Search

Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

Do We Take Her for Granted

“Doesn’t your sister-in-law usually bring you a key-lime pie on your birthday?”

“Yes. She must’ve forgotten.”

“After doing it for more than ten years, probably not. Should we call and ask if everything is all right?”

“Don’t interfere.”

“She’s always doing something for us and your family. I hate to admit, I don’t even remember her kids’ names. That’s awful.”

“Then you call her.”

***

“She did forget because her kids have been having medical problems. She was so happy I inquired and said she was sorry. Maybe we’re the ones who are wrong for not paying more attention.”

 

Written in response to Charli Mills December 5, 2019, prompt from Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes a key lime pie. How can you use it in a story? Is it about the pie? Or about characters making, eating, or otherwise engaging with one? Go where the prompt leads!

Bringing Out the Best

Newly divorced Tessa, visiting her sister, sat in their childhood church. When the choir started singing from the loft her face registered recognition. She whispered, “I can hear Michael’s voice. I’ve never stopped hearing it.”

Aggie rolled her eyes.

“Is he home for good?”

“Medical discharge. In a wheelchair, he can do without. Very different.”

“Same beautiful bass.”

Later in the day, Michael approached Aggie’s door. She watched. “I’ll be dipped, he’s walking. You always could bring out the best in him. You sure about this?”

“It’s just dinner.”

“Yeah, right.”

“It’ll be good to be wanted and needed.”

 

Written in response to Charli Mills November 21, 2019, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a romance. Focus on the relationship between two people. Build tension and end on a happy(ish) note. Go where the prompt leads!

I’ll take the View

The couple stood staring at the upper floor southeast corner of their unfinished house.

Lizzy’s face turned red. “Isn’t that where my sewing studio is going? Why the hell are there such large windows? I asked for small ones.”

Her husband answered. “We’re building here for the view. I changed the plans as a surprise.”

The builder hearing the commotion came to intervene. “We will be using Indow Museum grade indoor storm windows that block 98% UV rays. I promise anything inside will not be harmed.”

“Will you put that in writing?” she challenged.

“I will, with a guarantee.”

 

Written in response to Charli Mills November 14, 2019, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using storm windows. It can be literal on a house, but also consider other portals, even spaceships or submarines. Can you make it into something new or build a story around something historical? Go where the prompt leads!

Happy to Serve

I am an American. I raised my right hand and affirmed to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against any who oppose it. I agreed to follow the orders of the President and all others ranked above me. I have been to war and done things I believe are morally wrong, but would do them again to protect my country. Like my friend’s grandmother, a Water Walker who fights to protect water because it is life, I will fight whenever and wherever I am told because Freedom isn’t free and I’m willing to pay the price.

Written in response to Charli Mills November 7, 2019, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes Water Walkers. It does not have to be in the Anishinaabe tradition; in fact, it would be more interesting to see interpretations from across all nations and walks. It can be a title or used as a phrase. Go where the prompt leads!

In memory of my friend Kurt Feuerherm, WWII Veteran

Decent Substitutes

On a recent summer trip through the southwest United States, Annie admired the many brightly painted ceramic skulls she saw in gift shops. They seemed to be happy, not scary. She wondered why so many people collected them, skulls weren’t her thing. After getting home she read for the first time the definition of the Mexican Holiday, Day of the Dead. Now it all made sense and she wished she had bought some for her parents and brother-in-law’s gravesites. She decided to paint flowers on three flat stones and leave them for her loved ones next time she visited

Written in response to Charli Mills October 31, 2019, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about the Day of the Dead. It can be the Mexican holiday, a modern adaptation of it, a similar remembrance, or something entirely new. Go where the prompt leads!

Bob’s Rt 66 Beer List

My husband is a beer man. When we set out on our Rt. 66 trip he decided to support the local breweries when possible. Sometimes when he would ask the bartender or server for a local beer, he would have to explain what he meant. It was obvious some of the people we encountered had not done much traveling.

We picked up Rt. 66 in Joliet, IL and headed south. The first couple of nights Bob drank his normal Miller Lite so the first true local beer he had was at the Cheeky Monkey Bar in Branson, MO. Yes the place was as fun as the name. We were met at the door with a shot of their signature drink by a friendly gal who asked us our names. What he drank is pictured below.

img_0342.jpg

The next evening we were in Tulsa, OK, and there isn’t a picture for that night. Now that it is a few weeks later, we don’t remember why. The following evening we were in Elk City, OK, and he had OK Pils.

IMG_0356

On into Texas we went. The Big Texan restaurant brew its own beer and they don’t sell it anyplace but there. People were buying “growlers” of their favorites. Bob drank the Texas Red Amber Ale and got to compliment the brew-master on its quality. Sometimes he took a picture of the menu too so he could remember what the names were later on. If you have a touch screen and can enlarge the menu, some of the names are a hoot. For instance: Whoop Your Donkey IPA. He isn’t an IPA guy, but the name is fun.

Don’t let the next glass fool you. It held Pepe Loco and he drank it in Albuquerque, NM. That evening we had the pleasure of chatting with and sharing the dance floor with some fun-loving Irish folk that were doing the Rt 66 trip on a huge bus.

IMG_0423

The following evening we were in Holbrook, AZ, where we found the Corral Bar and Kilt Lifter Amber Ale. The band was four guys who looked almost as old as we are, and played our kind of music. We do an old-fashioned swing and their beat got our toes moving. It was the night we will remember as the most fun because of the people we talked to: Lou from England and Alvin, a full blood Navajo.

One of the  most famous spots on Rt. 66 is “standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona. The corner name is insignificant, getting there is supreme. We had lunch, after the obligatory pictures were taken, at the Relic Road eatery where Bob had a Grand Canyon American Pilsner. Again, the menu is so we could remember the name. He also drank this beer at the Grand Canyon Pizza Pub.

The next afternoon found us on a train riding from Williams, AZ to the Grand Canyon south rim. The young lady that served the beer shown below attended the same high school I did in Wayland, NY, and graduated from a high school which was Bob’s high school football team arch rival. And at the beginning of the conversation she didn’t think we would recognize the name of the town she called home. It is indeed a small world when you get out there and explore it.

img_0488.jpg

The night we spent on the South Rim we enjoyed the best prepared meal of the trip. We shared our table with a couple from California that we had been talking to throughout the day as the El Tovar Hotel frowned on just two people at a table that could seat four. Bob had a single malt scotch instead of beer as we helped Gail and Gene celebrate their anniversary and it was a couple of days before Bob’s birthday.

Back in Williams, AZ, via train, we had a light dinner in the hotel lounge while I wrote that day’s blog and Bob enjoyed the Railhead Amber Ale. Don’t think I let him drink alone. My drink of choice is Jack and Coke for those of you who want to know.

IMG_0496

Our next stop was Las Vegas, Nevada, Sin City as it is casually called. In one of the restaurants of the Mirage Hotel we were disappointed with the quality of our meal, the service and the lack of any other local beer other than Sierra Nevada pictured below in the ultra thin, tall glass. We made up for it in the “free” drinks I drank while at the Craps table. Overall in my total craps play I am still $35.00 to the good, though I did leave $100.00 in Vegas. It might be good that I lost, I won’t want to play again so soon.

img_0493.jpg

From Vegas we drove on to Barstow, CA., our least favorite city overall because of the number of street people. We would go back to have dinner at the Idle Spurs where we met Suzanne and Wayne. It was Bob’s birthday and Rachel, the bartender, brought him an ice cream sundae with a candle in it. Bob drank Red Trolley Ale while we ate our dinner at the bar.

img_0563.jpg

In Palm Springs, having dinner at Shanghai Reds and then dancing to the blues band, Bob found his favorite beer on the whole trip. The 805 had the right taste and temperature to be refreshing as it was still 88 degrees when we walked back to our hotel room.

img_0575.jpg

Staying another night in Palm Springs, we drove north to Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneer Town Palace, way up in the mountains, on recommendation from Jack and Bonnie Garner back in Rochester, NY. We were seated at a table with another couple, Mike and Jennifer, from Atlanta, GA. They pointed out the Budweiser they were served had a notation on the label that it had been totally produced by wind energy so I had to have one to promote the cause. Bob drank the Saint Archer. It was another 100 degree day in the Palm Springs area, so the ice cold beer was good no matter the name.img_0585.jpg

The next night found us in San Diego. We jay-walked across the street from our hotel to Mitch’s, a fresh seafood place. Bob said his swordfish was great, I was not satisfied with my poke (fresh raw tuna) because it came by itself in a small cup, and we both left unsatisfied. He said the Chronic Amber wasn’t bad.

 

IMG_0592

We walked further west on the boardwalk and found Eppig Brewing where Rob, on the left, and Mike, on the right, poured Bob a Festbier and me a Prekend Kolsch. Now that was some good beer. Too bad Eppig doesn’t sell nationally. One could buy six-packs of their flavors from their cooler but alas we were about to leave the beautiful bay on an airplane. We expect to see Rob back in Rochester as he was raised in our fair city and will be here for a wedding in a couple of weeks.

img_0583.jpg

Above, Festbier on the left and Kolsch on the right. They explained the different glass use, but we wouldn’t have minded if it had been in a Red Solo Cup. (Thanks Toby Keith)

Below is the final beer of the trip. Bob enjoyed it at the Fish Market restaurant on San Diego Bay where Jeff and J.V., the bartenders, made sure we had full drinks and liked our dinner. 

IMG_1928

We arrived home on Thursday evening, the 26th. On the 27th we went to one of our favorite live music haunts just a few miles from home. Bob had a Rohrbach Highland Lager, brewed in Rochester, to celebrate a safe, fun, educational trip.

IMG_1935

This is not an advertisement for any of the beers listed. It is just what was available and wasn’t an IPA. We hope if you are a beer person, you have the opportunity to try some locally made beverages when you travel. Enjoy.

The Day After – Rt 66 trip

Sometimes an unpleasant little surprise turns out to be a blessing. Bob went down to the “office” in our hotel on Wednesday to print our boarding passes and found our flight had been moved to an hour earlier. That meant we had to set an alarm for 3:45 am Thursday morning. One thing this trip has been for me is a month without alarms, except for a couple of days that is. So, of course the night we want to get to sleep early, a noisy group of people decided it was the time to hang out on the front steps to smoke cigarettes and tell stories. The way the hotel was designed, all the noise carried right up to all the front windows. We put up with it for half an hour then tried to call the front desk to ask them to quiet down. The phone in our room didn’t work! Bob called the main desk on his cell, then after being on hold for four minutes, he got dressed and went down in person. The lady working wasn’t helping anyone check in, she was just looking at the computer. I wasn’t with him, but I know he was angry by this time. I did hear her yell out the front door for the people to quiet down and I also heard someone ask, what floor complained. Bob came back into the room and nothing changed. He’s usually a patient man. Usually. He went out on our balcony and hollered down, in not a nice tone, but using the word please. They dispersed. I think it was because of his age that they listened.

I only share this because it was part of our experience. We actually laughed about the fact our very first night in Cleveland had a bunch of unwanted noise, and so did our last night on the other side of the country. Sort of ironic. The blessing comes in to play when we had a short one hour lay-over turn into a two hour in Charlotte, NC, so we had time for lunch, time to make the 15 minute walk to our connecting flight and time for me to put together yesterdays blog. Only one problem, because of the internet connection I wasn’t able to publish the post.

Now we are on our way to Rochester where Bob’s son will pick us up at the airport and we’ll go to dinner together. There won’t be a lack of things to talk about. We left all the fabric I bought, gifts, extra clothes, and my pillow in the car so we won’t see those items for a few days. That was the plan.

We had a nice dinner in our home town, and got back to our house after dark. Unpacking was bitter-sweet, there are piles of things all over the flat surfaces, like mementos, a months worth of mail, things I didn’t take care of before we left, etc.  We got to sleep in our own bed, use the toilet paper we like, and take a shower under a sprayer of our choosing with the water temperature not fluctuating. I had MY coffee this morning and am happy to be home to the little things that make home, home. Traveling is an experience to be cherished and learned from. It is a luxury, but sometimes a luxury is just that if it only lasts a short time. Now if I could just have someone keep cleaning my bathtub and cooking my meals.

IMG_1773.jpg

Our house, above, and back yard, below, were fine without us. Notice all the green. After a couple of weeks of seeing only brown, sand, scrub, and no trees, this green was a welcome sight. If you don’t have the chance to travel, you don’t know not everyplace in the country looks like your neighborhood. We also left hot temperatures out west and came home and turned the heat on. It got down to 46 degrees last night. I turn my heat on according to the temperature in the house, not according to the calendar. This time Bob didn’t mind. In the hotel rooms we had trouble getting it cool enough to sleep. And see, my flowers are still blooming for me.

IMG_1772.jpg

Below: the local diner where the owner and staff know our names and what coffee we drink. We would take any out of town guests here for a great breakfast or lunch.

IMG_1775.jpg

IMG_1776.jpg

Above is Rhonda, our trip mentor. Talking with her this morning we discovered she did many different things on Rt 66 than we did. Now she wants to go again. Me, not so much.

Below is a baby we don’t know, but I had to show you the size of the pancakes Steve’s serves. Bob orders one on occasion and I eat the left overs at home the next morning.

IMG_1778.jpg

Below is just one of the many sewing projects I left in process. I bought the background fabric for this neck-tie quilt on the trip. I always have more than one quilting project going. Maybe I will start posting about those projects until we take another trip.

IMG_1780.jpg

I was concerned before we left that I would miss being creative sitting in a car for so many days in a row. Writing the blog satisfied that need. It also got me back into the habit of writing daily. It feels more than pretty good.

We know we didn’t see even half of what there was to see on Rt 66, but that’s all right. You can’t do it all. We did learn where we would like to spend more time and where we don’t care to return to. On to some tips and thoughts.

I didn’t drink near the coffee I do at home. I’m thinking that’s a good thing.

Packing daily got old, but it was worth it. We took bathing suits that never got used. We also took a night light for those dark bathrooms (at night) but left it in Missouri. It would have come in handy on the rest of the trip.

We used a very large amount of extra data on our phones that of course we have to pay for. Just consider it one of the expenses. (We decided not to figure out how much we spent. Some things we paid for when booked and other things as they happened. We are afraid we won’t go again if we figure out the total.)

Siri and the front desk folks were excellent sources for good restaurants and things to do if you needed to find out. As to the front desk folk, some are better than others, like any job, but most were top notch. They are willing to try to make your stay better by meeting requests like a quiet spot for a room. Don’t be afraid to ask. We always tip the housekeeper when we leave a room.

Internet connections, especially free ones, are not created equal. Sometimes the closer to the front desk you are, the better the connection. And if traveling to the Grand Canyon, don’t expect it to work at all. I think I told you that when we were there. Bears repeating.

One thing that got to me was having privacy curtains closed on a regular basis. At home I have no curtains to my fenced back yard, and only sheers on the front windows. I like day light even in the bedroom and I don’t like feeling hemmed in. One more reason it’s nice to be home.

I sent postcards to my grand kids, but the parents liked them more. Next trip I will take my address book, or put addresses in my phone, as I know a few people that would have loved to get a card and I wasn’t prepared.

Oh, if you plan to use a laundry room in a chain that advertises them, I recommend calling and verifying it at the location you need it. One of our stops didn’t have it and it goofed up the laundry schedule. Yes, we bought more underwear because we needed it.

A last parting thought. Talk to the people you pass along the way when you travel. The best part of the trip was the acquaintances we made. They made the trip more fun and memorable, and less exclusive. I learned that the people in one corner of the US don’t look like the people in the other corner yet they are under the same government, have the same gripes and challenges and laugh and love the same. People are people and it was a privilege to meet them.

I will be posting Bob’s beer list when he gets it compiled as some of you requested.

It’s a wrap my friends. If you enjoyed the trip, please press the like button either here or on my Facebook page so I know who went with us. Thanks.

 

 

 

Day 25 – Rt 66 trip

Well, this might be more challenging than working on the balcony a couple of nights ago; I am now sitting on an American flight traveling 512 miles an hour zooming toward Charlotte, NC. I have to pay for internet which I am not willing to do, so I will try to write about yesterday, then when we land, combine pictures and text.

Well, I tried to post this in Charlotte airport, and no can do. So, we are now home, with the football game on, and 24 hours late, I will share our last day in San Diego with you.

IMG_1731

We put our baby on a great big truck at 9 am. Alex, the driver, and his partner are from Massachusetts and they will drive eight cars back east and arrive Saturday or Sunday. We are guessing while one drives the other guy sleeps in order to make it in that amount of time.

A note about writing on the balcony. There were no bugs bothering us, not even a fly. I rarely sit outside at home because of mosquitos, knats and bees. They like me and don’t do nice things to my body.

I have a list of “out takes” or, lessons learned, from our trip that I will share tomorrow but will give you one of them now. No matter how tired you are when you get to your previously unfamiliar destination, drive a mile in each direction to find out what is close at hand; liquor store, grocery store, restaurants, places of interest. We missed some great photo ops along Rt 66 because we stayed in the hotel instead of exploring. In San Diego we almost missed a good breakfast place just a few buildings from ours. So, after watching the guys load the car, in eight minutes, we went to breakfast at the Point Loma Café. I had an avocado, cream cheese omelet, and Bob had a Fajita Delight with steak. The corn bread muffin was the best I’ve had since living on the west coast in the ‘80’s.

IMG_1733IMG_1734

I have to admit, we have not been getting up early, so we went back to the hotel for a little snooze, then got around and Ubered to where the we could catch a tour boat to be shown both the north and south ends of the bay that we could see from our hotel room. One of the trolley drivers had suggested it would be a worthwhile thing to do. He was right. We boarded a boat that was docked by the Midway Aircraft carrier used from just after WWII through the Iraq war. The carrier is now decommissioned and is a museum you can tour daily from 9 am – 5 pm. The pictures are of the planes that are on display on its deck.

IMG_1748IMG_1756

We rode under the Coronado bridge and from underneath, you can really see the curve of the structure. They used to charge a fee for crossing the bridge, but as soon as it was paid for, they dropped. It. That’s of interest because in NY we have a toll road called the thruway, that was supposed to be built and paid for that way, but the tolls never went away. Now we are told the tolls pay for its upkeep, but it’s not in very good shape a lot of the time. It makes us wonder where the money goes.

IMG_1739

 

IMG_1743IMG_1744IMG_1745

Most of the rest of the bay is “owned” and used by the US Navy. There were two other carriers in dock, three submarines (I wouldn’t have known what I was looking at had I not been told as only a portion of them show out of the water,) and countless other navy vessels. From the boat we were on I could only see grey in front and behind me. I overheard a comment from another passenger, “Hmm, does all this make one feel safer, or less, because it would be a prime bomb target for an enemy?” It did make me think for a minute.

IMG_1749

I got a great picture of the downtown skyline. Ignore the big fat flag pole that cuts the picture in half please.

On our tour we also went to the sleeping quarters of the sea lions that we have been hearing. They share their quarters with hundreds of cormorants, the black birds, and also some pelicans. It’s funny how one noise during the night can be calming and enjoyable when others are disturbing.

IMG_1753IMG_1755

When we got back to shore, we asked the narrator from the boat, who explained a lot of Navy history and gave us descriptions of all the vessels, where we should go to dinner. He told us the Fish Market, but don’t look at the prices. It was our final night in town so we took his advice.

Outside the fish market is a statue of Bob Hope and some of the troops he is so famous for entertaining. It was a moving display.

IMG_1757IMG_1759

Inside we decided to sit at the bar. Jeff and J.V. were our bartenders and we met Michelle and Garry from Iowa and Nora, who is from Poughkeepsie, NY, much nearer New York City, than we live.

Bob and I shared some oysters and then I had the fresh Dungeness crab cioppino, along with three cocktails. No judging…we were on vacation.

IMG_1760

IMG_1761

We also met Juan whose “big Circles” aren’t quite as endearing as my Honey’s small ones, but the comparison made for some good conversation and a fun picture.

IMG_1767

One of Bob’s friends wanted a report on what it was like to spend so much time together. I have to admit, I was concerned about it before we left home. I’m happy to report except for some stress when I couldn’t make sense out of the EZ66 guide and shoved the book into Bob’s hands, and a couple of crabby moments when I was tired and impatient, this trip brought us closer together. We had time to talk about the many first things we have done together in 19 years. We figured out we have only 17 states left to visit to make it to all 50 as a couple. We talked about which places we want to return to and which we don’t care to. We were so busy we had no feeling of wanting to go home in the middle of the trip and we knew we were sad it was coming to an end because our daily lives are so routine and full of responsibility. We do take time for regular date nights. My blog will be a gift to ourselves as we already can’t keep track of what we did in which location. Thankfully our phones tell us where we took pictures, so we can go back and say, yes, we went dancing at the Corral in Holbrook, AZ. That was a really fun night.

I’m not done yet. See you tomorrow. Oh, Bob had been my proofreader the whole trip, no matter how long the post, or how late I finish it, he has been a help. Thank you Honey.

Alarm Set – Rt 66 trip – day 25

We have a 3:45 am alarm set to make it to the airport on time in the morning, so I will ask you to be patient for the details of our final day in San Diego. We did it up right, and I hope to get some shut-eye before that alarm goes off. Thanks for understanding.

Day 24 – Rt 66 trip

We’ll see how this works. I am sitting on a balcony at a Best Western Hotel in San Diego, CA. There are people in the pool five floors below to my left, there is still an occasional plane landing at the only airport in the US with just one runway, and I can hear other voices and vehicles but can’t tell where they are coming from. Traffic goes by, but the cars are few compared to noon time. There is a well lit fishing boat coming into the harbor. I hope the guys that paid to go fishing are coming home with a good catch. I could get used to living in this city because of its temperature, things to do, historical significance and abundance of US military and retirees. That being said, we probably couldn’t afford it, and I won’t leave my family on the east coast.

Last night we were serenaded by a couple of seals at 1:30 am. I was awakened, but smiling. It’s been a long time since I have heard their barking. Today when we asked, we were told they were probably begging fish trimmings from one of the boats. After supper as we walked the boardwalk we looked for the culprits, but didn’t see them.

Below is a picture out the back side of our hotel. This is a typical neighborhood in San Diego. The unique part is our hotel is one sided, meaning there are only rooms facing the bay. I’ve never seen a hotel that didn’t have rooms on both sides of the hall.

IMG_1671

We aren’t crazy about hotel breakfasts, so when money or time isn’t an issue we go looking for locally owned places to eat. Today, in Old Town, we found the Livingroom Cafe. Our server was a lady in her 40’s. She was pleasant, anxious to make sure we were satisfied, and helpful with directions.

IMG_1686

IMG_1692

Above is the patio we shared with other guests. It was interesting because of the signs in the trees. At one point, without total awareness, I thought their huge coffee cups looked like rolls of toilet paper. They were about the same size. (Note: Bob says if we ever do this type of extended trip again, we are bringing our own toilet paper. The stuff we have been using, made for older systems that need coddling. tends to shred before it’s done its job.)

Below is my omelette. One can only eat so many huevos rancheros. I haven’t had much fruit lately, so finished that and left part of the omelette. Bob also had an omelette, but with a lot more spice to it. The homemade toast was delicious.

IMG_1693

After we ate, we toured Old Town. Lots of history, gift shops, and the cactus I have longed to become acquainted with.

IMG_1695

And another one. If you look at the bottom left corner of the plant you can see it is large enough to give one shelter. The lady was reading a book.

IMG_1694 (1)

Once done in Old Town we got on, paid handsomely to ride, the Hop on/Hop off trolley that tours around the city. I can’t tell you how many museums we could have visited, It was a lot. The historical neighborhoods were driven through, and there was a running commentary from the jovial, retiree age drivers. It was very interesting. To see part of Gaslight town we were advised to get off at one stop and walk to the next. Well, there aren’t too many public toilets waiting for people like me on a street corner so we had an unplanned lunch at Roma Mia. I had a cold, sweet glass of wine and Bob ordered iced tea.

 

IMG_1699

We shared some tiramisu, which is the best I have ever had. Our bathroom stop cost us $30.00, but it was worth it.

IMG_1700

Back on the trolley we went across the curved bridge to Coronado Island. Below is a picture of what the locals call a bouy town. Whomever, rents a bouy from the city for $160.00 a month, attaches their boat and lives on it. It is up to the individual to haul all necessary water, provisions, propane, etc, back and forth to the boat by dinghy. I don’t think I’m a candidate to live that way, but there is a four year waiting list to be able to do so. To each their own. The rent is so cheap you say, well yeah, if you don’t add in the cost of the boat, and the manpower necessary to make it all work.IMG_1704

Coronado has some beautiful beaches that beckon. Today neither Bob nor I thought walking a ways in soft sand was a good idea. The sun was hot and we are finally admitting traveling for almost four weeks has worn us down.

IMG_1706

We stayed on the trolley and went back across the bridge getting to see part of the huge Navel Station that is located here.

IMG_1717

More Navy vessels below. Bob’s granddaughter was stationed here when she was in the Navy.

IMG_1718

We got off at the Balboa Park stop and visited the Veterans Museum. It was nothing compared to what we saw weeks ago in Illinois, but still reverent.

IMG_1723

Neither Bob nor I knew that the Medal of Honor has a different design for the differing branches of service. I guess I’ve ever only been close to an Army one and thought there was only one style.

IMG_1722

When we got back to the room, we were hot and tired. We rested a bit, cleaned up and walked across the street for some dinner. The pizza was not like any we have had any where so it was a good choice. The veggie pieces were cut larger, the sausage different than at home, and the crust much thinner. After, we walked the pier to see what interesting tidbit of fishing information we could glean, or critter we could see, with our destination Eppig Brewery where we chatted with Rob again. (He’s the guy we met last night, that is from Rochester.)

IMG_1724

And now as I finish, still on the balcony. the seal is once again making his/her presence known. Wish I could see it.

Day 23 – Rt 66 trip

We started our day with breakfast at the Lulu California Bistro, right next door to the Broken Yolk, but with food about the same, much better service and awards. Yet, I heard our server, Daryl, get reprimanded for still waiting on his customers when he had been told to go on break. I used to work in food service, and was thankful I no longer have to when I overheard what Daryl had to put up with. It’s still all about the buck, not the employee. Sad.

IMG_1645

I took a picture of Lulu’s interior because of how it differed from yesterdays dinner; from Pioneertown to modern.

IMG_1643

Another Huevos Rancheros. It can literally be presented any way one feels like as long as the ingredients remain somewhat the same. The best I have ever had has not been on this trip, but in Bakersfield, CA, a couple years back.

IMG_1644

I have been sending postcards to my grandchildren along the way. This morning we asked where we might find a mail box. We never would have found this. It isn’t blue, nor big, but does fulfill the need.

IMG_1646

We decided to stay off of highways for the most part and took “back roads” on our way to San Diego. The below photo was taken in Mountain Center. In the car, I could see those mountains off in the distance as real things, not a haze in the yonder.

IMG_1648

The next scene is from Aguanga, CA. So beautiful in person. Once again, Bob enjoyed driving the winding, well banked roads. I was able to look out to the horizon in some cases.

IMG_1656

And another from Anguana, CA. We are now in greenery and noticeable habitation. It was a relief. The terrain was more like western New York state, though not the same flora. We have once again started seeing cows, horses, and some deer among the trees.

IMG_1658

There is a special man in our lives that wants some boulders to put along the driveways of his rental properties in order to keep people from driving on the lawns. We found them. Alas, they are on the wrong side of the country.

IMG_1667

We have arrived in San Diego. This is our view for tonight and two more nights. It is cool by the water and we enjoyed sitting on our balcony to unwind, read our email, marvel we could keep the drapes open and not have anyone see in our room, and be thankful we drove 3,922 miles with no car trouble.

IMG_1670

We went across the street and had supper at Mitch’s. Bob’s swordfish was fresh and delicious, but only came with a baby serving of coleslaw. My poke bowl (poke meaning fresh fish) was just the tuna and some corn chips. We were still hungry.

IMG_1674

We walked further away from the hotel and found the Eppig brewing company where Rob (in the blue) and Mike poured us some beer and served us some hummus to finish filling the hole. Here comes another small world story, Rob is from the same suburb that my daughter lives in and he will be back home in Rochester on Columbus Day weekend. We exchanged phone numbers and have intentions of meeting up at Iron Smoke Brewery in Fairport, NY, where the owner is a long time friend of his. My daughter and her special man, Gino, will be invited to join us as Rob and Gino went to high school in the same suburb. The best part of this whole trip has been the people we have met and connected with.

IMG_1864

Walking back to the hotel we noticed the Great Blue Heron hanging out with the gulls along the marina waterfront. Since I attended a writing retreat in Vermont, in July, herons have a special place in my heart. (Hi Ann, Charli, Dede, and Jules.)

IMG_1681

We also noticed many boats with lots of lights on, and lines of men, and a few women, along the walkway. We stopped and asked questions. Turns out the paid fishing excursions leave the night before in order for the boats to have time to motor out 15 to 20 miles before daybreak. Then they fish for tuna during the day light and get back in tomorrow around dark. I asked if the fisherman drink or sleep during the dark hours. You can guess the answer. My son would love to do one of these fishing trips.

IMG_1683

A catch being unloaded. The fish have a numbered tag on them so they know which fish belong to which fisherman when they get back to shore. The trip costs about $350.00 per person. We didn’t stick around to see who cleans the fish, but I can just imagine the taste of that fresh catch.

IMG_1684

We have only been in San Diego a few hours and already understand why people who move here, stay here.

Oh, our room to finish this trip is above par, except when I sit on the toilet the paper roll is literally in my arm pit. After all the hotels we have been in, in the last month, I feel like I could be an adviser to the designers. Maybe I should send some letters with my suggestions.

Day 22 – Rt 66 trip

I don’t think I have mentioned, we are staying at Best Westerns whenever possible. We are rewards members and have earned a couple of free nights staying with the same chain. There are a couple of foibles to doing so; you take the  location they offer, sometimes a gem and sometimes not, and each hotel is owned by a different person so the amenities are not always the same. In Tulsa we were given a free upgrade to a suite, in another location we were given our points and a couple of battles of water, in Elk City, OK, the desk person said let’s make sure you aren’t by the laundry or elevator. Thank you. Here in Palm Springs we accepted a room by the pool. Mistake, and it’s our fault we didn’t ask to be moved. The point, when you travel, open your mouth and ask for a quiet spot in the hotel. Generally they are cooperative.

IMG_1608

Above is the view walking from the hotel parking lot to go across the street through the parking garage to the next street to have breakfast. It was 88 degrees at 10 am. and that mountain was a couple more streets away from the one we walked to. One thing about desert temperatures, the flowers are still blooming and the young women are running around in sleeveless sundresses. Most of them looked very attractive.

IMG_1613

Above is the Broken Yolk Cafe menu. Below are my savory crepes. The food was good, my coffee lukewarm and our server uninterested. We sat outside and enjoyed watching the people walking by.

IMG_1612

After breakfast Bob watched a bit of football. The games are on at decent times on the west coast. Then we took a ride to Palm Desert to find fabric depicting California landscape. I actually found some with windmills on it. Considering we have seen windmills the whole trip that selection was a no-brainer. We were happy the store was open on Sunday. We are not fans of the Spanish architecture and all the same adobe color.

IMG_1614

We then took “back roads” towards Yucca Valley to find a restaurant we had heard about from more than one person. The picture below is typical California mountains. It looked like the road went no where.

IMG_1617

Now we know where the road goes, right up over the top, through a slight pass. It was a pretty drive, in some areas four lanes and two in others.

IMG_1620

We found Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace out in those mountains. It has no cell service, but parking for over 100 cars. Dating from 1946, this rustic desert motel was a former movie set built by famed actor Roy Rogers. It’s 3 minutes’ walk from historic Pioneertown Main Street and 4 miles from Twentynine Palms Highway. It has been a biker bar and is now a “must visit” location for locals and travelers alike.

IMG_1621IMG_1622

I was taken by the artwork in the bathroom. The first picture is the door to designate the ladies room, the next three are the stall doors.

IMG_1631

IMG_1633IMG_1634IMG_1635

Below is the best satirical sign I saw on the trip. The beer was extra cold, the food was yummy and the service was fine. We were seated with a couple named Mike and Jennifer. She took the picture of us, and I took a couple of them for their memory book. Once again, we made instant friends with an invitation to stay at their house should we ever travel through their state.

IMG_1636

Below are a couple of pictures of the buildings that are part of Pioneertown. Very unique.

IMG_1638IMG_1640

And us, having finished our dinner at Pappy and Harriet’s. I had ribs and Bob had a quesadilla.

IMG_1629

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑