We are nearing the end of our recent California adventure. The next two blogs don’t have many food-related pictures, because I was too busy talking with my friends to actually devote time to documenting the places we went—that, and I’ve been to most of them a million times during my college years, so I forget that those spots may be new to my readers!
Thursday morning, Ben and I left Los Angeles and drove up the 101 to Santa Cruz, stopping in vain to look for the first coffee shop I’d ever fraternized in my hometown of Santa Maria. Alas, it had been replaced by a Thai restaurant, so I was forced to continue another 30 minutes up the road to San Luis Obispo without caffeine. Why stop in SLO? To see my friend Rachel, a Cal Poly grad student, and my friend, Angie, a Cuesta College employee! We picked up Rachel on campus, and I must say, Cal Poly is situated in a gorgeous setting high up in the hills around SLO. It was also much smaller than I expected. We met Angie for lunch at the Shack, a little hamburger joint on Foothill. The burgers were pretty tasty, and I can’t complain about the giant serving of garlic fries. I loved seeing Rachel and Angie, though I hate that I forgot to take any pictures with them. Boo! But yay to a teeny coffee shop across the street from the Shack called BlackHorse Espresso. It’s apparently the third of a local chain, and their mocha with orange was delicious.
After a few more hours driving, and finding myself amazed that even the King City area looked gorgeous after not having driven through it in years, we arrived at my friend Sam’s house in Santa Cruz. Sam and John have a gorgeous home just a couple of blocks from West Cliff, and it’s always wonderful to see them—they rock. We wandered around downtown that night and tried out an ice cream spot that Sam raved about, The Penny Ice Creamery. It was definitely worth her praise, even in a town with Mariann’s ice cream to compete. The Penny is much more of a local ingredient-focused shop with flavors that scream “Foodies, lick this.” I was in love with the balsamic fig scoop I had.by