Dec 26

A funny look back at Santa vacationing in SLO County

Well, all that rest and relaxation on the Central Coast helped Santa pull off another amazing run on Christmas Eve.

Now that I’ve had time to look back and reflect on the week that was in SLO County, I thought I’d put together a funny bloopers highlight video of my time there.

So here’s my final present to y’all. Thanks to everyone who contributed this “project” and helped spread holiday cheer to those who followed.

And in case you missed it, Santa’s adventure was featured on CNN Headline News, News 13 in Florida and KCAL. Santa was also featured shredding in Surfer magazine, so be sure to check that out as well.

That’s it for this year. Have a happy new year, and we’ll see you again in 2009, if not sooner.

Santa

P.S. Oh yeah, and keep visiting SanLuisObispo.com throughout the year, or I’ll put you on my naughty list.

Dec 24

Santa enjoyed his stay but has to be on his way

Thanks to everyone who followed my trip around SLO County.

I’ll be posting a bloopers video from the trip in the next couple of days.

Until then, have a happy holiday!

Santa

Dec 23

Santa visits Bubble Gum Alley

Santa visits Bubble Gum Alley in San Luis Obispo. Tribune photo by Joe Johnston (SanLuisObispo.com)It wouldn’t be a trip to San Luis Obispo without a stop at Bubble Gum Alley. Santa also fly fished on the Central Coast this week, making a quick stop at Laguna Lake on his way out of town (nobody told me there were no fish in that lake!).
Tribune photos by Joe Johnston (SanLuisObispo.com).

Well, my stay in San Luis Obispo County is coming to an end.

Tomorrow, Christmas Eve will be here and Santa will be on his way, delivering presents to all — except those two surfers who cut me off at Pismo Beach, the guy who heckled my golf swing at Dairy Creek, and those mean-spirited commenters who have nothing better to do than rip on Santa during the holidays (you guys are worse than Philadelphia Eagles fans).

Thanks to everyone for their holiday wishes this week, and for the fine hospitality. I’ll continue to do my best to spread holiday cheer during what has been a pretty gloomy year for many.

But for those of you who live on the Central Coast, you have nothing to moan about.

While I spend 350 days a year shoveling snow in the North Pole, you guys get to enjoy everything the outdoors has to offer. And I tried to do most of those activities this week — golfing, surfing, skateboarding, mountain biking, even rock climbing.

You even have cool places like Bubble Gum Alley, which I visited today right in the heart of Downtown SLO.

Tomorrow, I wrap up my trip with one last drive up the coast in my trusty VW bus, enjoying my final taste of the “SLO Life” before Rudolph rides off into the sunset.

See you in the SLO lane.

Santa

P.S. I’ll be sure to post a wrapup video of my trip tomorrow before signing off.

Dec 22

VIDEO: Surfing Santa surfs at Pismo Pier

Surfing Santa surfs at Pismo Pier on the Central Coast of California. Tribune photo by Joe Johnston (SanLuisObispo.com)Surfing Santa surfs at Pismo Pier on the Central Coast of California.
Tribune photos by Joe Johnston (SanLuisObispo.com)

As I mentioned in my initial post, 2008 has been a tough year for Santa.

And whenever I’m having a tough day at the office, I like to head out to my favorite surf spot and burn off a little steam.

Problem being it’s pretty icy in the North Pole this time of year, and I can only stand to surf for an hour or so before frostbite kicks in and my long white beard turns into a long white icicle.
So when I decided to spend the week before Christmas vacationing in San Luis Obispo County, you knew I was going to spend a lot of time in the water (your 50-degree water temps are twice as warm as our summers up north).

Well, today was the day we’ve all been waiting for as Santa was able to ditch his 6/5 wetsuit and bask in the sunny breaks at Pismo Pier.

And while the jolly, red-suited one endured some harsh stares from the locals, I think I held my own in the lineup on this day. And for those two groms who cut Santa off today, welcome to my naughty list. Yeah, you know those two Stoneman surfboards you were asking for this Christmas? You might want to look on eBay, ’cause you ain’t gettin’ them from me.

The conditions were small today, and Santa left his longboard at home, but I was able to catch a few ankle slappers on my fun-shaped Becker – despite being weighed down by my waterlogged suit.

Hope everyone on the pier enjoyed the show, because I surely enjoyed “the stoke” and am certainly re-energized for my big night on Christmas Eve.

I still have a couple more days to enjoy the “SLO Life,” and a massive swell is set to hit the Central Coast midweek, so if your presents are a little late you know why.

Blame it on the surf.
Santa



Looking for a last-minute gift? Purchase mugs, shirts, ornaments and greeting cards with photos of my Central Coast vacation (including Santa surfing at Pismo Pier!) at Pictopia.

Dec 21

FORE! Golfing Santa tees off at Dairy Creek

Golfing Santa puts on a show at the Dairy Creek Golf Course driving range. Tribune photo by Joe Johnston (SanLuisObispo.com)Golfing Santa puts on a show at the Dairy Creek Golf Course driving range.Tribune photos by Joe Johnston (SanLuisObispo.com)

Christmas week is officially here, and it’s time for Santa to start taking it easy.

No more rock climbing, skateboarding or mountain biking for St. Nick. I need to keep myself out of harm’s way and make sure I’m healthy enough to deliver all of those presents on Wednesday night. So anything that requires a helmet is out.

Golfing, surfing and fly fishing are still on my list, but bull riding, skydiving and riding ATVs at the dunes will have to wait until next year.

My knee was still a bit sore after tumbling down Cerro Cabrillo yesterday, so I relied heavily on the golf cart out at Dairy Creek Golf Course today.

But I did get out and play a few holes, and let me tell ya, this was my finest performance so far on the Central Coast.

Former Cal Poly baseball coach Jerry Weinstein gave me a hard time about my swing at the driving range, but he doesn’t know what it’s like to golf with the gut I have (but you can bet Weinstein will learn what it’s like to get coal in his stocking this year).

It ain’t easy getting those hips around when you sip eggnog and eat sugarplums 365 days a year. Despite my rustiness, and ginormous belly, I was crushing the ball off the tee like Tiger and sinking putts like Loren “Boss of the Moss” Roberts. Finally, Santa puts together a round the little ones can be proud of.

The knee’s still a little sore at this point, but it looks like I’m going to give surfing a go tomorrow. Should be our funniest outdoor adventure yet.

See you in the water.
Santa

Looking for a last-minute gift? Purchase mugs, shirts, ornaments and greeting cards with photos of my Central Coast vacation (including Santa surfing at Pismo Pier!) at Pictopia.

Dec 20

Santa tries his hand at rock climbing

Santa tries rock climbing to the peak at Cerro Cabrillo. Tribune photo by Joe Johnston (SanLuisObispo.com)Santa tries rock climbing to the peak at Cerro Cabrillo.
Tribune photo by Joe Johnston (SanLuisObispo.com)

After failing to mountain bike my way to the top of Cerro Cabrillo yesterday, I decided to try rocking climbing to the peak this afternoon.

Yeah, bad idea. Santa’s boots weren’t made for climbing.

In fact, I didn’t even make it halfway before I slid down the face like a walrus on an icecap — which I’m sure you’ll get another laugh out of on the video.

It wasn’t as bad as my many faceplants at the Los Osos skatepark, but I’ll definitely have to redeem myself on the golf course tomorrow. After I stop by Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and get my knee looked at, of course.

I’m hoping I didn’t blow out an ACL. I still need to try surfing at Pismo Pier. . . . Oh yeah, and then there’s that whole flying around the world and dropping presents down everyone’s chimneys on Wendesday night. Santa might need you to leave a couple Asprin next to the cookies and milk this year.

In case you plan on heading out to Dairy Creek Golf Course tomorrow, let me get this out of the way now . . . FOOOOOORE!
Santa

Coming tomorrow: A blog, photo and video from my day on the links at Dairy Creek. And trust me, this video will be a lot funnier.

Looking for a last-minute gift? Purchase mugs, shirts, ornaments and greeting cards with photos of my Central Coast vacation (including Santa surfing at Pismo Pier!) at Pictopia.

Dec 19

Santa goes mountain biking in Morro Bay

On his trusty mountain bike, Santa climbs the trail to Cerro Cabrillo. Tribune photo by Joe Johnston (SanLuisObispo.com)On his trusty mountain bike, Santa climbs the trail to Cerro Cabrillo.
Tribune photo by Joe Johnston (SanLuisObispo.com)

Well, Santa’s still a little black and blue from yesterday’s adventure at the Los Osos skatepark, so I’m taking it easy today.

I did some sightseeing in Morro Bay and got an up-close look at “The Rock,” which made me want to go for a short hike and a mountain bike ride.
I was told by some of the local birdwatchers that Morro Rock was off-limits to climbing (something tells me this isn’t the weekend to get arrested for trespassing), so I headed over to nearby Cerro Cabrillo instead.

Cerro Cabrillo, one of San Luis Obispo County’s famed “Nine Sisters,” is a popular spot for local hikers, mountain bikers and rock climbers because it overlooks Morro Bay and is located between “The Rock” and Hollister Peak – both of which are closed to the public.
The peak at Cerro Cabrillo is located more than 900 feet above the estuary below, offering amazing views of the North Coast.

I didn’t make it all the way to the top on my mountain bike, but I go far enough up the trail to enjoy the scenery.
I plan on reaching the peak tomorrow, when I try my hand at rock climbing. But for now, until my wounds heal from yesterday’s skate session, I’m sticking with mountain biking.

See you on the mountain,
Santa

Coming tomorrow: A blog, photo and video from my rock climbing mission.



Looking for a last-minute gift? Purchase mugs, shirts, ornaments and greeting cards with photos of my Central Coast vacation (including Santa surfing at Pismo Pier!) at Pictopia.
Looking for Santa? Be sure to check out SanLuisObispo.com’s list of places to meet Santa this holiday season.

Dec 18

Skateboarding Santa face plants at skatepark

Santa prepares to drop into the bowl at Los Osos skatepark. Tribune photo by Joe Johnston (SanLuisObispo.com)Skateboarding Santa prepares to drop into the bowl at Los Osos skatepark. Tribune photo by Joe Johnston (SanLuisObispo.com)

I like to think of myself as a well-rounded fella
(thanks in part to Mrs. Claus’ famous gingerbread cookies).
But if there’s one thing I don’t get to do a whole lot of in the North Pole, it’s skateboard.
Snowboarding, snowmobiling, ice fishing, curling, sure — I’m a grizzled veteran. But I had no idea what I was doing when I dropped into the concrete jungle that is the Los Osos skatepark.
Luckily it was a school day when I decided to try my hand at skating, so I didn’t have to worry about letting down the kids in the local skate community.
I’ll have to redeem myself on my mountain bike tomorrow when I take on one of San Luis Obispo County’s famed “Nine Sisters.”
If I can recover from today’s disastrous showing at the skatepark, of course.
Santa


Looking for a last-minute gift? Purchase mugs, shirts, ornaments and greeting cards with photos of my Central Coast vacation (including Santa surfing at Pismo Pier!) at Pictopia.

Dec 17

Santa Claus is coming to town!

Santa cruises the SLO County coast in his favorite VW bus. Tribune photo by Joe Johnston (SanLuisObispo.com)Santa cruises the SLO County coast in his favorite VW bus. Tribune photo by Joe Johnston (SanLuisObispo.com)

It’s safe to say 2008 has been a rough year for all of us, including Santa.
In the last two quarters alone, I’ve had to lay off 30 percent of my elves and three reindeer.
Global warming has cost me much of my valuable real estate here in the North Pole.
And with popular stores like Mervyn’s, Circuit City and Woolworths going out of business, and traces of lead showing up in all the other toys on the shelves, our workload has tripled over the past few months.
But I’ve made my list, and checked it twice, and I’m more than ready for Christmas Eve.
So now that I have some downtime, I plan on spending the next week taking it easy on the Central Coast.

• • •

I first stumbled upon San Luis Obispo County a few years ago when Rudolph cracked a hoof during a run from L.A. to the Bay Area.
Mrs. Claus and I spent the day riding ATVs at the Dunes, went eggnog tasting in the North County and spent a cozy night near a fireplace at Madonna Inn. … And let me tell you, the Caveman Room is everything it’s cracked up to be.
We’ve fallen in love with the “SLO Life” and have made a point to visit the county every year since.

• • •

This year, I’m spending a little “me time” on the Central Coast, enjoying all of the outdoor activities this warm stretch of coast has to offer. I’ll skateboard, mountain bike, rock climb, surf, fish and even get a round of golf in, if I’m lucky.
But enough about what I plan on doing. I have to catch an early sleigh ride in the morning and get out to Morro Rock before the sunrise. I hear the surf is supposed to pick up.
See you in the water,
Santa

Coming tomorrow: Video from my skateboard session in Los Osos.



Looking for a last-minute gift? Purchase mugs, shirts, ornaments and greeting cards with photos of my Central Coast vacation (including Santa surfing at Pismo Pier!) at Pictopia.