It's just about a mile to walk from the hotel but Letty and Tim decide they'd rather drive so into the van we go. A parking spot is available at the Downtown Plaza Park. It's the heart of town so it makes for a good place to start.
The park is quiet today, unlike the times in the past where we've enjoyed a great bottle of local wine while watching a nice concert.
Letty's off to the Goodwill across the street, while Tim and I are left to our wits to pass time while she's there. We start off walking around the old Carnegie Library that centers the park. It's now a museum.
I saw an art sign about a plunge and hot springs while we were in our hotel. Doing some research, I pinpoint the location of the springs, which is in the patio of the library across the street. Just a little seep now. The large plunge was located in what is now the parking lot.
We cross over to an art gallery, closed, with many wonderful sculptures around the building. It's then it hits me that it's the gallery of Dale Evers, a Facebook friend of mine. Unfortunately, there's no one there so we continue on to the Goodwill, where Letty is about wrapping up her shopping and checking out.
Stillness is settled over the town on this quiet, weekday morning. Not a lot is open yet but we see a couple of antique shops in the distance. We wander in to the massive Great America Antiques Mall.
I'm not a real antique store fan but, every now and again, I find one I like. This is one. It goes on, room after room, with all kinds of kitschy Americana. I find all kinds of things I wouldn't mind taking home.
I find a hand-cranked mixer that I was looking for and a stein for my collection. The guys working the store like to bargain so I got a good deal and he gave Tim a free, souvenir baseball bat, too.
Letty finds a few bargains for herself and then we call it a morning. We're starting to get hungry so we wander the area looking for something to eat. When we get to the railroad tracks, we see an interesting, bright yellow spot. We've ended up at The Backyard, an honest-to-goodness beer garden here in downtown Paso Robles.
A couple of glasses of some very good local craft beer, a fried chicken sandwich, and some cheese curds make for a filling and relaxing lunch. It's a very nice spot to hang out.
With that, we head back to the hotel to chill a bit, hang out with our friend during happy hour, and relax before heading home.
As we arrive home, the news on the pandemic is getting worse. The Wednesday after we return, California's governor Gavin Newsom tells people not to leave their homes except for essential trips like getting groceries. 24 hours later, he makes it mandatory and we are locked down for the next two months.
Hotels, like the Oxford Suites we stayed at, close their pools, food service and bars and are only open for essential travelers.
At first, we're told to wash our hands and keep our distance from others but masks aren't necessary. About a month in, masks are recommended. When restrictions are lifted, the number start to go back up and masks become mandatory, then about a month later restrictions are reimposed.
It would be until the end of the summer before restrictions are slowly eased up again and, as of this writing, we are still restricted on many things we can do.
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