California - LA, San Francisco, San Jose

Saturday July 7
Drove into Los Angelees, going pick up a couple of....well, you remember the song. We drove around Beverly Hills via Wilshire Blvd. The houses were completely extravagant with amazing Hollywood. We went into Starbucks and when leaving saw two Airedales. She had them cut with long hair on their faces and clipped bodies. They were very friendly. One was even a tall as Hector our airedale.

We walked through Will Rodger's Park and found a pond with big fish. We drove on to Newport Beach and our Mexican take-out food by the water. We watched other tourists and forceful crow trying to persuade us to give him something. The beach there was about six feet wide. People seemed to be enjoying themselves just like at home on our big beaches. This is an area of fine homes in the millions of dollars or so range. The house appear to be up scale cabins and are really close together. It is really crowded with people. We drove on to Lauguna Beach and Ken needed a nap from driving in the hot sun. I went out and explored the village. It was crowded with people and up scale little shops. The surf was pounding very loudly.

We stayed at a Hotel 6 in Oceanside, CA needing a rest from camping and to do our laundry. We even were able to enjoy the hot tub.

Friday July 6
Our breakfast was had a little later than usual and combined it with lunch. We chose a small middle eastern deli in Saratoga. Delicious food.

We decided to adventure out on our own for a while this day. Ken wanted to go to Cupertino to the Apple headquarters. He thought their would be a tour, but found only a store full of T-shirts, etc. with the apple logo. While he did that I sat in an air conditioned library on our trusty laptop doing blog updates.

We drove on to San Jose to the San Jose Quilt and Textile Museum. There was approximately fifty small quilts in the shape of houses. Most were great, some were, in my estimation, exceptional. Some of the more well know artists were Theresa May, Yvonne Porcellano and Pamella Ellan from Canada. Some must have been from emerging artists. The main gallery had tapesteries that were wonderful. Most imaginative I had ever seen.

San Jose is a nice, shady little city. I ate supper at La Taqueria, first time I had a burrito, which was delicious. Ken drove that night to a rest stop in the Tehachapi Mountains, Tejon Pass.

Thursday July 5
This was to be our thrifting day in San Francisco, At the top of the list was The Goodwill at corner of Van Ness and Mission. I wanted to get more citified in my dress and I knew this to be a great thrift spot. Continuing up Van Ness we came across Dick Blick and made a sizable art supply purchase. This was all before lunch which was at a great vegetarian restaurant in China Town - Lucky Creation Vegetarian Restaurant. We continued thrifting in higher class, "new to you" type thrift stores. We ended the stay in San Francisco back at Shalimar's with a different, delicious main dish.

We drove to Saratoga Springs and the state park was closed for the night but found a little campground beside a brook. It had hot showers and let us in at 10:00 pm.

Wednesday July 4
Started the day with a cold shower. Had the caretaker at Marin Park check it out and he said to just let the water run a little longer - it worked and I got hot water.

We drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, which is a toll bridge, in San Francisco. We needed to go for a walk and went to Pacific Heights. Great place to take pictures of flowers and trees. Lots of people jogging in this area.

For lunch we went to China town which was very crowded and noisy. We walked in the area we stayed in about ten years ago. Some parts have really changed, like the hotel is being turned into a boutique hotel. We wanted to go to MOMA but it was closed for the holiday. We walked in Macy's department store and found woman's shoes for $585. We drove up telegraph hill to Coit Tower. We did not see parrots but did see a butterfly.

We looked for parking for hours at around supper time. Sounds like the time when we were in San Francisco with Alix. Finally we decided to park way up on Van Ness and just follow the crowd. There was fireworks by the Bay and everyone started going there at supper time. We ate at Shalimar's (Indian/ Pakistan food). It was so good, I had never had food like that before.

We decided to stay across the Oakland bridge. By the time we crossed the bridge the fireworks had started and were spectacular. We could see fireworks going off everywhere. We could smell them, too. Fireworks aren't regulated like in Canada and even in back alleys there were fireworks going off.

We had no place booked to stay at so we decided to boon dock at Walmart in Oakland. There was security driving around in a small truck watching the parking lot, there were cameras on the Walmart building over looking the parking lot. I still did not feel that safe or welcome. We read in the paper and heard from others that Walmart welcomed campers, especially RVs to there parking lots. We were not welcomed, although the security guard put the notice under the wiper blade so quietly that we didn't hear her. We did, however, have a safe and mostly restful night. We had an early morning and were off to San Francisco for another day.

Tuesday July 3
We stayed at Stillwater Cove Regional Park. Some type of jay and Peacocks woke us up. After all the good eats we have consumed we decided that we must walk more if we want to continue. We went for a morning walk by the ocean cliffs. Breathtaking scenery of sand, rocks and blooming sedum took our eyes away from the birds floating on the updrafts of air. We are starting to see very unusual flora - blue gum trees and evergreens unlike those of home.

Cows again became the centre of attention. Cattle gates criss-crossed the road until finally cows were actually crossing in the middle of the road. They seemed to look at us as if they owned the road and all the surrounding area. This is the day we left the coast highway turning south, east on highway 110 to Sebastopol and on the San Rafael.

For all you surface designers out there, San Rafael is the home Dharma Trading.
I could not resist going to Dharma's store. In front is yarn. They have a fabric room and a room that has dyes and paints for fabric.

From San Rafael we went on to Sausalito and Tiburon. We went to the same place in Tiburon for happy hour that we went to last time we were there - Guaymas. The food was really delicious and great atmosphere.

Marin Park Inc. is a RV park and is not really that great. It is like a big parking lot with bathrooms.

Monday July 2
Our day started with a walk in the forest then a drive through a giant Redwood tree. Very touristy thing to do but we couldn't resist. The geese and ducks by the big pond made that little adventure worth while.

We want to see as much scenery as possible right now. We drove the #1 CA scenic route along the coast. The road was twisty, windy and, as promised, scenic.
We needed a stretch of the legs and got out at Fort Bragg, an artsy little town. I found a huge fabric store with African batik fabric. I succumb to a little fabric but could have definitely bought more.

We were told that Mendocino CA was even a more artsy town. By the time we arrived everything was closed. It was windy and not that exciting to us. We had only frappacinos to see - yum!

In the field by the windy road was cows, an actual field of jersey cows, my personal favourite cow breed. Out came the camera. When we slowed down the cows came running toward our van, a bit unnerving but exciting. They could end up in a quilt, too.

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