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Monday, May 21, 2012

better late than never ; )

it's been 2 months since we've been back on nantucket.  pete started work right away, while emily and escher eased into a routine and readied the house for all the new renters this summer.  responsibilty, social engagements, and everyday distractions got the better of us and the blog went neglected.

some closure is needed on our winter adventures in order to move forward with what's to hopes of doing this efficiently, we have decided to recap our last three weeks on the road with a visual representation and less writing!

from california, we headed to colorado for two weeks.  pete's sister tracy, her husband gordon, their three golden girls, josie, lucy, and katie, and chocolate lab, steve live in carbondale, which is about 20 minutes away from snowmass mountain.  pete's brother phil-z and his sister jackie and her family came out for a visit while we were there.  it marked the first time since our wedding that everyone was together!

the view of mt. sopris from tracy's street

emily learned how to snowboard...

while pete, gordon, and phil-z enjoyed many mornings of fresh powder.
we spent an active afternoon at the aspen rec center...

and took a family trip to glenwood's hot springs.

fun with the underwater camera

owning the diving board

escher loved playing with his cousin steve

after a tearful goodbye, we headed east to indianapolis for an overnight visit with emily's step-dad, dan.  we ate at a pub conviently located to his downtown, industrial loft apartment and owned by a man who worked at the chicken box in the nineties.  with the super bowl still fresh, it was amazing to hear and imagine what the streets were like outside of dan's apartment...shenanigans!

always up to no good ; )

next up, cincinnatti, ohio for the black keys show and a weekend with emily's friend, theresa.  she and her boyfriend josh, an amazing chef who kept us well-fed all weekend, had just moved into an amazing downtown loft and made us all feel very welcomed and comfortable.

theresa and escher getting cozy

the black keys show made for a perfect welcome to ohio

just north of cininnatti in columbus, ohio, emily's oldest friend in life, maggie, lives with her husband jesse and sweet lab, lottie.  we felt priveledge to be their first overnight guests in their new home.  the juetts took good care of us and treated us to a great meal at 3rd & Hollywood, a classy bistro serving refreshing drinks and tasty food, while striving to source things locally and purchase from vendors with sustainable and humane missions.

escher getting comfortable

on our way for a dog walk with lottie...

where we met up with alex, an old housemate and former sunken ship employee

from columbus we headed northeast to akron, emily's hometown, where we spent a week visiting with family and friends.  each night we had delicious family dinners both at home and out, making sure to hit up the good spots and try new ones.


family walk with emily's dad, tim.

lady love (l-r) liz, katie, amy, alexis, mina and emily

catching up with old friends is always entertaining and pete was such a good sport to endure the hours of "skwaking bird" chatter that followed us during our week in ohio.  at least the stories are pretty entertaining!

from ohio, we charged it back to the cape, loaded up on trader joe's and hopped on the boat...bACK to nantucket!

Friday, March 16, 2012

after three gorgeous days in cayucos, it was time to head north and check out the drive along route 1.  of course the day was overcast and misty, however, we set out armed with a playlist, well-thought out and ready.  the first stop was to see the elephant seals, less than a half an hour away.  what a treat!  it was mating season and the shore was packed with males, females, and pups...national geographic style!

a tired mum and her pup rest peacefully, for now...

two males showing up one another before attacking.

wide-eyed, open-mouthed, and back on the road, we drove winding our way into the heart of big sur, stopping often to take it all in!

a dignified eshcer decides to pose for a picture at the first stop.

a stop at julia pfeiffer burns state park, named after a big sur pioneer woman, provided a beautiful trail on the edge of the cliffs.  at the end of the coastal trail, the terrace from a 1940s home remains...

with a most pleasant view.

with grumbling tummies, we stopped at a restaurant not far from the park.  lunch was nothing to write home about, however the view was peaceful and the food was fresh and came out fast.  after lunch, we continued the drive, stopping at pfeiffer big sur state park for our first redwoods sighting!

while driving away from the park, we toyed with stopping at one of the small villages along the way to stay the night and decided to continue on to monterey, plotting another adventure through big sur in the future!

with the sun beginning to set, we made our way over the bixby creek bridge and descended into carmel.  too dark to really walk around, we headed just past downtown monterey, off the highway, and began the motel search.  hoping to scope out the room status at a motel 6, the desk clerk asked for id.  needing to grab it out of the car, emily realized that her purse was missing!  the only logical place it could be was at the lunch restaurant which was about 2 1/2 hours back.  whoopsie!  the restaurant opened next day at 11:00...guess that means we're taking another trip through big sur!

tuckered out from the day's events, we looked into getting something delivered.  pizza my heart, a california chain, was most delicious and reasonably priced.  fittingly, we ordered the big sur pizza, with roasted garlic, pepperoni, sausage, green pepper, and portebella mushrooms...yum! 

after a good night's sleep, we awoke to a gorgeous day and excitedly headed back up to big sur.  a call from a restaurant employee confirmed that the purse was still there and would be waiting. 

due to the drastic weather difference, we were able to capture more 
of the beauty that had been hidden by the gray the day before. 

we returned to julia pfieffer burns state park to walk a wooded trail.  
escher loved walking across the logs over the stream,
 making our way up to a smooth, trickle falls.

happy cows live in california

the rest of the afternoon we went to the monterey bay aquarium and spent hours in awe of the various marine species, trying to identify everything in the tanks.  from mahi mahi and hammerhead sharks to dragon seahorses and rock shrimp, there is something to capture your attention around every corner!  being a leader in the sustainable seafood movement, many of the staff are on the floor trying to educate aquarium goers.

while attempting to find a restaurant, that ended up no longer existing, we stumbled upon some disc golf baskets.  not sure where the course started, we hopped out to survey the scene and enjoy a walk in the gorgeous sunshine. 

this hole was especially noteworthy with the start being so high above the basket and the gorgeous view.  poor pete lost this orange disc (his favorite) in an attempt to capture a perfect action shot.  out of the three discs thrown, this was the best shot!
the next morning, steamer lane and a health food store stop called us to santa cruz.  just less than an hour north of monterey, this crowded lazy surf town satisfied both our cravings.  staff of life natural food market proved to be a most "fruitful" stop with fresh juice and smoothie bar, great local kombucha supply, and inexpensive staples.  emily even got carded for the kombucha at the checkout!

pete was able to rent a board and get out in the water.  steamer lane wave goes forever, offering the perfect wave for all surfing abilities from hot doggers to long boarders.  pete hung out towards the middle, trying to catch as many waves as possible.

lucky to get this shot, considering that there were about 80 (give or take) other people in the water!

the santa cruz pit stop left us refreshed and ready to head to the city.  needing a room for one night, pete found a great, inexpensive room at the marina motel.  located in the marina district, with on site, individual garages for guests, clean, cozy rooms, and a fridge, this place is a gem!  we met up with nantucket friends, willem and dee,  at fog city diner, for some crispy brussels sprouts, truffle fries, and other tasty treats!  dee was off to new orleans the next day, to meet up with some other nantucket ladies for a big birthday bash. 

for the next two nights, we stayed at the comfortably chic, "chez mcrobie", and dee was thoroughly missed as her other half hosted and guided us around this new place they call home! 

spent an afternoon at SFMOMA,
had some snacks on filmore st and people watched,
and ate yummy mexican for dinner

had la boulange bakery for breakfast,
checked out chrissy field,
went for a great walk cliffside with spectacular views...
pete looks like he's about to sneeze!
we lunched at the farmer's market and wondered around wanting EVERYTHING!

best sushi.  ever.
enjoying tuna toro, 
the belly of tuna

after a farmers market breakfast, we said our goodbyes, drove over the bridge,

and headed to point reyes, only to stumble upon cowgirl creamery!!! 
we loaded up on picnic provisions at the organic, artisan cheese makers headquarters
and had their homemade ice cream for breakfast!

having trouble getting to the beach access (closed for the season), 
we stumbled upon this fairy forest running along the bay side of point reyes.

 delighting in the nature, the fairies showed their 
appreciation with these beautiful black truffles!

oysters in point reyes are highly recommended with several roadside places to stop.

we chose hog island oysters...

and enjoyed a half dozen raw and barbequed oysters,

before our drive up to jenner, over through guerneville, and down route 12 to sonoma.

 escher enjoying the very sensory drive!

having success at finding fantastic, inexpensive, pet-friendly hotels, pete booked a room at the sonoma creek inn.  wanting to rest up for a full day of wine tasting, we ordered some homemade italian delivery for dinner.

the next morning, we grabbed a healthy breakfast and headed to kaz winery, a small, funky, newer winery.  where the tastings depend on what is in the barrel.  having been most attracted to this one based on internet research, it was just okay, however, we did get to meet kaz, as he's very active in the day-to-day happenings.

our second stop was at benzinger family vineyard, a biodynamic, organic, and sustainable farm.  the wines were tasty and the staff friendly.  we especially enjoyed watching the weeders do their work...

 these little guys take a break from their job as weeders.

the last winery we stopped at was imagery estate winery.  with visually appealing labels, featured reds,  and comfortable patio, it was a great place for a picnic. 

picnic of cowgirl creamery cheese, mary's gone crackers, 
organic persimmon jam, olives, artichoke tapenade, and 
imagery wine on a pleasant sun filled afternoon.

after several recommendations, we went to the girl and the fig for a most incredible feast!
here are a couple of the delicious treats we split over the evening...


local sardines with red onion and capers,

profiteroles, perfect for sharing!

a brisk walk around the town square with the dog rounded out a most perfect day in wine country and our last in california...colorado bound!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

the ride from arizona through the mountains to san diego was gorgeous.  the passes between the many large rock outcrops were indescribable.  winding up and down and around we drove over the mountains until we finally caught a glimpse of the big blue pacific ocean.  the plan was to stay at the campground just down the street from our friend's house in cardiff by the sea, however, we were informed by a grounds keeper that the campground was temporarily closed.  "wa-wa-waaah!!"  in a pickle and sick and tired of driving, we decided to stay in a hotel for the night.  our lodging situation would just have to get figured out the next day.  settled and ready for some food, we met some dear old friends (and made some new ones) at the besta-wan pizza house in cardiff.   it was great to sit out on the deck, enjoy the fresh air and eat great food with good people.

the next day we found another camp ground about 10 miles north of cardiff by the sea.  carslbad campgrounds were clean and our site was fairly close to the bathroom with fresh water on site which was a blessing.  after we erected our tent and set up our site, we headed back to cardiff to check the waves with owen and lyle, childhood friends of pete's from florida.  borrowing a surf board from owen, the boys hit the waves while emily and escher took a walk down the beautiful cliff side beach. 


loving the campsite, we spent the next few evenings in, cooking over the fire and enjoying the simple life.

french onion quinoa casserole:
made with onion jam, and
arugula and gruyere cheese from the encinitas-leucadia farmers market.
this market is the best seen so far!     

sunset view from the campsite.

escher enjoying the fire


one of the best breakfasts ever!  
english muffins, from the farmers market, with scrambled farm fresh eggs, melted cheddar, and pete's amazing hash browns made with sweet potatoes

along with all the gourmet campfire meals, we also enjoyed some meals out with owen, his girlfriend audra, and lyle:  taco tuesday was brigantine for lyle's birthday and a much needed healthy, post surf lunch at kook's cafe.

san diego is about 20 minutes south of cardiff and emily's friends from high school, trip and ben, live just outside of downtown.  after hearing how much pete enjoys disc golf, they highly recommended the world class disc golf course nearby.  the course itself was great. there were many other golfers playing the course that day.  a nice older man joined the osley's for the last few holes.  it was a good thing we decided to play that day because a tournament was coming up the next week.  pete was very proud of himself for playing well and not loosing a disc.

the boys also took us to some great restaurants in their neighborhood including:  urbn for some delicious pizza and local habit where we enjoyed some delicious organic, farm fresh food and many a craft beer! 


 florida meets ohio on the west coast
(from left to right:  dorian, amy, trip, owen, audra, ben, emily, and pete)

after a week of good waves and a fantastic send off, it was time to head north.  in order to avoid some congestion, we drove around los angelos.  el capitan campground, just north of santa barbara, came highly recommended and proved to be a perfect place to set up for the next couple nights.  

getting the fire ready for a chilly evening and 
enjoying the sunset

in need of an oil change, we headed to santa barbara for the day.  the jiffy lube station happened to be located and a perfect location and offered free parking for the day!  walking along the shady, quiet side streets, we made our way to state street, the main drag.  lined with coffee shops, upscale boutiques, brand name stores, and tons of outdoor cafes and restaurants.  taking advice from the tofu tollbooth and seeing how busy the restaurant was, we decided to eat lunch at the natural cafe.  the food was delicious, fresh, and healthy and we were able to sit outside and watch the people. 

over the two days spent at the el cap campground, the temperature was getting cooler and cooler, especially in the evening, and the waves were flat (no rincon surfing for pete).  after two sleepless nights of being up with the dog due to a cat creeping around the tent and escher shivering, we decided to head north towards morro bay and find a hotel.

we got to morro bay in the early evening.  friends, ryan and caroline, who live in the area urged us to head a tad north to the lazy beach town of cayucos where we happened to find a great motel, the beach walker inn.  it was a quaint motel with lots of space and a kitchen for all our cooking needs.  shortly after check in,  the olsey clan took a walk on the beach.  there were so many birds hunting sand fleas and other sea organisms, plunging their long beaks into the sand to snag a catch.  the beach was very wide with large surf crashing against the rocks, sending spray hundreds of feet into the air, enhancing the its beauty.  WOW!

the amazing beach walks combined with the warm, comfy, inexpensive motel suite made it easy to stay for three nights.  ryan, caroline, and their beautiful baby girl welcomed us to the area with open arms, showed us a good time for the super bowl and took us out for superb tacos at taco temple.  they even treated us to some amazing products from their company, elemental herbs.  already a huge fan of the all good lips, all good goop and what this company stands for, it was such a treat getting to meet the masterminds behind it and learn more about how it came about.