Our whirlwind week in San Francisco ended on Monday. Trips to the tourist spots, a day trip to Berkeley to see Heather, the best coffee I’ve ever poured in my pie hole, a night at the museum, too many good eats, walking…lots of walking, and a day on Captain Colin’s worthy vessel were but a few of the highlights. After packing the Bear, we bid aloha to our extraordinarily lovely, accommodating, and hospitable hosts, Alex and Katana, and began our journey down the coast to Big Sur, where we’d planned to camp that night before heading into LA on Tuesday.
Twenty miles south of Monterrey we learned the last heavy rains had caused a huge rock slide north of Big Sur and washed out the road to the south entrance, completely closing the park and Interstate 1 from where we were all the way past San Simeon. We messed around on the beach, poking washed up jellyfish with sticks and enjoying the beautiful scenery while kicking around ideas for alternate plans. Then, back up the 1 we drove, past the artichoke and berry farms overlooking the Pacific and heading into the vastness of Central California farmland on our way to the 5 freeway.
Seven hours later as we crested the last hill of the Grapevine and saw the lights of the north Valley spread out below us like a big, twinkling bowl of stars, we breathed a sigh of relief to be back in familiar territory. I quickly programmed all the old stations into the radio and we smiled at recognizable street names. Having departed with such disdain for LA when we moved to Washington a year and a half ago, this reaction was unexpected. Don’t tell Los Angeles, but I guess there will always be a fond place for her in my heart. A decade of building a relationship with this pulsing town and her people is no small matter, I suppose. But still, don’t tell. I don’t want LA getting all uppity and thinking I want to come back or anything.
Sam’s house might as well be a luxury hotel, and Sam himself makes for gracious, easy company. We’re being spoiled with filet minion, a huge yard in which Douglas can kick up his heels, a giant soft bed, our own giant flat screen television with real live television (much to Tyson’s delight), and gluten-free treats aplenty. Tomorrow, a dinner service at Hells Kitchen awaits, and in between all of the friend visits I’m trying to cram in as many business meetings as possible.
Saturday, we’ll be meeting at 12:30 until whenever at Griffith Park in the old zoo. Hope to see you there, Angelenos!