Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by PrincessInOz, Dec 14, 2010.
Sounds like the perfect crabby weekend.
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A calm breakfast service despite the snag
We started the day early with the hot breakfast buffet. It was to be our ritual morning catch up for DH and me.
Every morning, DH would grab the eggs and/or cook some oatmeal.
This morning, I would NOT wonder if bacon would be served. Afterall, we had been served that fatty crunchy goodness yesterday morning and I had no expectations of seeing it being served up for the rest of the week.
There was to be no grumbles from me this morning. I enjoyed breakfast this morning
even the snag!
The weather forecast for today was not encouraging. We were expecting rain around lunch time and with that knowledge, I decided on an early start to the day. I figured that this morning was my one chance of getting out to my destination.
The snag this morning came courtesy of Life in the fast lane. It was not kind to me. As I started to head out, the traffic update in the car radio told me that there had been an accident down the 101 and traffic was banking back.
A split second decision
..resulted in an unexpected journey and find.
With the 101 out of bounds, I kept calm and made my way across to the 280.
My split second decision? As I was approaching the 280 interchange, I decided to keep going to the Skyline Boulevard.
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Wonderland in Alice
The Skyline Boulevard or California State Route 35 is one of those scenic routes that is just so pleasurable to drive down. It cuts along the ridgeline of the Santa Cruz Mountains and at different points along this drive, you get views of the Pacific Ocean, the San Francisco Bay and Silicon Valley. It isn't a long drive; and without traffic, it would take roughly 1.5 - 2 hours to drive down. For those of you that get car sick, make sure you have your dose of dramamine beforehand.......or bring some sick bags! It can be a windy road.
Aside from the views, you will also be driving through a number of redwood forest reserves. At this time of year, it was an even more beautiful drive as there was plenty of fall foliage on display. There was no doubt about it. I had made a great decision to avoid the major freeways this morning.
Granted, it took me longer to get to my destination than planned but sometimes, life is also about the journey as it is about the destination.
So, when I turned a corner at Sky Londa and saw this place, I knew I had to stop.
I was to find out on returning to Silicon Valley that Alices Restaurant is about the only place worth eating at when on the Skyline. It is a firm favourite of the bikies (both the motor and pedal variety) during the weekend.
As I got out of my car, I noticed that there was a white limo also in the parking area. The driver gave me one of those friendly nods and a cheery smile. I guess I must have had that kind of aura that morning......he then struck up a conversation with me. Turns out he was driving some corporate bigwigs to a love-in around the area. He asked if I intended to eat at Alices and when I responded that I was just after coffee, he recommended that I order the homemade cinnamon coffee cake. With his "you won't regret it" ringing in my ears, I thanked him for the heads up and made my way in.
The promise that Alices Restaurant holds on the outside was matched in spades inside. At least, I thought so. It was wonderfully quaint and delightful on the inside. The sort of place that remind me of all things Americana!
The bar stools were covered with cow hide....
....and the cow hide was repeated in the seats for the table booths.
I guess you could say that the cowboys had been replaced by computer squares.
I chose to sit in the booth closest to the door. As there was only two other people in the place, service was brilliantly prompt and exceedingly friendly. I checked out the menu and it offered the standard breakfast fare, burgers of every description, sandwiches and even Texas BBQ.
Mindful of the chauffer's recommendation, I ordered the cinnamon coffee cake......
....and decided to have the Hot Apple Cider to accompany the cake instead of coffee.
The random acts of kindness by total strangers! That.cake.was.to.die.for! It came warmed up and was soft and delicious and sweet and fragrant and oh so warm!! It was a taste of Wonderland in Alice and the hot apple cider was the perfect drink to have with it.
I couldn't finish the cake; so I got a box to go. It didn't go to waste as DH also got to enjoy a little slice of heaven.
As I walked out and reflected on the surrounds.....
....I realised that this place had become a definite must-do the next time I'm in the area!
Catching up on your trip report. Very nice photos of the Golden Gate Bridge and Fort Point.
Awesome Bridge Photos!
I've heard of that spot, is it in La Honda? That's a great place to stop for food, I was never quite sure where it was but heard about it as an awesome food location.
Really wonderful photos of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay. Do you do anything with your photos eg frame and hang at home?
What a hidden gem Alice's turned out to be for you. PIO, you really do have a knack for finding these great places.
We only got back from our 5 weeks away 3 days ago and I have just had a chance to catch up with your TR.
After seeing your photo of the avocado egg rolls at the Cheescake Factory, I want to jump back in a plane and head straight back over.
I had them in Marin County as a main and they were DIVINE!!! Loved the dipping sauce too. MMmmmmm, now I'm craving them.
Your TR is fabulous!
Yes, La Honda. It really is at the intersection of Woodside and Skyline. There is about 4 buildings here. And I thought it was an awesome food location. Not sure how busy it gets at the weekend but it was a perfect stopping point mid-week for me.
Thank you. I actually think those places have a knack of finding me.
Don't get me started on those egg rolls. DH and I are quite addicted to them......and the dipping sauce.
Alice's Restaurant looks like a fun place to check out.
Yum yum yum! Great update. The avocado egg rolls and cake both look delicious.
If you're ever in the area, I would recommend a stop.
Walking in the Shadow of Giants
I was enjoying the journey to my destination this morning. The drive is along the Skyline is beautiful!
But sometimes....it IS also about the destination and my destination this morning was Big Basin State Park. Founded in 1902, it is the oldest State Park in California.
I got into the Park Headquarters area a lot later than planned. I had hoped to have taken a walk out to the local waterfall but time was against me. I checked with the ranger and he agreed with my assessment.
A cold change had been forecast and if I'd taken the 4 hour return walk, I would have been soaked somewhere on the return leg. So the ranger recommended that I take the sedate Redwood Trail instead.
This trail is roughly 1.5 miles round trip; and exceedingly gentle to walk.
More importantly....it provides you with a glimpse into one of the most amazing of trees....the Redwood tree, Sequoia sempervirens.
Like it's cousin, the giant Sequoia, these trees are tall.
How tall are these trees?
Tall! Even when they fall, you can see how tall they are.....
I took my time on this trail. There were all sorts of interesting informational boards to read and explore.
This is what they call a Fairy ring.
Aside from sprouting from seed, the redwoods can also reproduce asexually by layering or sprouting from the root crown, stump, or even fallen branches. There were a few examples of these growths where a ring - a Fairy Ring - of trees have grown around the parent root crown or stump on this trail.
In some instances, you could walk right in....
....in the Shadow of Giants!
There was lots of scope for contemplation along this walk.
Some of these trees have been here for over 2000 years.
They provide shelter, shade and protection from the elements.
They are home to a myriad of animals.
I even saw a baby deer....but wasnt fast enough with the camera to catch it.
You get to see the Father of the forest on this walk.
And in true Equal Opportunity, there is also the Mother of the forest.
It certainly was a very pleasant walk!
I stopped in at Camp Central.
And found an Aussie connection here. The 26th of January is Australia Day, commemorating the day the First Fleet arrived in Botany Bay.
It had been an interesting grass roots glimpse into this amazing tree.
I totally get why they call this State Park one of the best places to go see the Redwoods in the peninsula. The trees here are magnificent and I will certainly carry with me the memory of that walk in amongst the giants for a long time to come.
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Sitting out the Rain in Boulder Creek
I looked at the road as I got back in the car, checked the map and decided to keep going rather than head back out the way I came in.
Afterall, there is one road, the 236, that goes through the Big Basin. It loops in from one end of the 9 and heads back round to the 9 to re-join it at a different point.
At that other end, I headed right on the 9 and eventually ended up at Boulder Creek.
It might be a rather small country town but some of the building facades are truly fascinating!
There were hints of street art here....I had to push my camera through a locked gate to get this shot....but it was there in the open!
This mural depicts the time when Boulder was part of the rail system for transported logs to the wharf in Santa Cruz. We're going back to 1875 for this view.
And yes, there really is a creek here. I did try to find it.....
....but by the time I was ready to go looking, it was pouring rain.
I stopped in Boulder Creek for lunch. It gave me an excuse to "walk the street", so to speak, and check out some shops. There were a few places to eat but I was after something with a bit of ambience. There was a café in here but the menu didn't excite.
This shop caught my eye....
....aside from the obvious, take a look at the sandwich board.
The inside décor, whilst a little tired-looking, was charming enough for me to stay.
There really was a micro-brewery set up in here. It's behind the wooden partitions and there was a bar set up to serve patrons.
Because I was driving, I settled on the raspberry lemonade.
The burger? It was significantly better than the one I had at Santa Cruz and such a bargain at $6.50.
It was still raining when I finished lunch. I ran across the street towards where the car was parked and got a little wet. Not enough to melt a witch....but as I still had a way to go, I was reluctant to keep going. So, I waited in the footpath under the cover of a shop front.
I hadn't expected the door of that shop to open....afterall, it had a sign on the door suggesting that the grand opening was going to be in a couple of weeks.
The random acts of kindness by total strangers! The new owner opened the door and was letting a friend out. They saw me standing there and struck up a conversation with me. We had a great time chatting about his store merchandise.
After a couple of minutes, the owner invited me in to take a look round the store. The reason? Check out what type of store it was!
Let's just say that DH was very interested in my pictures that night!
The owner and I chatted some more inside and after a while, when we could hear that the rain had let up a little, I said my goodbyes and made my way back to the car.
With the rain starting up again, it was definitely time to hit the road.
Lovely trip to the redwoods. You always find such interesting little places.
I agree! Always enjoy your photos!
Great photos of the Redwoods! Love the murals too.
Very nice pictures of the Redwoods. All of your pictures at Boulder Creek are very nice as well.
Right. Big Basin State Park has been added to the to-do list for 2014 What great pics of the trees!
I was really excited to see the murals. L-O-V-E street art!
Muir Woods is the normal tourist destination from San Francisco and there are day tours you can take from SF. This part of the world has Big Basin and Henry Cowell State Parks; and any number of smaller parks along the Skyline to catch the redwoods. You might need a car to get here.
I'll have to remember Big Basin. It's not too far from my parents and it appears that path is HA. I haven't been there in years, so beautiful!
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