So with three days left till Christmas, no hike within an hour really speaking to me, and limited funds due to the afore-mentioned industry implosion, I decided to look beyond a day trip, but not so far as to warrant a week of hotel stays I could not afford.
And I found it:
Christmas in Cambria.
I was surprised to learn this is not, in fact, the title of a Hallmark movie.
Just 200 miles up the California coast between Santa Barbara and Monterrey, Tucker and I had driven by but had never stayed. Home to Heart Castle (in San Simeon, just 5 miles north of Cambria), I had never gone since dogs are not allowed on the tours and I only go to places my entire family is welcome.
But we weren’t going for the architecture made by man anyway; we were going to explore Mother Nature’s artwork in galleries Tucker is invited to explore.
Cavalier Oceanfront Resort offered the most economical dog-friendly, ocean view accommodations, so I booked two nights in a room with a fireplace, a balcony Tuck and I could enjoy outdoors, and views to the ocean and coastline.
But first, we had to get there. Having the entirety of Christmas Eve for the three or four hours drive, we made the journey the destination with multiple stops along the way, the first being our local coffee house.
Sometimes I wonder if Tucker is a medium, or if all dogs are in some way. Maybe they can sense that a person’s heart is reaching out to the other side, seeking their dog. Or maybe Tuck can see the spectre of their dog beside them and in his interaction with the person, he shares a message from the dog beyond.
Sometimes it truly does feel like we’re being guided to right where we need to be.
As we came into Morro Bay, I wondered how I could have ever missed this. We had driven the coast before, Tucker and me. And I had even done it alone. But how had I missed this California version of Haystack Rock?
We started off at a campground, and once we found our way out of the parking lot of RV’s, we ended up in a sloping meadow with peek-a-boo views of the mountains beyond.
And it was the steepest section anyway, so it’s not like we would have avoided the hardest part; we just would have missed the stroll upwards and incredible views along the way.
There was much adventure ahead, but it didn’t mean our holiday hadn’t begun. It started that morning when we backed out of the driveway and hit the road.