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”

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”

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?”

The Canadian Rocky Mountain Icefields have over a hundred glaciers. Many are visible from the Icefields Parkway. Dawn Page / CoastsideSlacking

21 Goofy Reasons to Visit Canada: Maxi Bars, Timbits and Pocket Loonies

Part 6 and last in a series:

The Coastside Slackers had an amazing time in the Canadian Rockies: Soaring mountains, roaring waterfalls, exotic wildlife, orange marshesplacid Alpine lakes. We could drop the mic and end it here, but we wanted to share a few tongue-in-cheek thrills that amused us along the way. We hope you’re amused, too … Continue reading “21 Goofy Reasons to Visit Canada: Maxi Bars, Timbits and Pocket Loonies”

Saskatchewan Glacier from the Parker Ridge Trail. Dawn Page / CoastsideSlacking

Canada’s Icefields Parkway Eclipses Our Beloved Yosemite; Gobsmacked at Parker Ridge

Part 5 in a series: For nearly 30 years, Yosemite National Park defined mountain majesty in our world view. And then we traveled slack-jawed through Canada’s Icefields Parkway. OMG. We need to get out more.

Imagine if the Yosemite Valley were 140 miles of soaring mountain peaks. Conjure up hundreds of ribbon waterfalls pouring meltwater from scores of glaciers into dozens of meandering milky blue streams and turquoise lakes. Now add hundreds of thousands of acres of alpine forest and slash the tourist per square mile ratio. Then we might have a competition. Continue reading “Canada’s Icefields Parkway Eclipses Our Beloved Yosemite; Gobsmacked at Parker Ridge”

Coyote in Banff National Park. Dawn Page / CoastsideSlacking

Loaded for Bear in Banff, We Settle for a Coyote; the Man Who Cried “Moose”

Part 2 of a series:

Who tromps through the Canadian Rockies hoping to see a grizzly with bear repellent in their pockets? Um. We did. Perhaps to the good fortune of all, the Coastside Slackers didn’t meet up with a bear. But we did enjoy a handful of fun critter encounters. And we nearly saw a moose! Continue reading “Loaded for Bear in Banff, We Settle for a Coyote; the Man Who Cried “Moose””

Meltwater from glaciers carry silt downstream, refracting blue and green light, forming the beautiful turquoise lake colors in Banff National Park.

A Turquoise Lake in Banff Without the Hub-Bub; Go Ahead, Skip Lake Louise

Part 1 of a series:

Ice blue. Mint green. Cyan. Turquoise. However you describe the hue of the lakes and rivers fed by glacial meltwater in the Canadian Rockies, it is spectacular. But why the unique color palate? A hike to the headwaters of Bow Lake is an amazing way to enjoy and explore the effect. Continue reading “A Turquoise Lake in Banff Without the Hub-Bub; Go Ahead, Skip Lake Louise”

Sea otter at Moss Landing. Dawn Page / CoastsideSlacking

Quest for California Sea Otters Ends with Shenanigans and Groupies Downstream from the Power Plant

Marine mammals stir the hearts of even the most jaded Coastsiders. Slackers, too. We’ve seen dolphins cruising, whales spouting, harbor seals lolling, and elephant seals … well, um… it was mating season. But sadly, not a single sea otter. Where the heck are the sea otters? Continue reading “Quest for California Sea Otters Ends with Shenanigans and Groupies Downstream from the Power Plant”

Waterfall at Garrapata State Beach. Dawn Page/CoastsideSlacking

Visit the Beach and Bluffs at Garrapata; With a Name Like “Tick State Park,” it’s Gotta be Good

The Coastside founding fathers stumbled upon a sweet brand when they came up with “Half Moon Bay.” Who can resist, right? But 100 miles to the south, the bureaucrats who named Garrapata State Park and Beach missed the mark badly if they were trying to evoke seaside romance.

Garrapata — that’s “tick” in Spanish, as in the eight-legged blood-suckers — deserves better. Continue reading “Visit the Beach and Bluffs at Garrapata; With a Name Like “Tick State Park,” it’s Gotta be Good”

Hall Wines, St.Helena. Dawn Page/Coastside Slacking

The Slackers Pair Sonoma Cheesy Grits with Rock ‘n’ Roll in Napa; Oops, We Skipped the Wine Again

How do you impress your British friends on their first visit to California’s wine country? Take them out for cheesy grits at the Fremont Diner and pair it with a helping of Los Lonely Boys a la Uptown Theatre. Duh. Continue reading “The Slackers Pair Sonoma Cheesy Grits with Rock ‘n’ Roll in Napa; Oops, We Skipped the Wine Again”

Cold Day Coastside? Break out the Flannel and Chill at the Moss Beach Bluffs, Beach and Tide Pools

If you enjoy Coastside sand and surf but a water temperature of 55 degrees is not on your “to do” list, then consider visiting the beaches, bluffs and tide pools of the James V. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach. Continue reading “Cold Day Coastside? Break out the Flannel and Chill at the Moss Beach Bluffs, Beach and Tide Pools”