Mercado de Colon in Valencia, Spain. Dan Page / CoastsideSlacking

Road Weary in Valencia, Spain, We Refresh with Gulliver in the Garden and Paella at the Beach

Part 6 in a series:

There comes a moment during most vacations when the travelers are ready to go home. For us, that day arrived in Valencia. We were weary of old towns, bored with cathedrals and battlements, and frustrated by our substandard Spanish. So, we went native. Continue reading “Road Weary in Valencia, Spain, We Refresh with Gulliver in the Garden and Paella at the Beach”

Consuegra windmills in Castile-La Mancha, Spain. Dawn Page / CoastsideSlacking

We Conquer Toledo and Consuegra in Don Quixote’s Spain; No Windmills were Harmed

Part 5 in a series:

In a world obsessed by real and imagined threats, an Iberian Peninsula itinerary would be incomplete without a stop in the Spain of Miguel de Cervantes, the 17th century novelist whose protagonist in “Don Quixote” mistakenly tilted at a windmill or two. Continue reading “We Conquer Toledo and Consuegra in Don Quixote’s Spain; No Windmills were Harmed”

Alhambra fortress and palaces in Granada, Spain. Dawn Page / CoastsideSlacking

Yup, We Paid 400 Euros to Tour the Alhambra in Granada, Spain; No Regrets

Part 4 in a series:

You don’t have to pay 400 euros to visit the Alhambra, the 14th century mountaintop fortress and palace complex in Granada billed as one of the top architectural wonders of Spain. Unless you dawdle booking tickets ahead of the visit. Then you might. We did.

Continue reading “Yup, We Paid 400 Euros to Tour the Alhambra in Granada, Spain; No Regrets”

McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Dawn Page / CoastsideSlacking

Road Repairs Restore Big Sur Thrills South to Gorda; Where is Everybody?

Half the fun of visiting Big Sur is the drive. And the newly opened bridge at Pfeiffer Canyon means the good times are back, at least as far as Gorda. For now, think of Highway 1 southbound from Carmel-by-the-Sea as a curvaceous 65-mile cul-de-sac with a view. It was so nice we drove it twice. Continue reading “Road Repairs Restore Big Sur Thrills South to Gorda; Where is Everybody?”

The village of Ronda is perched atop dizzying cliffs, famously described in Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls. Andalusia, Spain. Dawn Page / CoastsideSlacking

The Americans Discover Columbus in Seville and Olive Oil in Spain’s Andalusian Mountains

Post 3 in a series:

Part residential, part historic, part shopping mall, Old Town Seville has something for everyone. Perhaps it should be no surprise that the selfie mirror at Seville Cathedral attracts more attention than the tomb of Christopher Columbus.
Continue reading “The Americans Discover Columbus in Seville and Olive Oil in Spain’s Andalusian Mountains”

Buen Retiro Park, Madrid, Spain. Dawn Page / CoastsideSlacking

Lost in Madrid Amid the Ghosts of Pious Ladies, Old Masters & Grandpa Ray

Part 2 in a series:

Madrid is a modern metropolis, the third-largest in Europe and the capital of Spain. The business of government and industry dominates the streetscape. But lose yourself in the parks, alleys and El Museo del Prado, and the ancient city emerges. Fortunately, we had no problem getting lost. Continue reading “Lost in Madrid Amid the Ghosts of Pious Ladies, Old Masters & Grandpa Ray”

A Letter to The Coastside: Thanks for a Spooktacular October! We Needed That

We met in the Midwest, where October means crisp leaves, warm apple cider and that first cold snap. It was classic. For 20 years in suburban L.A., fall meant hot winds, choking dust and fires. It was miserable. Now here we are Coastside enjoying a whole new fall tradition. And it’s amazing!
Continue reading “A Letter to The Coastside: Thanks for a Spooktacular October! We Needed That”

Barcelona’s Beauty, Traditions and Hospitality Persist Amid Constitutional Crisis

Part 1 in a series:

Culture is resilient, shaped gently even when handled roughly by politics, religion or brute force. Tourists need to respect the constitutional crisis that currently embroils Catalonia and Spain. But the world-class cultural delights of Barcelona persevere unfettered. We felt very welcome. Continue reading “Barcelona’s Beauty, Traditions and Hospitality Persist Amid Constitutional Crisis”

Lady Washington Ties Up at Pillar Point Harbor; Tall Ship Sailed in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’

Recognizable as the nimble HMS Interceptor in the 2003 Disney movie blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” the replica tall ship Lady Washington sailed into Pillar Point Harbor this week for a two-week stay. We clambered aboard for a visit. Continue reading “Lady Washington Ties Up at Pillar Point Harbor; Tall Ship Sailed in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’”

Pie Shopping on the Road to Tahoe; Don’t You Love New Traditions?

NOTE: We’re sorry to report that shortly after posting this story we discovered that Z Pie had closed several weeks earlier. But there are still plenty of fruit pie options on the road to Tahoe. Enjoy!   

Lots of travelers enjoy stopping for a sweet slice of fruit pie at an Apple Hill orchard on the road to Lake Tahoe. But the most unique pies in the region just may be the savory variety available at a tiny pot pie restaurant not far away in Placerville.

Who knew? Continue reading “Pie Shopping on the Road to Tahoe; Don’t You Love New Traditions?”

Quest for a Coastside Labyrinth Travels from a Quarry to Lands End and Back Again

Why walk a labyrinth? Actor Jeff Bridges, who portrayed the ultimate slacker in “The Big Lebowski,” offers this:

“With a labyrinth, you make a choice to go in – and once you’ve chosen, around and around you go. But you always find your way to the center.”

Nice centering metaphor. That is until someone completely lacking in inner peace pitches the labyrinth’s border stones into the ocean. Bummer. Continue reading “Quest for a Coastside Labyrinth Travels from a Quarry to Lands End and Back Again”