Welcome to Wild Sierras – FIRST POST
Lets start at the beginning. For a couple of years Chris and I have discussed, periodically, about getting a travel trailer. These discussions were very light and full of fluff, with no follow through. Then about a month ago, we started to seriously look into it. We did some research and discovered online showrooms, which led to finding a mini camper we liked. Our schedules tend to be crazy and we never found the time to actually go look at it. Due to the recent fires in our area I left work early one day, with our house in the clear I had a free afternoon ahead of me. I went to look, in person, without Chris. It was perfect. We had to have it. The only problem was finding the time to show Chris so he could fall in love with it as well. I had Black Friday off and Chris didn’t have work until later in the day. We scheduled an appointment to go look together. By the recommendation of many we ended up the buying a slightly bigger version of the mini one I fell for. It is exactly the same layout and style but a couple feet larger. It is perfect, we love it!
Chris picked it up this past Friday, and the next day we took it on its inaugural journey. I should note, this post is very Christmas heavy, proceed with caution. We took the trailer to Hearst San Simeon State Park campground. The journey began as all first-time-camper-towers should begin such journey. In the dark. We had this trip planned for a hotel stay, with the mind set we would not have the camper so soon. The plan was to leave after Chris got off work, which wouldn’t have been a problem if checking into a hotel. However pulling a camper out of the driveway around 9pm for the first time, not ideal. We had a stressful first take-off, getting in and out of my moms driveway (where we are storing the trailer) is tricky in any big vehicle but with a trailer it is a slight nightmare. Chris is still adjusting to driving with the trailer, which is hard to maneuver in any setting. However it was smooth sailing once we left the neighborhood, getting out of neighborhood, not so much. We didn’t arrive to the campground until 2am. Upon arrival we discovered the campsite we booked was too small to fit our new trailer. Reserve California, your website sucks. At 2am, on our first adventure with a trailer, thinking clearly was very limited. Chris drove around until he found a larger site that was open, and somewhat easily accessible to reverse the trailer into. In the moment it felt very dramatic and a bad omen to how being a trailer owner would be.
That was the most dramatic part of our trip. Everything else went off without a hitch. We had an absolute blast. If you are planning a holiday trip to Cambria, here is the itinerary we did. We did not stay in the city of Cambria, but down the street at the Hearst San Simeon State Park campground which is maybe 5 minute drive from Main Street. Sunday morning we had coffee and breakfast sandwiches (ham and cheese croissants) from Cambria Coffee Roasting Company.
There is a strip of the beach in Cambria that has multiple, very cute, seaside inns. We have stayed in these before. They are a great alternative if camping is not on your agenda. We went and walked the trail in front of the inns, sipping our coffee, enjoying the cold, fresh, beach air. After a relaxing start to our morning we drove up the coast to see the elephant seals. These creatures are SO COOL. As Chris stated in his instagram story, they are his spirit animal. Every time we have been, they are sleeping on the beach, tons of them all over this small section of beach, cocooned on either side by giant rocks. It’s naturally secluded just for these animals. They lay there sunbathing on the sand so magnificently, its remarkable. We took tons of video of the elephant seals, but unfortunately the only picture I took, is a selfie of us.
Our Sunday afternoon was filled up with a long and much needed nap. We are an old married couple and 2am was a very late night for us. But the Christmas magic began once we woke up. HEARST CASTLE at Christmas time. We took the holiday twilight tour of the castle. If you have never been to Hearst Castle, I highly recommend seeing it at first during the day. In the dark, justice is not served on how grand of a building it is. The twilight tour takes you quickly through the outdoor pool, which is even more beautiful at night lit up. A quick walk through one of three guest houses. And then on to the main house living room, which had two giant Christmas trees, that I am now currently trying to convince Chris we need. The decorations are over the top in the most delightful way. Lights, poinsettias, wrapped Christmas presents, (fake) wine cheese plates. Its pretty much my ideal set up for Christmas. The dinning room, which we had never seen, has mini Christmas trees lining what I can only best describe as buffet tables against the walls. The massive table is set with small wrapped boxes on the place settings. The entryways are lined with garland. The kitchen (which is HUGE) smells of fresh baked bread and cookies, though none were served. I am just saying from a hostess point of view, this would be the perfect time to hand out warm chocolate chip cookies. From the kitchen the guide takes you to the Hearst family theater/screening room, which is basically a full sized theater, with the red walls, and red and gold seats. Of course the seats are blocked off, and benches are set up to view a short clip of Bing Crosby singing White Christmas on the big screen. How can that not put you in the holiday mood?!
We left Hearst Castle and went straight to the Cambria Christmas Market. Which is inspired by the Christmas markets in Europe, most specifically the ones in Germany. There is a biergarten, brats, tons of booths to shop at, the most spectacular display of holiday lights you could imagine. It was about 45 degrees as we walked around outside, we sipped coffees and hot chocolates spiked with Kahlua. There are also multiple fire pits through out the entire market to help keep warm. It was a jam packed evening, full of Christmas spirit.
We ended our trip Monday with a mid-morning breakfast at Linn’s in Cambria. YOU MUST TRY THE JAM! All in all our first trip in the camper (name still to be determined, I think she’s a Shelia) was AWESOME. And here is to many more great adventures, exploring with my husband.