I mentioned last week that we took a quick road trip down to the Central Coast before our big New Mexico adventure. My old roommate and good friend Sarah lives down there now so we packed our bags, hopped in the car, and headed down to spend the weekend with her and her boyfriend Nick. Aren't they cute? And such good hosts, those two!
We drove down Friday morning, though if I were making a recommendation I would insist you go down on a Thursday night. The San Luis Obispo Farmers' Market is a fairly legendary and everyone should stroll up and down the streets looking at the shops, perusing the local produce and smelling the BBQ at least once.
Speaking of legendary, we ended up enjoying a late dinner on Friday at Jocko's in Nipomo, which has not only its own local history but perhaps the best beans in town. Garrett has a minor obsession with these beans, and I say minor to be polite. Every time we head down to visit Sarah Little Jocko's is one of our last stops on the way out of town so we can pick up a gallon To Go. Yes, I said a gallon. And sometimes we even make it home with some beans. Jocko's has a giant oak fired grill outside that you can smell a mile away and the menu is full of the kind of grilled deliciousness that one can only replicate over a wide open fire. Everything we ordered was awesome, and so was everything that the people who sat next to ordered, seeing as they made us pass over our forks for bites of their pork chops. It's just that kind of place, you know?
Saturday, after recovering from our meat hangover and a wild morning enjoying the 80 degree weather at the dog park (yeah, we get crazy on vacation, what?) we headed up to San Luis Obispo to do some shopping and some Olive Oil Tasting. I was on a mission to find the perfect red lipstick and an olive oil that I want to eat with a spoon. As for the former, I'm still searching. As for the latter, our stop at We Olive on Higuera St left me with not only a wealth of information about the different types of oils (love: buttery/fruity oils, hate: peppery oils) but a bag full of goodies as well. I left with a new olive oil that's good enough to drink, a golden balsamic vinegar, and a blackberry roasted red pepper vinegar. My salads will never be the same again. I am still dreaming about the fig balsamic vinegar that we tasted (drizzled over cream cheese with crackers...how good does that sound?!?) and I think the next time we are down there it may have to come home with me. It is one of those stores that has a sample of almost everything so even if olive oil isn't your bag, I'm sure there is a bruschetta or tapenade with your name on it. After our shopping and people watching extravaganza we had a late lunch at Firestone Grill, watched some football and called it a night -- which is the best part of visiting a good friend -- not having to be going, going, going every single minute!
Sunday we got up and had a lazy breakfast at Cowgirl Cafe where Garrett discovered his other new obsession -- The Pepper Plant hot sauces. We may have picked up a few bottles of the habanero sauce on our way out of town. In general I stay away from most habanero things, but I have to agree with Garrett that this particular sauce would be a great way to spice up bloody marys and now I'm just looking for an excuse to make some. Because the weather continued to be beautiful we packed up the truck full of bikes and headed over to the Bob Jones Bike Trail for an afternoon ride down to Avila Beach. I think we made a pretty cute bike gang if I do say so myself!
It was a gorgeous day and of course the beach was packed! I kept having to pinch myself because, hello -- it was JANUARY.
We dipped our toes in the water, looked at the shops along the boardwalk, and then of course rewarded ourselves for all that hard work with some waffle cones!
I mean how could you not, right?
Post ice cream, we hopped back on our bikes and rode out to Port San Luis where we may have had a few cocktails and appetizers because man can not bike on ice cream alone! It's all about staying nourished, my friends.
That evening after biking home we rewarded ourselves with a soak at Sycamore Mineral Springs. Along with the Thursday SLO Farmer's Market, I have to say this is an absolute must to complete the perfect Central Coast weekend. These tubs are nestled on a hillside, piping hot, and totally relaxing. It's a relatively inexpensive treat, and after a day of biking to the beach, it was just what the doctor ordered.
Monday morning we headed out early to make the journey back home. After stopping for beans (of course!) Garrett and cruised through San Luis one last time and took a little trip down memory lane. I wanted to go by my old Starbucks stomping grounds since that was my first real job in college and Garrett wanted to cruise by the house where his buddy lived when he was in college. Good memories in both spots (but let me tell you I am sure that house did NOT look like that when it was full of college boys renting, if the stories Garrett tells are any indicator!)
We took the scenic route home, stopped by two bookstores that we love, and made it home just in time to repack our suitcases, sleep for a bit, and catch a plane to New Mexico. It was a whirlwind weekend but totally worth it. It was full of old friends and new, beautiful scenery, and tons of fun. Just the way a road trip should be, dontcha think?
The rest of the photos are here if you are interested.