May 22, 2010

On the Road Again

The Cable Car museum with all the origonal machinery still operating. San Francisco, 2008.

Himself: Got blood drawn, BP…which was great, took G’ette to work, got the car washed and “personally hand waxed it in the driveway,” went to two estate sales, home to dinner and a movie.

Herself: Swam, worked at the Discovery shop, estate sales, dinner, movie. Today beginning packing, and reading all of you….maybe not noting tho. Earthquake just as I am posting this at 1035.

A blog you might like: is having a problem today polishing his rice. He lives far inland, and takes his motorbike to the train station now on a semi-retired basis. The rest of the time, he either gives us a unique view of living on a mountain in Japan, fighting off monkeys from his garden, or magical glimpses of life as a writer and editor with a clear seeing eye.

Reading: Books to take on the road: “A Life on the Road,” Kuralt. “Sahara,” Michael Palin. “Living by the Word,” Walker.

Gratitude: G and other friends.

Himself ignored me this time. It’s pretty hard to do that to a pushy broad like me, but he managed it. When the brother and family were busy….and we really regretted not being able to make any long range plans with them, together we chose to take a slow road trip to San Francisco. Perhaps other folks would like to have lunch or dinner with us. He chose the motels tho totally over riding my enthusiasms.

We will potter up into the mountains over LA into Woodland Hills. Bee and her husband moved from an inner city mugging to this multi-story home that clings to a steep hill on the side of a state park. Lunch will be something only Bee knows. She’s on a diet and she is vegetarian. She eats low fat, no salt, no carbs, no sugar and looks great. Her husband eats anything and is bone thin. We eat anything and are two round loaves of bread coated in sugar, salt, fat, and carbs not to mention chocolate. The conversation will be fascinating, but I have doubts about lunch. I’d suggested a cheese sandwich, and after a long pause she asked if I liked goat cheese. I didn’t reply that I love new learning experiences.

From Bee’s house, we are driving north to spend the night in Santa Barbara on the beach. Memorial day hasn’t arrived yet, and this historic hotel Mar Monte is still offering excellent rates. Does historic mean no fire systems, no smoke alarms and no escape route such as we found in the El Rancho Hotel in Gallup NM? The charm of yesterday indeed. I look up the Mar Monte only to find it’s a Hyatt. Can we afford this? He ignores me, and I am suckered in by the beautiful photographs. Even if it is raining, we will be traveling in style. You can find us, just this once, eating dinner in a beach front restaurant by candlelight as thunder rumbles above us and lighting pierces the drizzle. Or else.

The following morning, we head north to have lunch with BonnieRose as she does her final packing just before she leaves for a music festival in Yosemite. I wrote her to remind her not to clean house, not to make a fuss or lunch that we would take her out. She needs the break of music and old friends not more fuss.

Pictures taken at Hearst’s Castle in 1999. Left: Main house. Right: Greek pool with the coastal mountains behind it.

After lunch we’ll toodle onward to Cambria for two days. One of the reviews called Cambria “a slice of heaven just west of Highway one.” I remember it fondly from our previous visit. Again, the ocean crashing sounds right outside our room….this time a Best Western bare bones room. Just inland charming galleries that support real artists, and cute restaurants. The first day you can find us window shop in the afternoon. The second day, we travel just up the coast highway to Hearst Castle. It’s a unique view of a family camping spot designed by WR Hearst and his architect, Julia Morgan, begun in 1919. We are taking an overall tour in the morning, lunching in the car, and taking a garden tour in the afternoon. Even if I take two extra strength Tylenol before tackling the tours, I don’t think I’m up to the night tour that stresses “many stairs.” I truly hate to miss that.

Roaring Camp Steam Train, 1999.

Slowly….we travel north slowly. We could reach San Francisco in eight hours from home, instead we are making the trip in five days. The forth day we will be in Santa Cruz….we have never been there. The beach train isn’t running regularly until June and the Carousel Motel site says the boardwalk is closed, but just inland in Felton is the Roaring Camp Steam Train. We have done this before….and it was loads of fun with an early, less than one pixel camera. "Point 7," G tells me. After the train ride, we have dinner with a grandson. I’m really looking forward to this….we pick him up at his dorm room on campus.

Friday and Saturday we are in San Francisco…riding everything we can find….trolleys, trams, trains, and hopefully the trolley museum is open this time. He over-rode me on the hotel tho….we are in search of a new one. I wanted some charm like our old favorite before it was sold. He wanted to park the car with us at the hotel/motel. I wanted the Red Victorian in the Haight….a four block away, extra charge, to park the car. The Geezer picked the Royal Pacific Motor Inn. It’s one of those centrally located, internationally modern creations, that will let him keep an eye on the car. No Romance with this building tho we are celebrating our 27th year together here.

Last time we visited the Asian art museum…..a marvelous place. This time I want to stop in at the de Young where a new show “Masterpieces of Impressionism” has just opened. Also on our agenda is the Market Street Trolley Museum. We will eat, travel, play tourist, and Sunday we will head home. Perhaps we will take two days to come home….we know it will be years before we will have a week free to travel the roads again.


  1. I hope you have the very best time it's possible to have!

  2. What a wonderful trip itinerary. I have never been to San Francisco, would love to go, so I will count on seeing your site when you return to hear about it. My mom lived in Woodland Hills at one point in her life, but no house on a cliff. Have a great celebration-27 years is an accomplishment to savor.

  3. Sounds perfect to me. I love art museums and don't go nearly as often as I should.

  4. Looks like a great trip. As much time as I've spent in California never got to San Simeon. I look forward to your report.

  5. You make me laugh -- goat cheese -- I could just hear the hesitation before she asked the question.
    You make me want to come to CA again!

  6. Sounds absolutely wonderful! I love San Fran, San Simeon, the museums, all the sites. I wish we were there with you, to have lazy travels and -- goat cheese lunches! :)


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Peter in front of a wall sculpture. We were invited up to Peter Knego’s home to see the latest installation.   Abstract flat ...