Monday, August 03, 2015

The Good and The Odd

Have you noticed? Things have gotten pretty homogenized... miles and miles of country, and every town with a big box store, the same fast food, the same flavor malls, the same T-shirts, and mugs. On the very best road trips we leave the highways, skip the strip malls, and keep our eyes peeled for oddities. Local color, off-beat, unexpected, Mom-n-Pop, independent, unexpected, odd! Sometimes an oddity can be so iconic and longstanding it might seem cliche, or too kitsch, {I'm looking at you Madonna Inn!} but those places are the very thing of interest that merit a drop-in. I love finding a place like no other, where someone poured their vision into their creation, no holds barred. I like homemade. I like meeting the proprietor, supporting local business and entrepreneurs. Give me a break from the stick family, and show me something new, and hopefully a little odd!

Original marketing? Yes, please. And, by the way, if you don't know it, those Rolla Roasters are pretty great.

Tom's Toys, San Luis Obispo... two stories of independently owned toy awesomeness. We've been stopping here for twenty years.

We really enjoy all the local artisan attractions we find in Cambria.

Airbnb makes travel fun. When you need a place to lay your head and want to experience something brand new, or individual, consider Airbnb. We loved our night in the redwoods, waking up on a horse farm, making new friends, helping with chores... all for fun. Even when I am only imagining a trip I love Airbnb... where I can use their website to plan my stay in a castle, a treehouse, a yurt, a teepee, a barge in Amsterdam!

In Monterey, I had to pull over when we saw this DIY Tardis trailer! Are you kidding me?

We glamped one night, in El Capitan Canyon. Glamping = Glamorous + Camping. We slept in a canvas tent, on real beds, and Maria swam in the their pool for two hours! It's not rough or rugged, but it was a lot more fun than a Chain-Inn. Thanks to their market and kitchen, we could eat outdoors, without having to haul charcoals and camp stoves, and pots. And! We were visited by Starface, the camp-cat, who was both dear and odd!

Way to represent, California! Thanks for showing us an odd time!

Good Things...

1. Happy Birthday, Max!

2. The house is messy... guess we've been having a lot of fun. That's good.

3. We still have 12 days to squeeze in summer fun!

4. Frankenrouter cut its first layer of wood!

5. Coming home... always happy to take a road trip, and always happy to come home.

What do you do when you want to see something odd, try a new flavor? What's good?


Jennifer said...

As much as New England wraps itself in a kind of ultra-homogenous-wholesome sensible jacket, our backwoods of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine harbor all kinds of independent-minded souls who refuse to give in. (Hey, "Live Free of Die." It's a thing.) I'll have to see if I can find my photo of the wallpaper, paint, hardware, ice cream, and funeral parlor we encountered once in Vermont....

Janece said...

You know, I think this is one of the reasons I love spending so much time at your home! Because of the homogenization of stores... in many cases, that means the homogenization of homes as well. I love that yours is unlike anyone else's that I know.

I love all these photos from your trip, Natalie! Thank you for sharing them!