Wedding Bells and Starfish

Nicole at Montana de Oro State Park
October 20, 2010  Had a few weeks to recover before flying out to Los Angeles for the wedding of our
second "daughter," Lexie.  Arriving mid afternoon we didn't realize the drive, with rush hour traffic, would be 5 hours to our destination, San Luis Obispo (referred to as "slo" by the locals.)  Heading north along the dark, foggy and curvy roads of the coastal mountain range provided for a stressful driving experience, luckily for Alan and I, our daughter, Nicole, volunteered to chauffeur. 

With a few days until the wedding, we explored.  Montana de Oro State Park located just outside of slo is 8000 acres of wilderness with numerous trails which lead to the Pacific. Golden hills of sand provide overlooks.   Along the shore, tidal pools created from striated rock provide homes for a variety of sea critters.  Spotting a gull lunching on a starfish, we photographed his meal while watching in amazement.

Next on the agenda, the nearby Morro Bay State Park provides calm waters for kayaking, canoeing,(rentals available) fishing, and golfing.  Due to the cool weather and our failure to pack appropriately for this type of outing we decided to forgo the kayaking this time. Home to two dozen endangered or threatened birds, such as the peregrine falcon and winter home for 70 other birds, the park is perfect for birders.

Boutique wineries and vineyards dot the countryside surrounding the slo area.  One day found us driving out in search of the best.  Research of this type requires a concerted effort, but we felt we were up to the challenge.  Several hours and wineries later, we had purchased 12 bottles of wine to ship home and decided to call it a day.

Following day we drove about 15 minutes south of slo to Pismo Beach for a surf competition and clam festival.  Entertainers provided music on the pier, vendors sold clams prepared a myriad of ways, surfers rode the surf with style,  and contestants vied for the title of Best Clam Chowder for 2010.

Micheal and Lexie
Flying Caballos Ranch, in the mountains outside of San Luis Obispo,  was the site of the festivities.  The radiant bride and handsome groom were united in a ceremony performed by Judge Lucy--mother of the bride.  Following the service, we 
dined in the lovely outdoor dining room accompanied by toasts and speeches.  Wine flowed freely as the band played and guest danced the rest of the evening away.

(Just a little background--Terry, father of the bride, and Lucy introduced Alan and I thirty-five years ago, and then performed the ceremony for our wedding several years later.)

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