The Road, November 2007/2
THE ROAD: November 15-26 2007
November 17, 2007 at 16:39
[Main Branch: Pasadena Public Library, November 17 at 16:39]
Had a major problem that didn't allow me to print what I wanted t'take so sent it my former ex-girlfriend in Half Moon
Bay. She was able to print it all: Whew!
………Thick fog, maybe five hundred feet visibility crossing Skyline Boulevard. Not-so-thick 'til clearing in Half Moon Bay and
then resuming most of the way to Santa Cruz.
………Half Moon Bay's Surfers' Beach had a
few. No windsurfers at the Santa Cruz County line but there was a hang
glider and some kind of para-surfing but no surfers.
………Many surfers coming out of the water at
West Cliff Drive near the lighthouse. The Giant Dipper was, as expected, closed. Humongous traffic, as usual,
getting out of Santa Cruz..
Excellent dinner at Monterey's Fish House; checked on my
reservation and changed clothes at my January hotel. My favorite
Monterey dancer did show up to Sly McFly's with her boyfriend who's a director of the Monterey Bay Blues Festival.
Hit The Road at ten. More fog in Carmel (it was cold, 57°F, at the beach) and down the Cabrillo Highway.
Not a good day for picture taking nor even viewing. Disappointment was
compounded by my first visit to the New Camaldoli Hermitage whence I
was promised a magnificent view. Well, not this day. But it was
nevertheless a very pleasant visit. The simple chapel is lovely and the
sanitary facilities very nice, extravagantly equipt, and extremely
clean. ………Visited the Elephant Seals at Piedras Blancas within sight of Hearst's Castle atop La Cuesta Encantada.
………Up so early, needed a 15-minute nap at Morro Strand State Beach.
Filled the car's tank, with 507 miles on it, in Goleta. Made a wrong turn going perhaps an extra thirty miles to my
destination but got there minutes 'fore m'goal. Attended
the dance but didn't have a good time for many reasons
in addition to the level of dancing being quite low.
In that part of the world, it's known as “the dance of the living dead”
not just because it's an older crowd (most younger than I) but because
they dance so poorly. Went last year, too but probably won't next year.
………Revisited a nice motel in Pasadena.
Visited the Pasadena Museum of California Art that does not have a permanent collection. Lotsa fun stuff!
Revisited the Norton Simon Museum in order to get better pictures of one of Degas' dancers, the biggest one I've ever seen and one of
the most delightful. Still not satisfied.
……… Got on line for a while at the Pasadena Public Library's lovely main branch.
[Placentia, November 19 at 01:13]
Went to the Alpine Inn in Torrance, a place I first visited about twenty years ago resulting in a cherished adventure.
She wasn't there but a friend told me she still goes there.
I ordered rabbit. It came in a very sweet gravy. The sauerkraut was also sweet. Not a good meal but the cost is modest.
The place has a good floor of a decent size and, being Saturday, was quite crowded.
It was almost as bad as a senior dance. I was in the dreaded position of being not just the best dancer there but just about
the only dancer there.
Nevertheless, I had a pleasant evening, embellished by the hostess seating two pretty Mexican women with me, one non-Anglic.
When they took their coats off, I was dazzled by the size and quality of the cleavage they presented; one well-wearing a very
short skirt. They were very nice but neither could dance. They also, interestingly, drank no alcohol.
It might surprise you to learn that there was a steady stream of men visiting our table. I could find no rhyme nor reason to
their acceptances and refusals of invitations to dance. Baf'ling gender!
Heard an ad for a model railroad display at the Nixon Library, a place I've visited but have longed to return for there's much
to learn there.
I didn't know that Yorba Linda was adjacent to Placentia but found out when I dis- covered the hotel I chose to be only five
miles from the Nixon and walking distance from Top Cats, the place we dance on Sundays in this part of the world. What good
The model railroad display was very nice with a man and a boy, 9, to answer questions..
I was able to spend more time with some of the Nixon stuff that I wanted to my first visit.
Last year, I went to the
Reagan Library that I do not recommend unless you have a great interest in the person. The Nixon Library is a font of
historical information that's well worth your time. I say this even though I've been a Nixon hater since 1946! The Reagan has
an Oval Office and a presidential airplane. The Nixon has an East Room .
Returned to the hotel to change and dance with many people I know in this part of the world. Had a very nice time.
The weather has been consistently foggy, the air ugly, the worst I've seen here in many years, possibly because of
the recent fires. Temperatures in the 60s.
A few years ago, heading East on the Santa Monica Freeway, I was astonished to see mountains that I sub-consciously knew were
there but had never seen. Didn't see 'em this trip.
[Convention hotel in Anaheim, November 24 at 03:40]
the day taking care of some business one bit of which was at a bank
asked for $100. My card wouldn't work so I asked for $300 in the hope
that would be enough 'til I got a new card at home. I'm so glad
that happened in a bank rather than at some machine. Whew! That was in Little
Tokyo that I also visited.
………Spent more than an hour messin' 'round Hollywood. I always visit there,
but almost always late at night. This visit was in late afternoon. I had no idea it would be so much fun!
………I saw SpiderMan dressing on a side
street and, later, stretching in front of Sid Grauman's. Many other
characters, too, including some
monsters I didn't recognize, a very friendly Michael Jackson, and many
Across the street was a well-attended premiere that appears to be
about teen-agers danc- ing. An outside screen showed dance scenes that
looked terrific but I couldn't hear the music.
no idea whether it's any good, whether it plays dance music, nor
whether any dancers would be there, I took the chance of going to the
Big Band gig at Alpine Village. Monday is Big Band night at home and in
Manhattan, so it might as well be here, too.
Just For Fun Big Band left much to be desired musically; one of the
musicians in the back line seemed to have a
reading problem. But the tempi were good, the charts were inter-
esting, and the rhythms varied so it was OK. A couple of the soloists
were quite good, too.
I had the good luck of finding the few dancers there so my evening was pleasant. One, a very tall young woman, was wonderful
for the one dance we had.
Decided to spend the night at the Hacienda, a much criticized hotel
where I had a reser- vation for the next day. Spent a night there
last year and really liked it. Still like it. Will stay there again
Spent the next day at the new Getty taking the garden tour. My last
visit I took the architectural tour. The fog was so dense that
downtown couldn't be seen. My previous visit, though, I was treated to
nice views and a good Sunset.
On the San Diego Freeway around 18:00, I started to nod off! Pulled off near Venice Boulevard t'take a twenty-minute nap. Whew!
Tuesday is Swing night at the Hacienda. The woman who used to DJ there was not among my favorites. The man, an acquaintance of
many years, doing it now did an outstanding job. I could hardly sit to rest.
The tall young woman from the previous night was there and, again, we had a wonderful dance but she left early. When the
crowd dissipated, I got some inside Ellay gossip from the DJ.
Checked into a motel walking distance from Knott's Berry Farm, a place I've previously stayed. Spent only four
hours at Knott's but the attendance was so light that I was able to do everything I wanted and a bit more. Had good ol'
reliable Mrs. Knott's chicken dinner, as good as ever.
It's too bad that Ghostrider has such rough trackage as were, the tracks smooth, it would be a great ride. Lotsa airtime and
non-stop action thanks to being able to keep the bar up the first ride. The second ride, I let the bar find a place on my body
in the last element. It was painful and, of course, defeated what the designers had built in to the ride.
to the convention hotel for the pre-event show and dancing. While there, blocked the room I wanted.
day, got gas in Stanton and checked into the convention hotel from
which I won't depart 'til Monday. Had ThanksGiving dinner in the
company of about thirty other dancers before the evening's dancing.
The US Open Swing Dance Championships is, as usual, an outstanding event. Approximately 1,800 dancers are in attendance.
At the same time, the Southern California Region of Narcotics Anonymous is having its convention. A very interesting looking group of people. They're also
very nice and friendly but a cop car has been here all the time. I've seen no bad behaviour but . . .
One dancer commented to me that “they're a scary looking group” but I found them quite nice, warm, and very friendly. A little
boy among them said “Hi” to me and, nose in my navel, gave me a hug that I reciprocated. I thought that quite lovely.
sky's nice 'n' clear making for a spectacular Moonview that I saw on
the way t'have a snack with ten others, the same group of us as last
year, getting to the hotel around 04:00.
Took a friend to Union Station so he could board the $1 bus back to
Oakland then hit The
Road to the Madonna Inn punctuated by a quick visit to the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, one of my favorite
buildings on the planet.
As planned and much-anticipated, I had a fillet Mignon dinner in the Madonna Inn's
Copper Café, rather than the Steak House, after which I danced with the Cal-Poly Lindy Hoppers on one of the world's best
dance floors. Before Alex died, he took care of the floor and it was fabulous. Daughter Connie does it now and she's doing
almost as good a job as he.
………Left there at 23.3 and got home at 26.8, content with another year's satisfying jaunt to The SouthLand.
Distance from Union Station home is 445 miles
via highways 101, 85, and 280, just as the California State Automobile Association says it is.
To see what it is we Swing dancers do elevated to the highest level, i.e., championship, click here.
I know most of the dancers and have danced with at least half of 'em.
Robert and Nícola Royston have a beautiful and delightful routine with Laureen Baldovi that
oozes with suggestiveness. TripAdvisor contributor macdon commented “great videos”.