Sunday, April 16, 2006

Is it California...or Europe?
I must have asked this question four hundred times during my three-day road trip to Central California this week. The drive up the 101 to Morro Bay was absolutely breathtaking. Spring has made everything green and painted every spare patch of grass with wildflowers. My friend Merea and I had a great time on the scenic drive up and enjoyed the chance to explore several of Central California's (aka The Wine Country) attractions. We visited Hearst Castle, which many of you may recognize as the most extravagant residence in all of North America. It was built by W.R. Hearst - a journalism tycoon in 1930's & 40's - and the first ever licensed female architect, Julia Morgan. It is a fascinating story of a man and his dream home and the woman who built it for him...and, oh, what a place! You'll probably recognize his pool that shows itself in movies from time to time.

As we drove along the coast, we stopped a several piers just to walk out and take a deep breath of ocean air. I can hardly look at the ocean without thinking of Habakkuk 2:14 "for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea". What an amazing picture of His depth that simply cannot be measured or matched!

Venturing inland revealed countless wineries all bragging the best California wine and offering free tastings. Don't worry, Mom (and other Baptist friends), we didn't give into the temptation to visit all of them.... We did NOT heed the advice of the couple sitting next to us at breakfast in our hotel. Their advice? "Oh, you should visit all of them! There are only like 22 or so in that area and you get seven free tastes at each one. (*note: a taste is more like half a glass*) Yesterday we hit eight or so and came home with who knows how many bottles." My question to them? How the heck did you make it back here for breakfast?!?!

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