Monday, October 17, 2022

Going Coastal

An alternative title might be 'How I broke my elbow on the coast of California', but I'll let you decide. 

Day 6-Cambria to Carmel 

The day started with a 9 am tour of Hearst Castle in nearby San Simeon. George Hearst traveled his land on horseback but his son William Randolph grew tired of camping so he built a 'little something on the hill' and now we have buses and tickets and tour guides to help us along. 

Entry to the property today is with a timed ticket and a bus ride from the visitors center (located just off the highway) all the way up the mountain to the house itself. 

What an incredible place to call home. 

While a visit to this remarkable 'castle' sounded like it might be a little too touristy, hubs and I both really enjoyed seeing this amazing property and hearing the story behind its construction.  

The house is over the top in terms of decor and detail, not to mention the views which are absolutely stunning. 

Before leaving San Simeon we stopped at the nearby state park to see the sea lions who call this beach home. 

These are not creatures we see lounging on the East Coast beaches and it feels a little bit amazing to stand so close and watch them sunbathe. 

It was another ideal convertible day, perfect for a drive on the twisting-turning coastline road that runs through Big Sur.

We spent most of the day with our mouths agape at the magnificence of the coastal seascape and the natural beauty that is everywhere you look. I really am beginning to get why people live here. 

We stopped for lunch in one of the few restaurants we passed on this stretch of highway (The Whale Watchers Cafe) and then made another stop to see McWay Falls. You couldn't get back as far as we would have liked because some of the cliff was perilously close to falling into the sea!! and was roped off. McWay is an 80 foot high waterfall that drops right into the beach beside the Pacific and pictures do not do it justice.

We arrived in the picturesque town of Carmel late afternoon and after checking in to our hotel set out to explore the area. We walked to the beach, browsed the shops, and had a drink in a little bar tucked away in one of the many nooks and crannies this town possesses. The bar owner recommended his favorite Italian restaurant for dinner so we headed there next. We find the locals generally know what they're talking about and he did not steer us wrong. (La Balena) Fresh pasta in the garden with wonderful service and a most delicious tiramisu for dessert. 

Carmel left its mark, in more ways than one actually. We were walking to breakfast the next morning, struggling to find the address we'd been given, both of us looking up, when I somehow caught my foot on what I guess was a low landscaping curb around a tree in the middle of the sidewalk. 

Honestly I don't even know how the next few seconds happened, but down I went in grand fashion, breaking my glasses, bruising my cheek, scraping both hands, skinning my leg, and evidently fracturing my elbow although I didn't realize it at the time. 

I was shaken up for sure and I took a little inventory of all my body parts before getting up. I was most concerned about my cheek which was throbbing and especially my broken glasses because we weren't heading home for three more days. 

I wanted to cry and maybe I did, mostly over the broken glasses, but I did pick myself up, or maybe hubs picked me up???, and we went into the restaurant. They kindly brought me a bag of ice for my cheek and I cleaned my bleeding hands before mentioning to hubs that my forearm was pretty sore although nothing actually felt broken.

I texted my daughters because I knew they would be sympathetic, but also because my oldest is married to an orthopedic surgeon. He was out of town so after a series of texts relayed through her, questions asked about moving all my fingers and level of numbness, etc he recommended I find a doctor and get checked out. 

That all sounded like a lot so we got in the car and drove to Half Moon Bay to meet up with our friends and see their daughter get married instead. 

I should've listened to the doctor major. 

I have a non-displaced fracture which thankfully did not require surgery. Personally I think walking around with it broken for three days, dancing albeit cautiously, and maybe that lemon drop I sipped at the reception all helped keep it from becoming too stiff as broken elbows tend to do. 

We're almost home in terms of these posts. We still have the wedding, Sausalito, and the orthopedist coming up. In that order. Oops!


  1. Oh no! We have a family member that was outside the country and took a nasty fall breaking BOTH elbows, a wrist, and his collarbone! His whole family cut the trip short and headed home so he could get surgery and have all his injuries dealt with. Injuries and illnesses on vacation are just the worst. Glad you don't need surgery though!!

  2. You have seen more things in CA then I have seen living here for over 30 years. The Hearst Castle is so beautiful. Love your photos. I always love seeing the sea lions. I am so sorry about your fall. ((Hugs)) Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Again your photos are so beautiful and the dessert looks delicious. You take care.

  3. WOW... to the photos and adventure. I did chuckle when you said "I should've listened to the doctor major."

  4. What a gorgeous place . . .and what an adventure. I am so sorry about your elbow!

  5. Oh my!! You are sure a trooper, Joyce! I never think to pack a pair of my old glasses as back-up, though they are in the glove box of my car. Accidents are always because of something so silly. Looking forward to the next posts, but thanks for another blog full of amazing photos. xo

  6. Oh dear girl, so sorry about that miss-step and landing on your poor elbow/cheek/and glasses! Not an easy choice to find a doctor out of your usual habitat!! We stayed in Carmel on our many years ago! In a cabin, nothing luxurious. :)

  7. Oh my Joyce! I can't even imagine. Love all the beautiful scenery and places you've seen. Everything is so gorgeous!