coffee sop sign

Support your independent coffee shop

I have to admit it: I am a coffee snob. I remember when we drove across the country (east to west) in the late ‘90s it was hard to find a good coffee place. The free refill came as a light brown water that did not serve its purpose of waking one up.

But I also snub the coffee chains, mainly because they took away business from beloved independent cafes.

But in a place that runs on coffee, where a programming language got named after this invigorating drink, it makes utter sense for me to promote some independent coffee places here in Silicon Valley.

zombie runnerThe best coffee is served in a runners store called zombie runner, in Palo Alto

For this quirky location alone you should check it out! 


Red rock cafe is a great community place. They hold various events like coffee tastings , kids storytimes, and comedians. During the week it looks like 50 one-man offices. Find this place right on Castro St. in Mountain View.


Clocktower, also in Mountain View, roasts their own. This is usually one of my go-to gifts for coaches or teachers (they need coffee too!)  


What is your favorite independent coffee place?


(I am not affiliated with any of these places unless otherwise noted.)

Mural in Palo Alto

Mural, mural on the wall

Palo Alto might not be the first city you think of when murals are mentioned. On a closer look, the city is quite devoted to the wall paintings.


Greg Brown created magic for Palo Alto and the town put out a walking tour for his works:


underpass muralMy exploration for public art in Palo Alto started at Jerry Boden Park. If you go under the train tracks there is my favorite mural of the ocean and the creatures it might have.


Mural in Palo AltoFrom here, walking on California Ave towards El Camino Real there are multiple murals on the buildings in the side streets. It was really fascinating to me that there were so many just on this little stretch.


Have you noticed any of the murals in Palo Alto?

Junipero Serra statue

Give the founding father the finger

By now you might know I have a thing for giant sculptures. This figure of Junipero Serra is something between landmark and kitsch and can be seen from the 280 going north right after the 92. If you feel ready for a close up, get off the visitor center exit at Hillsborough. Statue of Juniperro SerraHere right of the restrooms is a small path going up to the pointing monk.

snake warning signBut watch out for snakes! While we were walking up to the padre we saw a snake and a few lizards.

Junipero established nine missions in (Alta) California. In spite of protests that he mistreated the native Indians, he became a saint in 2015.


More information on Junipero Serra:


What is your relationship with the founding father?

Voyageur du Temps pastries

Vive la france

France these days has plenty of reasons to celebrate.

They will on Sunday fight for the European soccer title against Portugal. Since they are the host country of this event their chances of winning are really high.

July 14th is Bastille day, the French independence day. If you want to read up on it on Wikipedia (Bastille Day) it reads like the final episode of Game of Thrones without the zombies and dragons.

If you are just looking for an excuse to eat French pastries you might want to go to Voyageur du Temps in Los Altos.

Now with plenty of time to plan ahead you can also bake your own croissants. Grab a bag from the Milk Pail and let them rise overnight. These are the real deal.

Or if you prefer a crepe with a bowl of cafe au lait I recommend Bistro Maxine in Palo Alto.

Are you celebrating Bastille Day?

grill in the park

Have a picnic weekend

Oh it is the season! Close your eyes and smell the burn.

So yes, BBQ season is upon us with the major holiday of Independence Day taunting you to cook and eat the perfect hot dog.


In most parks around here, if you are a small group, it is first come first served for the tables and grills. With larger groups you have to plan way in advance and make reservations.

picnic table in Cuesta Park, Mountain View, CA

My favorite gathering spot here in Mountain View is Cuesta Park with  huge grass fields to play in and picnic tables to hang. If you like a view with your hot dogs, I’ll recommend the Half Moon Bay State Beach. You can set-up right next to  the ocean.



If you are looking for a cultural setting for your picnic, the City of Mountain View presents children’s theatre in the park every Friday at 6:30.


Cupertino offers, on selected dates, Shakespeare in the park


And of course, there are free movies in the park. For a comprehensive list check out a fellow blogger of bayarekidfun:


Whatever the setting, enjoy the summer!


What is your favorite picnic spot?