Happy Thursday, everyone!
I am back home after a quick trip out to California to visit my uncle and a few friends. I really love the California coast and even though I have been visiting in roughly the same two or three hundred mile stretch of the coast for the last several years I am never at a loss to explore new things each time I visit. I know many of you are interested in my trip so here is the rundown on my vacation. 🙂
My first stop was at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in downtown San Jose. This is a must see for anyone with an interest in ancient Egypt. The museum holds the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in western North America. It has an amazing garden on the grounds as well as a planetarium. Several hours quickly past as I immersed myself in the details of this ancient culture.
After spending the afternoon in San Jose I headed south to the Santa Cruz area to spend some time with my good friends, Eileen and Michael. Santa Cruz really is one of my favorite places anywhere. The ocean and mountains that surround the area are beautiful and I love the redwoods tremendously. I am also drawn to the lifestyle and people who live in the area. They seem to be creative free spirits who are grounded enough to be successful in their chosen careers. It is a very different feeling from the flash and glamor of LA and Hollywood that we often associate with California.The vegan movement in the US started in California and the Santa Cruz area embraces it. No matter where I go in this area there is wonderful vegan and vegetarian food to eat. My diet is normal in those parts and it makes me feel like I have found kindred spirits. It was wonderful to catch up with Eileen and Michael. While I was in Santa Cruz I was able to take a hike among the redwoods at Nisene Marks State Park with Eileen, and enjoy some of Michael’s brew at Discretion Brewery. Michael is an accomplished and well-known brewer in the Santa Cruz area. His knowledge of beer and the brewing process amazes me.
Saturday, I enjoyed the scenic drive down highway 101 to my Uncle’s house near San Luis Obispo. I love visiting my uncle. He is truly an amazing man. This visit was the main reason for my coming out to California and it was a very special time that my uncle and I spent together. While visiting my uncle, I was able to spend an afternoon exploring the little beach town of Avila, spend some time at the beach, and at my uncle’s recommendation I visited a wonderful little place called Avila Valley Barn. At the barn there is a farmer’s market, hay rides, petting zoo, and live music. It is truly charming.
It was time to say goodbye to my uncle too soon but I am so grateful for the time together. I headed back north to San Jose and stopped by The San Jose Municipal Rose Garden before heading to the airport, which was only a few minutes away. The San Jose Rose Garden is 5.5 acres of roses in a park setting. It is called America’s Best Rose Garden and it is a sight to behold. I did not realize it at the beginning of my vacation but the garden is only a couple of blocks from the museum where I began my vacation. The rose garden was the perfect way to end my trip before stepping back on a plane to Colorado.
I always enjoy coming home after such a fun trip. I come back feeling relaxed, inspired, and loved. As much as I love California, I love Colorado too and my home and life are here. When life gets stressful I do find myself California dreaming : the ocean, the redwoods, and people I care about greatly but do not get to see very often. If I were to live in California I am sure some of the charm would wear off as the details of daily life filled my days. As it is now, I do not take my trips for California for granted. Friends move and situations change but right here, right now, it is a great place to get away and rejuvenate before getting ready for another school year.
The universe has a great sense of humor. Just in case I have any doubt as to which state to call home at this point in my life I received a little sign. I got into my car after arriving safely in Denver, looked west to the majestic Rockies, smiled and turned on the radio. As if by divine plan, Joe Walsh’s Rocky Mountain Ways filled my car with sound. Ah, there is no place like home.
Thanks for stopping by the blog!
Until next time,
Sounds like a FAB trip. But it’s always nice to walk back through the front door.
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The central California coast is where surfing hit the mainland. Bubble gum alley is out there too, I recall.
I was able to see the surfing museum at West Cliff in Santa Cruz last summer. That was pretty cool. 🙂 I had never seen a lighthouse before either so I enjoyed that as well.
My uncle told my about Bubble Gum Alley but I haven’t gone yet because used gum kinda creeps me out. Probably the school teacher in me! I saw pics of it online and it actually looks kind of pretty and like a piece of art. Maybe that will be on the list for next summer 🙂