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Beautiful and Sunny on the Central California Coast

We spent the last week at Lopez Lake, which is perfectly located for exploring the Central California Coast.  We have spent quite a bit of time in this area before, and we still had some logistics and practical things to do so we didn't get to explore quite as much as we might have done had we been a bit further along in our journey. But we still managed to have fun in what must be one of the most beautiful areas of the country.

Our view from the kayak
Lopez Lake is a pretty spot, and the campsite we picked was spacious and pretty private. There are wild turkeys and deer wandering through the campsite all the time, and the birdlife at the campground and on the lake are plentiful. During the week the campground was mostly empty, but of course filled up at the weekends. The lake itself is really great, you can rent all kinds of boats, including kayaks and stand up paddleboards. We rented kayaks and stayed in the no- wake part of the lake to stay out of the way of the noisier craft. During the week we could have explored more, but as it was Saturday there were a lot of people out.

During the week we headed out for breakfast in search of a sports bar showing the USA vs Germany World Cup game. We found one in Grover Beach and joined other enthusiastic fans who had one eye on Portugal vs Ghana too.  We didn't win unfortunately, but the result of the other game meant we qualify and meet Belgium in the next round. We found out later that the marina bar at the lake was showing all the games, so we didn't need to have headed out at all. So now we know, we have a spot to watch Netherlands vs Mexico on Sunday.  

Beautiful countryside in SLO
There are a lot of wineries in the area, and some really good quality wines.  On our last visit we picnicked at Sextant, which is so pretty and quaint with old buildings restored that you can rent out.  It's is just a few miles from Lopez Lake and a great spot to stop for lunch. This time we visited Castoro Cellars in Paso Robles. We had made a stop in Atascadero for me to get a much needed hair cut. I found a Curly Girl specialist there, (Kim at Salon 62- thanks) who was wonderful. She recommended we pick up lunch at a local cafe called Fig and take it up to Castoro.  It was a great recommendation, the food was delicious and Castoro was fantastic.  Everything you want from a winery.  Friendly, scenic and great wines.  

Avila Valley Barn: He had a lot to say
I was getting anxious that we were here on the California Coast, and because we were busy doing Airstream organization stuff, we hadn't even been on a beach. So on Saturday we headed to the sand. We have been to this area of the coast several times, but we had never visited Avila Beach. What a beautiful spot. We stopped at Avila Valley Barn to say hello to some goats and emus and then onto the beach.  It's a cute little beach community with a lovely pier and some typical seafood restaurants and coastal pit-stops.  Perfect as Iain had been thinking of Fish and Chips all day, The Custom House delivered on that promise.  The beach faces south rather than west, so no sunsets, but the evening was perfect enough to sit outside without heaters (not always the case on the coast) and we took an evening stroll along the beach so we could feel the soft sand between our toes. 

Monday is a "Streamin' Day" as we head off to Lake Chabot in the San Francisco Bay Area, where we will explore the area that we lived for 11 years and catch up with our old friends.   

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