The hubby and I have been r and we celebrated early in the past weekend. The hubby booked a full moon kayaking trip in at the Beach House and also reserved us spots for Sunday brunch at Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay.Since I planned I let him plan this trip. It is only fair. This is my travelogue for this wonderful weekend.
Half Moon Bay is a coastal San Mateo city about 20 miles from where we live famous for the yearly Mavericks Surf Contest and the Pumpkin Festival where the worlds’ most enormous pumpkins compete. We set out on Saturday morning and arrived in Half Moon Bay in about 30 minutes. We stepped in a small local restaurnt called The Flying Fish Grill and got some lunch, and then we headed to our hotel. Unfortunately, our room wasn’t ready yet so we went to Poplar Beach after checking out the kayaks at Pillar Point Harbor. Poplar Beach is one of many public beaches along Half Moon Bay and it has a small free parking lot. If you go to the main beach a block over it has a parking lot that charges a fee. At Poplar Beach we spent about two hours looking for beach glass. Before we got married we went to that beach once and I started looking for beach glass. The hubby never heard of this before and said, “why are you picking up garbage?!” I explained to him that people collect beach glass for fun and make them into jewelry. Then it turned into a bit of a competition and he helped me collect glass. Funnily enough we saw another couple collect glass, too, and the whole time the hubby was saying he couldn’t believe people liked garbage. After we got home on that trip I made some of the glass into pendants and sold them for around $50 at a church craft fair. So this time the hubby thought of looking for beach glass as a treasure hunt. After two hours of hunting, we found a small pocket full of browns, greens, and white pieces. I also found a tiny cobalt blue piece and a quarter from 1965.
We returned to the hotel and took a bit of a nap since the kayaking event was at 7pm. After waking up we walked down to Pillar Point Harbor again. Unfortunately, it was quite overcast so we were unable to see the full moon. There were a group of about 10 people and we were instructed to put on many layers of stuff. There is a jacket plus a skirt that stretches over the kayak and also a life jacket. The kayaks held two people and were a bit larger than the kayaks we used in Kauai. The hubby sat in the back to steer and I was in front. We paddled towards the breakwaters and we saw hundreds of pelicans and seagulls. Some people paddled a bit too close to them and they flew towards us and plopped in the water. Some of the pelicans were still shedding their baby furry feathers. A couple harbor seals also popped out their heads above the water.
After paddling for more than an hour, we cleared the last breakwater and we were in the open ocean. The sea was quite calm and the waves bobbed the kayaks slightly. It was quite dark and the glow sticks on our paddles indicated where the other kayaks were. It was very quiet and we could hear people speak quite clearly. We were only in the open ocean for a little while and then we headed back into the harbor. On the way back we made a stop at Mavericks Beach. This is the beach where the annual death-defying Mavericks Surf Contest is held. The spot where landed had several giant carved pumice stones. The guide explained that they were monuments in remembrance of those who died surfing there. It was quite dark so we couldn’t see much, but the guide explained that this was a dangerous place to surf. The waves could reach more than 25 feet during the winter and there are sharks in the waters.
We left the beach and headed towards the harbor. It was getting quite dark, but with every paddle a plume of green light glowed in the water. I have seen this before at Stinson Beach so I knew that it was a kind of microorganism that glows when you disturb them. I tried to get the hubby to look at the glow but he thought that they were bubbles and I couldn’t quite convince him that something in the water is giving off light. Finally one of the guides said, “I love this bioluminescent stuff!” Then I said that my hubby doesn’t see it and other people started to paddle to show him. Then he sort of believed that the green glow wasn’t just bubbles. After three hours of paddling we landed back at the harbor and walked back to the hotel. We were quite hungry and the hubby called the concierge to see if any restaurants were still open. Apparently a Mexican place called Tres Amigos is open until midnight so we went there and filled our tummies. Then we returned the hotel and fell asleep.
The next day, we ate a little bit of the complimentary breakfast at the hotel, and went back to our room to nap some more. Finally we checked out and headed to Sunday brunch at the Ritz Carlton. The Sunday brunch at the Ritz Carlton’s Navio restaurant was beyond our expectations. First of all, we didn’t know that it was a buffet because the hubby booked it after seeing a review somewhere that said the Sunday brunch was good. I also didn’t know that the restaurant overlooked the greens of the golf course and the blue ocean. There was a huge selection of foods all over the world including sushi, caviar, dimsum, and prime rib. The small appetizer sized dishes were presented in the most delectable and appealing manner. Our favorite was a small plate of roast duck breast served upon steamed bokchoy. The dessert station was also amazing. There were half a dozen types of chocolate truffles and fruits and many beautifully presented tiny desserts. I heard one man there say, “I want to take this to our table and just look at it!” There was also a dessert with gold flakes on it and I laughed a bit because the hubby joked about how pretentious people who eat gold are. Anyway, I took about six or seven desserts and just indulged in the decadence. After four plates of culinary delight, we couldn’t eat anymore, but we really wanted more. The funny thing is that I had a dream a couple weeks prior about an extremely fancy buffet with chocolate truffles and meats. I told the hubby, “this is the buffet of my dreams!” and we sat there laughing like idiots for a bit.
After the food we walked to the back of the hotel and followed a path down to the beach. The beach is public so you don’t have to be a hotel guest to go there. The beach was extremely small and we combed it for about an hour for beach glass. Unfortunately, all the pieces we found were quite small. The hubby said to keep them anyway because he wants to fill a spaghetti jar with sea glass. We were quite tired after that and walked back to the valet for our car. This is where the hubby remarked, “why is every car here so expensive looking?” Indeed, all the cars parked in front of the hotel were Mercedes, BMWs, and such. Then we saw a Toyota van pull up and I realized that they park the cheaper cars at the larger parking lot. So I said, “see not everyone here drives an expensive car, they just park the most expensive looking ones in front!” I guess the Ritz needs to look ritzy, but we definitely had a great time there without the need to look rich.
So that’s my weekend of adventure and gluttony. It’s great to get away from computers for a while to bond with the hubby and the great outdoors. It certainly wasn’t cheap, but it was completely worth it and I hope we can do it more often.