Pismo Beach and all the clams we can eat!

On March 11, 2010 by Eden M. Kennedy

Much like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, my family and I decided we wanted to go to Pismo Beach. Unlike Bugs and Daffy, we did not end up in a cave fighting with a man in a turban.

Because this was a family getaway, first thing we did was drop our stuff at a hotel and, instead of taking off our clothes, getting into bed, and seeing what was on Pay-Per-View, we headed into downtown San Luis Obispo to look for Gum Alley.

Disgusting, isn’t it?

Yes, to most people, it is. To the remaining few, it’s the best excuse ever invented to quickly stuff five pieces of gum in your mouth and then mash them onto a public surface.

My purse is filled with hand sanitizer, in case you were wondering.

SO ANYWAY, San Luis is close to our hearts for other reasons. It’s adorable, it’s cute, it’s precious, it’s leafy, it has a BevMo, and it’s got the only remaining Tom’s Toys on the coast. We love Tom’s. We used to have a Tom’s in Santa Barbara, which was run by a nice older man who had a hook for a hand and who’d show it to the kids if they asked. Tom’s always has tons of interesting toys, very few of which need to be plugged in or filled with batteries to work. Yay, Tom’s.


Me Hung Lo Chinese restaurant. Yes, I am twelve.

If you ever happen to successfully tunnel through to Pismo and you’re not morally repulsed by the spectacle of dozens of people wearing giant bibs and shoveling our crustacean brethren into their gullets, may I recommend The Cracked Crab? It’s unbelievably good. Jackson likes their chicken strips, of course, OF COURSE he wouldn’t eat seafood in a seafood restaurant, my God, who would? I gave him and his crabby friends a pass because of their astrological significance in his life. (Cancers are sensitive.)

The next day we took a walk along some coastal pathway that led us to this, uh, long sandy place, I forget what it’s called.

THIS thing, I swear. It followed me for like 200 feet. I’d turn my back and then I’d hear this SSHHH SSSHH SSSHHHH sound and then I’d whip back around and BAM! It would try to look innocent and be all, “Huh? What? Me?”

I got a mug shot, though. This is not the first time I’ve been menaced by foliage.

Then we got down to the, uh, place with all the sand and shells and stuff, and Jackson found a rock with all its wee crevices filled with wee sea urchins that would squirt when he poked them. Tired, angry, fucking pissed off little echinoderms who were probably all, GODDAMN IT, WHY ARE PEOPLE ALWAYS POKING US, IS IT THE SQUIRTING? WE SQUIRT WHEN YOU POKE US, WE CAN’T FUCKING HELP IT! LEAVE US ALONE, ARRRGHHHH!!”

That’s what I image they’re thinking, anyway. Poke, poke, poke.

Jack has a keen eye for sea glass, no matter how wily and/or elusive it tries to be.

On the way back home we were driving through Buellton and we were all, “Hey, the ostrich farm! We haven’t been there in years! Let’s ironically stop with all the other people who are stopping ironically and take a bunch of ironic pictures!” For the kids, of course.



35 Responses to “Pismo Beach and all the clams we can eat!”

  • De-lurking to tell you I’m speechless with joy.

    Dachshund-shaped camels with squeaky legs, Chinese double-entendres, a mobile Tina Turner wig and OMFG what IS that STUFF on that WALL?!

    More! *Applause*

  • Check out the Mr. Snot Tissues from Archie McPhee.
    http://www.mcphee.com/shop/ Yeah, I’m another 12 year old.

  • Thank you for the Carpenter’s earworm. It made me immensely happy for some reason.

  • Not too long ago, I did a google maps search to find a restaurant near my new eye doctor, and found one called “China Taste of Wang.”

    I did not eat there.

  • The Cracked Crab is good – yes. But pricey. Splash Cafe is also VERY good and also, less pricey. I love Pismo.

  • Hand sanitizer? Yes, that is exactly the first thing I thought.

  • Evil emanates from that bush. Hey, screenplay idea!

    I love the way Jack looks so bad ass even when he’s helping his kid reach the toys. He’s exudes non-smiling bad assery.

  • Yeah, that gum wall (I can barely even TYPE that) is my worst nightmare.

    Jack & I have the same ponytail. Looks better on him.

  • Even though I’m going to have that song in my head all day now, like thanks for THAT, this post made me very happy. And now I’m hungry for Chinese food. And crab. Crab rangoon!

  • Oh, I *love* this, and I *love* that place.

  • i went to college in SLO and haven’t been back for years so i LOVED these pics. and yes, all the students at cal poly giggle about ‘me hung lo’ for the 4-6 years that they are in SLO…

  • Will you please make a video of my wedding? This assignment, should you choose to accept it, involves time travel.

    I can compensate you with chicken salad. But not ostrich.
    Never ostrich.

  • That wall of gum is awesome. How high is it? How does one get the gum at the top?

    I mean to put the gum on the top — not to get some of the gum…

  • omg eden, the ostrich-feeding soundtrack. mother effing spectacular. did i detect a crooked-necked ostrich, like our dear departed giraffe?

  • Watching that video of your son with the ostrich brought back all the years I spent driving to school right past that farm…

    Buellton is one of those towns where I know people drive through/past and go, “WHY WOULD ANYONE LIVE HERE?”

    And I get it.

    But for 18 years I was one of those people with an ostrich farm in my hometown. One of those people who lived one town over from a city that was trying to look like it was DENMARK. Did you stop in Solvang?

    *dramatic sigh*

    Oh Solvang.

    Thank you for that vivid flashback.

    • Of course we stopped in Solvang! I even had something unpronounceable for lunch and bought $25 worth of pastry! I just didn’t take any photos. Solvang deserves a post of its own.

  • I’ve been a reader for years and figured this should be the post to comment. I live in SLO and I’m glad you enjoyed your time here and in Pismo! Bubble Gum Alley is pretty neat, but I heard there is one in Seattle as well. Perpetrators. Let me know if you ever need any new restaurant recommendations. :-)

  • well, you did my little s-l-o proud, fussy! :) and i have to share this photo with you: http://www.flickr.com/photos/emdot/181236028/

    this happened spur of the moment one time when i was in said alley. the girl came skipping down the alley with her bf and LICKED THE FREAKING WALL and because I had a camera in hand I said “hold on: will you do that again?” and she did.

  • You, are a genius. Thanks… I SO needed to see Jackson on an ostrich farm WITH The Carpenters playing back-up…. I just didn’t know it! I feel, overwhelmingly, rejuvenated. But hey — next time you’re in town, stop by ole’ Rocky Top for some pumpkin bowling…. almost as fun as Bubble Gum Alley, right Jackson?

  • In the “HALF-PRICE BAKUGAN OH MY GOD DAD GET ME UP THERE RIGHT NOW” photo, Jackson looks alarmingly like the title character of Gegege no Kitaro. Kakoii.

  • In downtown Portland, OR there was a restaurant named “Hung Far Lo”. The icing on the cake – beneath the sign was another “Cocktails”. For some reason “tails” was always stolen and I think the owners just gave up replacing it.

  • OSTRICHES!!!!! Can you pronounce that Les Ostereeesh in French? Probably not.

    We had a store in Oakland: New Dick’s Tan Duk. You can pull all SORTS of stuff with that one…

    I thought they got rid of the gum wall! I haven’t seen it in years. Does someone come out with a steam buggy at night to save us all from epidemic doom? Ewwwfffff.

  • Seriously, I rarely leave comments on blogs about how I laughed SO hard while reading a post, because it seems disingenuous, but I have to in this case. Because you saying that bush thing following you, cracked my shit up.

  • What? No pea soup worth mentioning?

    The Central Coast is so great. We head up to Big Sur that way every April. And I’ve seen those bush things. Never occurred to me they could be following and dangerous. Hilarious.

  • If you were to take that crab bib and make it into a t-shirt, it would be the hottest ironic hipster thing to ever hit the market. I’d like it in a tote bag, too, please.

  • My Mom used to LIVE in Solvang. Can you even imagine?

  • Oh! Do you remember the “gum tree” that was at Elitch’s? (You’re from Denver, right?) It was in the line for the creepy log ride. I haven’t thought about it in years. Gross.

  • Here in Cooperstown NY we have a Chinese restaurant called “Fookin John’s”. I am 12, too!

    I want to start a gum wall in Cooperstown!

  • I use that “flippity flappity floop” line with my kids all the time.