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Mike and I had two things on our agenda following our New Orleans trip.  The first was picking up our new Bernese Mountain Dog puppy and the second was to include a little bonus “sidetrip” to Cambria, CA.

Our flight home from New Orleans had a scheduled layover in Los Angeles so we decided to get off the plane there and head to Cambria.  We discovered that airlines frown on this type of situation and they will NOT reroute your bags!  We solved that problem by packing what we needed for 3 days into our carry-on bags.  Just a little FYI, in case you decide to do something similar.

The name “Cambria” brings back so many memories….camping with our kids, romantic weekends with my husband Mike, hours on the beach digging for moonstones and watching for sea otters.   For those of you that aren’t familiar with Cambria, it is a seaside village located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on California Highway 1.

532Mike eating burger
Of course an opportunity along the way to grab a delicious burger at an “In and Out” is something we didn’t want to miss.  Mike was a happy camper!


We stayed two nights in Cambria at “The Creekside Inn”.  It is centrally located and turned out to be a delightful little place to stay.  The staff was friendly and every morning there were locally made pastries, fruit, juice and coffee in the lobby.

No visit to Cambria is complete without having our usual fish and chips at “Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill”.  They have a great patio area facing the beach so you get the best of both worlds, good food with a glass of wine and the sight and sounds of the ocean!

cambria collage

There are so many fun shops to explore while in Cambria.  On this trip I found a new favorite, “JunkGirls”.  It is full of wonderful old things that have been repurposed, which by the way, is another one of my passions.  Take a look at their website You can also find them on and Bloomingdales also carry some of their creations.

It is just 14 miles further north from Cambria on Highway 1 to the elephant seal rookery at Piedras Blancas Beach.  These are not your average seals and in my opinion well worth the extra drive.  The male elephant seals grow to as much as 5000 lbs!  The population of Piedras Blancas is approximately 23,000, although they are never in the rookery at the same time.  The number on the beach at one time ranges from hundreds in July and August to thousands from January through May.  In late November and early December the adult male seals fight for dominance over sections of the beach.  It is an impressive sight….similar to watching National Geographic, but its live!  My favorite time of the year to visit is January when the females are giving birth.  I could sit all day in my chair, binoculars in hand and watch the birthing of the new babies!   It’s the little things in life….  If you are interested, you can read more about the elephant seals at

sea elephant collage f

Now on to “Cedar Creek Bernese” in Paradise, California to pick up our new puppy!  Mike and I have been watching her grow up via pictures on the Cedar Creek site and actually chose our new little girl via facetime.  We were so excited to finally meet her in person.  She was everything we expected, a beautiful, adorable bundle of fur.


After several days of deliberation we finally decided to name her “Juno”.  I have read that dogs have an easier time learning their name when it is just two syllables and ends in a vowel.  Maybe that helped, she definitely knows her name already!

Wow, did I ever forget how much work a new puppy is!  There have been recent days when I’ve wondered, “What in the world have we done?”.   Thank goodness she is so cute and loveable.  I’m looking forward to the day she realizes our grandchildren are not just her giant chew toy!  She loves them and they love her back.

I was so anxious to do “everything perfectly” with Juno.  I read lots of advice on the care and training of a puppy.  After all, this could be the very last puppy we ever have, right?  One thing I have learned is that everyone has a different method or concept and all that information can be overwhelming!  I have now decided that having a new puppy simply takes a lot of love, patience, and consistency on my part and it is an exhausting endeavor.   I’m certain I won’t do it all “perfectly”, but I will try to do my best.  Sounds familiar to raising a child doesn’t it?

Now on to puppy class…I’ll keep you posted.


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