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A Special Wandering

My Alphabe Thursday theme: Places I've Been

September 23 was the first day of Autumn. It was also the Husband's and my 19th wedding anniversary. And, yes, it doesn't seem like it was that long ago we turned right at the xerox machine to get married. (For that story, head over here, if you like.)

Our day began with breakfast at our favorite coffee shop in San Juan Bautista—Vertigo Coffee. That's one of the few places I'll allow myself to drink coffee. The Husband had himself a mocha latte, which is an occasion in itself. Until yesterday, he hadn't drunk coffee in over two years.

We also ate BLT with soft scrambled egg panini sandwiches. Yummm! Using coffee stirrers as chopsticks to pick up the eggs that kept falling out of our sandwiches made the meal even more fun and special.

We drove over to the coast and headed north on Highway One. Roadwork was going on, but that didn't bother us. We were after all in no big hurry to get anywhere. We saw a lot of pampas grass growing alongside the road and hills. Did you know that pampas grass is originally from South America? I always thought it was from the east coast.

North of Santa Cruz, Highway One is a two-lane highway. It's a gorgeous drive, with the ocean on one side and hill and mountains on the other. Lots of farm land.  This time of the year, you can see quite a few fields full of bright orange pumpkins. I didn't get any photos of that, but I did get a photo of some trees in modern dance pose.

We stopped at Half Moon Bay, a cute little coastal town, to stretch our legs. We walked up and down the main street, window shopping and even wandered into a couple of them.  I posted photos of the various signs we saw on Main Street yesterday.

While I was taking a photo of the Husband pretending to ride a bike rack shaped in a bicycle, a woman stopped and laughed. "You've made my day," she said. "Let me take a photo of the two of you."

Our destination was Devil's Slide, about 17 minutes north of Half Moon Bay. Devil's Slide is a portion of Highway One that often got closed after heavy rains because of mudslides. After tunnels were drilled through the mountain to bypass this treacherous section, the road was turned into a trail. It opened in 2013.

I think the last time I drove Devil's Slide was 20 years ago. As we walked the trail from one end to the other and back, I was astounded that people used to drive this stretch. I don't recall the driving lanes being narrow at all.

The trail isn't long, 1.3 mile one way. There are a couple of steep inclines. Going up them was fine. Going down, ouch. My left knee was a whining diva. She didn't cry though, so that was good.

Remember that the Husband drank a mocha latte several hours earlier for breakfast. As we rested on a bench after walking down the steepest incline, the Husband mentioned how quiet he had been. "You've been talking the whole time we've been walking," I said.

"I have," he said.


The Husband is so darn cute.

We kept coming across people who exclaimed, "There's a whale!" A whale just went under!" or "Did you see the whale?" They pointed to somewhere in the ocean, describing where to look. "See the white water. The whale is near there." The Husband and I didn't see a thing.

After driving through the tunnel twice, we headed back to Half Moon Bay for dinner. We also checked out Ocean Books, the used bookstore on Main Street that unfortunately is going out of business after 19 years. There's nothing like wandering around a small, charming independent bookstore with an eclectic selection. It was one of the things that both the Husband and I hoped we would get to do on our special day of wandering.

Dinner was at Café Capistrano, which specializes in Mayan food. A local told us about this hole-in-wall restaurant, two blocks west of Main Street. The Husband and I shared an appetizer and a dinner plate, a perfect amount as both were generous portions. The appetizer was a bean stuffed tortilla topped with Mayan coleslaw, pickled onions, and shredded roasted chicken. Yummm! Our entree was pork adobo (two pieces of thin, tender pork grilled in achiote and lime) with black beans, red rice, guacamole, Mayan coleslaw, and corn tortillas. Double yummmm! Mayan adobo is very different from Filipino adobo.

It would've been nice to have stayed overnight in Half Moon Bay. But, the Mama and I had doctor appointments the following day, so back home the Husband and I went, jiggity jig, with the sun setting into the ocean.

It's the letter S at Alphabe Thursday. (Yes, I know it's Friday.) This weekly meme is hosted by the amazing Jenny Matlock.  To check out other S posts, please click here.


  1. What a wonderful day to celebrate a wedding anniversary ! I have already 46 years behind me ! The bicycle picture is priceless !

    1. Hurrah for 46 years! If the Husband and I are very good about being healthy, we might be able to celebrate 46 years, too. I like that.

  2. Loved your whale story..congrats on the anniversary♪

  3. The Very Best Anniversary to You - with Many More to Come!!!!

    1. Thanks, Georgy! It was a wonderful anniversary day.

  4. Bless you both! Next time you are over there, do yourself a favor and check out the San Gregorio General Store [San Gregorio CA]. You will LOVE it!


    1. I remember the general store. Glad to know it's still there. We were going to stop at San Gregorio on the way up, but I missed the exit. Next time, definitely.

  5. Happy Anniversary! What a delightful way you celebrated! Wonderful photography of a beautiful place! ps. Food looks relish!

    Happy Weekend to you,
    artmusedog and carol

  6. T'was Mersey, the Incredible Invisible Whale! ... what a luvverly adventure. :)

    1. We came across a trio who seemed to have binoculars glued to their faces. They'd walk a few steps and one would exclaim, "A whale!" and then all three would go "Ahhhh! Ohhhh!" The Husband and I would turn and look in the direction they were looking. Yup, The Incredible Invisible Whale!

  7. Happy belated Anniversary! It looks like you had a beautiful day strolling through stores, hiking through this mountain pass that would be neat to walk through and having delicious meals. It's always sad to hear about a book store closing...what a shame

    1. It was a grand day. We drove home on back roads in the dark. Hoooo, Lady! Our eyes are not good in the dark. At all. We did it, though. With no cussing. Well, except at drivers with their high beam lights on.

  8. Many more years of blessed togetherness to you both

  9. I've never heard of Devil's Slide before but I can see how it got its name!

    1. If you're ever visiting San Francisco area, and have the time and space, this would be someplace to check out.


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