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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.

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