Family Weekend Road Trip

Scary but delicious in Santa Barbara!

After a busy start to the month, SMS and I decided to continue the trend by taking a road trip to Newport Beach to visit his grandfathers and show off SMS’ new car.  It turned into even more of a family affair because we were also able to visit our newest nephew who is, of course, super cute!!!

On Saturday, we headed to a coffee shop that SMS wanted to show me: Companion Bakeshop in Santa Cruz.  He had been there as a pre-mountain biking meeting spot and thought it was delicious.  It was!  We ordered coffee, toast, a pastry, a baguette and a strawberry pie, which had rave reviews on Yelp.  [Aside: Yes, I use Yelp.  It’s actually pretty helpful.  I don’t get too in the weeds but glancing at the reviews helps get a feel for the place.  It’s even useful for overseas travel.]

Ok, at first I thought this picture was cute but now I am transfixed by the sight of my giant hand!

Then we went to Monterey to visit my newest nephew.  Ghah!  He is so cute!  I was glad we could visit because there was definitely a lot going on for my brother’s family.  It was a quick visit but I got to hold a teeny-weeny baby and pose for some pictures.

It is a little rude of Matteo to pose as if I am letting his head fall off.

Then we were off to Newport Beach.  The drive was quick and painless.  We stopped in Paso Robles at the cutest lunch spot owned by a few really friendly locals.  It’s called Galley Bite and the staff, including the cook/owner, were really nice!  I highly recommend it- delicious food without getting caught up in a fancier downtown “Wine Country” place.  In fact, I stopped typing for a bit so I could write a quick TripAdvisor recommendation- small businesses need support!

Then we arrive in Newport.  We hung out with SMS’ parents and his grandfather that night.  We had a delicious dinner.  It had been awhile since we had seen them so it was a really nice time.  The next morning, we shared breakfast before SMS’ parents took off.  Then we headed over to visit SMS’ other grandfather.  We took pictures with the car and just really had a nice time with family.

A Neptune Feast!

On Sunday, we headed back and stopped in the Santa Barbara Funk Zone.  It is super cool and although we were thinking of eating at Lark, we passed a food tent with Poseidon incarnate inside.  He was selling oysters, lobster rolls, and uni.  Yes, yes, and yes!  The tent was outside a little winery so we had some wine tasters to go along with our lunch.  It was an excellent stop.

Near Handle Bar Coffee

We walked to Handle Bar Coffee shop and ordered a nitro coffee (me) and decaf espresso (SMS).  We also inhaled an adffogato.  Seriously, it’s like we hadn’t eaten all day.  After that interlude of pig-a-liciousness, we got back into the car and drove back to Mountain View.  Google maps sent us on a backroad adventure near Gilroy, which was really beautiful in the twilight.  Even though it was a lot of driving, it was an awesome weekend!

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