Born and raised long time ago in a galaxy far away I got off to an auspicious start to life in Central Coast California in early 2016 after being stuck in knee-deep rivers of never-ending rain while working diligently on my degree in the United Kingdom.
Since the very first moment after I touched down at LAX, everything felt different. Suddenly, tea became coffee, Wetherspoons was substituted by Jack In The Box. My initial stupor and confusion vanished the moment I got to my rental car and turned the radio on. Jimi was playing. I turned the volume up high and rolled the windows down. The highway air tasted of fumes, but it still felt pretty damn good to breathe. Next stop - San Luis Obispo.
As a seasoned-adventurer, my SLO life research started long before stepping on US soil, and even though as most Europeans I share this uncanny affection for New York, the Central Coast and San Luis Obispo grew on me instantly. I mean, what can possibly out-cool a town which has an alley covered in bubble gum as its omnipresent symbol.
Stalled by the notorious LA traffic, I arrived in SLO on a late Wednesday night. By that point, the 12-hour flight and 4-hour drive in combination with the 8-hour time difference had taken their toll on me, however, there was final item on my agenda for the day - dinner! Thai... I thought. In a heartbeat, I pulled over in front of the highest ranked Thai place in my vicinity. Bummer! It was closed (to this day I never went there again). However, there was light at the end of the tunnel, or in this case the end of the parking lot. It was late, I was tired and there was no time for any internal dilemmas. Serendipity, led me to Beda's Biergarten.
With regards to the atmosphere, Beda's Biergarten is a niche type of place, you won't find any tourists or Cal Poly students there. Just a friendly, family-like environment underpinned by the great owner himself. It is a mystery how he does it, but Mr. Beda seems to remember all customers and their stories. My return to Beda's wasn't until the Summer and the moment I stepped in, I was instantly greeted and welcomed as an old friend. He remembered me. In food terms, I had the Hunchenbrot, which is basically a grilled chicken sandwich with cheese, bell peppers, mushrooms, caramelized onions and lemon aioli. It was a slam dunk. By far the best burger I have had in SLO. Unlike, most burger joints Beda's gives you two sides and the portions are enough to feed an average 4 member household. Drinks-wise, they present a great and very distinctive selection of European craft beers on tap. And don't get me wrong most of the craft beers you can find on the Central Coast are nothing short of marvellous, but if you are looking for something new with a German twist on it, Beda's is your kind of place.
This place comes highly recommended if you like football- you won't find a place in town where the beautiful game is cherished and appreciated more. On my second day in SLO I decided to explore downtown as well as the beach. I am an old soul, hence, the place I want to pinpoint is my favorite record store - Boo Boo Records. It is right downtown, easy to access, the staff are very kind and helpful and the choices of good music are endless, seriously, no matter what kind of music you are into they have it. Overall, the store has this bad-ass feeling to it, the way records are presented, the music they play. It has character. I bought a vinyl that day and I don't even own a record player here in America, it was that good. Lastly, I decided to reward the maximum effort to make me feel comfortable shown by the staff by buying a neat Deadpool fridge magnet. As mentioned above, Boo Boo is not just a record shop, it's an attitude.
Call me a cliche, but I decided to end my second day of SLO living at the beach watching the sunset, isn't that what California is all about? To be honest, I like the hiking trails around Pirate's Cove and chilling on the rocks there, but I didn't learn about that place until I started following our favorite blogger Kay on social media, hence on that day I went to Avila instead. It was a late Wednesday afternoon in late February, the beach was far from buzzing. I brought my I-pod with me so I can listen to some of my favorite tunes while watching the waves. Rookie mistake. I didn't need music; the ocean was playing a symphony better than any man could ever compose. I grew up in a small town in a mountain area, 5 hours away from the Black Sea. As a kid, I would go there probably once every 3 or 4 years. I can't even swim. None of that mattered though. Just sitting there listening to the ocean in complete solitude made me fall into this state of deep thought, a state, where I could reflect on the past and plan on the future. My problems and daily dramas felt so insignificant, tiny.... irrelevant. I could focus and recharge my batteries. That was the moment I realized my California adventure is in full swing...
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He offered to create a post about his first experience of the Central Coast of California (as he is a foreigner and most importantly a traveler) and I was so excited to feature this kind of post! He has been a loyal reader to my blog and I appreciate every one of my readers, as my blog is still new! Also, please share this post with anyone curious about SLO life, or even Central Coast California in general. Thanks for reading!