Valencia, Spain

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From Madrid we took a train southeast to the Mediterranean coast and the city of Valencia, Spain’s 3rd largest city.  The city was founded in 138 BC by Roman soldiers looking for a place for rest and relaxation.  During the 15th and 16th centuries, Valencia was one of the Mediterranean’s strongest trading centers.

Plaza de la Virgen

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Long Beach, CA

Once again, we parked at Golden Shores RV Resort in Long Beach for two weeks.  This gave us an opportunity to check in with friends, visit with Valerie’s family and attend a Super Bowl party.

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We took advantage of the bike path that runs next to the RV park to enjoy some of the splendid Southern California “winter” weather.

Next stop:  R&C RV Ranch

Pismo Beach, CA

Pismo Beach is another beautiful spot on the central coast of California, located south of Morro Bay where we parked for a month back in the summer.  We parked at Pismo Coast Village which is located on the beach.

The Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove is another wintering site for these beautiful butterflies.  At this grove we were able to see many more butterflies than when we were at the grove in Pacific Grove.

Next stop:  Santa Clarita, CA

Greenfield, CA

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Greenfield is on Highway 101 south of Salinas.  While here we visited the Monterey peninsula and Pinnacles National Park.

We have been to Monterey before on a road trip and it’s a beautiful place to visit.  We checked out the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail, Lovers Point Park, Point Pinos Lightstation and had a terrific lunch in Cannery Row at The Fish Hopper restaurant.  We also stopped at the Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pacific Grove.  This is one of several wintering sites for these colorful butterflies along the Pacific coast.  Temps were in the mid-50’s when we were there so they were not very active and we saw only a couple of them.  We’re hoping to see more at the grove in Pismo Beach.

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Morro Bay Sand Spit Hike

The Morro Bay sand spit is a long narrow, curved peninsula that extends from Montana de Oro State Park almost to Morro Rock.  It separates Morro Bay from the ocean.  We took a hike along the beach side of the sand spit which is about a 10 mile round trip.

Morro Rock in the distance

Of course, the hike is on sand for the entire way but it’s not bad when you stay close to the surf where the sand is packed to give more firm footing.  The main sight along the way is the variety of sea birds.  There were areas where they were quite thick.

Cluster of birds

We saw various types of gulls, sandpipers, plovers, pelicans and a couple of snowy white egrets.

Taking flight