Aqui Cal-Mex

On our recent sojourn in Northern California, our kids Aaron and Nina took us to Campbell (see the related posts here and here), where we enjoyed an after-church brunch here at Aqui (see what I did there?). This Cal-Mex restaurant, one of four locations, was created by a renowned chef and an experienced fast food operator who wanted to create a fast, hassle-free fine dining experience using the flavors of the Southwest, Asia, California and Latin America.
We opted for adjacent tables on the patio. The lovely Robin and I got to sit with our grandchildren, Miles and Mia.
The food wasn't cheap (it's California, after all) but it was served quickly, and was awful good, from the taters to the pancakes to the chicken.
More information about Aqui is available at the website:

1 Infinite Loop

My recent visit to California with the lovely Robin included a couple stops at Apple's Cupertino headquarters, the Mother Ship of our family's Mac addiction. Mixed metaphors, I know, but you get the idea. Oh yeah, and my son's workplace.
We browsed "The Company Store," the Apple store on site.
We also shared a delicious lunch in Mac's Cafe with Aaron, Nina, Miles, and Mia (I'd tell you all about it but then I'd have to kill you. Seriously, Aaron couldn't show us his office because it's in a super-secret section; we couldn't even take pictures once we entered the building).
And we sorta saw the site where Apple is building its new spaceship-like HQ (of which we also saw a model in the lobby at 1 Infinite Loop). I'm pretty sure it was cool but can't really say since our memories were erased upon leaving.


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 same 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 forty 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.

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 Steinbeck's Cannery Row (see below).
We enjoyed our coffees, caramel apple (sliced six ways, I think), and other good things.

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