SoCal Road Trip

So here we are in Southern California!

Pix here...

Monday was a crazy day, getting everything ready, kitty food stocked up, care instructions given, and by the time evening came around, I was pooped and left the packing to the morning. Fortunately I had sorted and decided what to take so it was no big deal to throw everything in the suitcase when I got up.

Susan arrived right on time and we loaded the cooler and my new Kangen water treatment unit into her car, leaving Dan with mine. His truck is still broken. The kitties knew what was going on and were giving me dirty looks, but they will be just fine. After all, it's not forever! Just a couple of weeks.

First day was easy, stopping for walks and coffee. There was a great little mall in Oregon - damn, can't remember the name of it - but definitely upscale, a lot different from Port Townsend! We ended up in Roseburg for the night at the Comfort Inn that was very comfortable. We had all our food with us, and the fridge and microwave came in handy.

Next morning we were up early, went for a walk, made fresh water for our bottles and hit the road again. It was a long drive but around Lake Shasta, we found the cutest restaurant. It was around lunch time and we were starving - felt like I needed something solid. So we saw what looked like a little town/settlement/hamlet whatever and pulled off the freeway, going left first and ran into nothing. Turned around and went the other side of the freeway and saw a sign that read, "You can get anything you want at allyson's restaurant." Being children of the 60's we thought that sounded good! On the right there was ye olde rustic log cabin place and then a small strip mall.

Susan was opting for the log cabin place but I saw the Allyson's sign and looked through the front door. Color jumped out at me and I saw the little patio in the back and was sold. The place is run but Sheryl, Al and their teenage daughter Allyson. He had wanted to have a hot dog stand, but ran into city regulations, Allyson wanted to sell Hawaiian shave ice so they came to a joining point of great hamburgers, hotdogs, shave ice and good service. The charcoal grill and deep fryer are out on the patio which is misted to keep it cool. The walls are covered with vibrant flower painting that Sheryl does (she just started painting and has already sold 11 of them). We had great hamburgers, everything natural, everything cooked with olive oil, even her snack popcorn! After chatting with them for a while, off we went.

Then it was I5 - that looooong straight road which seemed to never end. But end it did that evening in Coalinga amid the lingering odors of cow poop and fertilizer. Best Western that night, no internet but early to be and up real early, like 3:30 for some reason. We thought we would go for a walk but the fumes were off putting so had coffee instead and got on the road early.

We made good time into North Hollywood and Ryan met us at the house and he took us to lunch at a very cool sandwich place in Burbank. This is the only time I will see him this trip as he headed for Las Vegas that evening, and tomorrow, Monday goes to New York for a job. So that was sad, but I will soon be down here more permanently and will see him more then.

Susan and I went browsing the antique and second hand stores which was fun and then headed south to Encinitas.

We hit a little traffic but not too bad and got to Straitiffs mid-afternoon. Cathy took us to dinner at our favorite Fidel's Mexican food - what a treat! Great margarita!

Friday was get ready for Cody's party. I went over to their apartment in early afternoon to see Mel and Oliver. He has grown so much, it is hard to believe he is almost a year old - and water a beautiful boy he is. At first he was a bit shy but that soon passed and he was soon talking away(his own language of course) and being very busy! We went to Frazier Farms for groceries and I am amazed at how inexpensive food is compared with Port Townsend. So stocked up - it's a hamburgers and beer type party but I did decide to make him a birthday cake.

Back to Straitiffs and started to prepare salads etc.

Saturday dawned gorgeous, as has every other day. By the time everyone arrived, we were prepared and the party turned out wonderfully well. Lots of babies! From two weeks old to three! Sadie the dog was in heaven, all the toddling, crawling ones loving on her.

Mel's parents came down too, so it was good to see them. They came laden with goodies! So food and libations were in plentiful supply. Cody, Mel and Oliver spent the night and this morning, after lotsa coffee and a big breakfast, went to the beach to see Cody surf. I realize how much I miss that. The beach was wonderful, quite crowded at Cardiff, but good surf and the water is fairly warm, so tomorrow Susan and I are going down for a swim. Cody is a dream to watch. He is as good as ever - what a pleasure. Of course, we worked up an appetite so fired up the grill again and had hamburgers again! Lots of salads left, too. Brandon and crew arrived and all the youngsters headed back to the beach, babies in tow! I opted out!

Whew, now I know why you have babies when you are young! I had forgotten what a lot of work they are.

But I will see my little family tomorrow, and every day while I am here.