Thursday, October 11, 2001

I am also celebrating the drive from SF to LA and back with Lise, for the
weekend - we took Friday, and dawdled down 101; a hashmark for every shopping
center of that same generic could-be-anywhere in CA, could be Nowwhere, that we
passed; also noted with delight the regional sights: garlic stands/barns in
Gilroy, the decor of the Madonna Inn in SLO as well as the gift shop and an
apple dumpling from the Apple Farm restaurant, reading from natural history &
roadside geology books as we go...
She'd never been to Solvang before!! so we stayed there, and prowled the
historical Danish village...ate at Pea Soup Anderson's in Buellton on Friday
night, our picnic on the beach in Santa Barbara on Saturday included lefse from
the bakery in Solvang, but that lefse (Mrs. Olson's) was from Minnesota! haw...
the little carousel in Solvang, a Denzel reproduction with someone's
meticulous care and love and incredible hand-painted detail, is gone, having
been sold to a Japanese collector. We imagine it is well loved in its new home,
wherever that is. (*snif!* I miss it!) The seocnd-generation proprietor of the
Viking Motor Lodge on the main drag, Mission Street in Solvang, is Chinese, and
has a huge painting showing the Yellow Mountains and misty valleys, that his
father brought over from China. Lovely...we admired, and drew map sketches on a
scrap of paper to see where the Yellow Mountains are...some of the incredible
landscapes/waterfall scenes in the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (which
you must see if you have not yet) were shot there.

I celebrate landscapes, and the myriad of micro-climates we drove through this
weekend. Chapparal on the west and south sides of hills and oak forest on the
north sides in that valley rolling down through San Luis Obispo (or SLO; one
pronounces the 's' in Luis), and those 'Golden rolling hills' Kate Wolf sang
of, with a red-tailed hawk circling above, well if not every one as the song
goes, then many several of them.

We stayed with a delightful couple, folks who play SCA as well as being active
in the English and Scottish dance communities. We made them stuffcakes for
Sunday breakfast before heading easy road - there are still groves of
Meyer Lemons along the Simi Valley, there are no public mailboxes for posting
letters or postcards to be found in a walk around downtown SLO (the handy
half-way point stretch stop), and Carl's Jr. has decent salads and fresh
greeneries on burgers (that'd be Hardee's to those of you East of the

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