"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833

"live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"
- Henry David Thoreau, 1845

"Some guys, they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up,
And go racin' in the streets."
- Bruce Springsteen, 1977

"...to the heart, there's no time for you to waste.
You won't find your precious answers now
by staying in one place."
- Frank Turner, 2009

"The best things in life aren't things.
They're living and breathing."
- Michael Franti , 2011

"I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places, the things that I did"
- Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, 2014

All written content and photos by Rob Fulfer unless otherwise indicated.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

NorCal and ColdPlay

Friday, September 2 - We flew out to San Jose, California, today for the long holiday weekend, and to celebrate Ashlee's birthday a little early, and most of all to catch one of our favorite bands, Coldplay, who didn't come to our area as had hoped this year with their "Head Full of Dreams" Tour, so we took "Mohammed to the mountain" as they say.  This was our first time in this area for any extended period of time (we did drive up from San Fran a few years back to catch a Linkin Park concert nearby, but only for the evening), and we have to say we are pretty impressed with it.

 After a drink at our first-ever meadery, the Rabbit's Foot, the friendly barkeep recommended dinner at any of three places in nearby Sunnyvale on Historic Murphy Avenue instead of heading into San Jose itself.  We settled on Roberto's Cantina for their famous pollo al xocoqui (H0-C0-KEY), a large chicken breast topped with all kind of Mexican goodness!  We even had a couple of free shots of 40+ year old tequila (very smooth!) from the owner, Roberto, as we were introduced to him by a couple of locals dining next to us that we struck up a conversation with outside on the sidewalk.

It was on to Cocola Bakery in San Jose for some  amazing chocolate pound cake for Ashlee's "12 Days of Cake" leading up to her birthday after that.

Saturday, September 3 -  We headed out to Big Basin Redwoods State Park this morning - the oldest state park in California - (technically, Yosemite is the oldest, but it's no longer a state park now is it?).    We did a great loop trail hike lead by some knowledgeable volunteers through some of the biggest redwoods in the park.
Redwoods are BIG TREES.  Even though the road to Big Basin State Park is winding and narrow at times, the drive was pretty amazing.
No, seriously, redwoods are BIG, BIG trees!  
Then it was on out to the coast to grab some ocean views.  We stopped at Highway 1 Brewing for lunch and a cold one and then made a brief stop at the nearby Pigeon Point Lighthouse which is in a state of much-needed repair, but still a beautiful awe-inspiring spot.
We headed back to the hotel to rest of up and short bit, change clothes and head over to the new Levi's Stadium (home of the 49ers and the last Super Bowl) to see COLDPLAY!!

Man, what an explosion of sight, sound and color.  Easily one of the best stadium shows we have ever seen.  This was the last show in the U.S. leg of Coldplay's Head Full of Dreams Tour and a return for them to the place where they played the half-time show of this year's Super Bowl.
Chris Martin and Coldplay's enthusiasm and positiveness are pooh-poohed by many, but these guys have stayed together for 20+ years and continue to pump out great tunes that are good for the soul.  They are the innovators of the lighted wristbands which pulse along with the music and are a pretty amazing site to see live in a giant stadium.
More color, more sound, more awesomeness!!  This is COLDPLAY!

Sunday, September 4 - We ambled over to the awesome Bill's Cafe for brunch before going COASTing again. Our first stop was Rockaway Beach in Pacifica where Ashlee also found a great Christmas shop for some continued ornament collecting.

At the regionally famous, Bill's Cafe, in Santa Clara, Ashlee chose the Mexicali Benedict (background) and I had the Santa Ana Scramble (foreground).  Both were amazing and worth the 20-minute wait (with free coffee!).
We stopped at Hop Dogma Brewing  in Half Moon Bay out on the coast for a flight of their great craft beers. 
 Look, we are cat people beyond a doubt, but we sort of fell in love with"Elmer"...well, that's what we named him...at the brewery stop.  What a cutie!
We took a walk on nearby Miramar Beach in Half Moon Bay to burn off some of the beer we had  just consumed.  We got our toes in the water and it was pretty nice.
There was heavy traffic up and down the coast on Highway 1 on this holiday weekend, but we had great weather throughout.  We had an early dinner of pizza at Spicoli's Pizza (yeah, the one from the movie, bruh!!). We also had one more beer stop back in San Jose to close out the evening at the small, but excellent, Alpha Acid Brewing.

Monday, September 5 - Happy Labor Day!  We headed south today and back to the coast.  Our first stop was Point Lobos State Natural Area - it was a long hike in since the parking areas were supposedly "all full" but  it was worth the walk.    What a dynamic area!
We then headed north along the amazing 17-mile Drive from Carmel to Monterey including brief stops at the beautiful and historic Pebble Beach Golf Course, Pescado Point, The Lone Cypress, Seal Rock (for some more cake!) and Point Pinos Lighthouse.
Hard to take a bad picture at The Lone Cypress...this most photographed tree in the world!
Our drive ended in Santa Cruz for the night where we enjoyed our amazing room at the Dream Inn.
Now THAT is a great view to wake up too.  And, yes, that is a sunrise on the West Coast.  You gotta look at a map of Santa Cruz to figure out how that works.  Thanks to the Dream Inn for the fantastic room and view.
Tuesday, September 6 - Before heading back to the airport in San Jose we stopped at our adopted west coast college book store on the campus of UC Santa Cruz (Go Banana Slugs!!) for some Slug-wear, then breakfast at the Santa Cruz Diner (a DDD stop) and finally took gander at a real 50' blue whale skeleton outside the Seymour Marine Discovery Center.
12 Days of CAKE leading up to Ashlee's birthday included pancakes...of course...at the awesome Santa Cruz Diner.
An actual blue whale skeleton.  A 50' female that washed up on shore nearby.
The flight home was smooth and we even got good looks at the amazing Bonneville Salt Flats in northwestern Utah from the plane.
It was such a great trip that ended way to soon, but gave us lots of memories, and lots of reasons to want to come back to this area again!

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