Archive for the ‘Road Blogging’ Category

On The Road

December 12, 2008

Forgot to mention it… but I’m out in the wilds of the hind end of Oklahoma. You guessed it… the Moody Blues played Tulsa last night (and we were in the FRONT ROW, center). Tonight they play the Winstar Casino in where-the-heck-is-Thackerville. Tomorrow, we drive back to Dallas and fly home. We are having a blast–but I just drove here from Tulsa in a big pimpmobile rental car and I need a NAP. So nighty-night for now!


Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

December 7, 2007

Back at the ol’ homestead, just about dead fried. Long, long train trip today, made even longer by delays due to signaling problems on the track, so our train had to do the last 20 miles or so at 20 miles per hour. Yoiks. Cars on the nearby freeway were whizzing past us as if we were standing perfectly still.

But we had a wonderful time, and I will tell you all about it when I’ve had some sleep, and the holiday party we have to go to tomorrow is over, and Kerry’s safely aboard her homeward bound plane on Sunday. Then I am going to crash. Big time.

And I am going to crash little time right now, as soon as I get the coffeemaker put together for morning, set an alarm, and perform the usual evening personal care chores. ‘Night, all!

Back On Terra Firma

December 6, 2007

Got off that big pinkytoe ship this morning, after we rode some big pinkytoe waves the last couple of days. In fact, the waves were so big, the port at Ensenada was closed to all traffic because of the swells and we couldn’t dock, so we had an extra day at sea. Then, to add insult to injury, we rode a train from San Diego to L.A., and we haven’t got our land legs back yet.

And it’s only 8 p.m. and I’m ready to crash. We didn’t get a lot of sleep, between big ol’ waves and people stomping up and down the corridors at all hours of the night. But we did have a blast. I may post some pictures. When I get around to it. Someday.

Oh, and by the way… whoever did the interior decorating on the Carnival Elation was on acid. Had to be. And whoever designed the mascot “Funship Freddy” (Krueger) was on crack at the time. That’s got to be just about the scariest looking mascot I’ve ever seen.

Out To The Black

November 29, 2007

No more blogging for a while. Kerry and I are leaving this morning, headed eventually for the Browncoat Cruise.

Internet access on board the ship is something outrageous like 75 cents a minute, and in addition to being a CrankyBeach, I am a cheapskate son-of-a-CrankyBeach so I will not be online.

Later, folks.

More Trip Pictures

June 3, 2007

Y’all know me and my wildflowers… First, the ones I know:

Red Ribbons

Yellow Mariposa Lily

Now this one has been problematic. As best I’ve been able to determine over the years, it is some sort of flax. But all the online sources I have consulted claim that it is not found in either Monterey or Sonoma county–and those are the two places I have seen and photographed it. Go figure. Anybody out there know what it REALLY is?

Now to the ones I haven’t been able to identify:

This little darling grows at Foothill Regional Park (and probably other places too). Anyone know what it is?

I found this one growing by the side of the road near the coast:

And then there was this one growing right next to it. The flowers are about the size of pinheads.

Finally… at the risk of blowing out the bandwidth walls again… who could resist a madrone shaped like a candelabra? This was growing at Foothill Regional Park.

I Owe Geico An Apology…

May 30, 2007

… for calling him Fatso all the time.

I met this very chubby bluebelly (pregnant female, perhaps?) along a trail at Foothill Regional Park last Saturday:

For those who haven’t guessed… that “undisclosed location” was the not-so-obscure town of Santa Rosa. I went skating at Snoopy’s Home Ice during the Friday morning Coffee Club session–and got a lesson from the oldest active skating instructor in the country, 87 year old Skippy Baxter. (“Active” means he still puts on his skates and gets out on the ice.) He was the first skater to ever land a triple salchow jump (clear back in 1940, he said) and also the first ever to land a backflip. No, he did not demonstrate either of those skills to me, but he did perform a rather nice spin. I said, “You make it look so easy!” And he said, “I’ve had 77 years to practice!”

Speaking of coffee… who could resist stopping at this place?

The coffee was good, and I’d have bought a T-shirt if they’d had the color I wanted in my size. I looked up their website, and a franchise is due to open in my very home town sometime this year. Hoo-rah. Another competitor to that S-word store….

And in beautiful downtown Calistoga (really nice little town, you should go there and just sit on a park bench for while) I found a java joint with yet another sign I could not resist:

More later. Maybe.

Arrived Safely

May 24, 2007

Now blogging from the undisclosed location. Here’s a tiny hint: Kerry received her very first ever telephone call from the Golden Gate Bridge today.

Tomorrow I’m going ice skating. So, it stands to reason, I am in a locale with a rink. And a place with a halfway decent oldies radio station, praise be. I can’t remember when was the last time I heard “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Everyone ready to break into falsetto? Sing along… “Galileo! Galileo!”

Anybody guessed yet where I am?

Excuse me a moment while I yank my tongue out of my cheek….

And once again I axe ya–why is it that the huge fancy high-priced hotels usually charge about $10 extra per day to get online–and the fleabags–er, budget priced motels–have free wi-fi? And free breakfast? Go figure. Okay, so I’m between a busy street on one side and the freeway on the other–but this room is just as nice as any that I’ve paid twice the price for.

But I miss my lizards…. Before I left town I topped off their water and gave them both enormous portions of gecko-goo. There’s a Petco right down the street. I better not go in there… I might have to adopt somebody.

I Was Right…

July 25, 2006

… they want $12.95 a day for high-speed internet access in the hotel, and local phone calls are a buck apiece.

So greetings from the food court at the mall, which is a 5-minute walk across a bridge from our hotel, complete with free wi-fi.

Met a new friend just before boarding the last flight yesterday, after my visit to “the club.” She was wearing a T-shirt that said “Everyone has a book in them. I just fed mine a box of chocolates.” I went up to her and told her I had an identical shirt in my suitcase. She was, of course, headed the exact same place I was, and our seats were right across the aisle from each other, so we yapped back and forth for much of the flight. Bumped into her a couple of times today in the lobby cafe in the hotel, and met some of her friends. Oh, and we saw Susan Elizabeth Phillips sitting with some of her friends in the same place.

This place has a fabulous indoor-outdoor pool, but the hot tub is about the size of the average kitchen sink. We’ve already hit the pool once today, and are going to hit it again a little later. It’s open until 11 p.m.

Tomorrow we pick up a rental car and head out of town to visit some friends not too far from here. Tomorrow night is the autographing-for-literacy benefit, and then Thursday morning the conference gets underway in ernest. We always like to come in a day or two early so we can have a little play time before we get down to business.

The custodian just came by and said they’re going to clean this section in a few minutes, so we need to clear out. That means this is as good a place as any to end this blog entry. Ta-ta until next time!

Airport Blogging

July 24, 2006

I have a frequent flyer miles credit card with my airline of choice, and every now and then they send me a complimentary “club” pass.

Until now, I had never had an opportunity to use one, because my connecting flights have never allowed time.

Today, my layover is 3 hours–so here I am in the club. Since I’m on my way to a writers’ conference, I thought I’d fire up the ‘pooter and get some writing done.

So what am I doing? Blogging!

The club has wi-fi for its members–but I am not a member, so I am using the airport’s free hot spot for the unwashed.

Not a bad little place… let’s see if I can take a picture…

That’s my table, and my laptop. You can’t see it because of the glare, but out the window to the left is the airplane I will be boarding in about an hour and a half. But, I don’t think I’ll be joining the club. It’s over $300 a year–and for what? A reasonably decent place to sit? I could do that in an airport restaurant, for the price of a meal. Free wi-fi? The whole airport has it. Free muffins and beverages? Not $300 worth. But it’s kind of fun to be one of the “elite” here, just once. I’m not sitting in one of those comfy chairs because it’s nearly 100 bloody degrees outside, the air conditioning is working hard but not quite hard enough, and the laptop gets very, very warm on the lap. So I’m at a table.

And that is my report, thus far, from the “road.” Next entry? Who knows? I hear they have free wi-fi in the food court of the mall across the street from our hotel. As best as I can tell, internet access in the hotel costs money. Even at what they’re charging us.

Which seems odd. All the big hotels with prices at over $100 a night charge usually about $10 a day extra for high speed internet access. Some of them even charge extra for dial-up local phone calls.

And then there was the motel in Lone Pine where Kerry and I spent two nights on our way to Death Valley last year. $65 a night–and free high speed access. Go figure.

Back to the manuscript now.

As you were.

Update: I just noticed they have three TVs on in here–but the only one with the sound turned on is on Fox News. I heard Tony Snow’s voice.


And Some More Pictures

May 22, 2005

Now we’re through the interior tour at Scotty’s Castle. Next up: The grounds, Scotty’s grave, horseback riding, leaving Death Valley, and the rest of the trip.