Saturday, August 4, 2012

Summer Jaunts in the Bay Area


Beach combing in Davenport.


Wow, this week has flown by and I hardly have had time to catch my breath. I've had no blogging time or been able visiting my pals in the blogosphere either.  I am trying to catch up!

Hey and what about those Olympics? What a wonderful time suck. I'm crazy for London, so I am loving seeing all of that and of course the sports. Synchro diving? Wow. Even loved dressage and kayaking. I don't mind suffering through so much men's swimming. ;) So fun to watch it all. It would be a blast to be there. I'm like a zombie each night dragging my self to bed after NBC (don't even get me started on them) strings me along for those medal ceremonies until the bitter end of the broadcast at midnight or later! In the morning I've got TV hangover and can't get up. No wonder nothing is getting done!

My oldest has been away a tennis camp in Carmel Valley. This requires two weekends of trips down to Monterey Bay. Not so horrible actually, but driving and making little stops has taken lots of our week. I never went to Summer camp as a kid and neither did Max, and I was determined my sons might have that special experience of camp.  Carmel Valley Tennis Camp has been around forever has the feel of a real old-fashioned camp with tennis. Jackson went last year at age 12. I was sooo nervous about it. However, when he came back he wrote me a note saying," Thanks mom for letting me go to camp. It was the coolest thing I've ever done."


Jackson last year at camp.
 I was thrilled he had fun, especially since he went on his own without a friend. He is at the same camp this year and I highly recommend it if you have a child who is into tennis. Love this place!

Anyhow, I am still working on the second installment of my trip behind the redwood curtain, but I wanted to share some fun things we did this week in case you want to head out of town.

Small Griffin at Small Paul.

My younger son Griffin is really good about getting me out to do things and the two of us took a little trip up to San Francisco to get a few new school clothes and have lunch together. We usually don't get to spend a whole day with just the two of us. One of our first stops was checking out the Small Paul store, and then to Zara for the boy's section. He has been wanting some colored jeans and I knew Zara, which is Spain's version of the Gap, would have them and they did. I always love checking out Zara for myself too. I first fell in love with this store in France and England. I was so happy when they finally came to America. One thing I love is their coats and jackets. They always have a fantastic selection that are very current and fashionable without costing a ton. This time I bought a black and white zebra inspired scarf.  I think San Francisco is the only Northern Cal outpost of Zara, so it's worth a trip.



When we were up there we cruised between Post St and Maiden Lane and the general Union Square area. Love the windows at the new Prada store.  Dreaming of Checking out the latest bags..







And at Kate Spade. What's not to love in that store? I always have a wish list running in my mind when I visit there. Alas I had a small boy with me so, on to lunch..



We ate lunch at my very favorite new find, La Boulange! This French bakery is just so good.  Have I said that before about bakeries? The quality here is unmatched. The breads are heaven and very affordable. Baguettes are $2.00!  Well, I had a Croque Monsieur that was as good (or better actually, now that I think of it), than any served in France and healthy quinoa as my side. Grif had a hotdog in a croissant. Do not miss their home made potato chips. Yes, I ate those too!




After Grif and I spied a darling little sweet shop that we popped in. Fiona's Sweet Shoppe is a real discovery and unlike any candy shops around. It was opened by a Scottish doctor who came here and missed the treats from back home. They specialize in candies from the England and Scotland. They generously let us sample all kinds of unusual candies we had never known before. I am now in love with something called brown sugar cubes, which is soft black licorice covered in brown sugar. Griffin found a few new favorites too and we left with a bag for about $4.00! Another wonderful stop if you are up here for the day!





Okay one other fun idea for you this week.. Have you been berry picking lately? I haven't in many years. My friend Kim and her daughter Abby asked us to go strawberry picking in Davenport, near Santa Cruz. It's a quick 35 minute trip to Swanton Berry Farm where you can pick your own organic berries. They had a very cute farm with a pie shop, jams and other goodies too. It's on the honor system, so bring cash. You weigh it yourself, mark it, and leave your money. The kids loved picking their own. The day we went it was only us and two other families. I had forgotten what a blast this is and the strawberries are SO good.








After that we toodled back to Davenport, to check out the tide pools. I had no idea they even had a good beach there. I hate to even share this, but if you go down Davenport Landing Road, you will hit a very small parking spot and a very huge beach with tide pools to the left and right of the beach. Make sure you come at low tide and I recommend bringing a lunch. Not many good food options this way. Great spot for a lunch picnic here on the beach. Fabulous beach! Now, don't tell anyone...













After, on the way back to highways 1 and 17, you can make a stop in Downtown Santa Cruz for a treat. I am just getting reacquainted with this town again and loving spending time downtown. It's really become very hip and less hippy, if you get my drift. Kim and I grabbed coffee at the very cool Verve coffee house. We both agreed her cappuccino and my latte were the best coffee we have ever had. Seriously. Oh, and they make those cute hearts and stuff on your foam. Extra points for that!! Love the decor too. The finale to all this was a stop at The Penny Ice Creamery a very special local ice creamery with flavors like Earl of Grey, Strawberry Pink Peppercorn, and Burnt Cinnamon. They use only organic eggs, milk and sugar of course. The Penny Ice Creamery is pretty famous around here as they were invited to be Michelle Obama's guest at a State of the Union address last year, since they were able to open their business thanks to Obama's SBA Recovery Act. That act allowed them to get a loan for $250,000, which let them build and open the shop and eventually employ 11. Unbelievably cute shop where you can see them making the ice cream and totally deserving of a special trip. Abby had vanilla bean and Grif has plum sorbet. I am counting the days until I can go back and bring the rest of my family. It was a perfect Summer day trip if you are in these parts!







Here's to squeezing all you can out of that Summer! Enjoy.

xo
Kim






20 comments :

  1. I enjoyed my visit there in San Francisco. I wish we had more time to shop around especially at Barney's. We also loved Monterey Bay and Carmel. You are lucky to live so near the Pacific Ocean. Have a good weekend.

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  2. I adore Carmel.. the food, the atmosphere, and art boutiques are fabulous. My brother lives in Santa Cruz (he's an surfer -Lol! and a wine maker). I grew up in the Ventura county Westlake area so we would always do weekend or day trips that direction.

    Thanks for taking us along! The shopping a food looks perfect and your kids are darling. What a great place for a tennis camp!!

    xx
    leslie

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    1. oops.. meant to say an OLD surfer.. Well, that makes me an antique because he's my little brother :)

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    2. Leslie, Your brother sounds like a cool guy! If you visit him we should meet up. It's very close to here!

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  3. I love this post so much - thank you for finding time to share these pics when you've been so busy. I hope we get to see Griffin in his new cool jeans - I love Zara too. I really like young Abby's style too - that little khaki skirt over leggins looks just the thing for berry picking and for the beach. She's so sweet!

    You're lucky to live in such a beautiful place! xxx

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    1. Thanks Mrs E! You are always so kind. Love Abby's style too. I don't have a girl, so I always marvel at all the cute things she wears! Will try to get Grif in his new togs!

      xx
      Kim

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  4. Thanks for sharing, I love hearing about everyone's summer experiences! Glad your kids love summer camp, I actually never went to camp either until I was in my mid-teens and went to choir singing camp three years in a row....to this day I still have close friends from camp from forever ago!

    Oh and I hear you about the Olympics, I get sucked in everytime!

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    1. That's so neat that you are still pals with your choir camp friends! Hope my kids do that. Yes, watching Olympics now. It's crazy.

      xo
      Kim

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  5. Kim - ditto the gals ahead of me - it's great to have you back!

    I too have been "suffering" from late Olympic nights and mornings that start around 9am. When your kids (nearly 21) make their own lunches and drive to work - why does Mom need to get up? And since it's summer, Daughter (16) stays in bed too. ah bliss.

    Grif + Abby = a stylish pair of best buds I bet the Moms looked cute too. :-)

    This post has put me in the best mood, cheers!

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    1. Linda,
      That sounds pretty nice driving and making their own lunches! You enjoy sleeping in! I'm sure you've earned it. Thanks for the Abby & Grif note. They are thick as thieves this summer and at this age I can't resist taking so many pics.

      xo
      Kim

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  6. What a wonderful trip :) That first pic has me wanting to go beach combing - I haven't done that since I was a kid (so sad!). And the tennis camp your son goes to sounds so great. I went to summer camp in the Texas Hill country when I was younger, and it was the same camp that my mom went to when she was a girl. It had such a nice, wholesome vibe to it - I have so many great memories from there!

    Happy weekend!

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    1. I love that you went to the same camp your mom did! It is so nice to have that tradition and having the good memories!
      You need to get to the beach soon!

      xo
      Kim

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  7. Thanks everyone for your notes! Really appreciate all your comments!
    xo
    Kim

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  8. Fun! You make me want to hop in my car and hit the road - better than Sunset Magazine my dear! (They should hire you!) Just a few more weeks left of summer vacation - enjoy those munchkins!

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  9. Me again - I couldn't find an e-mail address for you, so commenting here. Hope that's okay. Just seen the Town & Country magazine pics of Aerin. V. beautiful, and immediately thought - 'she's stolen Kim's Talitha Getty wardrobe' LOL! mrsexeter (at) gmail (dot) com xxx

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  10. Mrs. E -w ill email you. You should be able to reach me in the about area, where it says view profile. Will check it out!
    xx
    Kim

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  11. Love hearing about the tennis camp, my eldest went to the one at Uni of Santa Cruz, but this Carmel Valley ones sounds great! Your pics of kids in Davenport are such old-fashioned fun!

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  12. Gorgeous photos! Sounds like you had a fabulous trip:)
    ~Anne

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