Well, boys and girls, Devin and I arrived safely in California a couple days ago. All has been a blast thus far, and it will only get better from here on out. To recap everything in our trip would be a novel, so I will just let you in on some of the highlights.
Our first night landed us in Colorado Springs. We left at 5 AM from a suburb just south of the Twin Cities. Leaving so early and so far south of all the two good shops the area has to offer, we deprived ourselves all day. We did make a stop somewhere with wifi to check the espresso map... which reminded me of Novo.
Novo was an experience. They offer somewhere around 8 single origins to be made on the Clover. Once again kids! No airpots! No paper filters! No coffee sitting for hours! All of those SO's are also available as espresso. I chose to have a cup of their Ethiopian Hache Coop. The cup was sweet, full bodied and was a great way to break a coffee drought. We followed the Clover cup with the same coffee pulled as espresso. The cafe itself sits on the main level of a performing arts center. The atmosphere is a little odd due to the fact that it's in the middle of a cafeteria-esque strip. However, the surrounding businesses aren't bad. On one side sits a lovely wine bar and on the other an organic cafe. We were treated exceptionally well and really enjoyed the break from the road.
The next morning, our friend who we stayed with, Aaron Millar, woke us up bright and early to cruise the 'Garden of the Gods.' The sunrise hitting the red rock was spectacular!
We drove from Colorado to Phoenix. We decided that with so much driving it was time for a vacation. So, we spent all day Sunday in Phoenix with some good friends, Josh and Marlo Lancaster... oh, and 8 month old Brogan. Marlo was my high school track coach... They moved from Vancouver, WA to Phoenix right after I graduated. So, it was awesome to see old friends. M-Lo's parent's have a lovely house that sits on a nice patch of desert... kinda at the base of some of the mountains there. The day was filled with riding ATV's, swimming and great BBQ!
Oh, and while riding our ATV's through the desert, we made some new friends and managed to catch it on video... enjoy!
Of course, we also have to say a major thank you to Aaron, Josh, Marlo, and lil' Brogan for letting us crash at their places. It was good to see all of you! Seriously, the hospitality was knock-out!
Monday finally brought us in on the last stretch. We conquered the remaining 7 hours and managed to get here safely... minus my AC dying in the end hour... something no one wants in CA. So far this place is beautiful. It's been a far cry from Minnesota and I'm okay with that!