Sunny Cali

Standard

We didn’t go out to California just to watch the Packers beat the 49ers

We were there visiting a friend who recently moved back.

If there is any advice I can give about deciding where to travel…

it’s to take friends and family up on the offer to come visit them.

Here’s why:

  1. You get to spend time with them!
  2. They most likely will know the area better than any guidebook; so you’ll do cooler things you wouldn’t have otherwise.
  3. You will probably save some money if they let you crash with them.

Our flight left at about 7:30am on a Friday morning.

Is it just me, MSPers; or is the security line at the airport slower than ever? We arrived at the gate and immediately boarded the plane. No coffee for me – specifically, no Americano. 😦

Instead, our friend Jenny {who set this whole trip in motion!} bought us a little breakfast booze.

IMG_4329

They had Screwdrivers while I opted to add a little Bailey’s to my in-flight coffee. And who can resist Delta’s Biscoff Cookies?!

IMG_4328

We landed around 9am San Fran-time and were greeted by Shondra with ice-cold liter-sized bottles of water.

{Note to self: Do this for anyone visiting you. It is the nicest gesture because everyone gets dehyrdrated when flying!}

Shondra drove us along the PCH {Pacific Coast Highway} making our way toward her place in Moss Beach. We stopped a bit a long the way…
IMG_4331…like to see what she calls “the Best Taco Bell ever”.

IMG_4333

Imagining why? Well, this view:

IMG_4334

Rob and I instantly noticed that many dogs were off-leash on the beach here, enjoying it along with everyone else, including the surfers!

We stopped for a little breakfast at the Montara Cafe and Bakery located in, you guessed it, Montara.

IMG_4339

We had no idea what a treat we were in for!IMG_4336

Now was the chance to get great coffee!

IMG_4337

…and a very cool menu. Jenny, Rob and I all opted for different Kalua Pork dishes. I haven’t had that since we’d been in Hawaii! We dined outside basking in the California sun; but I forgot to take any food photos until my last bite. DOH!

IMG_4340

In the afternoon, we walked along Miramar Beach in Half Moon Bay.

IMG_4345

I decided to call it Glitter Beach instead. I love the shimmering sand!

IMG_4341

But the most incredible thing about this beach was the whale-watching, which is a total anomaly this time of year! I was looking up tours before we left and found that the season is generally December through March. Well, here we were in October and we didn’t need to spend top dollar to take a tour because we could see them from shore!

FullSizeRender

It was too difficult to catch photos of them and enjoy the views to the fullest, so you won’t see any here. But here is a link to an article that was written the day before we arrived.

We weren’t the only ones gathered ’round to see these whales:

IMG_4344

We had a snack at the Miramar Beach Restaurant where dogs were as welcome as they are on the beach. The only caveat: “No pets on the furniture.” OMG – I love this place.

Me to Rob: “Can we retire here?”

He just smiled.

Those seated near the beachfront with the ocean view could see the whales, too!

We walked back to our vehicle along a little trail and were perplexed by this sign:

IMG_4356

I hit it up on Facebook and the best explanation was by our friend Lisa: “…horse country. Cyclists yield to hikers. Both cyclists & hikers yield to horses.” I guess it’s just respectful to do so because horses were here first? So, more of a historical tradition than a practical one.

Then it was off to a brewery that Shondra said she knew we’d love. 

IMG_4359

I like the digs…

FullSizeRender (1)

And good to know that walkens are welcome. Ha!

IMG_4361

The taproom was nice and we loved the beer selection.

IMG_4362

I think my fave of the bunch was the Lean Mean Vanilla Bean Porter. This brewery did NOT disappoint.

IMG_4363

After checking in Chez Shondra and saying hello to Cali cat {for calico, not California. Ha!}, we went for an early dinner at Shondra’s favorite little local spot – Moss Beach Distillery.

IMG_4365

And of course, this place was also…

I enjoyed watching a Griffon dog anxiously wait for his daddy to get back from getting drinks while he sat with his momma. He was so sweet!

Moss Beach Distillery is not actually a distillery, but I didn’t get that far into reading why…

IMG_4370

Shondra knew exactly when we should get there to snag a seat near the fire, overlooking the ocean to watch the sun set!

IMG_4368

And we scored that spot…

IMG_4371

…as well as a bottle of half-priced wine during happy hour. Oh how we are big, bold Zinfandel lovers!

IMG_4369

While the weather was mild, the sun was still hot and starting to burn my forehead, so Rob gave me his hat for a bit. We had to take a Wineaux friend photo!

IMG_4384

Shondra and I dined on scrumptious Happy Hour food while Jenny and Rob went with burgers.

IMG_4387

As the sun slowly set over the ocean, a fire was lit…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And we ended our night polishing off three bottles…

IMG_4437

Not bad for old Wineaux friends, hey?! It was a perfect first day in California. That’s only the beginning… 🙂

Where was your last vacation visiting friends?

Cheers~
Carrie

 

Advertisements

7 responses »

  1. California is on my bucket list – I’ve never been there! The furthest west I’ve been is Austin, TX – so sad! I need to fix that – stat. We go to my Aunt’s lake house every summer and I usually chip in about $250 for the week for groceries and it’s a super fun and affordable vacation 😀

  2. Pingback: Along the PCH to Santa Cruz | Season It Already!

  3. Okay, seriously I know there was so much stuff going on in this post that was excellent, but my favorite part was The World’s Most Beautiful Taco Bell. I now desire to pilgrimage to this place!

  4. Pingback: A Little Taste of Sonoma in One Day… | Season It Already!

  5. Pingback: Best way to end a cali vacay | Season It Already!

  6. Pingback: Arizona – The Perfectly Timed Vacation | Season It Already!

  7. Pingback: Currently… | Season It Already!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s