Paso Robles, California: We figured today would be the best day to get away from the busy wine festival activities, so drove over to the beach. We needed sweaters, as it was chilly and windy - but the sky was blue. Route taken was Highway 46 west towards Cambria, then followed Highway 101 south to Morro Bay, returning to Paso Robles on highway 41. Again, a very pretty drive.It had been quite a long while (September 2014) since we had seen an ocean. Morro Rock from the northMorro Rock from the east
We parked the (sometimes squealing) Honda and walked up and down the main street. We could see a group of sea lions resting on a dock out in the bay and watched a few swim around near shore.Fresh Pacific Rock Fish, grilled at The Galley in Morro BayFresh Pacific Cod Fish & Chips from The Galley in Morro Bay
After lunch and another good stroll, we went to the other side of the bay, at the base of the rock, to see what we could see. Last visit (2001), we saw otters here and today we saw a dozen or more - a few had babies floating on their chests.Otters in Morro BayGreat people watching at the beach. Kites, kite-boarders, paddle boarders, surfers and random other activities. It was so windy!
We were able to visit both of the olive oil farms I wanted to visit this week, so we stopped at the last brew pub on DT's list so he could have a pint of Barrelhouse Brew.We found the brewery just south of Paso Robles in an industrial parkRustic and charming - DT bought himself a pintAnd then we came back to the bus for a rest!
We needed to rest-up for our hot date this evening - we were going to hear Tony Bennett sing at the Vina Robles Amphitheatre. Tony Bennett! Tony Bennett! Tony Bennett!Open less than two years, the stunning amphitheatre is owned and operated by Vina Robles Yineyards and is just a few miles east of downtown Paso Robles and seats over 3,000.Not only is the setting spectacular, the vineyard has set up charming concession and dining areas. Wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches, their own wine (I tried their White4 and it was quite nice) and a nice variety of beers. The venue was super-staffed - plenty of friendly folks to help you park, find your seat or answer questions.
Mr. Bennett's 41-year-old daughter, Antonia, sang a few songs, then her Dad came on stage. At nearly 89 years old, Tony Bennett has not lost a bit of his honey-smooth voice. He appeared dapper as usual, in a champagne-colored dinner jacket. He danced, he twirled, he cracked a few jokes. No teleprompter, and he never forgot a word. Amazing. He brought the crowd to their feet time and time again. Large cameras were not allowed, so this is the best I could do for you, Dear Reader. It was just a wonderful show. He sang for about 90 minutes, the temperature dipped into the 50's and occasionally we could hear the wind whooshing across Mr. Bennett's microphone. Old guy didn't miss a beat. Until my next update, I remain, your sentimental correspondent.
You may also like: We visited Morrow Bay in 2001 - the power plant has closed, but the Japanese restaurant is still open.
RV PARK: Vines RV Resort - a fairly new establishment with long pull-through and back-in sites. Full hook-ups, cable and free wifi. Bathhouse, laundry, two pools and a hot tub (all pools have handicap-accessible lifts), on-site lounge with happy hour prices, ball room, outdoor gathering area with tables and fire pits. Pet friendly. Sites are somewhat close together and there is some noise from Highway 101. Nice landscaping. Picnic tables. We paid $87 per night (up-charged Wine Festival weekend pricing).