The Libertine Coffee Bar

Two of my favorite things in the world: coffee and Kelly. Well, Kelly and I are back on the coffee grind (Get it?! Even if you think my pun is bad please keep reading…)! The Libertine Coffee Bar in downtown SLO is my latest and greatest fulfilling conquest in the never ending hunt for the enjoyment my very favorite caffeinated beverage.

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Located on Broad Street right next door to the Libertine Brewing company, it’s open from 6am-6pm and features drip coffee, espresso, kombucha, and a variety of tea. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! SLODOCO has even hopped on this coffee train and is making donuts for the Libertine Coffee bar alongside other local chef’s treats.

I asked the barista for her what her recommendation on their most popular drink would be and she suggested the Bullet Proof coffee. It’s a drip coffee which features a teaspoon of coconut oil and butter (yes, butter…) blended in a magic bullet blender making the concoction creamy mix of froth with just the right amount coffee bite to it. It was filling, too. I only got a 12 ounce but was very satisfied.

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This shop features outdoor seating on the corner of Broad and Pacific. It has an ambiance which makes you feel like you’re at a new and chic modern coffee shop with the rustic authenticity of a spot that has been well loved and established.

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There are many items on the menu which can be personalized like the Liber-tea which is any of their many kinds of special tea’s poured with steamed milk.  Each tea is special, so ask your barista about the many types of teas and the unique backstory on each one.

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I can confidently say I will be visiting their shop many more times to thoroughly experience and explore the many other distinct menu items such as their Vanilla Chocolate cold brew and the Liber-tea.

Go check it out! And hit me up always if you want an espresso buddy…

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Cerro Cabrillo Hike in Morro Bay

My parents just visited me in San Luis Obispo! Naturally I wanted to show them an exciting new hike, and my favorite hikes are ones with ocean views. In the past, we have gone to Avila Ridge or Montana de Oro to hike but this time we went and climbed Cerro Cabrillo in Morro Bay.

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Cerro Cabrillo means “Cabrillo Hill” in Spanish. It is an out and back trail and despite and only being the 6th tallest of the nine sisters at 900 feet, it’s a moderately strenuous hike. The last 500 feet are an extremely  steep ascent involving rock scrambling.

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The turn into the parking lot is off of South Bay Boulevard and when you’re driving, it comes up fast. It can be a hard turn to see from the road, once you are in the parking lot there is lots of room to park your car.

Begin your hike on the Quarry Trail which starts right at the parking lot. This trail will lead you most of the way toward the top, and is straight and flat for the most part at the beginning.

Travel along the Quarry Trail for a while, and when you reach the Live Oak trail junction, still keep on going straight.

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Continue going straight until you see the trail start to curve left and up the hill toward the tiki head. If you hit the Park Ridge Trail junction you’ve gone too far.

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Twinsies

The trail starts to get steeper here, but keep going because the view from the top is worth it.

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Hi, Tiki head!

The naturally formed tiki head can be seen in the face of the rocks on the side of the hill. You’ll be hiking up past him. This starts to be the part of the path which is not maintained by the park, and you’ll have to do some scrambling in order to reach the peak.

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Right before turning left to make the final ascent

The final ascent is a steep 500 feet toward the top in 4 tenths of a mile on a path which is less well-traveled. Be sure to look out for poison oak as you climb in between the rocks.

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Hi mom! Featuring Hollister Peak in the background

As you ascend, you can see Hollister Peak, one of the other nine sisters off in the distance. Hiking shoes or sneakers with a good grip is helpful on this section of the hike. The sharp slope tested the traction of my dad’s shoes at times… most of the time the hill was the winner and my dad/his shoes lost.

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When you complete the boulder scrambling and shoe traction testing ascent, get ready to feast your eyes on 360 degree views of the central coast including Morro Bay and Morro Rock to the North West, Montana de Oro to the South West, and the Santa Lucia Mountains to the East. YAS.

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Mom, dad, and me with Morro Rock in the background

Below is a link to the parking lot at the trailhead.

The address for the trailhead is South Bay Boulevard, Morro Bay, CA 93442.

Morro Strand Trail to Morro Rock

Again, I’m a sucker for beach hikes. Even though this wasn’t so much of a hike but a walk, at a level elevation 3.5 mile out and back, it was a quite the trek fighting through the sand along the beach to Morro Rock. I guess it’s always leg day for me…

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Conner and I did another sunset hike, and I suggest you do this walk at sunset too, because the outline of Morro Rock on the twilight sky is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Anyway, this “Hike” starts at a park called Cloisters Park which has a big parking lot and a clearly marked walkway to start. It’s a about a tenth of a mile walk from the park to Morro Strand Trail which is the coastal route to Morro Rock.

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Conner was excited about all the Pokemon in the area

The paved walking route is relatively short, and features information about the surrounding area on the side.

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Area information!

When you get to Morro Strand Trail, turn right toward the beach. The area around the path is a protected Snowy Plover Nesting Area from March 1st through September 30th, so keep this in mind and respect the habitat if you’re walking through the area at this time. We did this hike in mid September, so we were extra careful to watch for the birds!

After making the right turn, you’ll walk along a paved path and quickly reach a boardwalk with views of Morro Rock and the dunes.

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Yaaaaas

Turn left again when you reach the end of the roped off walkway and make your way toward Morro Rock!

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The rules to the beach are posted at the end of the boardwalk, including no dogs and no glass! I guess kites aren’t allowed, either… They frighten the Snowy Plover Birds. So unfortunately, don’t go bringin’ out your fancy kite because the Snowy Plovers will think it’s a hawk and get scared…

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It’s about a 1.5 mile walk to Morro Rock from the end of the boardwalk area. Be sure to take some epic Morro Rock pictures when you get there, like this.

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My second mixtape is dropping soon

Or this

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It’s a beautiful walk, especially in the evening with low tide and the sunset. Also for all you Pokemon fanatics out there, Conner caught a Pikachu on the beach by the rock.

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I’m so romantic with my sand dollar pictures

This beach had more sand dollars on it than I have ever seen in my life. Seriously, I was consciously trying not to step on them all. So, I collected a bunch and made a Pinterest-worthy picture on the beach as seen above…

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Morro Rock is known as the westernmost peak in the Morros in San Luis Obispo County. Climbing Morro rock is not allowed, but five other peaks in the Morros that you can climb include five of the volcanic peaks: Black Hill, Cerro Cabrillo, Bishop Peak, Cerro San Luis, and Islay Hill.

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The address is Coisters Park, Coral Ave, Morro Bay, CA 93442 and you can use the map to guide you to the exact coordinates here:

Bob Jones City to the Sea Bike Trail

Today was a beautiful day, so naturally I had to hit the beach. Rather than just driving, I took the scenic route and rode my bike along the Bob Jones trail to Avila Beach. It was beautiful.

This fully paved five mile round trip walk, jog, or ride features views of the San Luis Creek and the Avila Beach Golf Resort Golf Course. The trip is relatively flat and shaded in many parts making it a great opportunity to get outside (and even to end up at the beach!). It is a great trip for any age or physical fitness level surrounded by excellent scenery. As always, make sure to bring water and put on sunblock before heading out on your adventure.

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon in San Luis Obispo, so I put my bike in my car, and drove to the trailhead on Ontario road. If the Yaris can haul my bike to make the trip, so can you 😉

To begin the ride, cross Ontario street and watch out for cross traffic as the cars from either side do not have to stop. There is a crosswalk, but still be careful on this busy road. The trail is well marked, and this is what you will see on the other side of the road.

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After riding for a few minutes you’ll reach the sign that honors Bob Jones and explains why the trail is named after him. He was a local activist and in 1983 retired to Avila Valley, until he passed away in 1994.

There are many other people who use the trail, especially on a busy day, so make sure to be courteous to those around you by signaling to them that you’re coming up from behind, and warning them of your presence. If you want to stop and take a break, there are benches which are littered along the sides of the path every once in a while which allow you to relax and take in the scenery.

Eventually you will come to a fork in the path. Go left. The Bob Jones trail continues on toward the left and goes underneath a bridge toward the shade. I’m not sure where you’d go if you went straight but it wouldn’t take you to finish off this amazing ride, which is why you should go left!

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Respect the rules of the trail

Once under the bridge you’ll ride past the Avila Village Inn. Make sure to stay on the path here too, and respect the property and the guests of the Avila Village Inn.

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Coming up on the left side of the path is a playground.

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There’s a basketball hoop as well a little ways up from here, and a helpful sign to put your location in perspective…

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1.7 miles to Avila Beach!!

A few tenths of a mile further up, the road will become wider and you near the property of the Avila Beach Resort Golf Course. In this area it is important to remember to be respectful of the golfers and the golf carts, as they have the right of way. Bike vs Golf cart = not a happy ending for either party….

At around this time, you will also reach the San Luis Creek! It’s a peaceful place to stop and take in your surroundings when you’re only about a mile out from the beach.

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Now begins the journey through the golf course. There’s a slight uphill here, but unless you’re like me the LAST time I tried to bike the Bob Jones trail with flat tires, you’ll make it up the hill no problem. (side note: never EVER try to do a five mile bike ride on flat tires after hiking Bishop’s peak earlier in the day, with your sorority big who bikes at Mock-9 speed…)

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Overlooking the golf course
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Almost to the beach! It took me four tries to get this photo timed right

The last part of the ride is easy, biking over a beautiful bridge and then into a shaded tunnel of vines and flowers.

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San Luis Creek continues through the green golf course
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Thank you fencing, for protecting me from stray golf balls!

The flowery fencing will open up into the city of Avila and all of its bright colors and sandy wonders. After you cross the street, you’re at Avila beach and pier.

Make sure not to forget your bike lock so that you can lock your bike somewhere along the pier rather than having to bring it on the beach with you (I got a lot of weird looks…). And enjoy your triumph in the sun for having biked the Bob Jones trail to the sea.

I had to lie down on the ground to set up my camera’s self timer for that top left shot and also got a lot of weird looks there, too. But it’s a great shot so it was definitely worth it. All in all, Sunday well spent!

Get out there and walk, ride, or jog the all-fitness-level friendly Bob Jones trail next time you’re looking for a prime opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy the Central Coast sunshine.

Address: 7001 Ontario Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

Trailhead coordinates: 35.185651, -120.703016 (35° 11′ 08.34″N 120° 42′ 10.85″W)

Bello Mundo Cafe: Coffee with Culture

I have a problem. Or is it really a PROBLEM, so much as an opportunity?? 😉

I am obsessed with cute coffee shops. After spending countless hours at Kreuzberg, (which I still do, don’t you worry…) I ventured to the other side of downtown SLO to try something new for a change.

Bello Mundo Cafe on Monterey street in San Luis Obispo is a place where you can sit, study, play games, read, and just relax with friends. Homemade chai and almond milk made from scratch are just two of the reasons to stop in and enjoy the ambiance.

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“Bello Mundo” translates to “a beautiful world” in Spanish. They are committed to nice values over “cool” and are committed to doing good however they can. Right when you walk in, live plants and the paintings of local artists line the interior to give the cafe a fresh and vibrant living feeling.

 

The name of the cafe derives from the inspiration of world travel, and how Bello Mundo is a sanctuary to relax, unwind, and connect with real people. For this reason, there is a laptop free section in which board games and books are available for reading, but laptops are not permitted.

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Opened in 2011, Bello Mundo originally served Ecco coffee. The cafe now serves Equator Coffee from San Rafael and Marin County. They believe that in this blend, they found the perfect combination of fruity, citrusy, delicate, and feminine coffee from the originally served Ecco coffee, as well as capturing the more robust flavor of other roasters. For more information on the Little Equator coffee of Bello Mundo visit their coffee page.

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Courtesy of Bello Mundo Website

With a very spacious interior and an open feel with high ceilings and enormous windows looking out onto the heart of downtown SLO, Bello Mundo is a great place to get work done, hang out, or people watch.

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Visit Bello Mundo if you want to experience SLO life at its most serene.

 

Bucket List #27: The Tri Tip Challenge

There’s an experience in San Luis Obispo called the Tri Tip Challenge which I have been wanting to try ever since I got to Cal Poly as a freshman. I love hiking, and if you do too, this challenge is for you. The Tri Tip challenge is when you hike 3 of the major peaks in San Luis Obispo all in a row in one day, then go to Firestone grill to get a Tri tip sandwich as a reward. This past Saturday Conner and I were able to complete it.

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We started on the P, on Cal Poly’s campus.Even if you aren’t going to do the tri tip challenge, if you’re visiting SLO or go to Poly, you should definitely hike this iconic hike. To read my previous post on my other blog “Adventures Fast and SLO” about hiking the P with lots more detailed information, click here.

When we got to campus, we were able to park for free since it was a weekend, and parked behind the red brick dorms where the trail begins.

The “P” trail was just refurbished in September of 2015 and the “P” was better reinforced against erosion so that it is more structurally sound, and the new trail is much less steep, strenuous and potentially dangerous than the old one. But making it up the old trail was a classic freshman experience.

Overall, the P is a short hike. It’s only around half an hour up and down, but has a beautiful view of the Cal Poly campus.

 

The second hike we did was Cerro San Luis, also known as Madonna. I also have a blog post on Adventures Fast and SLO about hiking Madonna in more detail, and where the trailhead can be found, click here. This hike is lengthier, around 5 miles up and down roundtrip. It took us about two hours to complete. We accidentally went down the wrong side of the mountain which isn’t a surprise if you know us, but was a nice change of scenery compared to the side I’m used to hiking down. My favorite part of the Madonna hike was by far the wildflowers. *Yay Spring!* There were so many types, and I had to photograph a few of them.

Conner’s favorite hike of the three was Madonna. We were lucky, because we hiked it the day before Easter, and if you’ve seen the giant Christmas tree or giant cross lit up at the top of the mountain, you know it’s beautiful. The cross was absolutely massive up close.

My favorite hike of the three was Bishop’s.To read my post about hiking Bishop’s peak with detailed directions and trail information click here. This hike is in my opinion the most strenuous of the three, but I knew it would feel great to summit at the top and finish the challenge to overlook all of SLO.

It took about 45 minutes to get to the top, and about 45 to get back down. Doing the hike in the Spring/Winter months is a real treat too, because everything below is green and wildflowers cover the landscape. Thanks, El Niño..

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Shotgunning my water bottle on top of Bishop’s Peak
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Success!

I’ve done all three of these hikes countless times, but doing them all three in one day was a new challenge for me. It was a lot of fun. The best part was probably rewarding ourselves at Firestone with tri tips at the end… And honestly the hardest part of the challenge wasn’t even the hikes, it was finding parking in downtown SLO on a Saturday near Firestone for the tri tips 😉

I hope you will try the Tri Tip challenge sometime, and if you have already, let me know in the comments section how it went!

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Kreuzberg: Latte Art Inspiring Enough to Make You Study

Even the creators and cast of “Friends” would be impressed. Freshly roasted coffee, tea, even some alcoholic drinks, and a good selection of food, Kreuzberg in downtown SLO is a definitely place to try if you live local or stop in if you’re passing through town.

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I love Kreuzberg. It may be my favorite off campus place to study. The atmosphere, the coffee and food, and the overall vibe the coffee shop gives off is unexplainable unless you study there yourself, which you should definitely try. Kreuzberg was authentically started in 2010 by Cal Poly grads who enjoyed the European cafe culture  in the coffee shops of Kreuzberg, a neighborhood in Berlin, Germany. It’s a place to eat, to drink, to hang out, to study, and to get the creative juices flowing all with godly unbeatable latte art.

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A soaking wet Kelly poses with the master latte art of Kruzberg

Personally my favorite drink to get is the Dark Mocha. The master baristas always top with nice looking art and adorn the plate with a small spoon and cookie. The employees are friendly but not overbearing. The feeling of the cafe gives off an antique and unique energy, with art covering the walls in the form of murals, paintings, and homey couches/chairs. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another time and place.

“Kreuzberg will always be one of my favorite places to study in SLO. I love everything on their menu (especially the breakfast burrito) and the overall vibe of the shop is just the best!” -Kelly MacKinnon, First Year Business major at Cal Poly

Click on the images below for a closer view of inside the shop.

It’s located in downtown SLO at  685 Higuera St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, and open from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Whether you’re looking to study, spend some time “Friends style” in a cozy coffee shop, or eat a good meal at a place started by your own Cal Poly alums, visit Kreuzberg and you will not be disappointed.