Monday, April 5, 2010

Our Weekend in Morro Bay

We had a wonderful weekend in Morro Bay for my mother in law's 50th birthday.

We drove up on Thursday, and had a nice dinner with everyone Thursday night.

Friday morning was our bicycling tour to do tasting at the vineyards. It started out fabulously. I hadn't ridden a bike in a few years, and so I was nervous about doing it again, but the phrase "it's like riding a bike" is an apt phrase, because it really was easy to pick up again.

It was exhilarating to be riding in the fresh morning air around all of these beautiful vineyards, and it was fun hanging out with everyone during the tasting times too. The trips to the first few vineyards were just fun. Then we had a 5-6 mile stretch to get to the place where we were going to have lunch, I was getting rather tired by this point, but I pushed through and made it.

Although the stretch to lunch was tiring, it also was a moment where I was extremely proud of myself for making it, and so the tiredness was worth it.

We had a very pleasant lunch, and then the next stretch was 3 miles or so. What you have to know about this point is that Morro Bay has crazy winds that pick up in the afternoon. Every day we were there these afternoon winds appeared, and made our activities that much more difficult.

So at this point, I have already been biking all morning, and am already tired, then the wind was blowing against us making every pedal that much harder. There was one point where my bike was on the absolute lowest gear it could be, and I was still exhausted. My thighs were BURNING, but I kept pushing through because I wanted to finish the whole bike ride. I did, with Blake's encouragement, make it to the next vineyard... but just barely lol.

I got there, and I was waiting to see where to park the bike, but it was hurting just to stand, so I just handed it to Blake. Then I sat... but my legs were still hurting, so I just laid down (I know... pathetic... but I was so tired, and my legs hurt so much, that was the only way I felt comfortable at that point.) After resting for a bit, I did feel better, and was able to sit and join the rest of the group. Meanwhile... Blake seeing how entirely exhausted I was at that point put my bike on the van that was with us on the trip (for those who didn't want to do all of the riding, but still join us at the tastings), and made the executive decision that I should be in the van for the rest of the trip.

Some people might be offended if their significant other made this call for them... but I wasn't. If he had asked me, I might have still tried to go on, even though I was exhausted, just to prove that I could, or to not look like a wimp to him. But since he made the call, I knew that he wasn't disappointed, and he also reassured me that I did great, and that he was proud of how far I was able to go (about 15 miles total to that point). The other thing was that he was way holding himself back staying with me, and I felt bad about that, so I was kind of glad that he could continue without going slow for his less in shape wife.

Turns out, there was only one other female in the group that went past the vineyard that I stopped riding at, and she had been training for two months to be able to do the whole ride (unlike me and the other women who trained... none... and we were done lol). Even though there were about 20 of us that started the ride, only 6 people finished the whole trip... and Blake was the first to finish. It totally wasn't a race, and it was made more even because we all stopped at the vineyards, and left them at the same time to keep us together, but I am still extremely proud of him for finishing, and for finishing first of the 6 that completed it. Especially since if we had done this bike ride a year ago, I doubt he would have ridden past lunchtime, and even that would have been a struggle for him.

But I digress. The first batch of pictures are of the last vineyard we were at (and I remembered to take pictures) and of some of the last 6 taking off, Blake is the one with the white shirt and black shorts. Isn't it beautiful there?

That night we had my mother in law's dinner, which was nice, but probably not my favorite meal of the trip because it was much more formal than all of the others, and I think I felt more myself at the informal dinners than the formal one.

Saturday morning started with a hike to the kayaking place, and it was a beautiful hike, and I regret taking only one picture, because it is only such a small part of the beauty that was around us.

Kayaking was a ton of fun. This was just Blake, I and my father in law. Blake and I were in a double so that even when I got tired paddling (which was often lol) he was able to keep us with the rest of the group.

We got to see a bunch of wildlife on the trip like an otter (who came within 3 feet of one of the people kayaking with our group), a bunch of harbor seals, birds, etc. We even spotting the fin of a small shark out in the distance.

We kayaked to some sand dunes in the middle of the harbor, and many of the pictures are of us on those dunes, and one of them shows us in relation to Morro Rock, which is what the bay is named after. The wind made the trip back difficult, and Blake and I really had to work hard to get back to the dock against the winds, and also against getting into too shallow of places where your paddle hits mud as you try to go.

That afternoon we went to Hearst castle, and saw his gardens and got to look out over his extensive properties. I wouldn't want to live in such an extravagant place... but I sure wouldn't mind having his views!

Before going back to our hotel, we stopped at an elephant seal viewing area, and got a bunch of pictures of these very large vocal sea animals.

We had a fantastic informal dinner Saturday night at a pizza place in town, and the younger portion of the group (Blake and I, his brother and girlfriend, and a college age son of one of Lori's friends) played a bunch of the video games at the pizza parlor. One crowning moment was when first my brother in law's girlfriend beat him at the arcade game, and then I was able to beat Blake the next round... it felt very victorious!

Our room at the hotel had a jacuzzi on the balcony, and we invited the younger group to our room for a jacuzzi party, which was a great time of hanging out and joking around until it got late.

Sunday we drove back home.

Overall it was a really fun vacation, and it made me want to do more of those kind of outdoor activities at home (kayaking, biking, hiking etc.) without waiting for the next vacation to do them again.

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