Friday, June 27, 2008

"Ooh, I Want to Be There-er-er-ere in my City, whoa, oh, oh, oh..."

The vistas on our way out of O-town were amazing. We were in farm country full of olive groves and fruit orchards. It could have been the Oregon countryside of my youth, save for the fact of the occasional palm tree or the long fingers of incredibly tall cypress tress, rendering a view like something out of a Van Gogh painting. A great many of the farms had set up roadside stands.

After passing the 412th one I was all, "Hey, maybe we should stop and get some cherries or something". Hat was all, "Duh!"

Turns out the next stop was a full-blown, full service concern, with all manner of fruits and veggies, each more glorious than the last.

A man was handing out samples and I consumed the equivalent of a fruit salad. I bought nearly $30 worth of aromatic fruit, crunchy veggie chips and a jar of star thistle honey. As we continued on our way we discussed the cornucopia in our trunk and decided that with the addition of some cheese and bread we'd be set for dinner. That settled, the focus was on getting to Alameda. My dear friend, Dana, had offered the use of his place since he was off at a summer camp for hemophiliacs (he's a social worker). He had provided us with most excellent directions. Excellent as in here's-the-lane-you-want-to-be-in-this-is-what-you'll-see-on-you-left. The only concern pour moi was that there was a bit near Sacramento that involved lots of merging on and off half a dozen California highways. This did not please me, for I am not a fan of the merging, especially when I have no frakking idea where I am.

Once again, as they had the entire trip, my car angels saw to it that there was plenty of room between me and the nearest oncoming car. That and the fact that my car bore Washington plates probably had a lot to do with the exceedingly wide berth I was being given. Those Californians couldn't give me enough room. We'd be cruising down the center lane, surrounded by an empty cushion of at least 50 yards on all sides. Sweet.

Once we we were on the highway that was going to take us into Alameda, we pulled off at a beautiful rest stop that overlooked the valley. On a clear day you can, reportedly, see the Golden Gate Bridge from this spot. There was too much haze for that but there was something about that view, a beckoning promise. Somewhere in my head there were faint strains of a Journey song. I shook it off and we climbed back in the car for the last leg.

Thanks to Dana's directions and Hat's most excellent navigational skills, we were soon in the very charming town of Alameda, a place full of canopied, tree lined streets and teeny tiny Victorian homes. (We learned later that Alameda was a true bedroom community where the workers and staff for the rich of San Francisco came home each night. Each of the little teeny Victorians is a replica of a larger house in SF, a working class homage, if you will).

At the local market we collected wine, bread, cheese and salami, then easily found Dana's cozy, comfortable apartment. We were delighted to discover that we would each have our own beds for the duration. (I still dispute the sheet-stealer charge but there you go). We were further thrilled to discover Dana's secret garden, which would be the site for evening cocktails and morning coffee for the next 4 days. It was lovely and relaxing. We settled in, then Hat arranged the fruit and protein on a platter, while I toasted some bread and poured the star thistle honey over chunks of feta cheese. One word: ambrosia. We uncorked some Plungerhead zinfandel (a 2006, from Lodi - delish), cued up "Local Hero" and tucked in. We all fell asleep before the movie ended.

I didn't forget. Here's something a little different; and no, it's not Journey.

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Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Ba Ha Ha Ha (Note no W)

Yes indeed. A bright and sparkly smile. Thank you.



June 27, 2008 11:40 AM  
Blogger Leah opined...

I love reading about your trip and have been enjoying living vicariously through you.
Sounds likes you had such a fun and relaxing trip. And The Child is adorable...really adorable!

June 27, 2008 11:41 AM  
Blogger sageweb opined...

How flippin cute...I love the backup singing.

June 27, 2008 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

That is my favorite Abba song.

Or at least it was, until The Child got a hold of it.

Hey, if she's going to hate you she might as well hate me too.

June 27, 2008 2:52 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Anonyba that bright, sparkly smile would be the 6 grand worth of hardware in her mouth!

Leah, it really was one of the most relaxing vacations I've ever had. Still pretty much basking in the glow. And thank you. She'll be calling you Auntie Leah, now, given that she hates Uncle JP.

Sage, I've always thought ham was cute. And she's a ham and a half. Obviously.

JP, I wonder if I could get her to record some hair metal classics for you...

June 27, 2008 4:37 PM  
Blogger Sling opined...

Oh,I sense a Grammy nomination!..
Lovin' the Van Gogh ,'Starry Night' photo op,BTW. :)

June 27, 2008 8:24 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Sling, what you didn't hear was me and Hat being all, "Child, just pick a note for chrissake!" And that one photo does not do the cypress trees justice; but whatcha gonna do from the window of a moving car? Beautiful country you live in, dude. BTW, it's Friday night. Where's the champanya?

June 27, 2008 9:07 PM  
Blogger Sling opined...

Perhaps The Child might listen to some fine examples of vocal harmony?..Like say,on my Friday Video post.
..I'm such a music whore.

June 27, 2008 10:06 PM  
Blogger Willym opined...

Not sure why but I've been tearing up while reading the last few posts. There you are, people I know only through our blogs, and I am rejoicing in your companionship and sharing. Sling's got a wonderful point - and doesn't he always - where two or three are gathered together! Communion - it has so many meanings.

Love to you all!

June 28, 2008 4:12 AM  
Blogger LostInCO opined...

knowing me, knowing you, is the best I can do...that rings true. Very cute vid.

June 28, 2008 6:30 AM  
Blogger greeny opined...

I want to travel with you and Hat and The Child, please. I will pay handsomely! Good grief, it sounded stupendous!

June 28, 2008 7:45 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

I shall put her in a soundproof room with the video directly, Sling.

Willym, it's probably because you're already anticipating the time we'll have next summer when-God willing- we bring our show to Europe!

Glad you like it, Lost. It will take the sting out of all the hating that will go on when The Child realizes what I've done.

It's a deal, Greeny. Just bring some gas money and plenty of ear plugs.

June 30, 2008 4:36 PM  

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