California Dreamin’

Long-time clients Linda and Fred had a conference in San Francisco and wanted to extend their stay by adding a quick road trip down the coast with some friends. I helped them plot out an “escape” that included a little bit of everything (from food/wine, to Pacific beaches, wildlife and scenery) and it sounds like it was a hit!

Hi Ann – now that I have a few minutes wanted to give you some more details. The trip was absolutely fantastic.  Paso Robles is a beautiful town. Usually we are not big fans of riding in the car but the scenery from SF to Paso was just beautiful — lots of farms and hills.  We had lunch in a small restaurant called Berry Hill Bistro (great Paninis  and good wine.)  Walked around for a short time (wish we had more) but wanted to get to Hearst Castle before it closed and wanted to see the sunset on the Pacific.  The Castle was amazing with spectacular views.


Checked into the Pelican Inn — what a wonderful place, right on the ocean — we made it in time to watch the sunset and it was breathtaking.  We were still full from lunch so we enjoyed the complimentary wine, veggies, cheese tray and dessert.  The room was beautiful with a gas fireplace. It was really nice to relax in front of the fire after the hustle and bustle of  San Francisco. Had our complimentary breakfast, walked along the beach, and on to Monterey.


We stopped along the way to see the elephant seals and then went to Big Sur (Julie Pfeiffer Burns State Park, which was recommended by someone in SF) it was beautiful and then we stopped at Nepenthe for lunch ( extraordinary views of Pacific and mountains) which I highly recommend. It is supposed to be beautiful at sunset.


The hotel in Monterey (Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa) was perfect — overlooking the harbor  with the seals and otters frolicking in Monterey Bay right outside our room.  We had dinner in the hotel and the next day we explored Monterey in the AM and then Carmel in the afternoon. We had breakfast every morning on our hotel balcony overlooking the bay. The hotel was fabulous! I had been told we might be able to see whales in Monterey Bay (one thing I wanted to see was whales) It looked like it wasn’t going to happen but we woke the morning we were leaving and I overheard some people talking about seeing something big in the harbor. I jumped into my clothes, grabbed the binoculars (provided in every room) and ran downstairs.  There they were  3 whales spouting and breaching in the harbor.  I was in awe.


We left and went to Henry Cowell State Park to see the Redwoods. They were beyond my expectations.  We had time before our flight so we headed back to SF for what we hoped would be a walk across the  Golden Gate bridge however it was jam packed and we couldn’t get close.  We still had time so we backtracked to Half Moon Bay which was where you were going to have us stay if we were staying an extra day.  Beautiful trip there — fabulous views of the Pacific.  We found a restaurant on the beach  where we sat for 3 hours enjoying a fire pit  outside and having a very leisurely dinner waiting for the sunset.  We even met a woman from RI who had been in CA for 40 years. We enjoyed our last sunset over the Pacific and headed back to SF for our trip home.

So, again, thank you for  your help and expertise in another trip of a lifetime. The weather was perfect and we thoroughly enjoyed everything in and out of San Francisco. It was perfect.




You provided excellent guidance for us. I appreciated that you really had us think about what was most important to us when we were selecting the right cruise – and not to totally focus on what other people had to say. THANK YOU for helping to make this a memorable trip for our family! It really was a trip of a lifetime!

Clare and Mark (family cruise to Alaska)

The level of service we experienced was out of this world (and we did NOT make it easy on Ann). We weren’t quite sure where we wanted to go, when we would be able to go, or what “vibe” we were going for. After asking us some key questions (what we liked, didn’t like, why, etc.) Ann helped us narrow down our trip details and planned the honeymoon of our dreams. She helped book some of our excursions, answered some emergency questions while abroad and was always available/willing to help. I think it’s safe to say we won’t be using anyone else for future travel planning – Ann is a rockstar!

Carli (Italy and Spain)