start digging yourself a big hole on the spot.
After that we continued on the drive up to Paso Robles where we were to FINALLY visit some wineries and taste every wine in sight.
Our first stop was the Eberle winery. Once again, everywhere I’ve been so far in California welcomes canines with open arms. In fact, they seated me right up on the counter as they poured out some of their finest wines for me to taste.
“Ah yes, I’m getting hints of green apple, pear, and what is that – toasted badger?”
“Not quite”, said the sommelier. “Toasted oak.”
“Oh, right”, I responded, and suddenly needing to defend my position, responded, “I guess I’ve confused my palate – back in my day we used to toast our badgers over a fire of oak wood.”
I continued though in an effort to change the subject before he could ask anymore questions… “What is that red wine that lady over there is trying? I will have 3 of those.”
So after plenty of tastings at Eberle, we hopped on over to yet another Paso Robles winery – this one by the name of Lone Madrone.
By this time I’m thinking that I’m a seasoned sommelier!
*Sniff sniff* – “I’m detecting some black cherry, licorice, and – *sniff sniff* – grilled rib eye steak.”
The owner suddenly looked perturbed and said, “There’s no ‘steak flavor‘ in our wines!”
“Oh, sorry, got ahead of myself there”, I quickly answered. “My mind was racing ahead to what would go good with this wine. And naturally, I’m thinking steak.”
And luckily, virtually across the road was where we went for dinner; a golf course with exceptional dining by the name of The Grill at Hunter Ranch.
They served me the rib eye steak I was craving earlier, and I understand they had good intentions in serving me greens…
But seriously, do I like look a rabbit?!
Then it was onto Salinas, California, where we spent the night at my trusty Residence Inn.
The next day was something I was especially looking forward to – the 17 Mile Drive! For anyone that doesn’t know, it’s an iconic and beautiful 17 mile stretch (well, obviously) of California’s Highway 1.
But right on the way in the cute town of Carmel, I stopped by the Diggidy Dog Boutique. Now you’re probably going to think they paid me to say this, or that they slipped me a whole bunch of treats under the table, but this was – and unexpectedly so – the nicest and best little dog store I’ve ever been to. So many outfits, collars, harnesses, sweaters, etc! Trust me, if they paid me to say that, Mum and Dad spent it all and more in that store!
Including my new cowboy hat – which as you’ll see might just pop up again at a later convenient time (*cough* Dallas *cough*).
So we stuffed our shopping bags in the trunk of our convertible, and were off to the 17 mile drive!
Nice view behind me huh?
Sorry, I’ll remove myself from the picture first so my handsomeness won’t distract you.
I sorta felt like driving for this one though.
That’s how Crusoe rolls; sexy convertible, windy coastline road, wind in my ears, a beautiful woman next to me (Mum for now), and a weird guy in the back (Dad).
I’d already been to the beach a couple times on this trip, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity here.
We just walked around, threw a few poses…
…And marked our everlasting love for each other in the sand.
And cue the “awwwwwww’s“.
I’m not usually that sappy, but heck, once in a while – for Mum’s sake.
It was a nice time though, and unlike Mum, I showed her I didn’t mind getting sand in my clothing!
“Confucius says; one who gets sand in their pants knows how to live life.”
Okay I made that up, but she got the point.
But just as the hole I was digging was about to breach China, Dad called over to us to say, “hey we need to leave if we’re to make San Francisco before dark!”
Another place I didn’t want to miss! So along I came, running along the boardwalk back to the car.
From there, the coast drifted away from site as we bee-lined to the Golden Gate City –
– But not before Mum could give me one last smooch upside the cheek!
Anyway, the California coast and all its wonderful stops along the way were something I’ll never forget. In fact, I really do hope to return to explore more of what I didn’t get the chance to see. I’ve also fallen in love with convertibles so that is now on my Christmas list.
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