Half Moon Bay

When Doug proposed the idea of a trip to the coast this past weekend, I was thrilled. I love visiting new places and even though I’d driven through Half Moon Bay in the past, I had never actually stopped. We headed down that way on Friday and made it to our hotel around 2:30 in the afternoon. During our visit the temperatures stayed in the 50’s-60’s which was a pleasant change from the heat of the valley. I really enjoyed the fog and light mist in the area. It reminded me of the years we spent in England. The water in the bay was so calm compared to the normal rough swells of the Pacific.

Half Moon Bay is such a pretty little place, only about 28 miles south of San Francisco. The area is very immersed in agriculture. There are crops everywhere as well as many nurseries with the most beautiful roses. The area is well known for its fava beans, artichokes, strawberries, and ollalieberries. We had some fantastic meals on this trip, including probably the biggest and best bowl of clam chowder I’ve ever eaten. As I’d never heard of ollalieberries until this past week, I was determined to try some. We finally had a piece of ollalieberry pie on our last day in the area and it was well worth the wait. Auntie Jan described it as a “little slice of heaven”. It even garnered some applause.

Speaking of Auntie Jan, we enjoyed our visit with her so much. The girls (well, all of us) think the world of her. The girls just seem to light up whenever they’re with her. She’s such a wonderful person and I wish we could spend more time with her and her family. She left on Monday to go back to Wisconsin. Lauren asked if she could go get Uncle Mike and come back on Tuesday. :)

Some of the highlights from our trip included:
Day 1: Swimming in the pool with Daddy
Dinner at Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
Walking around Pillar Point Harbor
A gift of beautiful mums from Doug
Operation Crab Rescue ~While at Pillar Point Harbor, we came across a crab stuck between two boards in the pier. When I saw him, I immediately thought of that song, “I’ve seen better days.” The crab’s predicament was of great concern to our girls and some new friends they had made on our walk. They were determined to help the little fellow. They finally found a plastic bag and managed to gingerly pluck him out and return him to the water….all without getting pinched!!

Day 2: Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and the harbor seals ~This was my favorite stop. The beach was just beautiful, covered in shells, kelp, and seaweed. I really wanted to take some pictures of a tidal pool but we weren’t there at the right time of day AND our way was blocked by a pod of beautiful harbor seals. Of course, our head-strong child (Lauren) was determined to get to them. Auntie Jan explained why she couldn’t go over. Mommy explained why she couldn’t go over. Daddy explained why she couldn’t go over. She was still determined she was going to go for a visit.
Horseback riding at Lemos Farm
Beautiful flowers at Pastrino’s ~ Lauren managed to get her head stuck in one of those wooden cutouts used for pictures
Late picnic in the room~Jacob was trying every cute trick he knew to get a bite of Daddy's crab salad and bread
Sam’s Chowder house for dinner with the best clam chowder!

Day 3: We stayed at the Best Western and were very pleased. The rooms were really nice. There was a great breakfast. The kids loved the pool and the adults loved the outdoor fireplace. We had all of this for $130 a night. If, however, you felt more like spending $300 a night up to $3000 a night, then the Ritz-Carlton was only one street down. The Ritz offers the public coastal access, so we stopped by for a visit. They certainly have quite the view. The rooms even have their own fire pits. It was something. Afterwards we drove south to Pescadero and wandered around the town. We had lunch at Duarte’s Tavern where they brought out a loaf of hot bread that was to die for. Doug had a bowl of Cream of Artichoke soup and Jan and I shared that heavenly slice of ollalieberry pie. We actually came home with a loaf of Pesto Artichoke focaccia and another pie...for later.

It was really a wonderful mini-vacation. I think it energized all of us. Now if I can just convince Doug to go back again next weekend….

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