I had two minutes to find my next gate during my layover in Phoenix. I arrived at the connection flight with seconds to spare and an hour and a half later, I finally arrived in San Jose. The doors of the plane opened up into the sunny California weather and all passengers had to walk down the steps onto the runway. I think this is so cool and I announced to fellow passengers/new friends that I felt very Obama-like and decided to wave as I descended down the stairs. The sun was warm on my face and glared in my eyes so I put on my shades as if to tell my imaginary audience that I was officially on vacation.

A quick walk to the baggage claim and several false thought-it-was-my-bag-that-looks-like-everyone-else’s grabs I found my luggage and headed out into the sunny afternoon. A man next to me suggested I put a baby blue ribbon on my luggage next time to match my eyes. Thanks for the tip.

My friend Patty picked me up, I tossed my luggage in the trunk and we cruised. Windows down, Tom Petty on the stereo and we flew down the highway to Santa Cruz for something to eat.

We pulled into the main street, parked and I fell in love with the first two places I saw. A place called 99 Bottles of Beer caught my attention so we stoppped in for a quick drink. I had a Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse,
Patty had a Fat Tire. We drank, our empty bellies encouraged the sudden tipsiness, we chatted and then moved next door for brunch at the Walnut Cafe.

I was in full-out vacation heaven when my sauteed shrimp, avocado and tomato eggs benny (with homemade hollandaise sauce) arrived with a house-blend coffee. There is no better way to start out a day than this.

Patty enjoyed a California burger that was so tasty she swore she “almost fell asleep when eating the first bite it was so heavenly.”

We drank more of the delicious coffee, cleared our plates and headed off to our next adventure…

The Final Dish:

Perhaps the best non-traditional eggs benny I’ve ever had. It’s a Saturday night…things may get crazy!

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