College applications... words that seemed so distant 17 years ago are now nearly an every day part of our vocabulary. Doing due diligence, our travels this summer took us on a California college tour including Cal Poly, UCSB and UCLA.
Overnighting in one of my favorite central coast towns, San Luis Obispo, I eased my college anxiety with a visit to the SLO Farmer's Market, time in Morro Bay (see yesterday's post on Morro Bay) and also enjoyed a fabulous breakfast at the esteemed Big Sky Cafe.
Incredibly popular, the mid-market hours find the area packed with locals and tourists alike as people fill up on produce for the week or simply fill up on BBQ for dinner. One end of the market features a plethora of prepared food choices ranging from homemade pasties to Indian dishes to tender BBQed ribs and artichokes, while the other boasts the bounty of the area with tables overflowing with produce.
|McLintocks BBQ... mouthwatering!|
Taking a gander around town, we made a point to stop at a San Luis Obispo landmark... Bubble Gum Alley. Whether your thoughts turn somewhat to disgust or pure fascination, the alley is worth a peek.
Legend has it the bubble gum in the alley began to accrue sometime in the 1950's as a rivalry between SLO High School students and those from Cal Ploly (though it has also been said that the gum may have began as far back as WWll as a SLO High School graduation event). In any case, Bubble Gum Alley has been very "gummy" since at least the 1970's and has been growing every since.
Located between 733 and 734 Higuera Street, the alley walls are covered with vibrant wads of chewed gum. Have you left some on your visit?? While we didn't leave our mark, we did watch a young couple fashion their chewed gum into an artistic heart, marking their love on the wall forever more.
SLO has numerous lodging options, and I thought I'd mention our stay at the La Cuesta Inn. Cute, comfortable and clean, the Inn offered a reasonable price, a good location and my son loved the free wifi. Note the Apple Restaurant across the street was NOT recommended by a number of locals. And luckily, I have a wonderful alternative...
Big Sky Cafe... what a treat! With breakfast served until 1 PM and dinner menu beginning at 4:30, all day is covered (they are open for lunch as well) with healthy, fresh choices. Offering a comprehensive menu in addition to vegetarian and vegan options, everyone is sure to find something to suit their tastes, and I loved the local and organic resources.
Breakfast for us began with good (and I mean really good) coffee and juice quickly followed by our entrees of eggs, oatmeal and a fabulous yogurt/fruit/granola parfait which I selfishly refused to share. My son gushingly commented on the bacon which he refused to share, and my husband devoured his perfectly cooked steel cut oatmeal and ended up ordering a fruit plate of his own.
Heading out of town on our way to UCSB and then home, we all three reflected on our stay. My son loved the campus as well as the towns of SLO and Morro Bay, but more importantly (teasing!) so did I. Stamping my whole hearted approval on this college possibility I know I'll be happy visiting often should this be his final decision. If not, I'm happy to visit anyway!
From the Archives....
Perusing my iPhoto Library, this shot turned up from exactly 7 years ago to the day of our 2013 visit to Bubble Gum Alley. That's Liv on the right in the pink... 4 of the other kids are beginning their own college searchs this year. Dave, the man in the back, is a good friend of ours and a Cal Poly graduate. He insisted the wall was a must see and the kids loved it!
Notice from the photo above how the gum goes so much farther down on the walls.
|Liv Life - 2007 - SLO Bubble Gum Wall|