Santa Cruz - August 2010 Jim and Nancy Young


Every once in a while Nancy and I go trekking on our own.  Last weekend we went to New Brighton State Beach in Capitola, CA.  Just south of Santa Cruz.  The scenery is wonderful, there is some interesting history about Pot Belly Beach, and the park is clean with extra wide and deep spaces.  This is a state park so most of the spots have no hookups, BUT New Brighton does have ten spaces with electric and water hookups.  Good luck in trying to reserve a hookup space in the summer, though.  One of my favorite spots in all of California is the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz.  It is a naturally crazy place and I like the name.  Right up there with Moose Drool Brown Ale. 


What I really want to talk about though is FOOD!!  I like to eat and I like to eat really good food with great service.  Because we received exceptional food with exemplary service I need to pass on the "Crows Nest" at Santa Cruz Harbor.  The restaurant is situated on a corner of the small craft yacht harbor over looking Monterey Bay.  On Wednesday evenings you can cheer on your favorite Beer Can Racing yacht while enjoying any number of half price hors d'oeuvres and all night happy hour well drinks.  On Saturday night Nancy and I went back to the Crow's Nest for a regular meal, not just the appetizers.  We were lucky enough to get seated right away without reservations (but I wouldn't count on that during the summer months).  We were impressed with the many unique mouth watering preparations of seafood, meat, and poultry on the menu.  Nancy enjoyed some mighty tasty scallops (of which she shared some).  I had the Hawaiian Crusted Ahi Tuna.  Simply scrumptious.  From the calamari appetizers to the chocolate mousse dessert there was not a crumb left over for a starving rat!!  Yes, it was that good.


To go along with great food you must have exemplary service.  And we got it!!!  Our waitress was Christina.  She was always there when we needed her, but never hovering.  A pet peeve of mine, is that many restaurant service help bring the second and/or third course before I have finished my first course.  Christina had her timing down perfect.  Each course was brought to the table after we had finished the course before, with no sense of rush to vacate the table prematurely.  The dishes were served at the proper temperatures, with genuine smiles and pleasant bits of humor.  Christina seemed to really enjoy her work, and her personality and service proved it.


The next time you get up to Santa Cruz way, make sure you treat yourselves to an adventure at the Crow's Nest!!!


Your's truly, Jim and Nancy Young


Pismo Beach - September 2010 Jim and Nancy Young

Okay, I'm sorry we couldn't make it to the Oceano Lodge campout in early August.  I just can't take enough time off that early in the month.  But neither Nancy or myself had ever been to Pismo Beach.  So we went later in the month and did stay at the Pismo Coast Village RV Resort.  Great place, super clean, and level sites.

We did go to the Oceano Lodge for drinks.  Their camp ground was full and so was the bar.  They were so excited to see us the Lodge lost all power.  I was assured that it would come back on after we left.

I swear that Pismo has more tattoo and massage parlors per square mile than a navy town!!  Makes for an interesting subculture though.

Okay again, I like to eat.  I'll save the best for last.  Saturday we ate at McLintock's Saloon.  The food was good and service was good (except they brought my rare steak back as what I would call medium) (I know I should have sent it back, but I had Nancy and Caity with me and didn't want to make a fuss)  What was interesting was the bus help was the fastest I'd ever seen in my life!!  Also it was fun to see blind-folded waiters standing on a chair pouring water into a glass held on a patrons head from a pitcher more than a foot above the glass.  The waiter was VERY good and nobody got more than a drop or two on them.  WOW!  The other find was the guitar player in the lounge.  He went by the name "Tennessee" and we stayed for more than hour just listening to his renditions of some of my favorite country tunes.  Marvelous!

Now for the GREAT food and SUPERB service.  Friday night we went to Steamers at Pismo.  While this restaurant is owned by the same people as McLintock's, the food and service was far superior.  This restaurant is on the cliff with seating overlooking the beach.  This makes for some spectacular sunsets.  The food was exceptionally tasty with generous servings.  The menu provided a large selection and each entree was uniquely seasoned.  Our waiter was Bob for the evening and his service also was very exceptional.  He never let me have to wait for another glass of "grape juice" and the water glasses were always filled.  Bob always waited for us to finish one course before bringing the next (a pet peeve of mine).  He also was very witty and pleasant to talk to.  Bob made it a most memorable dining experience.

We are definitely looking forward to our next trip to Pismo Beach!!

Your's truly, Jim and Nancy Young