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Showing posts with the label California Road Trip

To the Beach We Went

Whoo-hooo! Yesterday the Husband and I ran away to the beach for our 23rd of the month date.

The sand was soooo soft. It felt almost as smooth as Molly the Cat's fur after she has licked her coat.

If I had brought a change of clothing, I would've dived into the water which was delightfully and surprisingly warmish. Next time, I'll know better. At least, I got my feet wet. Even the Husband took his shoes off.


The Husband asked if the seaweed on the beach was edible, after he licked an end of a plant. He also said he tasted the ocean. I love the Husband.

My knees had no problem walking on sand. I suppose it's all that give. The knees don't feel the worse today.

We plopped down on the sand and sat for a long while, taking in the waves, the horizon, the fog, the humidity, the humanity, the few birds, and the quite-a-few dogs.

As the tide went out, we thought we saw a whale in the near distance. But the black shape took a long time moving from that one spot. Ah-ha! R…

Riding Among the Trees

Recently the Husband and I found a not-so-often-traveled road that skirted the northern side of a nearby mountain. Entry to the road is in very deep shade. We came across it years ago, but we backed out after a few feet because the road looked like it would be an unpaved, pitted one. We didn't think Eliza, our 1993 metal steed, would fare well on it. I don't know why we felt confident that an older Eliza wouldn't complain a couple of weeks ago.


The road had not a hole to carefully maneuver over or around. The road reminded me of the fire and logging roads in deep forests. Well, duh, we were going through a second or third generation growth redwood forest. It was beautiful in there.

I'm so grateful that we could travel through the forest by car since my knees and right ankle complain after several blocks of walking. How else would I have seen this living creature of a tree?




If it's Sunday, it must be time for All Seasons, a weekly meme hosted by Jesh at Artworks f…

Stained Glass Windows

The Husband and I wandered about the country roads yesterday afternoon for my birthday treat. Our first stop was at the small old church in Tres Pinos, California, population nearly 500. (These links will lead you to my posts about the church and town, if you're interested in know about them.)

We happened to be in luck. The church doors were open.  I'm not a churchgoer, but I find comfort sitting inside this church every so often. Maybe it's because I was baptized there.

As always, I enjoyed contemplating over the stained glass windows. They are eloquent in their simplicity. They are poetry.


It's the letter W at ABC Wednesday. Click hereto join in, or to check out other participants. Thank you, ABCW team!


The Season of Plenty

The other day, the Husband and I drove around Pajaro Valley in Santa Cruz County (next door to our county) just because we felt like it. The fertile Pajaro Valley has fields full of strawberries, cages full of raspberries and blackberries, and still a few orchards full of apples.

We stopped at Gizdich Ranch, which is well-known for its apple juice and homemade apple and berry pies. You can also pick your own apples and various types of berries, if you want.  Our mission. My mission (the Husband was a captive audience) was to purchase hollyhock seeds. Unfortunately none were to be had yet. But, we did come away with four cobs of corn for a dollar and a look at a bunch of fancy buggy-looking Bugatti's that one of the guys said were each worth $2 million+.

The Bugatti guys (5 or 6 of them) caused a traffic jam at the ranch. Not because they couldn't find parking spots, from what I saw, but because the drivers and passengers stood in the path of us, drivers, trying to find parkin…

Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs

For many years, I've wanted to visit the Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs, a once-upon-a-time very popular resort in the foothills of the southern end of the Diablo Range. Now part of the Henry Coe State Park, this historic landmark is about 10 miles northeast of Gilroy, California, which is nearby my town of Hollister. Unless there are special events or planned guided tours by the all-volunteer, nonprofit group Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs (GYHS), the place is not open to the public.

Two weeks ago, GYHS held a special event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the hot springs being made a historic landmark. (It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places and also designated as a California Historical Landmark.) Yup, the Husband and I attended the event.



The grand hotel, club house, swimming pool,  soaking pools, and other magnificent structures of long ago no longer exist. Many of the guest cottages still stand. The GYHS has renovated several of the cottages already. One of …

The One-of-a-Kind Windmill in Salinas Valley

Back in March, the Husband and I stumbled upon an amazing landmark in Salinas, California, of which I think many people in our area are unaware. Standing on top of a historic mill on the Harden Estate in North Salinas was a Victorian mechanical wonder known as the Challenge Double Header Wind Engine. It's considered the only surviving windmill of its kind.


Wowza!

The Challenge Double Header Wind Engine was built in 1892 by Salinas Valley pioneer grain farmer and dairyman Duncan McKinnon. Back then, many called the machine's design  a "masterpiece in Victorian engineering". The wind engine has two 30-foot wind wheels that rotate in opposite directions. It also has two smaller wheels which rotate the wind engine so that it faces the wind.

McKinnon decided to build the wind engine after seeing an advertisement. The man had vision. He used the wind engine to power his mill, a water pump, blacksmith shop, and carpentry shop. One source says that the wind engine was used…

A Special Wandering

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. D…

Signs of Half Moon Bay

Okay, I have 3 minutes to post something for today. Two minutes now. One minute.


Okay. I cheated. I published this post, and have now come back to write more. Simply had to make sure I didn't miss my daily post.

Oh, these are signs that I saw in Half Moon Bay, about 25 miles south of San Francisco, which I'll write a bit more about in tomorrow's post.


A Quiet, Quaint, and Quirky Place

San Juan Bautista, with an estimated population of 1,800, looks like your ordinary, move-along-nothing-to-see very small city. At least, from the highway that runs along it. Wrong! Lots to see and lots to do if you're into California history, California missions, antiques, thrift-shopping, art galleries, walking, eating, coffee, Hitchock's Vertigo, bicycling, architecture, organic farms, wine tasting, and simply zenning out at any of the patios of the various eating and drinking establishments. Oh, and earthquakes, as in the San Andreas Fault.


I find it hard to believe more people haven't discovered this quiet, quaint, and quirky friendly town. We live about 10 miles to the east in Hollister. I've know San Juan Bautista my whole life, but it's only in the last decade that I have come to appreciate the mission city, which some people call it because of Mission San Juan Bautista, one of the 21 California missions that the Franciscan missionaries established long ago…