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!|
|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.|
|Hard to take a bad picture at The Lone Cypress...this most photographed tree in the world!|
|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.|
|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.|