Here's the scene, 15 days travelling by car to some incredible sights with the last stretch heading back up Route 1 to San Francisco past and through Big Sur, a dream trip. The drive from LA to San Francisco can be done in about 13 hours (or less without stops) but really, its just that stunning that you need a few days. Every corner on the coastline of Route 1 is something to stop and gawp at, and with this in mind we broke it up into 3 days. Airbnb in this area of California is limited however we stumbled across this listing: "Water Tower Guest Room with Ocean View", clicking the link would lead us to one of the most amazing stays we have had since arriving in America.
The Water Tower sits on 4 acres of land, this land which looks out to the Sand Dunes and Ocean is owned by Laura and Ben, and on it they have created somewhat of "a little slice of heaven". Both Ben and Laura have travelled using Airbnb and loved the idea of hosting, so they set aside a piece of land, rescued a 1930's Water Tower and began building and restoring. Ben handles the building (while rapidly moving on to the next project he has thought up) and Laura the decorating, it's a combination that clearly works wonders. On the ground floor is a nook where a somewhat surprisingly and extremely comfortable bed is tucked and a small area with desk and comfy chair. Above that is another room which currently contains a bunk bed and that's it. Ok, it doesn't sound much right? Well this is where they got creative......
Outside Ben built a bathhouse (with an option of an outdoor shower if you're brave enough), there's a fire pit, an outdoor kitchen, another tower where Ben and Laura invite you to sign the walls, an outdoor cinema area with fold down murphy bed, a pond, an adult swing set and see saw again all built by Ben, oh and after watching Lord of the Rings he dug and built a wine cellar with hobbit style door! It's a unique place indeed and it's all been built using recycled products. Stairs are constructed with old tools, floors are old school chalk boards, there's number plates, outside coffee area, sign posts..... basically anything Ben and Laura has found they have used. It's an eclectic mix of visual wonder, especially for a photographer! If all that isn't enough there's 2 horses (Tickle and Red Eye), 2 dogs (Roscoe and Rio), 6 cats (Fluffy Cat will happily sit on your lap under the stars for hours), fish and an abundance of chickens to entertain you.
Laura and Ben have now been successfully booking out the place via Airbnb, they also hire out a "glamping tent" and land for tents if full up. They were incredibly kind and enthusiastic, two gentle souls proud to show off, show you around and make you feel part of their home. This was such a creative space it was hard to not be inspired by them and it so below are a set of photos to give you an idea of what awaits you should you choose to visit (and you really should): my only advice, stay more than one night, this was our only regret when leaving. We didn't stay long enough.