Mark Bult Design: San Francisco, CA, Established 1988

Web design and development for small and large business, e-commerce, b2b, b2c, SAAS, and community websites. User experience design and usability testing.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Minimoon

My bride and I put off our honeymoon for two months because of work obligations and such, but we needed to have some time away before December. So I planned a surprise weekend of close-to-home things we could do that we'd never done before, including a stay at a beautiful upscale campground called Costanoa, which I'd learned about from Jason earlier.

Costanoa is located on the coast (appropriately enough) near Pescadero, and has lodge rooms for those who don't want to rough it at all, very nice tent-cabins with beds and electric blankets, and also normal tent and RV campsites. The shared bathrooms (called "comfort stations") have fireplaces and are definitely not your average campground fare. It's also a very kid- and family-friendly place.

I'd made a list of a bunch of places we could go up and down the coast, most of which we'd never been to before. Although she new in advance that we were going away for three days, Velma didn't know any of the plans, including where we were going or how far.

This is so incredibly hard for her. To not know practically drives her nuts. I know it drives me nuts how much it bothers her! She's getting pretty good about not guessing (ruining!) the surprises in advance anymore (although it's only because I threaten to turn around and go home if she guesses), but it still gnaws at her that she doesn't know where we're going.

Two days before we left she was antsy to know what to pack. I told her she needed to bring a swimsuit, a jacket, and passport, and that's all I'd say. It made her crazy for the next 48 hours.

We spent the weekend trolling up and down the coast from Santa Cruz to Half Moon Bay and practically all points in between. We stopped in Davenport for lunch and to walk around a bit, we walked down to the beach just north of Año Nuevo, we went for coffee in Santa Cruz and walked around window shopping a while, we went wine tasting at Bonny Doon Vineyard's tasting room and drove up Bonny Doon Road to explore, we took a little hike up to look for a kinda secret place called Moon Rock that two of the employees at the tasting room told us about (but we went to the wrong rock), had some really good food in several places, we soaked in the hot tub at Costanoa a couple times, warmed ourselves by several fires, and explored Half Moon Bay on our way back up the coast toward home.

In an artists' cooperative in Half Moon Bay I struck up a conversation with an older man who was volunteering that day to man the gallery. As is usually the case in artists' cooperative galleries, he's also one of the artists. Turned out he was none other than Gilbert Draper of Draper's Music, which ended its decades-long run on California Avenue in Palo Alto last year.

Gil and Velma and I ended up talking for at least a half-hour about all kinds of things: digital photography (his muse these days), Photoshop, Epson printers, Nikon scanners, religion, ethics, his history in the Bay Area music industry, stories about the Grateful Dead, dogs, marriage, and probably a few other things I forget now. He was a genuine pleasure and it was a pleasant surprise to meet him there. Check out his photos (this great macro shot is his).

I wish I could remember the name of the artists' cooperative gallery we were in. I'm going to email Gil about this post and maybe he'll comment so I can link to it.

tags: personal, hitchin', music, photography, art, Velma, travel, outdoors


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