Monthly Archives: April 2013

Arroyo Grande Roosters

Meet the fine and fancy

Roosters of Arroyo Grande!


Flocks of squawking yellow parrots jangle nerves in Pasadena quite regularly, flying through residential neighborhoods like squadrons of enemy fighters.  Escaped peacocks issue their plaintive cries from the rooftops in La Canada, startling visitors—they sound so much like strange babies calling for help.  Turkeys march like gangs of rowdy teenaged boys, shouldering their way through the meandering streets of Morro Bay.   And roosters crow up and down the banks of the Arroyo Grande Creek—a touch of country on the suburban Village Green.

IMG_1840-1These chickens are gorgeous–dressed to the nines, as chickens go.  You can find them near the Swinging Bridge or just about anywhere in the greenery along Olohan Alley, the parking behind the business district on East Branch Street, the main drag through the Village.  I haven’t found out yet how they got here or if there is anyone who claims ownership.  They happily nest in the trees or in the shrubbery above the creek and it seems that someone feeds them.  But they’ve become a special fixture of the Village.


There’s even a new restaurant right there on the corner of East Branch and Short Street, named in their honor—Rooster Creek Tavern—and it’s got some fancy feathers of its own!  New and trendy and shiny, it’s one of those places it just feels good to go to, whether you eat inside near the sports bar, or out on the patio in the fresh air.

So that’s my recommendation—come to the Village to see the Arroyo Grande Roosters, stay for the Rooster Creek food.  It’s a win/win all the way.

Location:  Arroyo Grande lies between Nipomo and Pismo Beach, with Oceano and Grover Beach nestling in beside it.  To get to the roosters, turn off the 101 at East Branch and turn right, then continue on up into the Village.  The creek will be on your right.


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Marie Ferrarella–Superfriend

President Truman famously said, if you want

a friend in Washington, get a dog.

I say, here in California, get a friend like Marie.  She’s definitely the best!  And she doesn’t need a license.

Being a writer is a solitary profession.  You spend so much time by yourself, you can lose touch with what’s going on in the world and with those around you.  So it’s good to have a best friend on the other end of the telephone line (yes, we did start with land lines)—to keep you sane and to keep your feet planted firmly on solid ground.

In my case, that friend is fellow writer, Marie Ferrarella.  We’ve been together since Disco died—since before cell phones got small enough to fit in your purse and TV screens got big enough to fill up your wall—since before Steve Perry quit Journey and Tom Selleck said goodbye to Magnum PI.  In other words—since before Modern Times began.  Here’s a picture from a few years ago.



You can find her latest releases on any major best seller list.

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Avila Valley Barn



Avila Valley Barn on Avila Beach Drive, just after you turn off the 101, is the first destination I want to spotlight as one of my favorite places on the Central Coast.  What a treasure this place is!

If you’re visiting the coast, or even if you’re just driving through on your way to LA or San Francisco, it would be well worth your time to stop by, especially if you have kids in the car.

Why?  Isn’t it just another of those ubiquitous fruit stands?

No!  It’s so much more.

There’s a gift shop with so much variety.  There’s a produce section, a display of baked goods, candy, candles, and everything else you could imagine.  But that is just the beginning.


Out behind the shops there are pens brimming with eager animals—goats and pigs and llamas and donkeys—everything a little child could want.  You buy them a little sack of lettuce and they spend the next half hour feeding the animals.  And now and then, petting them, too.  There are pony rides and little chairs and tables to sit at in the center of the yard.


As it gets toward noon, the corn on the cob begins to roast and the scent is everywhere.  Once you’ve had your fill, mosey on over to the Sweet Shoppe where they will cut you off a piece of fudge dripping with caramel or peanut butter frosting, or anything else your little heart may desire.  So good!

Then it’s time to line up for the hayride—everyone hops on a flat bed covered with straw and rides out into the orchards.  It’s a “You pick ‘em” type of farm and they let you pick everything from ollalieberries to apples, depending on the time of year.  In the fall, huge pumpkins litter the fields.  In December, fresh, bristling Christmas trees fill the front lot.

This is just a very special place.  I hope you get a chance to explore it yourself.

Location:  just beyond Pismo/Shell Beach going North, just below San Luis Obispo going South, turn on Avila Beach Drive

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me1at160x230Hi.  I’m Helen Conrad and I write romances.  Welcome to my blog.


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