Wednesday, July 20, 2011

San Francisco Marathon 2011: The Rest Phase, Bed and Breakfast Style



It isn't very often that my wife and I are without our children.  We've quite literally had children as long as we've been together so when Grandma and Grandpa offered to take the youngest daughters on a ten-day whirlwind tour of Southern California, we jumped at the opportunity to spend some time together. Given my class schedule, this really only left us with one weekend to get away as it were, so I decided to make some reservations at, what turned out to be, a very pleasant little bed and breakfast in Cambria, CA.  In case you were wondering, running wasn't on the menu.  I had very little interest in spoiling a nice evening away with concerns of hydration, nutrition and the ubiquitous and always horrible alarm clock.  I'm perfectly happy/confident enough to take two days off and just enjoy the ride.

Which we most certainly did.  Fog's End bed and breakfast is located in the cool, if not a wee bit expensive, town of Cambria, California.  Aptly named, it sits right where the morning fog meets the mountains.  The owners, Jan and Jim, were quite nice and took great care of us while we were there.  The photo on the webpage honestly doesn't do the place justice enough.  The place has a barn with some pool tables and enough room to host a wedding reception.  There is even a small little vineyard in the backyard that provided the pinot noir grapes that were used to make the jelly served with breakfast.  I have to admit, that was a first.  The motif was of classic design but clearly modern.  Honestly, I enjoy having the classic look with modern features (i.e. wifi) so this was a nice fit.  At 175 a night, and considering there are rates as high as 350 in the area, this was a nice affordable luxury that we really enjoyed.  (The review of the cookies we purchased at Red Moose Cookie Company will have to wait however, as they were purchased for our returning children who arrive today.  I'm really looking forward to the Peanut Butter version.)

The most awe inspiring part of the trip though, was the drive itself.  If you ever find yourself in a position to drive the Pacific Coast Highway and decide not to do it, you have made an enormous mistake and missed what is easily one of the best, if not THE best, drive in America.  The cliffs, the trees, the rivers, the ocean, the Zebras . . . what?  You didn't know that there are parts of California where Zebras run wild amongst the elephant seals?  You need to get out more, because they totally do.  The shock and surprise in my wife's voice as she spotted them on the side of the road was nothing short of hysterical and genuine.  Obviously an animal native to another continent was not something we expected to see.  What a thrill.

Not a half mile away was another amazing lookout.  Dozens of elephant seals, sunning themselves in the afternoon's rays, were splayed out along the beach.  The seals were no further than 20 feet away and spent their time scooping dirt on themselves and fighting, not unlike how most of my friends and I spent our childhoods.  I'm not the greatest photographer in the world but the photos I was able to take were nothing short of fantastic.  As soon as I get them up on FLICKR I'll post a few of them here.

On the way back, my wonderful wife mentioned that I needed to pay attention to the Big Sur Marathon route and went to searching for the exact start location on the trusty iphone.  Though that race is 9 months away for me, it was great to see the hills (and there are more than a few of them) and all that lies in wait for me next April.  I can now see why many runners drop their Garmin into the ocean and decide to run the race for beauty rather than time.

We ended the weekend refreshed, tired and full of food.  Perhaps the perfect dichotomy for a race in two weeks that is likely to leave me tired, hungry and exhausted.  There's nothing like touching both ends of the spectrum.

By Marcus with No comments

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