It's a good week when you visit three new local bookstores.

BookSmart, in Morgan Hill, California, is a delightful book-toy-art supplies-coffee-and-more store. A bit off the beaten track, it seems nonetheless well supported and tremendously active in the community.

I was especially interested in the book groups and Spanish classes the store offers. I wish I could find something like that at home.

BookSmart was the last stop on a fun afternoon visit to the lovely Morgan Hill community.

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Bob Books

A stray cat named Bob was taken in by the owners of the Recycle Bookstore in Campbell, California. We sorta met him on our visit there last Sunday. So they also keep a small selection of "cat named Bob" books by the register. Not the se cat, but Bob Appeal is universal.

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Recycle Bookstore

When I travel, I love to discover local and unique bookstores.

Recycle Bookstore in Campbell, California, is one of those. It is a well-organized general used bookstore with a great selection.

They have been in business for 40 years, buying, selling, and trading used books.

Robin bought a book on Jung and Christianity, and Nina bought a copy of The Help. I refrained, but not without great effort.

More about the bookstore is available at

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The FishHopper

On our visit to Monterey last Saturday, the lovely Robin, Nina, Aaron, Miles, Mia, and I had dinner together at The Fish Hopper in Cannery Row.

It was a memorable meal in a memorable place.

I loved that the restaurant's owners are recipients of The Salvation Army's "Others" Award!

We were seated by the windows and visited by Scuttle, the seagull from The Little Mermaid. Pretty sure it was him. And we were also treated to a show--an otter who frolicked back and forth in the surf outside our window!

The food was delicious and the service was very friendly and helpful.

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Austino's Patisserie

After our visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium last Saturday, the lovely Robin and I (with our California family) stopped in to Austino's Patisserie, located in a building immortalized in John Teinbeck's Cannery Row (see below).

We enjoyed our coffees, caramel apple (sliced six ways, I think), and other good things.

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Psycho Donuts

Aaron and Nina took us to Psycho Donuts in San Jose on the way home last evening. We bought donuts to have for breakfast this morning.

I won "Psycho of the Month " while there.

And the massive cinnamon roll (Miles and his donut are included for scale) was crazy delicious. Hey, maybe that's why....

Winchester Mansion

This afternoon we enjoyed an eye-opening, mind-boggling tour of the 160-room Winchester Mystery House in San Jose.

Constantly constructed and remodeled from 1884-1922 according to the instructions of Sarah Winchester, heir to the Winchester Firearms fortune, it is a dizzying warren of halls and rooms.
Though we weren't allowed to take photos inside the mansion, we took plenty from our self-guided your of the grounds after the informative 65-minute guided tour inside.

More information about this unique landmark is available at

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