The Mrs. and I travel frequently but it seems more times than not, we are traveling for races.  This past weekend, we took a trip to Paso Robles (with cycling and running gear) but not for racing.  It was just for fun (and training).

Honestly, I'm not sure if we could go somewhere without exercising.  I just don't think we'd cope well.



So I book the trip but I only tell the Mrs. we're going away.  We've been to Paso Robles for racing and I went through my notes to find the hotel where we stayed on our last visit.

I know this might seem like trivial information and it would be except that when we arrived, I drove to the hotel to find out it wasn't the hotel I booked.

In fact, we've never stayed at the hotel I booked so I'm sort of confused at how I wound up there.

I think, no problem.  We have "a" hotel reservation; it's just that we're not staying where I thought we were staying.  No big deal.

We drive over to "our" hotel and we then discover the fair is in town and "our" hotel is RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET.


After closer inspection, I realize I've been to this fairground.

Now hold that thought while we travel back in time to 1999....

I’m working at a dot com and one of my coworkers, a very clean cut, family man, father of two young boys, hard working, extremely intelligent... [I could go on...].

So anyway, he's telling me about his weekend and how he and his oldest son were watching NASCAR.

I'm like -- really?  NASCAR?

He continues to tell me how the boy loves NASCAR and it's their thing.

In a sarcastic tone, I say, what's next?  Monster trucks?

Now hold THAT thought because I know I'm coming off as a pretentious prick and honestly, I'm not pretentious.  :)

Seriously though, I've been to several rodeos, I've been to a rattlesnake roundup and I've even tasted rattlesnake, I know how to two-step, I've owned horses, I've shot, killed and cleaned deer as well as feasted on their tasty meat and if you're still not convinced that I'm down to Earth good people, I've also shopped at WalMart.

Back to my buddy --

He laughs off my ridicule and we go about our business.

In the following week he informs me that he's bought us tickets for the monster truck show in Paso Robles.

Back to the original story --

And the reason why the fairground is familiar to me is because it's where I'd seen the monster truck show with my buddy back in the 90's.

[Yes, I went.  And I enjoyed it too.  Bring earplugs.]

So there we were -- at the wrong hotel, during the fair and I expect it to be louder than heck while the bands play late into the night.  Turns out, other than the traffic and a lack of parking, we hardly noticed the fair.

The rest of Friday night was fairly uneventful -- we had dinner at a lovely restaurant and then we settled in for the evening.

Saturday we decided to ride down to the coast to the cute little town of Cambria.  We started off together but we parted ways because we were riding different distances.

Heading towards the coast on Highway 46, the route felt all too familiar and then I realized it very much reminded me of the new bike course at Ironman Coeur d'Alene.  I see future training trips. :)

As soon as I arrive din Cambria, I flipped back around and on my way back to Paso Robles, I ran into the Mrs. who had a minor knee scraper. 

In a nutshell, she tried to defy gravity and gravity won.  All is well though with the exception of a bloody knee and some bruises.  The bike is fine! :)

After cleaning up, we drove down to Cambria to wander around and then we drove up the coast to Hearst Castle.

I'd heard about Hearst Castle from a number of friends but I've never been there.

And I still haven't been there.  We made it to the parking lot but you have to book in advance.  But hey, we scoped it out and now we know we want to come back.  Some other time, I guess.

Sunday was pretty low key -- we did a short run, eat breakfast but other than checking out a winery, we were back in the car to put a close on a fun weekend.

During our stay, I managed to take a few photos...

Welcome to Cambria --


Some shots from the coast --

Pacific Coast01

Pacific Coast02

Pacific Coast03

Pacific Coast05

Pacific Coast06

Pacific Coast07

Pacific Coast08

Pacific Coast09

Pacific Coast10

Pacific Coast11

Pacific Coast12

Some of the local critters --



Visitors were feeding the critters --



Me and the Mrs --


The extent of our Hearst Castle visit --

Hearst Castle Emblem

Hearst Castle

Playing around with the camera's depth of field --

Car Mirror1

Car Mirror2

Odd sign --

Authorized Vehicles

... In other words, you can only use this road if you're hauling --

Lincoln Logs

Another odd, and scary, sign --

Falling Rocks

I hope somebody adopts --

Adopt Penny

Every once in a while I have an artistic moment --

Trick Photo

Everyone has heard of Napa but Paso Robles has good wine as well --


A visit to the Niner Winery --

Niner Winery

On our way back, we stopped in Salinas for lunch and we wondered whether this place was any good --


It was delicious --

BBQ Chicken