Since I was shifting into a new decade with the approach of my 30th birthday, my wife and I decided to take a little trip we had been talking about for a while. So last Friday morning we jumped in the Cube and headed north on the 101. The plan was to drive straight to Monterey to enjoy the awesome aquarium they had there, but us being us, we didn’t follow the script.
We were cruising at a steady 75mph when Jenny shouted, “there’s a mission in San Luis Obispo, let’s stop!” Now 2 things are important here, 1. We have a goal to visit all of the California missions and 2. We were driving through San Luis Obispo at the time and the exit was fast approaching…
I pulled across multiple lanes of traffic, ignoring the honks, and we made our way to the San Luis Obispo Mission. They were having a 7th and 8th grade Halloween costume dance. I think Junipero Serra would roll over in his grave (which we would see soon enough).
After giving a homeless guy $1 we were back on the 101 and made it another 15 miles before seeing a sign for the San Miguel Mission, so we stopped there too! It was my favorite one, very old, very original, very dusty.
We finally made it to a cool, blustery Monterey around 2:30 and went straight to the aquarium. I’ll spare you all the details, but the jellyfish and sea horses were the best part.
The next morning we headed back south, first stopping at the Carmel Mission (our third in 2 days) which we breezed through because a wedding was about to start. The highlight of this Mission (in a weird, dark way) was that it was the one where Father Serra (who founded all the Missions) died and is buried. After our quick stop we took off down the PCH through Big Sur (which is absolutely beautiful), across some really high bridges and around some seriously windy roads and finally made it to Hearst Castle.
What a house.
I think I could live there.
I am not a good enough writer to describe Hearst Castle in a manner that would effectively capture what it is like. Go see it for yourself.
Soon enough we were home, having decided to bypass the 2 Missions we would be passing in order to speed up things, and the trip was over. It was a good introduction into my 30’s, but hopefully it’s just the beginning.