This is the blog of a 25-year-old bookmark. I proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC) .
Today’s travel notes
The TC got it into her head to drive an open-top Mustang down Highway 1, the coastal route from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Actually, it was the TC-once-removed who put this idea into the TC’s head. Reluctantly I have to report that the TC got a bit carried away with the whole experience and left me cooped up in her bag much of the time. I didn’t even have the chance to get cozy with the pony (that’s what we aficionados call a Mustang) although I had been eagerly anticipating that photo opportunity.
Still, the TC did give me an airing every now and then, so I can report some highlights of the trip.
My impressions? The drive to Los Angeles is just beautiful. LA is a dump. Drive on by.
If you can, spend a few days on the drive. There’s much to do and see.
Here’s another tip from a wise worm: Invest in a GPS. Don’t rely on your TC. If she’s anything like mine, you’ll get lost and end up seeing the, ahem, interesting parts of town. En route from Santa Barbara to Santa Monica, we encountered Oxnard, Port Hueneme and Sod Farm.
Lucia Lodge Restaurant, perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean at the southern edge of Big Sur.
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, 400 Cannery Row, Monterey. Even the TC, bless her cotton socks, deserves a touch of luxury every now and then. But be warned, it’s pricey.
The book I’m in
Moonlit Cage, by Linda Holeman. Highly recommended. This worm felt homesick when the TC finished reading The Linnet Bird, by the same author, so I’m glad to be ensconced in another of Linda’s works.
Me cozying up to an urn in the Santa Barbara courthouse. Yeah, Keats dude: Leaf-fringed legends, deities and mortals abound. In truth, beauty and all that, I feel that I have a certain unfading charm myself:
Here’s the Mustang backed by a fittingly scenic view:
The TC keeps remarking with glee how the car took her up and over 100 miles per hour before she had time to glance at the speedometer. Hmm. This worm is sceptical of the “before she had time” part of that tale:
It’s a 4 litre, 6 cylinder mean machine:
We started in San Francisco. Here’s that serene city, as seen from the Sausalito ferry a few days before we left:
We spent our first night in Monterey. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is well worth a visit. It’s housed in a converted sardine canning factory situated at the end of Cannery Row, of John Steinbeck fame:
Me with a seahorse in the aquarium:
The jellyfish displays are awe-inspiring, dwarfing even the TC’s height:
Here are the jellyfish in motion:
Another sort of jellyfish:
And perhaps the most ethereal yet:
These beasties are seadragons, related to seahorses. These dudes have the art of synchronised swimming down to a T:
Wherever I go, Jonathan is there too. Here he is masquerading as a porpoise, but I spotted him. Is he the most inept spy ever? Double-oh-seagull:
We stayed at the Monterey Plaza Hotel in the middle of Cannery Row. It’s luxury squared. Here’s the view of the sea at dusk, from our room:
Just a few steps down the Row, two homeless people set up for the night. John Steinbeck would probably recognise their experience of the Row more than ours:
The scenery from Highway 1 is sometimes breathtaking. This video gives some idea of its beauty. The noise you can hear is the barking of group of elephant seals on the beach at the bottom of the cliff:
Further along the road, you can get up close and personal with more elephant seals.
Santa Barbara is gorgeous. So impressed was this worm, that I plan to write a blog post dedicated to that city. Here’s a snap to whet your appetite:
Malibu is luxury with a road running through it. Can’t visit your neighbours, for fear of getting run over when you cross the road. Can’t get anywhere without a car. As we approached from the north the TC chirped, “I could live here!” Then Malibu went on and on and on and this worm is pretty sure she changed her mind. Not that the TC would admit such a thing, of course.
Santa Monica was blowing up a storm when we arrived. Extreme weather. The TC had to duck the kamikaze palmtree fronds. At one stage she was walloped in the middle by a low-flying cardboard box, but seemed to take that in her stride. Even so, Santa Monica greeted us with glitz, glamour and fairy lights:
Early next morning all was calm and clean again, the palm fronds magically back in their rightful places:
After a bit of research to find “you know, that beach where you always see people in films rollerblading among the palm trees”, the TC decided on Venice Beach, LA:
We found this skate hire shop:
And the TC fulfilled her heart’s desire:
That’s all for today dudes.