Saturday, January 8, 2011

#146: Road Trip to Cambria and San Simeon

Cambria and San Simeon are coastal towns five minutes away from each other and about four hours north of Los Angeles by car. Most visitors stop to take a tour of Hearst Castle, but there are many other attractions here to check out.

Nitt Witt Ridge

Nitt Witt Ridge: An artist and interesting personality named Art built the antithesis of the Hearst Castle. Nitt Witt Ridge is a castle made of junk! Art was a garbage man who literally brought his work home with him. Abalone shells, beer cans and toilet bowl seats are just some of the items used in his house's construction. Art passed away at the age of 96, but tours of his home are still given. You must make a reservation. It took multiple phone calls for us to get a hold of someone, but someone did in fact return our call eventually and we set up a time. Our tour guide was great, and we even saw a video of Art talking about his home. Tours are $10 per person. Don't be late!

This elephant seal hasn't started his new year's resolution yet.

Elephant Seals in San Simeon: Wow, these guys have it made. There are hundreds of these blubbery creatures sunning on the beach, and it seems like they don't have a care in the world. I would feel really self conscious if flocks of tourists stared at me throughout the day, but they just ignored us. Sleeping seemed to be their top priority at 2 pm. Sweet.

Scallops and bacon wrapped pheasant at Black Cat Bistro

Black Cat Bistro: This is the perfect place to take you and your special someone for a romantic dinner. Fine dining in Cambria? Yes! Fresh from the farm produce is served in a house-turned-restaurant. I was blown away. But don't just take my word for it--it has a 4.5/5 rating on Yelp!

Star Gazing: Out of all the things we did on this road trip, my favorite didn't cost a penny. Living in L.A., you forget that there are stars in the night sky. Sometimes if you squint, you can make out three or four, but most of the time our skies are only lit with the warm halo of light pollution. Both nights we were in San Simeon, we pulled to the side of a dark road, opened the sunroof in Brad's car, reclined our seats and stared in awe. I found the perfect song on our playlist for our star gazing, and we just listened to that song on repeat. Magical.

If anyone knows a great place closer to L.A. to see stars, please let me know!

A roof with a view
Abalone staircase
His and Hers toilets in the outhouse
Toilet seat picture frames
Ladies' room. It saddened me to learn that the event which motivated Art to build Nitt Witt Ridge was when a girlfriend of his cheated on him and left him. Some might say it made him a little crazy. Art then built Nitt Witt with "his and hers" rooms, toilets, etc, but he never did find a girlfriend or wife. :(

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