October 9, 2012

31 Trips in Cali, Day 9: Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo

Folks, I never promised that all of my trips would be scenic.  Iconic and unique, yes, but pretty? Not today.

Today, we're smack in the midst of Bubblegum Alley, in downtown San Luis Obispo (also called SLO.)  SLO is an awesome place, a college town on the Central Coast, but far enough inland so that it's not plagued by too much fog and chill. Warm days, a funky downtown, its own historic Mission, nearby wine country, and Oprah herself featured it as one of the "Happiest Places On Earth." So there you go! SLO has so much to offer. It's one of the towns in California that I'd move to in a heartbeat.

And it also boasts this place: Bubblegum Alley.  It's a sight to behold, right in the middle of the tree-lined downtown district of cute boutiques and cafes and hip breweries.  Funky shops and good eats are all well and good, but when traveling with a 7-year-old and 10-year-old, the most memorable destination is going to be this mint-scented alley.  The alley is just that: an alley where for decades, people have left behind their chewed up gum. (No, it's not all officially "bubblegum.")

(It does smell like mint. And fruitiness. And stale spit. And, an alley. Mmmm.) You're not eating right now, are you? Okay. Here we go.

Yes, my kids each added their own pieces of gum to the, uh, installation.

 Awww. So romantic:
 Tucker prepares his own piece of gum:
 And here's his contribution:

Now, a bit of a palate cleanser, as it were. A shot of Mission San Luis Obispo, within close walking distance of the alley. 
Too prove we aren't a squeamish bunch, we were all hungry and ate lunch right after visiting the alley.  Well, we're parents. It takes a lot more than some chewed-up gum to truly gross us out.

Thanks for coming along! Come back tomorrow for Day 10 of my 31 Trips in California series, when we'll visit another state park that was also spared closure from our recent state budget woes. 

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