half moon bay, part 1.

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For Father's Day, I surprised Sam by planning a little over-night getaway to Half Moon Bay. We had been talking about doing one last mini trip (not too far, in case I went into labor) and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to make it happen. Planning trips is not my thing. Sam usually does that stuff. So, even navigating Airbnb was a challenge for me. Also, there was nothing available- like nothing within two hours of us. I was lucky to snag this place in Half Moon Bay- a location that we had yet to explore. And, I think it turned out to be one of my top three family trips we have taken. We took it slow and easy, and just relaxed. 

I booked this little, tiny beach house through Airbnb. It was perfect! It was fenced off from the tenants, with a private entrance, and a deck and garden with a fireplace. The house had everything we needed, including a huge bed with a second bed in the loft. It also came with the best, most well-behaved cat- whom Eliza named "Goldie" and paid ample attention to. She would try and play with it and chase it around, and Goldie was so chill about it. Eliza loved climbing up and down the stairs, and made a nest for her babies up in the loft. 

We spent the first day exploring the town. I had always assumed that Half Moon Bay was pretty similar to most of the hoity-toity beach towns down there. But, we were pleasantly surprised to find out how rural it felt. For lunch we had sandwiches at the San Benito House Deli, where they serve fresh sandwiches if you are willing to wait in line for them. The Deli is located in a beautiful old hotel, with a garden area to eat in. We were a bit hangry by the time we got our food, but sitting in the shade of flowering trees and eating a good sandwich can make you forget. Also, Eliza made a friend with a little girl, who was possibly from Spain. It was so interesting watching them parallel play because they couldn't obviously communicate, but they were so similar in everything they did. Eating and climbing and picking flowers. After lunch we walked over the the Feed Store to say hello to the baby chicks- which made Eliza very happy.

We explored some of the shops, and grabbed some baked goods, before realizing that we were all exhausted. When we showed up at the cottage, we were so delighted that we ended up just getting some r&r for the remainder of the day. I lay in bed propped up with my massive pillow, Sam watched the Warriors game, and Eliza chattered happily, playing up and down the loft and in and out of the deck- close on the tail of that golden cat. "Goldie loves me," was repeated quite often. 

For dinner, we decided that seafood was a necessity. In the end, I let Sam pick since it was his Father's Day trip and all- and we ended up at Barbara's Fishtrap. It honestly didn't look like anything. But, YES. It was amazing. I have never had calamari so perfectly cooked and tender. Sam and I split a massive dish of cioppino, and Eliza was so excited to see us all wearing plastic bibs. 

I had a nice night planned, where we were going to make fancy s'mores around the fireplace on the deck. But, when we got home, Eliza and I cuddled up in bed and I fell asleep so hard, I don't even remember how it happened- when Sam woke me up later that night, the fire had already died and I was so sad that I missed out that I downed half a key lime tart and passed out again. We all three slept in that massive bed together, which means I got to wake up to that sweet, little face next to mine. "Where's Goldie?"

The next day, we drove down the street to Poplar Beach. We had the craziest Half Moon Bay weather- perfectly sunny the entire time we were there. That morning, we ate the fancy s'mores for breakfast, but didn't last long on the deck because it started to get so warm! We read so many reviews, and got to many warnings about how foggy and chilly it is in the Bay. But, we were lucky enough to see quite a bit of sun. Eliza flew her first kite, and had a good run the very first time. Sam spent most of the rest of the time trying to get it back up again, and Eliza and I played in a pit that someone had dug in the sand. She loves to create. She built "cakes" in the sand, and decorated them with seashells and stick "candles." She was also very serious about learning how to use wet sand to create shapes. We left with a bucket of seashells, and little pink- mostly Sam.

Then, we found CafĂ© Capistrano. I saw reviews on Yelp, and thought it would be fun to try since the menu looked so similar to some of the food we ate on the Peninsula on our honeymoon. And, oh! It exceeded all expectations and we would gladly drive down to the Bay any day, if only to eat lunch. The waiter, a young kid from Mexico, seemed pleased that we knew all the dishes. And, we were pleased when they arrived and they were, not only completely authentic, but super fresh. Without a doubt, get the Poc Chuk and Panuchos. 

After lunch, Eliza fell asleep in the car immediately. So, Sam and I drove up to a trailhead and took a nap in the car. We haven't done that in forever, and it felt so good...

More to come!


  1. Jeeezalou.....this sounds like your best trip ever! I want to be there.

  2. The kite looks like the ones I got from Into the Wind on Pearl St.