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Monday, March 30, 2015

Making the Best of a Bad Situation - Solvang, California - Part 2


 



Click to see Part 1 of this report...
 

“This reservation is for March.”

Not what I want to hear while standing in the lobby of the Royal Copenhagen Inn in February on a busy Solvang weekend. It is my fault, though.  I didn’t thoroughly check my reservation as I tell all of you to do. I was certain it said February 23 but it was there in black and white on the printout…March 23.

It’s a rare weekend getaway without Tim for Letty and I. Getting someone to stay with him is not easy to arrange. There are less than a handful of people who can do it and last minute family problems meant we really had to work some magic to get it to happen. Timing it so our replacement caregivers would have to do the minimum of lifting, getting the workings of the van and lift down (which would prove a little balky as we spent many times on the phone trying to talk them through the operation), and making sure enough provisions and money were provided for them to get by over the weekend.


Now, we’re finally away and my boneheaded mistake finds us here with no place to sleep for the night.

“I have one room left,” the desk clerk says. “It has two queen beds.”

It’s not the two-level, romantic, loft suite I’d reserved for March, but it’ll have to do. We cancel the March reservation, take the basic room, and sign on the dotted line.

“You’ll have to find something else to do until two o’clock while we clean the room. You’re welcome to leave your car here in the meantime.”

OK, beggars can’t be choosers. I may have found another room in town if I’d looked but we’re on a tight schedule here. In the meantime, we’ll explore this kitschy little town.

About an eight square blocks of shops, restaurants, wine bars, and bakeries make up the heart of town.  Easily walkable from the hotel, every square inch of the downtown area is no more than a five minute walk.

Some shops are high end and high quality. The extra large wooden clog marks the entrance of the Solvang Shoe Store where a large inventory of superior footwear is sold for not too expensive prices.

You have to wonder what you’ve wandered into such as the outlet store we found behind a fake windmill, underneath a western wear museum where clothing went for under ten dollars.


After sampling some great fudge at a bakery on Alisal Road, my wife spends some time browsing among the yarn at a knitting store nearby. Kids are in awe of the great European toys available in a number of great toy shops. We grab some freshly baked pretzels and sample butter cookies at another bakery.

Every other shop seems to be a winery tasting room. We are in the Santa Ynez Valley, one of the state’s more well-known wine areas thanks to the movie “Sideways.” It’s not cheap, though. Most of the tasting rooms charge north of $10 for tiny tasting sips and are not willing to apply that to your purchase…although one said they’d knock $5 off of the $16 tasting fee if we didn’t want to take the logo glasses home.

Better yet, just go to one of the several wine bars or cocktail lounges and buy a whole glass for less than the price of the taste.




Greyhounds are everywhere. Groups of the dogs are walking on leash throughout the town. We’d seen more earlier during our hike up to Nojoqui Falls. We’re thinking they really love their greyhounds here in Solvang until we go back to the inn to claim our room…a sign in the lobby says “Welcome to Greyhound Fest ’13!”

Each year the dogs and their owners gather in town for a sort of greyhound convention. This is the weekend and the town is crawling with these gentle, race bred hounds.  I can’t turn around without some pooch sticking his nose at me and wanting a scratch under his neck.  They’re great dogs, well behaved, quiet, and their owners are picking up after them, keeping things clean.

The last room of the inn is up a dark set of stairs in a corner of the hotel. Our room is the only one up there and has no other room on any side. At least it will be quiet.

The room itself is a basic, no frills motel room with two queen beds, a couple of balky windows overlooking a side street, a bathroom with a shower and a toilet that won’t flush. (Wheelchair rooms are available here but we didn't need one this trip...plus I made a big booking error)

The chain is broken on the flushing mechanism. I’m about to call the front desk but Letty has already Momgyvered a safety pin fix for the chain and all is working.

The hotel has wifi but the signal doesn’t reach this far corner and we’re out of luck for an Internet connection.  They do serve a decent breakfast with goodies from a nearby bakery (there’s always a nearby bakery here in Solvang) and have a nice pool area.



For dinner, we head to Solvang Brewing Company, a few doors west of the hotel. It’s busy and a sign says to seat ourselves and to let a server know. We do but the server seems to forget. After sitting for several minutes at a table waiting for menus, we give that up to sit at the bar where we get immediate attention from the bartender.


We split a sausage platter and a cheeseburger. Both are delicious as is the house-brewed beer. Decent prices but weird service at the tables.

A bottle of wine from Presidio Winery, across from the hotel, a couple of glasses, and we’ll retire for the night.

We’ll end this in the morning…

Darryl
Copyright 2013 – Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Friday, March 27, 2015

Meeting Murphy's Law in Solvang, California



It’s like something out of Tolkien. Shady, moss covered rocks protect a meandering stream. Large fonds of ferns fill in the empty spaces between the sycamores and oaks. A narrow canyon opens up into a sylvan glen. Sixty feet up, a stream of water cascades over a green, moss covered, mineral buildup that took millions of years to form.

Middle Earth? No, Central California.


This is the opening act to our weekend away. It’s our anniversary and we’ve just been able to find some help to take care of Tim so Letty and I can have an overnight respite. This year, we’re heading to Solvang, about 50 miles north of Santa Barbara.

Watch the Video!

Hike with us to Nojoqui Falls!

It’s a little over two hours to get here on a Saturday morning with no traffic. Before we head into the town proper, we pull off to investigate a sign that has intrigued me every time I’ve taken the drive north on Highway 101…Nojoqui Falls Park.

Since we usually have a wheelchair with us, hiking up to see a waterfall is usually off-limits so I take the opportunity when I can. It’s just Letty and me this trip so off we go.


From the parking lot, it’s a 1/3 mile hike through the narrow canyon to the falls. If you’re an adventurous wheelchair user, you could get 2/3 of the way before you hit a set of stairs that would block further progress.


This waterfall is different in that it doesn’t erode the cliff. Instead, minerals in the water build up over time, pushing the water out from the hill instead of the water pushing in, resulting in a bulbous mound of rock, similar to a stalagmite in a cave.

A few minutes to admire the cascade, really a little more than a trickle this time of year, and then back down. Up and back in less than 30 minutes.

We continue on Alisal Road, which is a backroad way into Solvang. It’s narrow, the pavement’s worn, and our phones won’t work out here but the scenery is beautiful, serene with green rolling hills dotted with horses and cows.

The exclusive and expensive Alisal Ranch and golf course tells us we’re about to get into town. The chirp on my cell phone confirms it.


Danish style buildings, a windmill, and throngs of tourists clogging the street welcome us to the Danish capitol of California. Gingerly, I thread the car through to Mission Drive, the highway that runs through town, and turn left to find our hotel, the Royal Copenhagen Inn.

A full parking lot and packs of greyhounds greet us at the hotel. We go into the office and ask if we can park there until checkin time.

“What’s the last name?”

“Musick.”

“Don’t see it.”
I pull out my e-mail confirmation and hand it to her.

“You have a reservation but it’s not for today, it’s for a month from today.”

Taking the printout back, I check it again. The date is March 23rd…not February 23rd as I had been absolutely sure it had said when I checked it twice.

What now?


Darryl

Copyright 2013 – Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

ACCESSIBLE ATTRACTIONS: Monaco


Our ratings are...

Fully Accessible - You can access all of the attraction, with no problem, in any type of wheelchair.

Mostly Accessible - You can access most of the attraction, and all of the important parts of it, with your wheelchair.

Partially Accessible - You can access a good deal of the attraction but some parts are inaccessible and some important parts you'll miss.

Inaccessible - Kind of speaks for itself, avoid if you're in a wheelchair.

Here's Monaco...



The Casino - Fully accessible. Accessible entrance it to the side of the main entrance. Long pants, dress shirt, and jacket required to enter. Entrance fee charged.



Royal Palace Square - Fully accessible. Get to the top from the Place 'd Arms by taking the accessible bus. Get there before 11am if you want to see the changing of the guard.



Royal Neighborhood - Mostly accessible. The hilltop area around the palace has a lot a great shops, restaurants, and little alleyways to explore as well as the country's aquarium.

Monaco (the entire country) - Mostly accessible. The entire country gets an entry because it is so small. You could walk across the entire country in an hour or take 5-10 minutes in a bus. It's very hilly but a network of elevators and accessible buses gets you to anywhere you want to go.




Darryl
Copyright 2015 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved





Monday, March 23, 2015

CLASSIC TRIP - Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado 1997



I hope you don't mind one more post about Colorado (see our Salute to Colorado at the link). This trip from 1997 was Letty and Tim's first trip to the state...way over at the other end near the Four Corners.  Enjoy...

After driving across a third of the country, I was worried we'd be shut out at our destination. As much as we celebrate the ADA, the fact remains that a majority of our natural resources are still inaccessible. This happened to us at the Grand Canyon (great views from the rim is about it) and what was now worrying me as we approached Mesa Verde National Park in the southwest corner of Colorado.

Mesa Verde is home to many dwellings of the mysterious and ancient Anasazi people. For a brief time in their history, the Anasazi moved into spectacular multi-storied houses perched in cliff side niches. These remnants of an ancient and pre-European America are what draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to the park each year.

As it turns out, we needn't have worried, many of the best sites in Mesa Verde are available to people in chairs..with the one big exception to this being the most popular site in the park, the Cliff Palace and Balcony House cliff dwelling, which requires scaling a cliff-top ladder.
The accessible visitor center and gift shop is 15 miles past the entrance gate (this is the second visitor center, Far View Visitor center being the first). From here, an access trail leads to the magnificent Spruce Tree House cliff dwelling. The trail into the lush canyon is mostly flat and smooth. There are a few drops on the side of it that will make your heart beat a little faster but are easily avoided. You will definitely have an adventure here in a chair.

When at the dwelling itself, you are allowed to explore quite a lot of it with little being out of bounds. We could explore in our chair as well an anybody around us with the one exception of the sweat lodge pit where the only access is a ladder.

This was all very fun and interesting for us and our 9 year old son, but what really stopped us in our tracks was the conversation we had with the ranger on the site. I asked him why the natives are not here anymore when we were surrounded by native American country.
"They still come here. They still feel this is theirs." Then he told us many of the ancient community members are buried in the adjacent rubbish mound. Come here at night, he said, and we'd likely see the ghosts that roam these ruins. That brought it home to us. Here is not an abandoned ancient ruin. Here is a place where people still come and visit their long lost relatives to feel an attachment and ownership. Suddenly I had a slight feeling of trespassing.

(As an aside, the surrounding areas still in Indian Reservations hold many more such cliff dwellings. Trips can be arranged with some local tribes although most are inaccessible to wheelers.)

Our base camp for this trip for this trip was the wonderful A Bed and Breakfast on Maple Street (800-665-3906) in nearby Cortez. Though not up to all ADA standards, it does have access to one room downstairs with a big, adjacent bathroom. It also has easy access to the common living room and dining room where you feast on a hearty home-cooked country breakfast for less than $90 per night double-occupancy. It also has a spa to soak your tired muscles after a day in Mesa Verde.


-Darryl
Copyright 1998 - Darryl Musick

Friday, March 20, 2015

California's Central Coast - Morro Bay and Avila Beach




UpTake Travel Gem


While strolling along the commercial fishing wharf in Morro Bay, we encountered a couple from Germany and got to talking.  We talked about our love of Munich and Bavaria and then asked what they thought of this little town.


“It is very beautiful,” they replied, “but what is THAT?”

Watch the Video!

They were pointing at the one thing that keeps this little seaside town from becoming a real tourist mecca, the large power plant that mars the view on the north end of the bay.  They were aghast, mostly because they thought it was a nuclear plant plopped right into the middle of town.  Not to worry about that, I told them, it’s just a conventional plant that’s been there for half a century…I think they were confusing it with the Diablo Canyon nuclear generating station, which is located several miles south of here.
The Power Plant is Hard to Miss

Ignore the plant and you have a great, scenic, and reasonably priced seaside getaway.  It may just be because of that plant that the prices here are as low as they are.

Morro Bay lies due west of Bakersfield on California’s Central Coast.  This is the section of the state’s coastline that extends roughly from Santa Barbara on the south to just below San Francisco on the north end.  Many of the state’s gems lie along this route: Big Sur, Hearst Castle, Monterey, and Santa Cruz just to name a few.

We start off in Bakersfield and take Highway 46 over the coastal hills.  This is a lonely, scenic road and is historically one of the area’s more dangerous roads…it was nicknamed “Blood Alley” for the large number of head-on collisions.  About halfway over the hills, in a pretty little valley is the intersection with highway 41, is the spot where the most memorable of these crashes occurred.


Here on September 30, 1955, actor James Dean…on his way to race his Porsche Spyder at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey…crashed head-on into a truck that crossed into his lane.  He died a short time later when he was taken to the War Memorial Hospital in Paso Robles.

Just up the road is a small diner where a memorial to Dean sits in the parking lot.  Walk around the back…signs warn you to watch for rattlesnakes…and you’ll see a line of trees.  That is the spot where the San Andreas Fault cleaves the state in two.

Driving carefully over the rest of the route, we arrive at Highway 1 just north of Harmony and turn south.  Somewhere in the hills to the left, another black day in the state happened when fired airline employee, David Burke, burst into the cockpit of PSA flight 1771 and shot the pilots dead.  The plane dove into the ground at full speed, killing all 44 aboard including the supervisor who fired him.

After this tour of gruesome California history, we see our destination shrouded in fog up ahead with Morro Rock poking through the low-hanging cloud.

Our hotel for this trip is the Best Western San Marcos Inn, just two blocks from the waterfront.   Barrier-free rooms with two queen beds are available and the hotel serves a free light continental breakfast along with a wine and cheese mixer every evening in the lobby.  There is no pool but instead a large hot tub with views of the bay.  Just about everything in town is within walking distance.



After checking in and taking in the view from our room, we head down to the water to have a look around.  Weaving in and out around the buildings on the wharf is a walkway where everyone can walk along and drink in the gorgeous ocean views.  The town has gone one step further and made this entire walkway wheelchair accessible.  It’s not a straight line, but you can stroll along the entire waterfront from the huge Morro Rock in the north  to the marina at the south end of the bay.  It is a very common site to see sea lions and otters frolicking in the water along the way. 


And the rock?  It’s the town’s signature feature.  A morro is a volcanic plug where the surrounding mountain has worn down exposing the rock underneat.  There are nine of these ancient domes in the area, Morro Rock being the most famous, spectacularly sitting between the town and the waves.


Dinner tonight will be at the Hofbrau where you can get a delicious beef dip sandwich, custom carved right in front of you.  There are a few German beers available, along with the usual suspects on tap.  We get some of these delicious sandwiches and sit next to the windows overlooking the water.  It’s a very inexpensive, good restaurant with a view.  That’s pretty rare.

Tummies full, we continue walking along the water until we get to the Morro Bay Aquarium.  This old, frayed-around-the-edges, sea life facility will never be mistaken for its flashy cousin to the north in Monterey, but is a good way to while away some of your time and only costs a buck or two depending on your age.  The small aquarium houses and rehabilitates animals from sea lions to sharks, octopi, and other creatures brought in by the local fishing fleet.  Cal Poly uses them to board their collection of horseshoe crabs.  A few pools outside hold sea lions that were injured or abandoned.  Visitors can feed them.

The next morning we have a delicious breakfast of omelets and pancakes at Dorn’s, a nice restaurant sitting atop a small hill overlooking the waterfront.  After eating, we head out to the rock. 


An unpaved, but fairly smooth path allows wheelchair to get a little ways around the rock toward the ocean.  Soon, however, the path will get too rocky to allow access all the way to the water.  For birders, looking up will reveal hundreds of nooks, crannies, and little caves where gulls and peregrine falcons nest.  We came upon a small group of watchers with telescopes set up on tripods who allowed up to look at a mother falcon guarding her brood.


A drive across town leads us to Morro Bay State Park where another morro, White’s Point, sits next to the visitor’s center.  A path leads around the rock but the last hundred feet or so to the top is too steep to make wheelchair accessible.  Back at the visitor’s center, several spectacular views of the bay are barrier free.  The center is also undergoing a makeover to make it more accessible to wheelers.


Back in town, we take a bay cruise on a boat with windows under the water.  It’s not wheelchair accessible but Letty and I take a quick ride to get pictures for Tim.  Another cruise operator at the north end of the wharf, Chablis Cruises, offers accessible tours on a more traditional boat.

After the cruise, we stroll around looking at the shops.  A garden center across the street has quite an array of custom fountains.  I come close to buying one for the yard, but decide not to when I think of how I will get it home.

Today is the Morro Bay Music Festival and several bands are rotating through the main stage set up in a parking lot across from the wharf.  Up on the hill in the downtown section, there’s a great farmer’s market with more live bands…seemingly playing in every bar and corner.  It’s a very musical day here in Morro Bay. 

I buy some fruit and cheese for a lunch snack as we sit back and listen.  An orchid greenhouse nearby provides a quiet getaway from all the action on the streets.

Dinner tonight will be at Tognazzini’s, an out-of-the-way restaurant nestled in with the commercial fishing fleet at the north end of town, based upon a recommendation from the skipper of the tour boat.  We are not disappointed with the fish and pasta dinner that we have.  


Afterward, we stroll along the fishing fleet as we take our last sunset views of the town.


Checking out in the morning, we head south to the town of Avila Beach.  Formerly a run-down, funky ocean side enclave of hippies, fishermen, and surfers…the town is undergoing a renaissance thanks to a huge settlement and remediation given to them by the Union Oil Company whose oil facility leaked hazardous waste under the town for decades.  The oil company demolished a huge part of the town, removed the tainted sand, and rebuilt from the ground up.  Still funky but no longer run down, the waterfront is a sparkling jewel sitting on a beautiful beach.


We have breakfast at my favorite omelet place in the world, The Custom House.  The previous incarnation here had a patio out back overflowing with plants and exotic birds in cages.  With the new building, the birds are gone and the new patio, while still beautiful, seems a little sterile without the birds.  The food is still great, however.

Nearby is the Harford Pier, built in 1873, where another local restaurant…Fatcats…sits on the hillside.  Many people, including my parents, swear by this little diner.  It is very good, but the linguica omelet at the Custom House always beckons me.


Being one of the very few piers in California that actually let you drive on it, we head out to the end where we find a handicapped spot and unload.  A nice but pricey dinner house, The Olde Port Inn, sits atop a bustling little fish monger shop.  At the end is a large platform where people set up to fish, no license required.

When I was a kid, we had a family reunion type party here and the several of us fishing caught 250 red snapper and netted dozens of crabs for the boilers we set up on the camp fire.  I don’t think there’s that much to catch anymore, but it’s still a nice place to drop a line.


Down below on the boat dock platform, a dozen sea lions lounge on the wood.  Off of the pier, several more of the illiterate animals sit on a platform with a sign begging users to close the gate to keep the sea lions off.


Refreshed and relaxed, we climb back into the van and head south along the ocean on Highway 101 back into L.A. and home.  It just dawned on me that I haven’t thought about that damn power plant at all since we talked to that friendly couple from Germany…just soak up Morro Bay and you’ll put it out of your mind too.

The Far Side of Morro Rock

Darryl
Copyright 2010 – Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

ADVENTURES CLOSE TO HOME: An Ode to a Politically Incorrect Bag


It's quickly becoming extinct here in California and, as California goes so does the rest of the country, look for a plastic bag ban in your near future, too.

While I understand the reasonings behind the bans and the environmental ramifications of keeping them around, I will miss their extreme utility.

I do have to say that I never send a plastic bag to a landfill or litter the roadside with it. It's too valuable.  Instead, I use it until there is no longer any life left to it, then send it off to recycle.

Far from just being the bag the groceries come home in, that is just the beginning of the uses this bag will endure.



Leftovers in Glad bowls get taken to work in them for lunch.  I line our hanging plant baskets with them to conserved water.


Shipping boxes get lined with wadded up bags as packing material to cushion my parcel.

Christmas decorations get stored in them so the garage dust doesn't cover them up.

Put a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and fingerling potatoes in one. Shake it up and wrap with tin foil (after you remove from the plastic bag, of course). Throw it on the grill and you have a great side dish for dinner.

And, in the end, use it to line the kitchen waste basket for a trash bag (our waste disposal company sorts them out at the transfer center before being taken to the dump).

When there is nothing left, we can either toss it in our recycling bin (again, the waste disposal company says it's OK and they recycle them) or take it to our nearest supermarket where recycling bins are locating just for these bags.


We'll live with it once they're all gone but in the meantime, I've got a big container filled with a year's supply to take me through those lean times.

Darryl
Copyright 2015 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Monday, March 16, 2015

THE HEART OF CALIFORNIA'S CENTRAL COAST: San Luis Obispo

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There’s too many to count, really. Maybe millions. Whenever I bring it up, I’m met with either shuddering disgust or local pride.


Here in this narrow alley, there is not one iota of wall space that is not covered up with a used wad of gum. This colorful fiesta of chicle and spit is Bubblegum Alley, where locals have been sticking their gum on the wall since World War II.

Welcome to San Luis Obispo.


Watch the Video!

The alley can serve as a metaphor. Halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco but doing its own thing, this pretty college town lives in another California…the one not defined by big cities. Rather, it’s coastal, green, and laid-back.


While many people coming from L.A. take the coastal route up Highway 101 through Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Santa Maria; our route takes us over the hills from the central valley via Highway 46, past the James Dean Memorial Interchange, and over the green hills on Highway 41, coming in to town on the rather steep Cuesta Grade from the north.

Our day will start with coffee, followed up by a quick stop to Bubblegum Alley to film the intro to our video. After that, it’s out the west end of the alley to Higuera Street and to Mission Mall on the other side.



While there are some fine shops in this little arcade, including a nice toy store and a shoe shop, it also makes for an easy, wheelchair accessible route to San Luis Creek in back of the building.

About 240 years ago, Father Junipero Serra hung a bell from the big sycamore here, rang it to call the faithful to mass, and founded Mission San Luis Obispo.

There’s still a big sycamore here but I doubt it’s the same tree. The creek still flows, however.

Steelhead trout find their way up this wide trickle of water to spawn. It’s about twenty miles or so from this point to the creek’s meeting with the Pacific Ocean in nearby Avila Beach. The fish numbers have severely dwindled. Now they’re protected and don’t even think about fishing here.

It’s serene and very beautiful to walk along the water here. Behind the mall, there’s a ramp down for wheelchairs to get close to the water.

On the other side, the massive adobe building is where Father Serra’s mission found a permanent home. Finished in 1819, visitors can now pay a small fee to visit, see the church, and its historic courtyard.

A wheelchair accessible pedestrian bridge spans the creek here.

Back on Higuera, we finish our morning stroll window shopping. We’re taking in a local Ross store, the Apple Store, a chocolate shop, and a Bath and Beauty Shop where my wife takes advantage of the after Christmas sale to stock up on lotions.




A twenty minute drive takes us over the hills, past Cal Poly University, the penitentiary, the community college, and the state’s first National Guard base to the Ocean in Morro Bay.

Morro Bay is a tiny seafront town with a giant rock. The wharf, rock, and bay have a spectacular view that is marred a bit by the big generating plant at the north end of town.


We can get by without it ruining our day, so we head to the waterfront for lunch at the Hofbrau. The star of the show here are the roast beef dip sandwiches that are hand-carved to your specification at the counter. 

We get a couple and wash it down with a cold, German hefeweisen. It’s very good, hearty, filling food under $10 a person with a million dollar view.


After lunch, it’s a stroll along the waterfront. The town has done a pretty amazing job of laying out an accessible route so wheelchairs can also roll along over the water.




We pop in to Rose’s bar, another whopper of a view, which features a completely wheelchair level and accessible bar shaped like a boat. The tequila sour goes down good with the view as we toast the end to this quick little trip up to the heart of California’s Central Coast.



Darryl
Copyright 2012 – Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

ADVENTURES CLOSE TO HOME: Exploring Without a Car

 

While we had fun in Baja, the bumpy dirt roads to the beach weren't to kind to our wheelchair lift.  Not long after we returned home, it began to make all sorts of awful noises before quitting altogether.  The local mobility dealer said they could fix it but they had to order parts and we had to wait (it would eventually take over 3 weeks).

Being stuck in the house is no adventure, even for a homebody like Tim.  The only decent restaurant within walking distance to our house is a pizza parlor (which we walked to the first week) but after 2 weeks, with cabin fever setting in and our anniversary date arriving, we had to do something.



Consulting our local bus company's web page, we found that the line by our house would easily take us to Pasadena or Claremont, both fun places to kill time. We chose Claremont and walked to the bus stop.



It's about an hour ride to the Metrolink Train Depot in Claremont, where the bus drops us off.

It's a very pretty college town. If you saw our earlier report on Claremont or it's doppleganger...Davis, in northern California...you can get a glimpse of what we're in store for.



Browsing the shops, Letty gets some custom made lotion at one of the shops and I get this mini Hohner harmonica at one of the world's best music stores, the Claremont Folk Music Center.



Hungry for dinner, we end up at the Press for some vegetarian lasagna and drinks. It's OK, but Letty is not happy with the lazy service or the bread that comes out with the hardness of a hockey puck.

She declares we will not be darkening the door of this establishment again.  No worries, we've still got Eureka!, Union on Yale, Aruffo's, and many more restaurants we've still yet to try here.



After dinner, we go with something much more reliable, dessert at Bert and Rocky's ice cream parlor.




Grabbing some candy to go, we head over to the nearby bus stop to catch our ride home.


 
Darryl
Copyright 2015 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved