Thursday, August 27, 2009

Family Vacation

Sorry I've been absent for a few days. We have been on our family vacation to the Bay Area in California where I was raised.
I've not been able to get my lap top to connect up at my brother's house in the mountains of Santa Cruz, and today have had to hunt down a library to be able to connect.

I love coming home. I love the weather, the terrain, and most importantly being with my family.
On our drive from Utah to California, I'm always so happy when we reach Pacheco Pass, which is the southern most part of the San Francisco Bay Area.
I love to stop at the fruit stands along the Pass, and buy fresh cherries, peaches, apricots, or other delicious fruits.

Pacheco Pass was originally home to the Ausaymus Indians. Once the California Missions started dotting the area, this was a trail used by the Padres. By 1848 when the Gold Rush hit, the Pass was the main travel route between the coast and the mines.

Now this area is mainly agricultural, lined with rows of fruit and nut trees, and other produce.
This area is also known as Casa de Fruta. or "House of Fruit".

Most of the road side stands look like this one.

Mr. Cactus and I always purchase a lot of variety of items including fruits, nuts and even garlic.
Garlic is mainly grown in the town of Gilroy, also known as the Garlic Capitol of the World.
Gilroy has a Garlic Festival every summer, and one of the road side stands was even selling Garlic Ice cream. (no, I didn't try it.)

Garlic is nutritionally considered to be antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. Some claim it helps prevent heart disease. It can thin the blood and have the same effect as an aspirin.
Yes, it does have the side effect of giving bad breath, but our family loves to cook with garlic, and it's often included in sauces and stews. My children love garlic bread the best.

The smell of garlic as we were driving through Gilroy was very potent! Almost enough to lift us out of our seats!
They had just finished harvesting the garlic in the fields.
I remember as a child knowing when a semi truck of garlic from Gilroy was heading down the freeway, because I could smell it coming.

Right across from the garlic fields we saw vineyards with several variety of grapes.

Most of the world renown wineries are more north in the Napa Valley, but there are other spots in the Bay Area that grow grapes too.

Some are used for juice, jelly's and raisins.

Our biggest draw for coming home was to meet up with our three daughters who flew in from Arizona and Salt Lake City.
Daughter #1 had a birthday and wanted to spend the day in San Francisco. More about that tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

I'm originally from Bay Area...ah..memory lane post! SF!! Get some fresh sour dough and got to have some fresh clam chowder!

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

Oh, look at those beautiful girls. I also have 3 girls!!!

Material Mary said...

Have fun on your vacation. Each place we go has it's own attraction and I love that variety.

Nanette Merrill said...

What beautiful girls. How fun for you to be together in such beautiful countryside. It must evoke great memories. One of my favorite vacations was to the bay area. How wonderful. Have a lovely time.

Lurline said...

So pleased to know you spent time in such beautiufl country and welcome home to you three beautiful girls!
Hugs - Lurline♥

dotti white said...

Looks like so much fun! Thanks for sharing your pictures! Your daughters are beautiful! Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

Carin said...

What a great vacation, one day I plan to take a trip to Gilroy during the garlic festive, I adore garlic!

RedGarnet222 said...

I am going to take the plunge and comment on your blog. I have been reading it a month now and I have enjoyed it so much , I have gone way back reading your older posts.

I have read many blogs. But, I love yours the most of all. You make everything so interesting and I look forward to reading what you have been up to.

You are a very good photographer. The pictures make everything come to life.

So Thanks for my daily dose of cactus needle quilts. It makes my day!

Micki said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time. Your daughters are lovely!