Monday, July 16, 2007

Road Warrior Chronicles Vol II

Sideways Tour Stop #1 of 1 of the CB California Adventure

Got sidetracked at a professional conference last week in Orlando. Great conference. More than 1,200 college admissions-types in attendance. Big schools, small schools, community colleges and even several Canadian universities represented. Most sessions very good. One, not so good. Here is just one line from the last session I attended: "Creativity is an interesting concept." Thought the session was going to be about Web/database marketing, but it turned into more of a Kumbaya session on organizational change.

Thought I might come back to an announcement about Matt Cullen's return to Raleigh. Glad I held my fire. Who wrote that blog post...something about the search for Cullen? Oh yeah, it was me. Brilliant!!!

Anyhow. I promised the final chapter in the Griswold's adventure in California. I hope not to drone as much in this wrap-up. So, we left off in San Luis Obispo...

Day Four
Depart San Luis Obispo, after a fine hotel continental breakfast of runny waffles and watered-down high fructose corn juice. Jump on the 101 around 11:00. Jump off the 101 around 11:30 for a winery detour. Stumbled on to the Foxen Canyon Trail. Visited Cottonwood Canyon, Foxen, Zaca Mesa, and Firestone. Purposely missed the Fess Parker winery. I bought a bottle of his stuff in the grocery store awhile back and was vinegar. Add to that the fact that with the death of TV's Dan'l Boone around a decade ago, there wasn't even much star power left. Found out later they filmed some scenes in Sideways there. Firestone was my favorite...probably because of that fine ale I had a few nights earlier. I think they earned some subliminal beer-cred that transferred over to the wine.

By the way, the Firestone descendant who is the winery CEO is a US Marine who has done time in one of our combat zones. Firestone makes Jarhead Red wine. If you see a bottle, pick one up. I goes great with pizza, and the net proceeds go to help the kids of fallen Marines with college scholarships.

Returned to Solvang for more pizza, ice cream and wine tasting. Drove back to the 101 via Buellton, the site of the Hitching Post Restaurant in Sideways (pictured grainily above). The restaurant was closed for July 4th. Must not need the business. Kind of like things were around here after they filmed Revenge of the Nerds on this campus. Long term, might have been a mixed blessing for the UA.

Arrive Pasadena, 8 pm. Drink around half the wine we bought on the trip.

Day Five
Depart Pasadena enroute Simi Valley and the Reagan Presidential Library. Politics aside please. I voted for John Anderson in 1980. This is wonderful place and packed with history from the days of my time in the Navy. It sits up on a hill with views of 40-60 miles in nearly every direction. I never knew 80's memorabilia would look so old. You know how old a 1981 Chevy Suburban looks? They have one from the presidential motorcade on display. They also have an Air Force One 707 to walk thru. That was not a luxurious ride, my friends. John Travolta's 707 is probably far more posh. Even Nancy had a roll-out bunk.

Day Six
Depart 10 am for Malibu Lagoon State Beach. Pounding surf, surfers and kelp...more kelp than I've ever seen before. Every time one of the kids would duck under a wave they'd emerge covered in kelp. Still, you couldn't get them out of that cold water for four straight hours. No Malibu cuties either. I think it must have been Fat Armenian Patriarch day or Fat Octogenarian Hippie Surfer Guy with No Day Job...Day.

Day Seven
Depart 2 pm for historic Gamble House in Pasadena. This is the proto-typical California bungalow house-but on steroids. It was built by descendants of the Gamble side of the Proctor and Gamble dynasty. I grew up in a house built on land my dad bought from a Proctor descendant. The Proctor estate at the top of the hill was way spooky.
The Gamble House was the house the professor lived in in the Movie Back to the Future. His lab/garage is the garage on the property and is featured in the movie more than the house. Anyway, it's got lots of teak, servant's quarters, huge sleeping porches and everything in the house was designed by the architects-from furniture to closet doors to chang-a-leers.

Day Eight
Dash for Tucson via the In and Out Burger in Palm Springs.

No comments: