Cambria (10 of 31)

Right before Brandon’s paternity leave ended, we took a trip sans Jack. Cooper was about 3 and a half months old, and we figured that this was as good a time as any to travel with a baby. He still could sleep in his car seat during outings and he didn’t yet have super set naptimes.

After some initial disagreements about where to go—we were originally going to go to San Diego and get a discount that did not come to fruition—we found a little hotel in Cambria and booked it a few weeks before our trip. The hotel, Cambria Beach Lodge, has a downscaled Palm Springs Ace Hotel vibe—without the amazing pool and awesome private porches. It turned out to be great for our trip. The rooms are small, most face the parking lot and do not have ocean views, but the hotel is right across the street from the beach. It is also walkable to most everything in Cambria.

Side note: The biggest added plus about Cambria was that most of the time we were there the weather was in the 60s, which was a VERY welcome change from 98 degree Pasadena. We wore sweaters, sweatshirts and pants! Seriously glorious after a burning hot July.

We headed up to Cambria from Santa Barbara on a Saturday morning. We happened to stop at Morro Bay Coffee Company on the way–a small quaint place to get a mid-morning snack and coffee.

Our next stop was Hearst Castle, which is on the way to Cambria. We didn’t book the tour in advance because it was more expensive that way, but were able to get into a tour (the Grand Rooms) and wait only a little over an hour for it to begin. Part of this time was spent watching an educational video about Hearst Castle, so it worked out well. Brandon had never been to Hearst Castle, and I had only gone once for Honor Society in Jr. High, so I didn’t remember much.

Once there, we took a shuttle from the visitor center to Hearst Castle, which is way up on the hill. The weather is significantly hotter as you climb the hill, and being at Hearst Castle was actually the one time during our trip when I was hot. I enjoyed the tour and I would like to do another (they offer a bunch of different ones) and see some other parts of the property.

After the tour, we drove to our hotel, checked in, and got settled. Luckily Cooper was able to nap on the go in the pack and stroller. We then walked about a mile to 927, a microbrewery in Cambria. It had a cool vibe, was small and kid friendly, and had good beers. Cooper slept part of the time in his car seat and also was happy to chill there—3 months is a good age to take babies everywhere!

For dinner that night we went to the Moonstone Beach Bar and Grill. This spot was recommended to us by someone who worked at 927; however, the food was just OK. The view was nice. It overlooked the water, but I wouldn’t go back because it lacked the uniqueness of a lot of other restaurants there and was not cheap.

What was awesome about going out to dinner both nights was that Cooper was able to sleep in his car seat most of the time so we could enjoy dinner and not worry about being out late.

The next morning we had breakfast in our hotel lobby. The breakfast was small but free: hard boiled eggs, bread, and fruit. It worked.  Then Cooper napped at the hotel. After this, we walked about two miles to go to Robin’s for lunch. The walks we took were always great because there is a path right by the beach to get to most places.  We learned that on the weekends (maybe just Sunday?) Robin’s doesn’t have their regular menu, but we enjoyed the brunch options.

After Robin’s we went to Seed and Soul, a cool coffee place to chat and get a drink. We then headed to Moonstone Cellars for wine tasting. This is the winery where we went to with the Wammacks and Hoppers two years ago. The Wammacks are members, and this winery does not disappoint! It had moved locations from a few years ago but is still in the same general vicinity and now has more room.  Again, Cooper did great, sleeping in the pack and stroller. He was happy to chill.

We came back to the hotel and were able to read on the hotel’s roof deck that overlooks the ocean. We also brought back a nice bottle of wine to drink.

That night we went to Sea Chest, a restaurant right by our hotel. This one we recommend. The only catch is they do not take reservations in advance, and you have to get there an hour or so before they open and stand in line to get one of the first spots. We didn’t know this but were still able to get in around 7:30. We went back to our hotel in between so it worked out. They also have a giant fire pit outside that you can wait at and a bar inside. One other issue is they don’t take cards, only cash. We totally recommend this place. The charm of the building, the food, and the views are all worth it.

The next morning we headed out fairly early to get back to Jack—this was our first time leaving him for two nights without either of us. We stopped at Highstreet Deli in SLO to get sandwiches for lunch.

Brandon and I agree it was a great amount of time to be away and take advantage of the infant stage.


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