Saturday, August 8, 2009

Summer Road Trip - California Coast

On Monday, we decided to pack up camp a day early and leave since we felt we'd seen most of what we wanted to see at Crater Lake. It was kind of a pain packing up our tent and junk after it had rained the night before. We passed through a small town, Central Point, where we spotted a little mom-and-pop restaurant by the side of the road called Patti's Kitchen. We stopped for breakfast and the total bill was about $15, including tip, so we were thinking that was a sweet deal.

We then drove to Grant's Pass, were we checked out the Bentwood factory show room. We were interested because (a) we have furniture from Bentwood and (b) we were planning on picking up a bench for Greg's mom. We ended up not getting much except for a "handled sandwich board" for $9. We're big balla's that way.

Driving down into Northern California, we passed through Redwood forests and some small towns before stopping in Eureka for the night. Eureka has an Old Town with lots of neat historic buildings, which I like looking at.

We hadn't reserved a room in town for the night, so we drove/called around asking about vacancy and prices. We pulled into this one hotel where Greg told me to run in and find out how much. The lady at the front desk was Asian and I also noticed that her name seemed to be Chinese. After we decided to stay the night, I asked her where she was from (answer: China), after which I busted out my Mandarin. Greg came in a few minutes later and asked if he needed to show his AAA card to get the discount, and the hotel lady was like, Oh no, I could tell she was Chinese, so I already gave you a better discount! AAA price is $62.99 and I gave you $59.99! HA! Greg commented in private that he's never gotten a discount for being white. Hilarious!

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Left Eureka Tuesday morning and drove to Half Moon Bay. On the way, we stopped in Napa Valley for a couple hours, where we happened upon Sift Cupcakery and stopped to try out the 50/50, The Sky is Falling, and Ooh La La cupcakes (orange, chocolate, and red velvet):

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While driving through San Francisco, we also stopped at the Marin Headlands so that Greg could get some shots of the Golden Gate Bridge with the city in the background. After crossing the bridge (and paying the toll in all quarters, which probably annoyed the booth attendant), we also stopped at the Presidio (part of Golden Gate Recreational Area) where Greg took some more pictures of the bridge at sunset.

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Finally ended up at the Zaballa House Bed and Breakfast in Half Moon Bay. The bed and breakfast was located right on the main street, but the bed and breakfast itself was meh. From a price perspective, it was probably on par with chain hotels in the area. The room we were in was not part of the main house (so not quaint or unique) and the room left some things to be desired. The walls were thin between rooms (we could hear the guy in the room next to us snoring. He snored loud. Sheesh). There was no AC in the room, which is fine in an area like Half Moon Bay, except that there was no screen on the window, so we couldn't keep the window open to let in the cool air, unless we also liked bugs coming in, which I am not a fan of. As an alternative, we turned the ceiling fan on high, but it squeaked pretty loudly going on high.

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Breakfast the next morning was okay - it was more like a continental breakfast, plus quiche. We drove to Santa Cruz to visit a potter's studio. Stopped in Pescadero on the way back to have lunch at Duarte's Tavern for cream of artichoke soup, olallieberry pie, and blackberry cobbler.

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Checked out of our bed and breakfast Thursday morning intending to hit up U-Pick, but turns out they don't open till 10:00. Darn. Headed over to check out more of the coast and the Big Sur area. Stopped in Carmel and walked around. Nice town, but very crowded and touristy, plus we'd been before.

We decided to head over to our bed and breakfast in Pacific Grove - The Inn at 213 Seventeen Mile Drive. Much nicer than the previous bed and breakfast. Walked around downtown Pacific Grove for a bit before going back to our bed and breakfast for appetizers. You know a bed and breakfast is not too shabby when it serves up appetizers in the afternoon/evening. It was pretty good too - tortellini, potstickers, mango salsa, and crab salad with crackers. We also started chatting with this other guest at the bed and breakfast who works as a cartoon film editor for Warner Brothers. He was interesting to talk to because he's worked on several cartoons that Greg and I watched while we were growing up (Batman, Tiny Toons, and Animaniacs were the ones that stood out in my mind). Interesting people definitely make the bed and breakfast experience better.

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Breakfast Friday morning consisted of a seasoned chicken breast, French toast, and scrambled eggs. Pretty delicious. Greg normally doesn't like French toast and he said he liked this French toast.

After breakfast - U-Pick! We discovered that there was U-Pick blackberries. Bonus! So we got to pick blackberries AND strawberries. $2.50 per pound - sweet price compared to buying it at the grocery store. More on that here.

We also went back to Pescadero so that Greg could get something he'd been eyeing at Made in Pescadero. Turns out the shop owner grew up in Tempe, so we spent some time chatting with him about the Phoenix area.

After that, made our way to Hambly in Santa Clara, where they were having an open studio. More on that here.

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