Vacation – Day 2!

Day 2 — aka the day of the cool glass orb, the pie, the olallieberry plant, and the rescued dog

Day got off to a leisurely start with a little stroll around the koi pond at our Solvang hotel, followed by hot tea, cranberry juice, and gluelike instant oatmeal at their free breakfast (I suppose Solvang might be the proper place to eat Danishes, but I couldn’t bring myself to). The breakfast equipment was strangely nice, like the pitchers and hot-water dispensers and such, and there were cute tables with real place settings and cloth napkins. We rated the breakfast average for food and above-average for the setting.

Cleared out of the hotel around 10:30 and drove west on 246, where we saw the many vineyards the Santa Ynez Valley is now using to draw in more visitors. The acres of spring-green vines made the rolling hills feel incredibly lush, and the drive very pleasant. We passed through some small towns and made our way back up on northbound 1.

We stopped in Morro Bay at an art fair and bought a beautiful blown-glass orb from the glassblower, Ed Broadfield, for Mommy to put in her sunny kitchen window. The orbs were so reasonably priced and so many kinds of gorgeous, I really wanted to get more, but I couldn’t see myself toting glass balls all up and down the coast — even though they’re really quite sturdy, as Ed and his wife demonstrated for us — and anyway we have no good place to put them. Sigh.

Had a decent but not too memorable lunch at a NYT-recommended Mexican restaurant, then returned northward to Cayucos and its overwhelmingly abundant antiques. We also walked through a $1.8 million beachfront open house which was a hideous flavor of gingerbread, but a great house for parties — many bedrooms, expansive window seats, balconies and patios, with a one-bedroom guest house in the back. Good times.

Continued up to Cambria where we spent about five minutes on a rocky beach.

I made an executive decision (as the driver of the moment) to take a five-mile winding detour to get fresh olallieberry pie — and an olallieberry plant for Shra — and on our way back a white pit bull met us in the middle of the road! We stopped, not wanting to hit him, and when we saw he wasn’t moving on from our car, I got out and said, “Hello, dog.” He walked right up to me and whined plaintively, just once. I stroked his head and talked to Erik through the window. We were stopped at a bend and another car came around and almost hit us as we were discussing the dog. He was very clean and so sweet and nice, and we couldn’t have left him there on the roadside in any case. So I cleared out the backseat and invited him to step in, and after he saw that we meant it, he got in and sat down very docilely, tucking his paws under.

We drove along the winding road wondering what on earth we were going to do with this lovely dog, when a woman who’d passed us and seen him getting into our car stopped and rolled down her window. She was on her cell phone with her sister, who lives in the area and has several dogs, but this wasn’t one of hers. While we were talking this out, another car pulled up with a very young guy and girl in it. The woman asked if it was their dog and the guy said, “Yes! We’ve been looking all over,” and almost before he stopped the girl was out and saying tearfully, “We were so scared!” They said he was microchipped but the woman retorted, “We can’t read it,” and advised them to get a collar and tag for him. So all ended well for Rocky, as it turned out his name was, and we were off again feeling glad Rocky had found his family again. (I confess I was also a bit sad to see him go, though we couldn’t possibly have had a dog along with us. He was a truly nice dog, the kind that makes me want to get a dog myself.)

Highway 1 is closed between Lucia and Carmel because of the Big Sur fires so we moved along.

We moved to the 101 and drove until 9 PM, with a stop for dinner (lousy noodle soup at Tung Kee in Gilroy), and we are now at my parents’ house, full of pie and ready for a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow we head north again. We’ve contacted old friends in Portland and I’m looking forward to seeing them when we get there — which should be in a few days if everything goes nicely.

A good day’s trip. 🙂

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at]