Thankfully, today was NOT one of those times!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
* * * * *
Well, I did it!
I cleared my calendar and cleared my head by taking a "Mental Health Day" off from work!
Of course, I did have to login for appx one hour this morning (to deal with some "pressing client issues") - but I wanted to wait for traffic to clear anyway...
So I headed out around 9:15-9:30-ish this morning and I *totally* lucked-out - traffic-wise. I actually made it up to Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay by 10:30am. I was Stunned and Amazed! (I was really anticipating 2 hours' worth of stop-n-go driving)...
Entry to Pillar Point Harbor
10:30 seems a little early for lunch (although Ketch Joanne's *does* serve breakfast - but... NOT what I came for!).
I decided to kill a little time by wandering around Pillar Point Harbor and taking pictures of old fishing boats. Pillar Point is, primarily, a commercial port. I don't think there are very many recreational boats docked there - it's mostly Honest-to-Gawd fishing boats. Some fishing charter boats, but lots of crabbing and salmon and commercial fishing. The boats out there are SUPER cool. Not your super-sleek, high-dollar sport-fishers. Nope. These are mostly "Custom" (read: hand-made, one-of-a-kind trawlers). An old friend of mine once likened trawlers to "Old Harleys" - and I think he wasn't too far off the mark.
Anyway, I *did* bring my good camera, so here are a few pictures of COOL old boats:
I really like the classic lines on this boat...
Love the super-high bow on the Allaine.
The Stacey Joannne kinda reminds me of Tartan (my old Sportfisher)
(That is, if Tartan had a highly-modified flybridge and "after-market" pilot house!)
I'm guessing this one's a charterboat.
(BTW - the wind was howling and it was miserably cold, so I don't think ANY fishing charters went out today)
The Marauder has been "Rode hard and put away wet" as my dad used to say.
Still, a REALLY cool lookin' boat.
I probably spent about 20 minutes wandering around and snapping pictures (and freezing my @$$ off - in spite of the fact that I *did* wear long pants and remembered to bring a jacket!). By that time, I was getting pretty hungry, so I headed toward the restaurants/shops...
Maverick's Surf Shop and the charter boat office
Several dining options...
I just love this old guy!
(and yes, I remember him from past visits!)
(This guy is new)
Ooh! We're getting there!
(this bar is affiliated with...)
Now, I have to be honest here... I'm not generally one to dine alone... I mean, hell, I'm married so 90% of the time I am with hubs, right? And when I'm not, I generally go out with P... And, even when I was single, I could *always* find SOMEONE to go out to lunch/dinner/whatever...
Annnnnd.... With all my "Dad Memories" - well, I was scared I was gonna feel all awkward and get all teary-eyed and weird and sh*t, right???
:::GULP::: "Suck it up!" So in I went.
First impressions? The place hasn't changed ONE BIT in all these years. Well, take-it-back, the seats are now upholstered in burgundy-colored vinyl (they used to be blue)! No, srsly, it is JUST the way I remembered it. Annnnd... I couldn't help but notice that there were a couple other "lone females" dining there (so I felt "less weird!"). I got seated at a table between two couples and everybody was SUPER friendly. The couple to my left were "regulars" and the couple to my right were first-time-visitors, and we all got engaged in friendly conversation - which was freaking AWESOME (Totally kept me from getting "weird and tear-jerky!"). Most folks were eating breakfast (makes sense - given the time!), but when the waitress arrived to take my order I told her "I *have* to have the Seafood Combo Platter, fried." No problem there!
No calories on this plate - No Sirree!!!
When I snapped the picture, the couple to the right laughed and said that *they* take pictures of their meals sometimes, too. And I smiled and told them about how my Dad and I used to come here ALL the time - and this was the only dish I had ever ordered!
The other couple wanted to know how the prawns were - and actually WAITED for my plate to cool-down enough so I could sample and confirm that they were "Absolutely delicious - Just like I always remembered!"
So yeah. It was freaking awesome - all around! And, like I said, the place hasn't changed A BIT in all these years. I even mentioned it to the waitress and she agreed... "Yep. Same owners and everything!"
Did I mention it was cold up on the coast?
They even had the wood-stove burning in the dining room!
Oh, and check this out:
This is the wood-stove in the bar (it wasn't cookin')
I think it's an old converted Sea Mine!
Anyhooooo... I had a fantastic time and a most-delicious lunch (which - BTW - I was unable to finish!) at Ketch Joanne's. And I stand by my earlier proclamation: "This is THE BEST Seafood Joint on the Coast!"
Now one stop I would have *liked* to have made, was a trek to Princeton-by-the-Sea, which is a stone's throw north of Pillar Point Harbor. I have "my spot" on the coast where I like to go to "get my head together." There's a kind of a hiking park/trail that leads up to Maverick's (Famous surf spot), and I like to hike up the hill and sit on a particular spot on the cliff, overlooking the surf and just kinda "be still" and meditate. But, alas, I didn't think my feet were up for much hiking. Plus, did I mention it was BLOODY-FREAKING-COLD-AND-WINDY???
Freezing my arse off was not part of my Master Plan for today..............
So, let's hit some Farm-Stands instead, shall we?
Okay, so back down hwy 1, and a left-turn onto hwy 92. Sadly, Tom and Pete's is no more... The crab/fish stand is still there and I debated buying a steaming-hot fresh crab and a loaf of sourdough bread, but I was so utterly-stuffed from lunch, I decided against it!
Heading East on Hwy 92, I *did* stop at Marsh and Sons. That place is sooooo old, the Marsh and Sons sign has faded away to oblivion! But I DO like the "rustic" signs they DO have!
I struck up a conversation with the Mexican Dude who was manning the stand... Told him how I drove "all this way *just* for their fresh peas!"
"Where ju coming from?"
"South San Jose."
I told him how I grew-up in the area and how my dad and I used to come here every weekend for their fresh peas, and how it was "all your fault" I had to drive this long distance "because I love your peas so much!"
He smiled and asked "Why ju move to San Hozay then?"
"Welllll... Because my husband lives there and he *insisted* that I had to live with him!"
I love how HMB has retained it's Small-Town friendliness - it is just so cool!
Sooooo... How 'bout those FRESH PEAS???
Oh Gawd! I think I've died and gone to heaven!!!
We talked about how Half Moon Bay is the ONLY place to get truly fresh peas! I mentioned that I have peas planted in my garden and I'm LUCKY if I get 3 pea-pods at a time... And how I belong to a CSA and they delivered peas to me, but they didn't "pop" open like theirs do. He smiled and agreed - and told me about how people come from all over the Bay Area to buy their peas because, no, "Ju can't get them this fresh anywhere else."
They had other stuff, too!
We also talked about other fruits/veggies and I explained that I have a backyard garden/orchard and grow THE BEST peaches, ever. He laughed and agreed when I talked about how cool it was to pick a fresh peach, still warm off the tree, and have the juice go running down your chin when you bite into it!
Yeah. It was awesome!
So I bought two HUGE bags of fresh peas (just like we always did!). I also picked up a "local" greenhouse tomato (they also had Mexican-grown/on-the-vine 'maters - but he said the "local" ones were a little bit better), and a couple-three cucumbers...
Then I continued on my journey... All the while thinking to myself "How the HELL did we manage to eat all those peas on the way home after eating lunch at Ketch Joanne's?!!" I couldn't imagine eating anything more at that point!!!
Some of that "verdant farmland" I was talking about earlier...
I drove past G. Berta's without stopping (although I'm glad it's still there). And Pastorino's, and A. Repetto Nursery (again, glad they're all still there). There are actually a couple of "new" businesses along hwy 92 that seem to specialize in HUGE rusty metal sculptures. They looked pretty cool and I debated stopping - just to snap pictures - but I decided to sally forth...
Half Moon Bay Nursery!!!
Kinda non-descript, ain't it?!
This is, quite possibly, my FAVORITE PLACE on earth! Once you walk thru the doors, you enter a completely different world...........
To be perfectly honest, I don't know if pictures can truly do it justice............
(I don't even *like* marigolds - but, when I'm here, I wanna buy them all!!!)
White impatiens hanging basket in the foreground
Pink bougainvilleas in the background
Everything is soooo gorgeous - And I am not much of a "flower person!"
Some kinda "pincushion flowers"
This, to me, just looks "Magical!"
Bromeliads (with Orchids behind the Bromes)
Look! A bunny!!
(Again, not my favorite flower - but aren't they gorgeous here???)
Some new kinda mini-petunia
I ended up buying two of these plants to stick in pots on our front doorstep
I have *no* idea if this will work, but I took a "panoramic" shot with my camera.
Maybe (hopefully) you can click on it to see the full-sized version and scroll to get that whole "surround" effect!
Another panoramic shot...
My last (stunningly gorgeous) shot at HMB nursery.
No clue what these are - but I love 'em!
After my (relatively inexpensive) purchase at the nursery, I headed back up 92, towards home...
I did make a little side-trip to Golden Gate National Cemetery (I'll share those photos on Memorial Day - since it seems more appropo!). I stopped off to say "Hi" to Mom and Dad. Sounds kinda weird, but I left a pile of fresh peas on their grave. I think they appreciate that *more* than flowers!!!
Then, once I got closer to home, I hit Giordano's Farm Stand (AGAIN!), for more fresh corn (gotta BBQ this weekend - despite the crap-tastic weather!). Thennnnn... When I was *almost* home, I ran across a gal who was selling bags of fresh cherries on the side of the road - so I bought some of those, too!!!
Annnnnd... Once I got home, I DID indulge in ONE of the bags of fresh peas..................
No dinner for me!!!
Anyway, all told, I had an AWESOME "Ferris Bueller Day" and, overall, I have to say I am feeling *much* better!!!