Thursday, September 21, 2023

Back to the Past

 Back to the more than one sense...we had gone back to the Central Coast of California where we had been in the past...for our fourth time...and now we are back to the where we started a few weeks ago, otherwise known as "home". 

Hubby and I just celebrated 35 years together and we had two wonderful weeks of summer vacation by the ocean. That, to me, was/is being in heaven. Being by the ocean. Hearing the waves crashing on the shore...knowing that the waves are endless. 

I cannot describe the feeling of total disengagement from all the quotidian routine and worries. Il dolce di far niente. The Sweetness of Doing Nothing. Sun, salt water, sand, warm breezes, Astrud Gilberto singing Corcovado. Walking barefoot along the shore. Sunning our buns at Pirates Cove. Going for a dip in the cool waters of the cove. Makes this 75 year old feel like 14 again. Trying to hang on to that feeling for as long as I can. I am truly fortunate.

But it's not like we did nothing, just nothing like we would do at home. At home I cannot seem to read a book. I might take me months to get through a book, sometimes I never finish one. I've had the nine book compendium of Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City" series for years. I'd read the first six some years ago but just never able to pick it up again to read the last three. I read the last three (Michael Tolliver Lives,  Mary Ann in Autumn and The Days of Anna Madrigal), all 822 pages, in three weeks! Enjoyed them immensely.

But I do have questions. Could someone please explain the ending of The Days of Anna Madrigal? She's on the mechanical butterfly at Burning Man. Then I'm lost.

Just a few words about California and our sojourn.

California is expensive. At least to live there - anywhere along the coast. Multi-million dollar homes. Taxes. Landscaping. Insurance...etc. 

But I will say that California goes out of its way to provide amenities for all: lots of free parking, public access to the the beaches and lots of state and county and town parks and beaches. Rest rooms. Yes, Clean and numerous. Tables, benches, fishing piers, trails, walkways, bike trails, etc.

Eating lots of seafood was one of my favorite pastimes.

Our Air B&B

Walking at Pismo can through you off balance

The path to Pirates Cove (down to the beach, up to the parking lot)

Linguini Beach

Great attention to decor - even the concrete has real sea shells embeded

Pirates Cove from the trail

Pirates Cove trail

I love the waves


We watched wales breaching for hours...and putting on a great show

Whale breaching in the distance

Another one

Central Coast of California has to be totally void of LGBTQ people

Pismo Beach and surrounding area is the straightest place. Virtually no gay people - at least not openly. I think we may have zeroed in on two couples, total.

So...while we were away in California getting an "ocean fix" and cure for desert fever, we returned to find that one of our kind and generous neighbors had gifted us with a new (and very large) Rainbow Flag which has replaced a smaller, rather faded one. We thank you for the lovely gesture and while the size of the flag makes more of a statement than we might otherwise, we fully embrace the sentiment so aptly expressed by Gloria Gaynor so many years ago, "I Am What I Am" or in the case of Frank and Leon, "We Are What We Are" - so thank you neighbor!

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Il Dolce dì Far Niente

 The Sweetness of Doing Nothing. 

What more is there to say? Except “Where did they hide the gay beach, hon?”

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Like I’ve Said Many Times

 A cloudy day at the beach is better than a sunny day at work. 

The sun is burning through. Sciatica has improved. It’s been challenging but I have found joy in being by the ocean. 

We are at Pirates Cove today. A bit of a hike in and out but not as difficult as Blacks Beach. 

Dinner last evening was OK. Food was good but it lacked ambiance. For the price, ambiance should have been a given. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

A Few Thoughts on Hearst Castle

 Leon and I went to Hearst Castle for the first time yesterday. While I was predisposed to be disgusted by the opulent display of wealth, I was surprised to find that I was actually impressed in spite of it. The tour and the film after the tour were quite informative. William R. Hearst was an interesting fellow, not at all like the infamous money grabbing ex president we all despise. 

His collaboration with architect Julia Morgan, a pioneer in the field, was both unusual (as it was a many years project with lots of re-do changes that I would think an architect would quickly become impatient) and it was also a very creative working relationship.

As is my particular bent, I was more impressed with the exterior of the building and more particularly the grounds and gardens and lush flora. The interior was grand, but to me somewhat dark and boring. I didn't take any photos inside the building.

The project of bringing all the concrete, iron, marble and other building materials up the very long, winding and steep road (that was not necessarily smoothly paved back then) was a daunting task in itself. The hill overlooks the Pacific at 1,600 feet above sea level. I could not get a good photo of the road but I assure you it was miles long and very winding and, in places, rather steep.

Here are a few photos:

The fact that there was an Emergency EXIT on the ROOF of the bus did not make me feel secure in the least.

Monday, September 4, 2023

We Made It To California

 It has been one hell of a year. Hubby’s health issues in February and in May and June. Not to mention the cold and daily wind and intense heat. And my aching back and this week a most debilitating case of sciatica. Which made the 1,000 mile car trip almost unbearable at times. 

We took three days to get here so it was not too grueling.  I had to stop every hour or so to walk off the pain. The ibuprofen and acetaminophen did nothing but I think the indomethacin (which I have for the gout that flares up every two years) really did give me some relief. 

It would not be the first time I’ve had some ailment while on a vacation: torn Achilles tendon, swollen knee, gout from too much shrimp, just to name a few.

But we made it. We arrived at Pismo Beach around 3:30 pm CA time. All in all it was an enjoyable trip. 

Traveling without the camper (which we sold) is a good thing. A lot less hassle and actually cheaper. We get 50 miles per gallon with the Kia. Stayed at motels which are hit or miss when going cheap. 

We have not eaten at a McDonalds for years but there was one next to the motel so Leon got us Egg McMuffins with ham(?) and 2 coffees. $20.34.

We had a great Teriyaki dinner the night before for about $24 for the two of us. 

Here are a few photos of the road trip. 

Dinner was much better and more reasonable than MickyD’s. Fish and Chips and Blackened Albacore. 

Tomorrow THE BEACH!!!


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