Update on our new Great Grandson: His parents decided to expand the original name they had chosen. His official name is Sean-Michael Liam (nice, don’t you think?) and he weighed 6# 4oz and was 19.5 inches long. I talked to new Dad, Joshua and although Sean-Michael had a bit of jaundice, Mom and baby were doing fine. Both of our great grandchildren (#1=Carly Jenessa Joan) have three given names—must be a new trend. Sorry, no pictures yet!
Newest news on Aunt Elaine: Per an e-mail from daughter, Shannon, after spending a week in the hospital stabilizing blood clots that had developed in her legs her mother has been moved to a local health care center. They are hoping to get her home soon and will be calling for in-home hospice when that happens. Our dear “Auntie” is weak, has lost a lot of weight but according to Shannon, is “willing to let nature take its course”. Phil and I persist in our denial since the last time we saw her (in August), other than some back pain she seemed fine. For her loved ones, this heartbreak is incomprehensible! I think the following quote is something everyone should consider:
“It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, that we will begin to live each day to the fullest; as if it were the only one we had.”
~Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross~
San Luis Obispo has a tradition for the week of Halloween. Every Thursday night from 6-9 pm they close off approximately 10 blocks of downtown and set up an extraordinary Farmer’s Market. The week of Halloween, the local children are invited to come in costume and trick or treat all the local businesses and vendors. The crowds and visual overload of sights and sounds put me in mind of what Mardi Gras in NOLA must be like with the addition of locally grown produce, homemade foodstuffs and arts and crafts. Many local eateries (which ran the gamut from American and Chinese to Greek) moved onto the curbs to sell every kind of fresh cooked food imaginable, from corn on the cob to barbequed kabobs. The smells were delectable! Strolling along the streets, we noticed every other farm stand had freshly picked, succulent strawberry samples and we were unable to resist purchasing one small basket. Sun ripened and fresh from the fields they were absolutely delicious. Seeing so many kids in their costumes was a delight and we had a great time!
I am now able to mark off another “to do” from my life list. We went to San Simeon and toured the Hearst Castle on Friday. Wow! They run four different tours and we chose #1 Tour named the “Experience” tour recommended for first time visitors. Someday, I would love to go back and take another one. After a five mile bus ride up the mountain, our tour was an overview of the castle and grounds and well worth the $20 per person. We were warned we would have to climb over 300 steps but not all at once and as it turned out, they were no problem at all. The over the top grandeur was extreme and had we not visited many castles in England back in 1994, we would have been blown away. Even so, Mr. Hearst probably topped many of the palaces we saw since we barely scratched the surface on this tour and what we did see was opulence with a capital “O”. At an approximate 1000 foot elevation, the view from the castle of the coastline and the Pacific Ocean was breathtaking and I highly recommend this stop if you travel the California coast. After our tour, we drove a few miles north of San Simeon on Highway 1 just to check out the road and decided the “trucks and RVs not advised” warning signs were accurate but the scenery was spectacular! We stopped at the view point to watch the elephant seals. Most were sound asleep on the beach but we did see a few frolicking in the surf. Unfortunately these were too far away to get a good picture.
Yesterday, we drove south on Highway 1 through Pismo Beach (classical beach town crowded with very expensive homes) to check out another famous tourist stop in Buellton, CA. I’m sure you have all heard of Anderson’s Pea Soup Restaurant. Well, what can I say? After 80 years of business, the place is definitely showing its age. It is huge and of course, because it is off season there were not very many customers. Don’t get me wrong, the soup was okay (it is vegetarian and very bland) and we didn’t see until too late the option on the menu to add chopped ham (also bacon bits, toasted croutons, scallions or cheese) if so inclined for an additional $2.50. We really missed the ham flavor and for two carnivores, it was just “okay.” The inflated (In my opinion-have you bought a bag of split peas lately?) price of $8.95 included bread and drinks but the pumpernickel and onion/cheese bread were both cold and not very palatable. For $5.95 you can buy the bowl of soup (this also includes refills) with crackers only. I’m glad we went (so we can say we have been there) but their claim that you will “drive miles out of your way after hunger begs you to stop” is a bit far-fetched. Maybe years ago it lived up to the hype but in my opinion, that day is long gone. No doubt, it has been a life-saver for the tiny community of Buellton which quite possibly may have dried up and blown away without the help of the Anderson family tourist draw.
Not much on the agenda for the next couple days; probably just some more spectacular coastal scenic drives. We found one garage sale (náda) but the lady was very curious about our lifestyle. Oh yes, I did some shopping at the Goodwill Store located just across the road from where we are parked. I found four shirts and some books but gave up fairly quickly as I had to compete with dozens of teenagers shopping for Halloween Costumes. They were having a wonderful time being silly.
Until next time ...