This past weekend, I went on a much needed mini-vacay with my mom. We hopped in her car and made a beeline up the coast. Our destination was Shell Beach, a lovely little beach town just north of Pismo Beach, off highway 101.
After taking in the gorgeous ocean views from our hotel, The Cliffs Resort, we decided to take our journey north, to Morro Bay. Situated just off PCH, Morro Bay is another awesome waterfront town. We found a fantastic antique emporium on this trip, which offered up hundreds of sources of inspiration, from antique jewelry to beautiful ethnic textiles. I can't believe I'm revealing this place to the world, but it's just too good to keep to myself. Next stop was The Shell Shop along the embarcadero. Open since 1955, this treasure trove of rare and beautiful marine life is a must-visit. I found a few pieces that might find their way into SJO JEWELRY soon - particularly the candy striped snail shells. For me, the carefully curated cases of rare shells offered up a wealth of color palette inspiration.
Being just a hop, skip and a jump away from SLO, we decided to grab lunch at the iconic California landmark, The Madonna Inn. Talk about the power of color! We were met with a mesmerizing array of patterns, textures and other delights. From the gorgeous lapis blue marble counters in the powder room to the polychromatic floral carpets in the main lobby, The Madonna did not disappoint. I felt right at home in the medley of sumptuous colors. Unexpected elements were juxtaposed to achieve dazzling effects - slabs of giant rocks native to the site where the inn was constructed are paired with tufted leather, shimmering iridescent wallpaper and carnival-like light installations. It was an absolute joy to walk the grounds - I felt like a kid in a candy shop!
We concluded our adventure with a visit to the wonderfully exotic Ostrichland USA in Solvang. Seeing these majestic, jurassic looking creatures in person was a thrill! Mom and I spent the better part of an hour feeding these wild things, admiring their regal plumage and rather intimidating stature. I couldn't help but imagine what one of my necklaces might look like on one of those statuesque necks ;)