Sunday, December 15, 2013

Florida in December

Just got back from a visit to winter melon trials in Naples, Florida. While the rest of the country was getting ice and snow storms, Florida was having a heat wave. Not bad timing. Work went well and I finished everything in about a week.

Melon field at sunrise

I had my last evening in Naples off, no work obligations, so I went down to the beach to watch the sunset.

The great thing about work taking me to Florida is I get to visit my mom and step-dad. We had a great time visiting Crystal River and swimming with the manatees. As it was warmer than normal, we didn't actually get to see many manatees but it was still fun.


We walked by this cottonmouth

Unfortunately, I forgot to get a picture of Jerry. Sorry Jerry, next time! Although I had a great time in Florida, it is always good to be home.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Cruisin the Cali Coast

Route 1 along coastal California is an iconic road. Lori and I decided to do a little road trip and drove a section from San Francisco to Santa Barbara.

We started out in the City with a little visit to Bourbon and Branch, in a non-descript building in the Tenderloin. There is no sign or address and we wouldn't have known which building to go into if there hadn't been people lined up on the street outside. Sorry, no pictures but the grapefruit margarita was da bomb!

The weather was great and I love those windy coastal drives, with no hurry and no worry.

We made a stop at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse. They have a hostel there that looks like it would be a cool place to stay.

Spent the first night at Andrew Molera State Park and had the place to ourselves.

Wall o' poison oak, very colorful though

Sea Lion enjoying the morning sun

We camped under this tree

We were feeling ambitious the next day, so we continued through Big Sur down towards Santa Barbara.

Stopped for breakfast at a viewpoint and ended up being serenaded by Campbell Rabbit.

There was an ok campground at the Montana de Oro State Park. The campground was not that great but the beach and cliffs nearby were incredible. I could have spent days there just photographing.

Also passed by Piedras Blancas on the way.

Playful seals

Santa Barbara was great, we had the best tacos at La Super Rica!

We didn't have a lot of time but we did get to look around the Santa Barbara Mission.

We camped at El Capitan State Beach, it was nice but expen$ive ($50), cheaper than a hotel though.

Spent the next day in San Luis Obispo, made it to the Thursday evening farmers market and had some incredible barbeque.

Best name for a Chinese restaurant!

On the way up to Cambria we stopped at a few wineries along to way.

Stayed at a really nice hostel in Cambria, The Bridge Street Inn. Cambria looks like a really cool place to retire.

Caught this sunset outside of Cambria

We also had tickets to do the night tour of Hearst Castle. Words cannot express the opulence of this place, wow!

Went back through Big Sur on our way home and caught sunset on Pfeiffer beach.

view from our tent

If you want an awesomely good burger and don't mind paying for it, go to Nepenthe and get the ambrosia burger, it is wicked good!

Phone booth at Nepenthe

I really didn't want the trip to end but our week was up and it was time to go back to work. If you ever get a chance to take a ride down California route 1, I would highly recommend it.