It’s been too long since I’ve written on my coffee shop blog. Since the last post, I did take a trip to Los Angeles and wandered my way along the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway), coffee shop cruising and couch surfing along the way. Although I did take photos and notes about the places between Las Vegas and Los Angeles that I stopped to sip, gulp, and savor my cups of coffee at, there was a bigger purpose to my trip, one that would change my life and lifestyle significantly – meeting people who were happy, living in the moment, and loving life.
After I packed my bags to leave my friend’s home in Aliso Viejo, she suggested I drive out through San Juan Capistrano to stop near the Train Depot and mission.
It turned out to be a wonderful stop. The mission was adorable and I found a historical little coffee shop, Hidden House Cafe where I enjoyed my first cuppa. On my way out of San Juan Capistrano, I noticed the Hummingbird House Cafe. The door to the cafe was open and the garden was so inviting that I wandered in and around. I walked through the cafe to the back where I found people having coffee and an older gentleman laying brick on the ground. The owner came out and told me that they were changing the back to make it easier for people in wheelchairs and women who wear high-heeled shoes. I knew I was meant to be there.
The owner greeted me and offered to make an espresso. He then introduced me to one of his regulars – Julianna, a woman with the beauty of a Greek goddess. I took a couple of photos of her in the cafe, before sitting down with my espresso. We shared our stories over the delicious hummus the owner offered to us. Much of what we talked about was our mutual belief that what we need to do, especially women with women, is to love and support each other.
After a couple of hours it was time for me to head back to Las Vegas. Before leaving, I got a message from work regarding a meeting that would need to happen. I knew then that I did not want to return to that job, and that I was done with the unorganized chaos, competition, and drama there. Although things could change, I had stronger sense that it was time to move on from there. I made a decision to “come down from the mountain” and search for god, beauty, and wisdom outside the resort property.
Now, months later, my life has changed significantly. I’m ready to write about the coffee shops in southern California and southern Utah, as a cruiser and from my perspective after working at one in the Zion National Park area. A new lifestyle with a new perspective, that life is like a cup of coffee.
Jan, the owner of the Red Coyote Café in Virgin, Utah greeted me yesterday by asking how chilly it was on the other side of the park. I met her just a few times and although she didn’t remember my name, she remembered where I cruised in from for a cuppa. This impressed me because often I slide into coffee shops with my laptop, sit quietly, and simply observe the world around me unnoticed by anyone.
Something I like about the Red Coyote is that I can do either – slide in unnoticed or I can participate in conversations with the locals while having a cup of coffee, playing on the computer, and eating my breakfast. The best of both of my coffee shop cruising worlds.
The breakfast menu includes a basic breakfast plate, burritos, and some items that are more creative, like her southwestern version of Eggs Benedict. The sauce is homemade and I’ve been told by her guests that it’s delicious. I have yet to try it because I like the basic plate of two eggs, potatoes, and toast. As someone who ran a bed & breakfast/inn and dislikes making eggs, I can appreciate the perfect over easy eggs. Neither too runny nor too hard, it’s always made perfect for dipping my buttered toast in it. By the way, I love the bread – if not artisan, it tastes like it.
The ambiance is perfect for me – couches, tables and chairs inside, and a beautiful set up on the outdoor patio with a view of Utah’s red rocks. It has a Utah desert with a touch of country flavor to it. One of my favorite places to hide this past summer on Sunday mornings.
The outside of the Red Coyote displays the gorgeous artwork of Patti Lewis, a local mural artist. The mural depicts a scene id Utah desert and wildlife. Patti’s work can be seen on quite a few buildings inside and out around the Zion National Park area, as well as in Las Vegas. A sample of her portfolio and her husband, Jeff’s photography can be seen at www.lewisartservices.com.
What sold me on The Red Coyote was an experience I had this past summer. After camping at Coral Pink Sand Dunes, I took the back roads towards Colorado City, then headed to Zion National Park by way of Hurricane, Utah. Once I got to The Red Coyote, I planted myself on a cozy chair, turned on my computer, and got lost in the world of Facebook and email writing. After an hour or so I realized that the café filled up with people – singles, couples, and families. The chatter in the room reflected the clientele – international visitors heading to and from Zion National Park as well as a mix of locals who came for the Sunday afternoon music. That was inside the cafe. Outside there was a spectacular lightning display as a thunderstorm rolled through. Although the storm brought many of the weary and not-so-weary travelers into the café, I’m sure the ambiance, service, and music kept them there.
I was loving the experience – lost within a sea of people – something I often desire, especially when coffee shop cruising.
During the winter there is music on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons to keep the locals and off-season travelers entertained. The summer brings many tourists through the area, so the live music schedule extends into the week. With the later sunsets in the summer, it’s one of the best places in southern Utah to end the day after hiking in Zion National Park. I can’t wait to return next year!