It’s all in the duck

Tuesday 11 June 2013

This was to be the day that we went into the city, I was feeling a little apprehensive about this trip. It was about mid morning when we set off yet again on Route 101 this time going south.  We were not sure how it would work going through the toll on the Golden Gate Bridge. As the tolls are taken automatically. Missy M had told us on an earlier visit to the city that she believes rental cars are taken care of. We had it planned we wanted to ride a tram or maybe a cable car. It was a must that we should drive down Lombard Street, or at least it was a must for Owl. I would be happy just to see it.

I set the sat nav to find Lombard street, we were driving along the lower part of the street as we had done on both the previous occasions we had been in the city. I found it on the map but due to the one way system we were directed to turn right then left which was when we began our near vertical climb. I was holding on tight each time we came to a junction. The adrenalin was building up as we neared the crest of the hill. Turning left again we passed the section of Lombard Street that Owl was searching for. Luckily (in my view) there was nowhere to stop so we made our way back down towards sea level and Fishermans wharf. First we needed to find the car park, I managed to find the place we had parked on the first Saturday but it was full! The Parking attendant pointed us in the direction of another car park.

We walked from the car as fast as my little legs would carry me towards Fishermans Wharf where it was our intention to, have lunch, ride a cable car and or tram and if we could take a ride on one of the Duck tours. The first thing we found was the Duck tours, we booked our seats handed over the money $70 between us. It was then that I realised we only had about $10 left. Ok we would find a bank and draw out some more money but first we only had 20 minutes before our trip began. We set off looking for somewhere to buy a bottle of water to share. That 20 minutes flew past in record time and we found ourselves climbing onboard our transport.

IMG_0519  Owl was most disappointed to learn from the driver that this was not a genuine WWII type DUKW. These amphibious vehicles have been purpose built by the company. We enjoyed our ride anyway. There were steep streets like this to climb.IMG_0822 Various land marks were pointed out to us, usually on our right, I was sat on the left! Owl took photos that interested him on the right  like these from China Town reputably the largest China Town outside China.

IMG_0530  IMG_0531  whilst I was enjoying the architecture on the left.IMG_0826 I should have taken a note book to write down all the landmarks that were pointed out to us. IMG_0829  IMG_0830 IMG_0839 IMG_0842 IMG_0844  IMG_0562  going from land to water was much easier than I had expected.IMG_0544   IMG_0546   It was a little un-nerving being on board this land based vehicle puttering around in the bay  passing such huge vessels as theseIMG_0548 San Francisco as seen from the water  near to the Bay Bridge. IMG_0550    IMG_0555  the back of these US Navy transport shipsIMG_0556 In case you hadn’t guessed this is the Bay Bridge as seen from the bay. IMG_0847  IMG_0848  The Giant’s stadium as seen from the bayIMG_0851  IMG_0564  Now the Giants Stadium seen from the road.IMG_0567   IMG_0568  Here is a selection of San Francisco Trams. Did you know that the trams have been collected from cities across the world.IMG_0576     IMG_0864  IMG_0865  IMG_0866 Finally we returned to our starting point. Before doing anything else we needed to find a bank so we could get some dollars. It seemed to me that since we had arrived in USA everywhere we went there were banks on every corner even drive through banks (something we don’t have back at home). So it shouldn’t take us long to find a bank. Or so we thought……..

WE walked along several blocks with no luck so changed direction again nothing so we changed direction again. Going into a camera shop we asked directions to the nearest bank. We were direct towards a shopping arcade 4 blocks to the left. Finally weaving our way between other tourists we made our way to the shopping centre. The bank clerk was very pleasant and helpful but no matter what he tried my bank card was not going to allow us to withdraw any money. However we were able to take a cash advance using Owl’s card. When we came out of the bank we headed back to Fisherman’s wharf for a spot of late lunch. IMG_0580

Owl made a new friend.IMG_0578  He also loved looking at Alcatraz from here.IMG_0583 After much deliberation we decided to eat at Boudin Bakery again before having a walk along the street looking at boats moored up in a small marina, there were many boards up advertising fishing trips. We were going to find a cable car to take us up to Lombard Street but decided to just collect the car and drive up there. When we got back to the car park I realised that it was above the shopping centre where the bank was.

 

I was hoping that we would just drive past Lombard street and glance down as we passed it but no, to my horror Owl turned to go down it. IMG_0588 I would have had my hands firmly over my eyes at this point if he hadn’t asked me to take photos. Not the easiest thing to do when you are hurtling downhill at speed constantly turning corners but I did my best. IMG_0590  IMG_0591  IMG_0592 It was a thrilling experience and at the end of the day I am glad that we did it but it was scary.

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Peggy Sue Adventure

 

Sunday 9th June 2013

After our adventures of the previous day we had a pretty quiet Saturday morning. Missy M had called the night before to tell us that the annual art and music festival would be in Novato and we should go. We visited our favourite diner Pepper’s for a late brunch of omelette for me and waffles for Owl.IMG_0757

Wandered back to our room and waited for the call to go and meet Missy M.

By the time we arrived at the festival the temperature was a massive 100 degrees, which is not good for walking about. We were all melting, I am sure we all shrank a few inches during the afternoon. There were lots of interesting stalls to look at. Missy M bought herself a dress and some earrings.  We all found this stand very intriguing.

IMG_0760 my favourites wereIMG_0759 Owl likedIMG_0463and thisIMG_0465

We walked from one end of the street to the other where we left Owl to listen to a live band playing while we went in search of ice cream from Missy M’s favourite ice cream store.  It was a blessed relief going into this air conditioned store full of every kind of sweet you could ever imagine and the sweet scent lingering in the atmosphere was hypnotic.  Missy M chose her tub of two kinds of ice cream and I had two kinds of sorbet which I felt would be more refreshing. Grabbing a bottle of water for Owl we headed back along the hot road to find my husband enjoying the music.

Cold desserts (rapidly melting) in our hands we meandered along back in the direction of the mustang. We had seen everything we could muster up the enthusiasm to see, it was just too hot to do much else. Even just walking at a slow pace felt like wading through treacle.

Once back at the car we decided it was time to collect Mr T which we duly did. I wouldn’t recommend travelling with father and daughter when the daughter knows her way around and the father doesn’t. Giving vague directions and not paying full attention to directions can lead to an interesting situation. With help from Mr T we finally found our way to a part of town we hadn’t seen before and a retail park that included several eateries.  We found ourselves at Pasta Pomoro one of Missy M’s favourites. Both teenagers chose a pasta dish whilst Owl and I both had a soft drink only as we were not hungry. It was nice to sit in partial shade just relaxing and chatting.

We were feeling tired and the teenagers had things to do so once the table had been cleared and left over pasta boxed up to take away we dropped them home and drove back to Petaluma and an early night. We were planning a busy day for Sunday.

Later we received a message that Missy M had left her makeup bag and car key in the mustang. She didn’t need them immediately but could we drop them off in the morning. Which of course we did even though Novato is in the opposite direction to Santa Rosa which was our chosen destination for that day. Whilst at the starlight the other evening we had picked up a free paper. Reading this we had discovered that Peggy Sue’s All American Cruise event was being held from Thursday to Sunday.

This morning the sky was looking a bit glum but we were confident that it would improve. Having completed our mercy mission we turned back north along Route 101 which didn’t actually take very long at all. Soon we were pulling into the designated car park. Already Owl was getting excited just seeing the cars parked around us, before we even got into the show itself.

There were mustangs, challengers, Bel airs, and corvettes every which way you looked. A slow walk through the car park to the field of cars, cars, cars and yet more cars. Owl was in his element. I won’t bore you with all the cars we saw, but here are a few.IMG_0764Since we arrived in California Owl kept talking about cars wearing a bra IMG_0787this was what he meant.IMG_0788IMG_0800bet you haven’t seen many cars that colour.IMG_0797and lastlyIMG_0803The weather never did improve, we were so glad we had our hoodies from the previous weekend. We didn’t see all the cars on display but after a couple of hours we decided that we had seen enough and besides which our feet were aching. Time to go back to Petaluma and call into Peppers for a drink and a slice of home made mandarin cream pie to share mmmmm.

mandarine cream pie

Bowling along in Sonoma

Friday 7th June

After spending the day on Thursday at the new local Outlet stores, where we bought more t-shirts and new Levi  jeans for Owl. We had spent the evening ten pin bowling with Missy M and Mr T.(We played three games which were won in turn by Owl, myself and Missy M) then on to the diner where once again the portions were so huge that Missy M and Mr T took the remains of their meals home with them.

Friday was to be our second attempt to visit the vineyards. Out came the maps again. The plan this time was to drive north along the 101 to Windsor where we turned off west on to a side road. We followed a lane that headed back in a southerly direction before turning west, crossing the river. We were somewhat perplexed as to why a major river in the west of California would have the name ‘Russian River’. We had followed its course on and off during our day in the Redwood Valley.

Anyway once we had crossed the river our route began to take us back in a northerly direction again. With my copy of Wine Road northern Sonoma County map in hand. Each winery is listed along the road. We decided not to just stop at the first winery we came to. We would be selective. Driving along the lane to the left of the river under a canopy of trees with flashes of sun filtering through we were rather astonished to find a Ford Deuce Coupe coming in the opposite direction. No sooner had we commented on it than we saw a rather nice looking Chevrolet Corvette Coupe following in its wake. Soon we passing the first couple of wineries, the sun was high and hot, our stomachs were beginning to feel the effects of not having breakfast (I had had a cereal bar) so we pulled in to Thomas George Estate in the hope that not only would there be wine but also something to eat.

The sign said wine tasting in the tunnels. So we parked up ready to find out what it was all about. Just as we were walking away from the mustang (which we had been travelling in with the roof down (as you do on a hot sunny day in California). The Ford Deuce Coupe that we had passed going in the opposite direction pulled up next to us. IMG_0724 It was in great condition, Owl had a few words with the owners (as he does). The blow me down another car comes into the car park and guess what it was only the Corvette we had also seen earlier. IMG_0726 It seems that the two couples were travelling together.

We wandered inside the open door of the first tunnel, admired all the barrels and bottles. Strolling along one of the tunnels we were joined by one of the staff who talked to us about the estate and the wines they make there. He was a very interesting man to talk to. However now more than a month later I have forgotten most of what he told us. Next we took a stroll around the grounds close to the  main buildings.IMG_0727looking down from the car park.IMG_0729looking up towards a seating area.IMG_0731

Anyone for a game of petanque?IMG_0733

It was getting hotter by the minute almost so we set off in search of lunch. None of the other wineries on our route were showing any sign that there might be any food. I don’t understand why establishments asking you to try their wine, don’t also provide if required any food to soak up the alcohol. (even snacks or bread sticks??). I personally wouldn’t try any of the wine because of this. Even though I wasn’t driving I wouldn’t drink on an empty stomach.

Eventually we found a store and cafe at the entrance to one of the winery estates. It absolutely packed, both inside and out. Owl bought some bottled water and some bread.

Now we thought we would (ok so I thought we would and Owl agreed) drive to lake Sonoma. Only we didn’t realise looking at the map that the road leading to the lake didn’t go downhill as we expected but up. It went up up and still up until eventually we came across a steep turning that immediately ran back down hill. It was a long way down and steep all the way. We had been going down hill quite fast with a 4 x 4 right behind us, when we came across a car park on our left. We continued down a little further (about 100m) where we came to a halt. It was a case of no entry past this point unless you had a permit. We swung around to go back up to the car park.

Here we got out and drank some of our water. It was about 104 degrees by this time. I took a few photos and walked part of the way down but didn’t go down to the water as I knew I would struggle to get back up again especially in this heat.IMG_0744 the water was very blue and looked so invitingIMG_0444Changing maps we decided to stay on the road leading to the lake and drive west towards the coast. From this map it was quite clear that we would be going over the mountains and the road would be as steep and twisting as the road 2 days earlier. But the saving grace this time was that the road was wider and in better condition. Ok so it was wider for a fair few miles. then it gradually got narrower and the edges became broken. I was onto the door handle trying not to look scared. I couldn’t decide if it was best to stay in the middle of te road and risk hitting anything that came around the many sharp bends or stick to the out side of the road and risk slipping off the edge to hurtle down the steep slopes. I kept telling myself  ‘trust him trust him’. That was such a nerve wracking drive I was so relieved when finally we came to the junction with highway 1. Now we were going to follow the coast road down to Bodega Bay before turning inland again.IMG_0448

After the earlier it it was disappointing that when we reached the coast road there was a thick sea mist. The temperature halved. I kept hoping that once we got around the next bend the mist would disappear. We still had the roof down and it was getting mighty cold. There was an odd smell in the air, Owl attributed it to lavender however to me it smelt more like cat pee. We had been driving in and out of this sea mist for miles when we were so cold that we pulled up at the side of the road (even though there were the usual ‘no parking at any time’ signs. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked down at the water crashing below whilst I retrieved my hoody from the trunk/boot of the car.IMG_0751miles of wood washed up on to the sand.

We continued our drive south still looking for somewhere to eat lunch. It was getting towards late afternoon by now but we didn’t want to just stop anywhere. We did see a few places where we could have stopped for a meal but these were all lapped by sea mist and we preferred to find somewhere that we could sit out in the sun.

We drove as far as Bodega Bay which Owl was excited about with it being the location for Alfred Hitchcock’s film ‘The Birds’.IMG_0451IMG_0449

Turned around to head towards Santa Rosa. The road here was fairly quiet but most importantly reasonably flat. We passed farmland and small villages until we reached a larger town Sebastopol just west of Santa Rosa. We found a restaurant that looked quite interesting from the outside.IMG_0453

It isn’t often that you see the back end of a train embedded in the wall of a building. Once inside the building we found a whole carriage which had been turned into a restaurant. The Starlight.IMG_0455It was early evening so there were not many other people there. When we had finished our meal we sat outside in the sun for a while, not wanting to get caught up in the evening rush hour traffic.

Amazing, fantastic, wow …..omg

Wednesday 5th June 2013

We had looked at various maps the night before and were certain of what we wanted to achieve. Today we would visit some vine yards  (vin yids) then head on further up to the see the giant redwoods. We were up and out a little earlier today, it was about 10am when we left the hotel , driving north on route 101. Actually why don’t we drive up to the top of the avenue of the giants then visit a winery or two on the way back? Good idea.

Armed with a variety of maps on different scales plus the sat nav we continued along the freeway through Sonoma wine country.  Through Santa Rosa, Windsor, Healdsburg, Geyserville and then Cloverdale, by now we were starting to get hungry as we had missed breakfast. We decided to stop at the next McDonald’s for a late egg mcmuffin. We pulled off the 101 at Ukiah, where we sat outside to eat our cheeseburgers. The temperature had already climbed from 66° up to a very warm 80°.IMG_0412

Across the road from the car park/parking lot, there was a new hotel (it looked like it had only recently been completed) with some interesting wood sculptures .  I was  just preparing to take a photograph from my seat in the car (we had put the roof down now) when a truck pulled up and parked right in my way. But I did manage to take this photo. I set the sat nav for Phillipsville which is near the start of the Avenue of the Giants.

We stopped at a small place called Miranda for lunch which was exquisite. Again we sat out in the sun (we are only in the country for 2 weeks so we are making the most of it while we can). Once again when our food arrived it was far too much for us to eat.

pasta at Miranda

By this time the temperature had soared to 90°. Before we left I grabbed yet another map from the visitors information rack. This one being ‘Color coded self –guided driving tours’ . I worked out that we could follow the road we were on until it rejoined the 101 then make our way to Fortuna before following the blue road west towards the coast. Down to Petrolia then back east towards the 101 and back home again. We were in no hurry so it didn’t matter how late we got back to the hotel.

By the time we reached Red Crest (still on the Avenue of the giants) one of us was desperate for a comfort break. Another photo opportunity beside the immortal tree.  This was also where we did the tourist bit buying postcards, and a few other bits, a t-shirt for Owl and a bag for me (both depicting a shot of the giant redwoods).  As we drove off the heat was still going up, 98° although the shade from the trees made it bearable.

IMG_0426  the immortal treeIMG_0421 IMG_0420

It wasn’t long before we were out of the trees and to our dismay the temperature was going down. By the time we reached the turn off for the road to Fortuna we were so cold we had to stop to put sweaters on.  We were amazed when we reached the town, this was nearer to our image of a typical old American town than anything we had seen yet.

We couldn’t not stop to take a few photos.

IMG_0696IMG_0698IMG_0699 Setting off again we managed to miss the turning and found ourselves going around in a big circle around some farmland. Ending back where we had started. This was when we discovered the turning on to a narrow steep twisting road. Sat Nav proudly announced that we should follow Wild Cat Road for 14 miles. If we had known at that point what lay ahead I doubt we would have even started out. As I said the road was narrow, steep and twisting. We went higher and higher into the low cloud that nestled among the trees on either side of this crumbling track. We had gone about four miles twisting this way and that way getting higher and higher, occasion the road dipped lower but not for long before we came across another vehicle.

We had begun to emerge from the trees by the time we noticed the 4 x 4 catching up with us. There was nowhere for us to go to get out of the way, I wouldn’t let Owl go any faster. As far as I was concerned we were hurtling along far too fast for the road especially as we never knew what was around the next corner. Finally we had left the tight turns and heavily wooded slopes behind, opening up before us  gentler slopes with fields of cattle. Farm buildings huddled together.

IMG_0701 We caught up with a family car that was travelling as cautiously as we would have done had I been driving. Owl was becoming frustrated not being able to pass the family car whilst having the 4 x 4 trying not to become part of our boot/trunk. Luckily the family car was able to pull in beside a farm gate. Once we had passed the family car we were able to progress at a speed more agreeable to Owl until we found somewhere that allowed us to let the 4 x 4 pass us. Gradually we were making our way downwards around sweeping bends. (A relief after so many miles of tight turns and steep slopes).

I started to get excited though when I caught my first glimpse of the sea.IMG_0700I was looking forward to being able to stop, as I am sure Owl was after his tiring time behind the wheel. Still we continued to drive but now we had the Pacific ocean on our right.IMG_0703 I find it odd that nowhere along our tortuous route were there any view points. Nowhere to stop and admire the view.  Now that we were on the flat there were pull out places, each with prominent signs stating ‘No parking at any time’.IMG_0709A few miles later and we were back on the ever steeper slopes the trees becoming thicker again. I still can’t believe that we saw such stunning views and yet there was no place to stop and admire. Any photos I wanted to take were taken on the move. It took us an age to make it all the way back to route 101. When we did there was still 4 hours of driving to get back to our hotel.

Those mountain roads were very scary in places but we are so glad we did it. The views we saw were so special we wouldn’t have missed it for anything. If we had know before we set out what we were putting ourselves through we wouldn’t have done it.

It is a good thing that we didn’t know.

Moving on to Patagonia

Monday 3rd June 2013

We had only booked 3 nights at our hotel  before we flew out to California. We wanted to have the freedom to move around during our stay if we so wanted. My step children’s step father had helpfully drawn up a list of hotels for us to look at in a nearby town.  So as Monday morning dawned we managed to get ourselves not only out of bed but packed and checked out of the hotel by 9.30am

We decided to have breakfast at McDonalds, so I set the Sat Nav to find the nearest  Macky D’s which turned out to be on the far side of town. I had my first taste of Blueberry and pomegranate smoothie which was delicious.

It was still fairly early so we decided to just follow the road to see where it went. We were due to meet up with Missy M later in the day. We drove for miles along the same road following hills and valleys. After some time I plugged in the Sat Nav for directions to the town of Novato where we would meet up with Missy M. Owl couldn’t believe it when he saw a sign for Laurel Canyon (not the one in Los Angeles). In a previous era of his life he had owned the album Blues from Laurel Canyon by John Mayall. I had better not tell him that this was not The Laurel Canyon, but hey it is still in California.

Reaching a modest shopping centre we called Missy M who knew exactly where we were and joined us a few minutes later. It was then decided that she would show us the local beach. I assumed that this beach would be on the edge of San Pablo Bay, but it did seem to be taking us much longer to get there than we had expected.  45 minutes later we arrived at Bolinas, we parked just a short distance from the beach itself. Missy M told us that it was a popular beach for surfing. Whilst there we watched a couple of fishermen with their rods set up near the slipway.IMG_0674

Not long after we arrived we watched as one of the men reeled in his catch. A sting ray, while one man held onto his rod the other unhooked the fish. He tried to put it back into the sea but the waves brought it back. The three of us watched in horror as the poor creature lay flapping helplessly at the edge of the water. The ebbing tide not managing to take it back to sea. We knew that before long it would die. Sadly there was nothing we could do.IMG_0675

Driving back from the beach we discussed the list of hotels that Missy M’s step father had kindly printed out for us. We were moving on to a nearby town which Owl just could not get his mind around the name of, he kept referring to the town of Petaluma as Patagonia. It begins with a P but there the similarity ends.

Having dropped Missy M off back at her car we took the back road to Petaluma. We were planning to book into Step dad (SD)’s recommendation Hotel Petaluma. Using Sat Nav we found the road where this hotel was situated. The entrance was a little on the shy side, hiding among nail bars etc. Opening the door we stepped into what appeared to be a an office with the dated appearance of a throw back to the 1920’s. I have just looked up the history and indeed the hotel does date back to the late 1920s.

There was a jovial silver surfer (older gentleman) sat behind a huge desk who when asked about booking a room said he had to phone someone. He then proceeded to speak to a woman on a mobile (cell phone) which he then passed to Owl. The woman told Owl she would be there in 20 minutes to show us a room. Having been on the road for hours I was by this time desperate and asked if there was a restroom I could use. I was directed to a door at the end of the office. It was like going into a cupboard under the stairs. It took me a while to find the light switch as it as covered in the same ancient wallpaper as the walls.

We made our excuses and left. Owl has since described Hotel Petaluma as having the appearance of ‘The Addams Family House’. Next we thought we would try our luck at the local Best Western. Half an hour later we were unpacking our luggage at the Best Western. The very helpful receptionist told us that they had an agreement with the local diner for 20% discount for BW guests.

We were made very welcome by the staff at Pepper’s restaurant. For dinner that evening Owl wanted a bowl of soup but was astounded when he was offered either a sandwich or salad to go with it. Finally he agreed to have a salad, expecting a small side salad. Nope he got enough salad to feed a family. My chili n’ cheese potato was the biggest potato I have ever had, it too was served with enough salad for a family.

Needless to say we didn’t go to bed hungry that night.

Muscle with a grin

Sunday 2nd June 2013

Sunday started bright, sunny and warm. We were both in good spirits. Owl was feeling stronger almost back to his usual self. The only down for me was when I looked in the mirror and saw the black bags under my eyes. The bruises from my fall on Friday were making themselves obvious. I had been sleeping with a cold flannel draped across my face in the hope of lowering the swelling. Oh well if bruising was the only price I had to pay for examining the airport floor with my nose then I was getting away with it lightly. My left hand was still and is still painful but I don’t think I broke anything so I am relieved about that.

After a drink and a snack that we had bought from the gas/petrol station the night before, Owl called a cab to take us to the local bus station. We were informed that our bus would be here in a few minutes. An hour later it arrived, sitting on a wall in the bus station for an hour in the middle of a hot Sunday, I was beginning to gain a little redness on my shoulders. Our bus took a circuitous route calling in at places with names like Larkspur landing (I would like to go back there to investigate more one day.)

Mid afternoon we were dropped off at the airport and told that we needed to catch the skytrain. What a great way to get around the airport. The last stop was the Car Rental area. Luckily for us there was no queue at the desk we needed. We (by that I mean Owl) explained that we should have picked up our rental car on Friday but had not been able to hence why we were there now. ‘Not a problem, as it happens we can offer you an upgrade if you are interested.’ Of course Owl was very interested especially when he was offered Mustang convertible. The grin on Owl’s face was as wide as the Channel Tunnel. I think all his Christmases had come at once.

IMG_0406    IMG_0620

The only query we had before we drove away……how to take the roof down. All it took was two clips and a button. With hired Sat Nav in hand (boy are we glad we asked for one of those!) we set off back through San Francisco, over the Golden Gate Bridge along Route 101 ending up in San Rafael, stopping at the pizza parlour to show off the car to Missy M.

After having more pizza we headed back for our third and final night in our San Rafael hotel. We still didn’t know where we would be staying next but we were armed with a list of hotels to visit, but that is another story.

 

Getting excited

Tomorrow we are off to the travel agents, we have decided that after spending hours online we shall allow someone else to do all the work. We have done our homework so have a good idea of prices and what is possible.

We know that we want to fly to San Francisco for 2 weeks, we know that we want to hire a car preferably a mustang or similar. We know we want to spend time with family who live not far from San Francisco. (the reason we are going). We have a good idea of the dates we want. Late May/early June.

We know we want to visit Alcatraz, Lombard Street and of course Fisherman’s Wharf. We agree that Nappa Valley should be included and Owl wants to visit Sacremento for the State Military Museum. We know that Los Angeles is worth a visit. One thing we both want to do is take a hot air balloon trip.

What I need now are ideas from anyone who knows what they are talking about as to how to fill our time. I am fast beginning to realise that 2 weeks won’t be anywhere near enough time to do everything. Our conclusion is that we shall have to prioritise.

So come on all you good folk of California and those of you who have visited. What are the must see places for a couple of old crocks like us.