Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Taking Time Out for Family

Sailing and boat work season are in full swing, but sometimes you have to take  time out to visit with family. My grandfather was turning 90, my father 65, and the whole gang was getting together to celebrate in California, where I grew up.

Originally Bill and I didn't think we were going to make it, but where there's a will there's a way and so we decided to surprise everyone and fly out for a mini-vacation.

Before the birthday festivities began, we rented a car and drove out to Half Moon Bay -- just south of San Francisco. The temperatures were a cool 60 degrees for a daytime high and 50s at night, but it was nice to spend some time on the beach and check out different marinas.

Pillar Point Harbor and Marina

Pillar Point -- equal parts sailing community and commercial fishing area

Catch of the day -- Ling Cod, Rock Cod and a Snapper

Sailboat delivery -- if you look closely you can see the sea lion checking out his seamanship
Strolling along the beach in Half Moon Bay

Wouldn't be a trip without at least one selfie!
For Happy Hour, we went a few miles north to the Moss Beach Distillery. Once a speakeasy in the 1930s called Frank's Place, this historic restaurant has a fantastic view, delicious oysters on the half shell, and a great local crowd. Legend has it that the restaurant is haunted by The Blue Lady, but unfortunately she didn't make an appearance while we were there. We were treated to several dolphins jumping through the water down below, but alas, no ghosts.

Moss Beach Distillery -- formerly Frank's Place

The view from Moss Beach Distillery

Happy Hours are complete with bonfire and ambiance!
The next morning we checked out the famous Mavericks -- where some of California's most difficult and dangerous surfing takes place, as seen in the movie Chasing Mavericks. Since neither of us surf, we stuck to checking out the views. The waves weren't super impressive that day, but the scenery was still gorgeous!

Maverick Point

Bill checking out the scenery
We picked up some fresh King Salmon and a few Dungeness crabs and it was time to hit the East Bay for some family fun.

Time to pick the crabs and make crab cakes -- good think we stocked up on Old Bay!

Hanging out with our niece and my second cousin

The kids (Dad included) had fun playing in the sprinklers
Four Generations of Family
Next up was a trip to Lodi to check out my uncle's vineyards and award winning wine at McKenzie Vineyards. He treated us to a tour of the facility, the vineyards, and showed us where the new tasting room will be located.

Uncle Les showing his Silver Medal winning McKenzie Vineyard Zinfandel

An amazing, giant cork tree with some of the McKenzie Vineyard old vine zinfandel grapes in the background
We're home in Maryland now and getting back into the swing of things. It was a wonderful, whirlwind trip -- so good to catch up with the family and to celebrate Dad's and Grandpa's birthdays with them. Now it's time for the California crew to head East for some sailing adventures aboard Phoenix!


  1. Ahoy,
    Great pix, nice to hear about your trip. Wish I had an uncle with an award winning winery. See you out on the Bay.
    Andy and Dottie

  2. Looks like you guys had a wonderful time. The photos sure brought back memories from living in South San Francisco. I cut my sailing teeth on the Bay. Hope all is well and the boat is almost ready.