Friday, June 24, 2016


              Ten Year Trip

I will attempt to succinctly summarize a trip Christe and I have been planning for essentially the ten years we have been married. We were supposed to drive from Tucson all the way up to Seattle and Olympic National Park and back, but cut it a little short due to forks in our career path. Oregon and Washington another day, but for now, our California adventure!

  • SeaWorld
    • Ten years of teaching finally paid off with free passes to SeaWorld. Yes, I have seen Blackfish and SeaWorld has announced this will be the last generation of Orcas in their captivity. With that said, SeaWorld was GREAT! The park is the perfect size for a one-day trip, shows spaced out nicely and hands-on experiences for the kids (Haneul's favorite was touching the sharks and Beniah's was the sucker fish snacking on his hands). Fantastic day but Haneul did not appreciate the Dolphins soaking her. 




  • Ballast Point
    • Theme parks for the kids, national parks for mom, breweries for dad and food for everyone. An overall disappointing experience at Ballast Point (long wait after long day, pricey average food, I got spilled on, no stickers for me...err, I mean the kids) ended well with a comped fantastic Espresso Creme Brulee paired with their Calm Before the Storm, a cream ale with coffee and vanilla.
  • Legoland
    • Beniah has been dreaming about Legoland for about two years now, we managed two buy-one-get-one tickets. This is a great park for 5-9 year old kids, so perfect for ours. We could have easily spent two days there (one day to get wet at their 3 or 4 water parks) but we stayed dry! Beniah enjoyed getting his "drivers license" and Haneul braved a roller coaster with us, screaming, "I DON'T LIKE IT! I DON'T LIKE IT!" the entire ride until it rolled to a stop in which she emphatically yelled, "LET'S DO IT AGAIN!"

  • Stone
    • The highlight of my day and highlight of my entire brewery experience was Stone, hands down. In true Stone fashion, they are just Arrogant enough to avoid any signage, but Christe sniffed out the hops. The ambiance was beautiful and imposing at the same time, the food excellent, I was partial to my Serrano Ham wrapped Trout and of course the beer was world class. Maybe for my best, we missed the release of my favorite IPA of all time Ruin Ten, released on 6/20/16 if interested (last release was 2012).
  • Santa Monica Pier
    • Time for an easy day. Walk the pier and camp out on the beach for a couple hours in standard SoCal weather. Christe and I continually reminded each other that this weather is only one tank of gas away (we left 112-degree temps only to return to 117). I am not a beach guy but it is admittedly more fun when your kids are squealing with joy (and Haneul was pure joy) as they play in the sand and get chased by waves.

  • Koreatown (Quarters)
    • Christe and I have eaten well in South Korea numerous times and what we experienced at Quarters Korean BBQ was something that was hard to put into words. Twice we simply took a bite, made eye contact and high-fived. The flavor profiles, the meat cooked to perfection (they wouldn't let us touch the tongs), a truly magical experience, we didn't even pause to take a picture of our food but you can see the joy we were still experiencing when we stopped afterward for honeycomb ice cream at HoneyMee in these pictures...

  • BarNine
    • Served my espresso with a short glass of seltzer water and Christe's "to-go" latte in a glass jar. Classy. Pastries were on point too. 
  • Firestone Walker
    • Initially disappointed with the beer selection, it took me a minute before I noticed a glassed-off area with a beer list that I adoringly couldn't take my eyes off. I anxiously thought to myself, "how do I get in there, where is the door, where is our server?" My nerves were settled as I realized the Barrel Works bar was in fact open and I could enjoy The Java Parabola weighing in at 14% ABV, the Parabola, the Sucaba, the Anniversary Ale XIX (all in 3 oz. snifters of course) and take a bottle of Bourbon Barrel Aged Velvet Merkin with me to be enjoy along side my father in the mountains of Yosemite. Woot!
  •  Big Sur
    • The drive to San Francisco was something all to itself, we saw Harbor Seals at Carpinteria Harbor Seal Preserve and Elephant Seals at the southern entrance to Big Sur. Pictures can not capture the Big Sur experience but thank God for preservation. Oh and we bumped into some folks we know. Dad remarked he has been waiting his whole life to drive Highway 1. I'm glad we got to experience it together.

Harbor Seals

Elephant Seals

  • San Francisco
    • Philz Coffee (original location).
    • Dim Sum in Chinatown. So. Good. 

    • Lombard Street. Check. 
    • See the trolley and eat seafood on Fisherman's Wharf. Check.
    • Seals at Pier 39. Check.
    • Alcatraz...kinda.
    • Drive by Full House houses. Check.
    • Drive the Golden Gate Bridge. Check.
    • A little anniversary getaway at a local tapas restaurant.
    • Birthday brewery tour: Russian River, Third Street and Bear Republic! Stinkin' Lagunitas was closed on Monday. Ugh.
    • Napa Valley. V. Sattui Zinfandel with aged cheddar and cured meats on a picnic table in the shade. Need I say more?

    • Hog Island Oyster Co. on the Bay. Yeah, we ate like Kings. I think too busy enjoying to take pics. Shocking, I know, but the grilled oysters were perfect, I enjoyed them with a Hog Island Oyster Stout from 21st Amendment.  
    • Beniah's first professional (non-spring training) baseball game at AT&T Park. Three generations of LePeau men. Pregame at 21st Amendment of course. 

    • Special thanks to Jaime Wong for being an amazing hostess and tour guide!
  • Yosemite
    • I think I will let the picture do the talking for this one even though they don't do justice to our experience.

  • Kings Canyon & Sequoia
    • Picnic lunch under a Giant Sequoia and a walk around General Grant and through a fallen Sequoia.
    • Confession: I don't listen to worship music much but there is something special about listening to Christian music while experiencing the finest of God's creation.

  • Survival Stories
    • Survived a 923-acre brush fire as we drive the 8 to San Diego.
    • Haneul throws up on Escondido.
    • Survive an M5.2 Earthquake in our Escondido Super 8. 
    • Beniah throws up in San Francisco.
    • Survive a 4-mile hike to Vernal Falls with a 1000 foot elevation climb.
    • Beniah throws up on Yosemite.
    • Survived epic spider v. June Bug fight (phones were out of battery, so no pic).
    • Survived 118-degree temps on our drive home.
  • Next Stop: Australia/New Zealand for our 20-year trip.      

1 comment:

Phyllis LePeau said...

What a wonderful review for a marvelous trip. We will save our advantage miles for New Zealand and Australia. love you.