Thursday, February 25, 2010

Central Coasting

Last weekend Brent and I took Em back to our old stomping grounds on the Central California Coast.

The main objective of our long weekend was to introduce Em to my grandfather, whom I hadn't seen in more than two years. After visiting at his house in Morro Bay, we went out to lunch. My grandpa, whom I've always called Pop-Pop, fell in love with Em, and she eventually warmed up to him, too.
Em meets her great-grandfather

After lunch, my grandpa and his wife headed home while Brent and I took Em to the nearby aquarium, a place I had fond memories of visiting with my family growing up.

The aquarium starts with its rehabilitation center for sea lions. Currently there are three sea lions, and you can purchase cut-up fish to feed them.
Seal Food!

I thought it'd be fun for Em to feed them, but she's still too young to grasp the concept. I was a little grossed out by the bits o' raw fish myself (yet I adore sushi), but I still fed the little guys.
Sea lions

Brent, who'd never visited this aquarium, immediately dubbed it the "Haunted Aquarium."

It is a bit creepy. It's small and features tanks that are probably straight out of the '60s.

Em was momentarily unhappy.

Admittedly, the fish were kinda scary.
Creepy eels

Ok, *really* scary.

But we still had fun, really!

Later that evening our friends, Matt and Nicole, arrived from Northern California. Matt's parents were so sweet to let us all stay at their awesome vacation house in Pismo Beach. After Em was down for the night, we had a blast catching up with our dear friends, who brought along some poetry from the lovely Suzanne Somers.

Matt's reading.
Matt's turn

Brent's reading.

(Matt and Nicole recently attended a comedy night in San Francisco, where comics read aloud from other actors' autobiographies. That's how they discovered that lovely gem of a book.)

The next day we drove through the Cal Poly college campus, where we all went to school.
Where it all began

It was amusing to see how much the college has changed over the last 10 years. Tons of swanky new dorms and dining options, and huge new buildings for various departments.

We lunched at Downtown San Luis Obispo's Firestone Grill for its amazing tri-tip sandwiches. Then we introduced Em to Bubblegum Alley. Notice that we kept her secured in her stroller 'cuz I think I would've vomited if she went for any of that chewed gum on those walls.
Em visits Bubble Gum Alley

We rounded off our weekend with a trip to the nearby outlet mall (where I used to work), and a quick visit to a monarch butterflies grove.

We were hoping the rumors that were still lots of butterflies were true.

Sadly, we probably saw about a dozen TOTAL.

Despite the wacky aquarium and lack of butterflies, we had a really nice time with our friends and family! It'd been way too long since we'd taken a trip anywhere.

Em seemed to enjoy herself, too!
With my sweet girl in Pismo Beach

"No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one." - Elbert Hubbard


  1. What a fun trip! Sea lion feeding sounds like fun, and I know for a fact that Firestone's IS fun.

  2. I've been to that little aquarium several times. I can smell it just looking at the pictures. I can picture the whole street it's on. Thanks for sharing and glad you had a good trip. :)

  3. i seriously have no words for how i feel about that bubblegum alley.


  4. I love love love the central coast! I would live there if they had any jobs for me up there. :-) We were bummed at the lack of butterflies a few weeks ago, as well. But the grove is still really neat! And I've been to Morro Bay tons of times but have never actually made it into that aquarium... I'll have to go in next time I'm there!

  5. While that is one creepy fish, I can say that the Suzanne Summers poetry is even creepier.

  6. Oh yay! I'm taking Rowan "home" in a couple weeks, and now that he's walking, I can't wait to let him loose on the beach there. And hurrah for tri-tip sammies from Firestone! We went there for lunch when we were home last October, and it was as awesome as ever. I SO miss that place -- Firestone AND the Central Coast.

    And the outlet mall! That's where you and I met! That place hasn't changed much, huh?

  7. Looks like a great trip- makes me want to go visit too!

  8. Reminds me of home. Good ol' Central Coast. :-)

    We've got a gum wall here in Seattle too. (Ewww)

    Suzanne Somers writes? Poetry?! Gah!

  9. What a fun weekend trip! That last picture of you and Em is super cute.

  10. They used to do That Autobiography/Comedy Show here in LA! I want to say it started here. If I catch wind of it happening Again, I will send you the info. It was supposed to be Very Very Funny.


  11. Beautiful pics! (I never feel like a trip to Morro is complete without visiting that aquarium!)

  12. Just saw this! Loved it.