Monthly Archives: February 2014

Westfalia Road Trip Day 21,22 – San Luis Obispo CA

We love this town!  We had stopped in San Luis Obispo (SLO) on a trip a few years ago when we rented a convertible Nissan 350Z and drove California Coast, the days before a child seat was mandatory.  The San Luis Obispo of our memories was beautiful and full of very friendly people, not a bad combo.

We decided to spend a couple days here in advance which worked out well since there is a highly recommended shop that specializes in Volkswagen campers called Westy Werkz.  Our Volkswagen Westfalia had been making some noise while turning left we thought it would be good to have them check it out.  It turned out the Westy needed new Axles and brakes and would take a couple days, well at least the timing worked out.  A couple days in a hotel in one place would be a nice change.

Westy Werks
Westy Werks

Once thing we love about San Luis Obispo and is how dog friendly they are.  It seemed that most restaurants were welcoming to dogs as long as you dined on the patio.  Most of the stores we went to also allowed dogs inside, even finding it odd that we even asked before coming in.   The first night our Porty Zucca had been holding in a pee and when we couldn’t find some grass she took the initiative and made due with this bush, felt I need to explain the picture.

Zucca's gotta go!
Zucca’s gotta go!

While we were in town we celebrated our anniversary at Novo Restaurant on their beautiful Patio.  The fact that you can take your dog to a restaurant of this caliber is amazing and the service was fantastic in catering to our needs while dining with a baby.  The great reviews online are well deserved, check it out if you’re in San Luis Obispo.

Patio at Novo
Patio at Novo

Another great culinary find was a block away from the Garden Street Inn was Batch, an ice cream sandwich store…yup that’s what I said.  They make their cookies and ice cream and have have a feature flavour each day.  You pick your cookie and ice cream combo and they assemble it for you, simple but so so good.  We actually went back 3 times while we were in SLO.  When traveling with Children there is a large candy and shop called Rocket Fizz across the street with hundreds of different treats and sodas that the kids will love.

This is one of those places you visit and you wonder for days afterwards why you don’t reside there.  The weather, the people, the great VW repair shop, fabulous food, dog friendly, kid friendly and the laid back vibe all add up to make this a great town.  It lived up to our memories and to it’s title of Happiest City in America, we love it!

Accommodation Cost: $132.08 per night in San Luis Obispo

Volkswagen Camper Sightings: Vanagons are everywhere!

Note: For some reason we didn’t take many pictures while here, sorry about that.

 

 

Westfalia Road Trip Day 20 – Pescadeno CA to San Luis Obispo CA

A good nights sleep in the Westy at the KOA Costanoa and we’re back on the road heading down the Coast.  Barely on the road 15 minutes and we were already pulling off of HWY1 into Swanton Berry Farm since I had been craving Pie for a couple of days.  This place was very cool and the karma led us to one of the best Strawberry Shortcakes on the planet!  To add to the uniqueness of this stop was the fact that they had a Honor Till in an unmanned store, there is still trusting people in this world and that is very refreshing.  This is a must stop if traveling this route, must stop!

Honor Till at Swanton Berry Farm
Honor Till at Swanton Berry Farm

This drive along the coast through California is beautiful and this clear sunny day was perfect for it.  Our trusty VW Westfalia camper has been holding up well and the twisty coast roads definitely taxing it’s 90hp engine.

Driving our 1990 Volkswagen Westfalia down Hwy1 California
From the Passenger Window

When traveling on a long road trip with a baby and a dog you need leave lots of wiggle room in your “schedule” for changes of plans.  We were starting to realize that our Portuguese Water Dog Zucca hadn’t had any real exercise in a few days and this breed needs to burn off energy regularly.  We had been told by someone in passing that the beach in Carmel was one of the few in California that allowed dogs, so we made sure to stop there when passing through.  Zucca went bananas and made a few doggie friends on the beach while Archer did his own thing.

Carmel Beach with baby and dog
Archer Digging in

One of the key destinations when we planed this trip was Big Sur California and unfortunately we ended up there on a weekend.  We called ahead to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and they said they were sold out but informed us there could be spots due to cancellations.  When we showed up there it seemed like we lucked out and were given a spot, but upon arrival at camp site 58 it was essentially in the parking lot of a variety store.  This park didn’t live up to our expectations, I think it’s popularity has caused it to be over populated and worn out.  We did a U-Turn and changed our plan with sites set on San Luis Obispo.  I must add that the drive through Big Sur is breathtaking.

After a couple more hours on the road and a few pit stops along the way we rolled into San Louis Obispo a little after dark.  Using Trip Advisor to find a hotel downtown we ended up at the Garden Street Inn and were greeted by a very friendly host.  We love this town and can’t wait to spend some more time here.

Accommodation Cost: $132.08

Volkswagen Camper Sightings: 3 Vanagons

 

 

Philips Avent 3-in-1 Bottle Sterilizer Review

Do you really need a sterilizer, can’t you just boil bottles?  Yup, but it’s a pain in the ass! Just spend some money and buy a stand alone sterilizer, it’s worth it. To be honest we chose the Philips Avent 3-in-1 Sterilizer because it looked the least bulky for our limited amount of counter space and it turned out to be a great value.

Bottle Sterillizer
Bottle Sterilizer

With 2 separate compartments for the bottles and all the other bits pieces and parts we found this baby gadget to be a huge help, especially in the early days of bottle feeding when you need several a day.  We would was our bottles and dry them on the Boon Lawn and once we had a few piled up they would get thrown in the sterilizer for a set it and forget it sterilizing, so easy.  The white Boon Lawn and the Sterilizer look great together on the counter.

We chose to avoid the dishwasher type since I don’t trust all the chemicals from the soap would be removed and you’re at the mercy of your dish washing cycles.  We also stay clear from anything that goes in a microwave because I just don’t trust the “science oven”.  The Avent Sterilizer just sits there ready to do it’s job whenever we need it.

The only 2 flaws that we found was the Evenflo 8 oz bottles that we started using at around 12 months were a little too tall to stand up straight so we had to sterilize them on a bit of an angle.  Don’t lie them down or water will puddle.  The second issue we had was some slight warping of the base in the section that holds the bottles.  We did have a replacement warranty but it wasn’t bad enough to bother replacing it.

I highly recommend the Avent 3-in-1 Sterilizer to new or soon to be parents.

Westfalia Road Trip Day 19 – Gualala CA to Pescadeno CA

Gualala was a great relaxing camping find, we would recommend it to anyone heading down the coast.

Today was dedicated to mostly travel and taking advantage traveling through a city and getting some free wifi to communicate with home and work.

We b-lined it to Petaluma and set up shop in a Panera simply based on the fact they had free wifi.  I hung out with Archer and did some work on the laptop while Connie took the opportunity to get her hair washed and blow dried at a salon, a little bit of luxury after “roughing it”.

Dog friendly retail store at Lagunitas brewery in Petaluma California
Dog friendly retail store at Lagunitas brewery in Petaluma California

While in Petaluma you must stop at one of the coolest craft breweries in North America, Lagunitas Brewing Company. This is great stop if you like craft beer, they also have a ton of merchandise that makes it easy to spend your hard earned.  If you can plan ahead it would be awesome to check out a band at their LaguMiniamphitheater.

Westfalia crossing the Golden Gate Bridge with Laid Back Dad
Westfalia crossing the Golden Gate Bridge with Laid Back Dad

We headed south in the VW Westfalia and traveled across a the Golden Gate Bridge and passed through San Francisco although we decided not to stop.  We chose to not stop in major cities that we have been to before or figured we would return to at some point in the next few years, San Fran was one of those.

View of the Ocean
A Bad Picture of the View of the Ocean

We ended our day at the KOA Costanoa in Pescadeno California.  This was a very interesting KOA that was part of a resort which included a fancy hotel and restaurant.  Since we arrived fairly late we decided take advantage of the Cascade Restaurant and we ended up with a fantastic meal backed up with great service.  Overall this was a nice resort with a great view and had very clean facilities, reminiscent of a higher end hotel.  You will pay a premium to stay here.

Another great day on the road!

Volkswagen Camper Sightings: 1 Vanagon, 1 Eurovan, 1 Split Window

Accommodation Cost: $51.00