Final Thoughts From PCH

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Another blog post from Mr. Deals…

For you Californians, notice how I left out “the” when referring to PCH  (I just did it again). It still doesn’t make sense to me, but it is what it is…

How does one live in Malibu? Seriously, can it be done without being some sort of millionaire and without having to commute to work in LA? I need to live there (I think it’s because the surf was so damn good). I’ll get back to this.

The final days of our PCH trip were fantastic and continued the new theme of how I would love to live in California (hear that Mrs. Deals?). We continued down through Big Sur. Wow, talk about incredible. We hiked around a bit, walked out to some points that had pathways from the lookout areas. If anyone is planning on doing this anytime soon, bring a tripod to help with pictures. If you want one of those fake looking scenery pictures with you in the front, you won’t always have extra hands to get that shot for you. I don’t have much more on Big Sur other than get gas before you hit the road. I hear it’s super expensive at the stations along the Big Sur stretch of road.

Our Big Sur leg culminated in a stop at a seal beach just before heading to the Hearst Castle. There are seals all along the ride and its definitely worth checking them out. Such interesting creatures. Speaking of creatures, the Hearst Castle had a freaking zoo! Unfortunately it wasn’t still active, but apparently there were once polar bears at that place. I was really hoping to see Zebra’s (a favorite of mine), but unfortunately no luck. We did see some north african billy goat looking things on our drive down the hill from the castle. Bottom line, check that place out, it’s sweet. Some people have very, how should I say, ‘interesting’ ways of decorating their homes.

From Hearst it was on to SLO, that’s San Luis Obispo for those of you in the know. We meandered through Morro bay along the way which was a cool little beach pit stop. Had the fog not been sitting over the whole town, it probably would’ve been a fun day at the beach. After crashing in SLO, we checked out Pismo beach. It definitely would’ve been a blast to rent some four wheelers and hit up the dunes, but we wanted to get to Santa Barbara. So let’s talk about that…

Santa Barbara, wow. Finally we got the California heat we were asking for. This place is just so damn beautiful. It’s a quaint little beach town with some nice hotels across from the water. We did the typical stuff like eating seafood on the pier (we basically did this everywhere) and of course found a happy hour deal for $1 oysters. I of course had to go check out the Channel Islands Surfboard shop which as far as shops go, beats anything I’ve ever seen anywhere else. I liken it to a woman walking into a room full of chocolate, just pure happiness. As far as places to live, Santa Barbara seems like a great spot. I don’t think Mrs. Deals would complain.

The remainder of the drive was from Santa Barbara to LA. The coastline through Malibu is incredible. We saw dolphins in the water at one of the lookout points, stopped at various surf spots which seem to be everywhere. I finally got to go surf at the point in Malibu. Of couse we had a celebrity sighting with Scott Caan paddling past me in the water. Mrs. Deals thought she was dreaming because she was napping on the beach and woke up and saw him and just thought about the episode of Hawaii 5-0 we were watching the night before. It was really him babe. I think I’m in love with Malibu. Granted I know nothing about what it’s like to live there, but after 3 hours of surfing I decided I want to live there. How that’s going to happen, who knows, but maybe I’ll hold out for retirement, that way I don’t have to worry about a commute.

Once we got to LA it was like being in any major city. Just a lot more traffic than anything. I don’t know how you folks out there deal with all the traffic. I feel like 8 miles should not take an hour. Regardless, LA is California and I like it. I’m convinced I will drive parts of PCH again at some point. I mean if we don’t move there, I’ll have to get a fix from time to time of those oh so cheap avocados!

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  1. Careful now, PCH is the one highway that everyone in CA calls the same. But for numbered freeways, Southern Californians use “the” (as in, “take the 10 to the 110 to the 105”) while Northern Californians don’t (“take 101 to 880 to 80”).

  2. I agree with AK. Although up in northern California we mostly called it “Highway 1.” I didn’t learn about “PCH” until I went to college in Irvine.

    To this day I still have (friendly) arguments with my southern friends about putting “the” before freeway names.

  3. I did the same trek as you with my family, from SoCal up through Big Sur, Hearst Castle, and staying a night in Pismo Beach area, then Santa Barbara and Malibu. It was one heck of a ride, and there was a lot beautiful scenery. Absolutely gorgeous. We took a lot of pictures at the vista points and other stops, and to this day, I still remember it. But then again, it was only a couple of years ago. 😀 (I thought the Hearst Castle tour was just OK. Interesting, but just OK)

    Sounds like you had a wonderful trip too. Thanks for the trip report. Brought back a lot of good memories.

    I am not so sure I want to live there, but I would not mind traveling there every now and then to vacation.

  4. Not to hammer you, Mr. Deals, but as Scottrick says above, it’s called “PCH” only in southern California. I’m pretty sure the division is anywhere north of where it splits off the shared 101 (at San Luis Obispo)–it’s called Highway 1 from there north. Great blog by the way! 🙂

  5. Nice report, and next time you’re in the area of SLO, try to make it on a Thursday, when they put on the greatest Farmers Market you could imagine, 50 weeks a year. The main drag, Higuera St, closes to car traffic, and local restaurants bring out their bbq’s and grills, offering some of the best RIBS and other goodies you can stuff into yourself. Market hours begin at 6pm, and lines begin forming at 5:30 for the best rib place. I live about 5 hours away, but get there at least a couple times a year. Try it; you’ll love it.

  6. Santa Barbara is an amazing place to live and relatively easy to fly in and out of…. Airport has a lot of dailt flights for it’s small size

  7. On living here: Remember that we have earthquakes. If you are born here, you get use to them. Else, best to just visit, spend lots of money, and go home. 🙂

    Hearst Castle has numerous tours. Take them all. Takes several days. Well worth it.

  8. What happened to calling it “Coast Highway”? (I wonder if I was still a SoCal if I’d call it “THE Coast highway?)

    On living here – part deux –

    By the time you move here, our infrastructure will be crumbling, we will have the highest tax rate in the country, our schools will be awful, etc, etc….

    but we’ll still have cheap avocados.

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