Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What Scott Did On His Summer Vacation.

While I was in California with the kids, Scott went to the Jackson Hole Music Festival to see the Avett Brothers.

Avett Brothers • Die Die Die from Justine Larsen on Vimeo.

A Stop In Los Gatos

On our return drive to Wyoming, we stopped for a brief visit with our good friend Beth at Oak Meadow Park in Los Gatos.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Beaches, Babies, Urban Birds & Belly Dancing On The Central Coast Of California

With a few hours on the the innertubes last Wednesday, I was able to locate a relatively inexpensive motel in San Luis Obispo and, with a quick repacking of bags that had just been unpacked after our arrival a few days ago, I headed off to the Central Coast with my mom and kids.

After a stop at the surgeon's office ( my mom was to have foot surgery last Wednesday but was canceled due low potassium level) for a new set of labs, we drove off through the wide Central Valley of California. I'd not planned on stopping in Paso Robles at my favorite winery, on the way west on Highway 46. As luck would have it, Augusta called for a potty break just as we came upon Tobin James. Old Cisco, the Australian shepherd that would greet us upon arrival has passed away since our last visit but Lance, the co-owner, did a great job pretending that he remembered the FromWyomings. Mom and I did a tasting at high noon, which is my idea of a good start to any vacation. Outside they are continuing to build a great patio-barbeque area that I had to take pictures of in an effort to memorize the design. I guess I'll just call it "inspiration" and not thievery...

We pressed on to through Paso Robles, which is having insane growth, onto Highway 46 towards Cambria. We took Highway 1 south to see the fog in Morro Bay and have lunch at the Hofbrau overlooking the water. And know what? NO FOG! There is almost always fog in Morro Bay...

The kids had a great time in the water. Gorgeous skies, toasty sand, an ocean breeze and happy children.

We drove from Morro Bay State Park to Baywood Park on our way to Montana de Oro — all the way to the end of the road. Back through Los Osos, (again, unbelievable growth) our next stop was the Rose Garden Inn in San Luis Obispo, to visit their swimming pool before going on to Farmers' Market downtown to meet Sharkartist, a not-so-imaginary online friend. Sharkey was a great sport, even when Charlie got cranky over being told no on going in the bounce house that was set up on the street. Yes, his mother mistreats him terribly...

Friday, after a huge breakfast at Margie's Diner, we headed off to the Pismo and Shell Beach areas to marvel at the growth. It was then off to Avila Beach for a snack and splash for a few hours. Again, it was just unexpectedly gorgeous weather. We'd located a couple of toy Yellow Submarines and some cheap sand buckets at a Pismo grocery store, so we were streamlined, sunscreened and set.

Leaving Avila about 2 pm, I made a quick U-turn at See Canyon, telling Mom that in the time I'd lived in SLO, I'd never driven that road. See Canyon is the apple orchard area between the coast and San Luis Obispo. We stopped at Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards for a tasting amid the peacocks and old dogs in the driveway. Very nice and we came away with an Apple Merlot and a bottle of their Syrah. Mmmm... mmm...mmmmmmmmm.

The drive through See Canyon was incredible and as remote as anything in Wyoming. At the summit we could look over clear skies and see San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay and Montana de Oro - all areas stunningly beautiful for a second day in a row. The road took us back through Perfumo Canyon and into the Laguna Lake area of San Luis Obispo. I stopped, while the kids napped in the car and Grandma listened to KCBX, for a platter of sushi and a cheesecake to take to our friends' home for dinner before the Beijing Opening Ceremonies on their big screen. It was at our friends' hillside home in southern San Luis Obispo that we met "The Girls".

The Girls, two very sassy hens, keep 4 humans and a parrot for pets. In exchange for their accommodations in the chi-chi custom built coop, they provide 2 eggs a day. Unless they are feeling broody, that is...

The Girls' pets, Doug and Lori, are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary this year. And, that lovely green structure in the garden is The Girls' Urbane Roost. Augusta played with their daughter, Sarah, and Charlie idolized their 10 year old son, Jake. It was a really nice evening to catch up and have some laughs. Scott and Doug go way back and Doug was one of the groomsmen in our wedding. It's so nice to know they are back to San Luis for 5 years now and raising some great children in addition to their services to the household hens.

On Saturday morning, we headed back to downtown San Luis Obispo for breakfast at The Big Sky restaurant after a recommendation from Sharkey. Many, many moons ago it was DK's West Indies Bar and the place I saw Robyn Hitchcock in a fantastic acoustic performance. Scott could give you a laundry list of the bands he saw there. But, times change and I went there for coffeecake instead of a witty songwriter's between-song banter.

I then walked the kids down Garden Street. I poked my head into a very pricey children's boutique. Augusta was complemented on her outfit of a dress lovingly made by her Fairy Godmother Martha and her thrift store pink plaid Chuck Taylor's. Needless to say, I wasn't inclined to puchase an $80 skirt with 36 yards of hot pink and cocoa brown tulle. We walked passed Linnea's Cafe, the coffeehouse that was a big chunk of the inspiration for Parlor News Coffeehouse when we opened in 1996. While walking past, a brightly dressed woman was getting out of her car. Charlie said, "oh, PRETTY!" when he saw her.

She was going to belly dance at the Mission Plaza as part of the Day With Creative Women, which was where we were headed at that very moment.

Augusta had her face painted for the first time. As a princess, of course...

We watched the dancers and I took a ton of pictures. Charlie wandered around and was a little confused by what had happened to his sister.

We sat and watched and listened at the amphitheater overlooking San Luis Creek.

Charlie enjoyed the show...

After a drive through the Cal Poly campus, where I started at KCPR and met Scott more than 20 years ago, we drove back to Woodlake with a dinner stop at In-N-Out Burger in Visalia.

It was a nice couple of days and I was glad for the great company, entertainment and the chance to watch the ocean while squishing sand between my toes.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Road Trip

What do you get when you mix three National Parks, two small children and 1260 miles to Grandma's house? A road trip with 3 of the 4 FromWyomings!

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