This is not really a post, nor an essay. These are notes I made after our vacation trip to California last week and I am “storing” them here to sit and percolate while I start the process of creating the next Harrison Thomas novel, called “Tri Ride.” In the upcoming book our intrepid hero begins to volunteer as a courier, messenger, and all around motorcycle volunteer at a series of marathons and triathlons entered by his new female relationship person. They will visit Walla Walla, Cour D-Alene, Electric City, and Auburn California – all places we have visited while cheering for our son Will in these events. In the book, however, people are going to die – several of them.
Of these notes below, some will become scenes in the book, and some will not. Not much worth reading for now, I am afraid.
Suisun City, Sausalito, and Los Gatos
April 5th (evening) to April 12th (evening)
Alaska Airlines – just fine. Little hassle with check-in, other than with Susan’s titanium knee – which always gets her a casual to intensive frisking depending on the TSA Matron in charge. Interestingly, the Sacramento Airport uses a full body scan machine, which is evidently sufficiently detailed that Susan was allowed to pass on with our further bodily invastion.
Hertz Rental Car – if you have a reservation, you would expect the car to be ready for you. Or close to it. Surely after just a few minutes… While waiting I was sort of expecting a free upgrade to a car they did have, (such as a Corvette…) but no luck. Ours arrived just about the time we were losing patience.
Nissan Versa rental car in institutional dark gray. Impressive as a rental car. Fuel mileage in the mid-30s on regular, excellent handling and brakes on winding roads. Let downs were the power, which is totally absent when you might want it. The cruise control controls were not intuitive – at least to me – and I was still clumsy with them at times after 6 days.
I was worried I would get charged for the dent in the right door not seen when the car was delivered late and dripping wet, but evidently nobody noticed it or nobody cares – not sure which.
Returning the car was efficient and easy, and overall it was a remarkably simple operation. The car impressed as well, but only as a rental.
Bonding with the owner of the Dynasty Restaurant in Suisun City. A Triumph man and experienced grandfather.
Suisun City – weird to see details in my daughter’s house and on my morning walk that appeared to be “wrong,” because they are not that way in my recent novel. Some of the details I changed on purpose in the writing, but others I simply recalled incorrectly, and now the “incorrect” version is in my head from the writing, and is more “real” to me than reality. Odd feeling. In particular, I would have bet money that I knew exactly where the bench Harrison sits on in one chapter is located – and I would have lost that money.
A day at the Park – Golden Gate Park – visited a couple of modern art museums and a Japanese Garden – not my thing. Hong Kong Lounge is a nearby Dim Sum restaurant with a 40 minute sidewalk wait to enter a huge establishment where nobody speaks English and you are too intimidated to ask for a fork.
Visited an ocean beach called “Ocean Beach” where Dorje showed off some mean kite skills and Dorine and Susan and I did enough to not be embarrassed. So many campfires have been on the beach that there is a lot of charcoal all over.
To Sausilito- do rental cars pay toll for the Golden Gate? Don’t know.
Hotel Sausilito- 15 steps from the ferry to SF. Expensive but a treat. Ferry to Ferry building was $19.00 for Susan and $10 for “senior citizen” (+ 65) me!
Alcatraz is intimidating. Did not realize so many of the buildings are burned out hulks. There are tours there I’d like to do some day
Ripped off by “Buddhist” monk in Ferry building who took our dollar and then took back what he gave us because it was not enough!
Ferry Building has a large indoor and outdoor “Pike Place Market” but it was only a C grade
Lunch at an outdoor café (name?) was excellent and the views of the Bay spectacular.
On to Los Gatos. Los Gatos volleyball game – black and orange – against a private academy – “the H School.” Which one due to one player. Nephew Sam was on of the two best players for his team – both sophomores.
Up to Half Moon Bay for lunch at a restored speak easy/ whorehouse whose sign refers to that “Golden Age.” Excellent fish and chips
Stopped on the way at a beach that was so so.
Back to Sacramento – would have been better to fly in to Sac and out of San Jose, but oh well – long drive. Had time for a great lunch at “Pluto” on the UC Davis Campus
Flew home- stomach flu began the next day
Copyright 2013 David Preston