Thursday, 31 January 2008

We apologize for the technical hitch

Would you believe it - this fancy new fandangled piece of equipment stopped working! Not entirely, but it wouldn't allow us to surf t'interweb, hence no blogging :( Had to wait til we were back in civilization (if you can call Vegas that) so we could find an Apple store where they gave us a brand new iPod Touch!  Will update you on our travels since last entry soon. Hope you are all well.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Apologies for dearth of photos

While the iPod Touch is truly  a work of genius it, unfortunately, is unable to facilitate in the uploading of holiday snaps. We've also yet to find an internet cafe willing to let us upload stuff, so apologies for the lack of pretty pictures so far.

The Carmel Pine Cone

Here we are in the extremely pretty town of Carmel-by-the-Sea (all those hyphens make us Henley types feel right at home; photo shows Carmel beach - look, no rain!.) This is the place where Clint Eastwood is mayor, although we've yet to spot him gadding about in his gold chain and mayoral robes. Nor has he been reported doing good deeds in the local paper, The Carmel Pine Cone. Still, there's not really much room for Clint-based items alongside the Police Log. What a hoot! I was equally amused and impressed to read that both a fire engine and an ambulance were dispatched to attend an elderly lady with a nosebleed and, on a separate occasion, a man in his 40s with "a pain in his right flank" (where exactly is the "flank" on the human body - I thought it was something that horses have?) Also, what was the fire engine supposed to do in these situations?

Friday, 25 January 2008

Raindrops keep falling, and falling, and falling...

Well, it's not all fun in the sun for the international jetsetter! It's Friday lunchtime and we're now in Santa Cruz (as far north as we intend to go; photo shows SCruz beach). It's been raining almost constantly since Monday evening and it's just like being at home in the height of summer! It's clearly quite a major thing as the news channels and newspapers are talking about nothing else (except the presidential stuff which is very confusing for us foreigners.) Anyway, today we aren't doing much except staying indoors in wi-fi zones (due to the lovely Ipod), doing laundry (again) and going to the cinema to see Cloverfield.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Greetings from the iPod Touch!!!

Oh my goodness! I'm in our motel room in Cambria typing this on an iPod Touch. how cool is that? Hubby & I are such geeks now! So now we can surf t'interweb all over the shop!

Forgot to Say

When we were in Santa Monica we went to Universal Studios for the day. It was good fun, although not as good as I'd hoped especially when we discovered that The Revenge of the Mummy ride was closed - and The Mummy is one of my favourite films. Grr. Anyway, while there we went on a studio backlot tour which involved a ride along Wisteria Lane (any idea whose house that is in the photo? I don't have a clue) - it is soooo much smaller in real life than it looks on the tv. And then, quite incidentally, in the evening there was an epsiode of Desparate Housewives on the tv. I was confused, it wasn't the first one in the series so we've clearly missed something but (look away now as this is a 'spoiler') Edie Brit isn't dead. And I thought she hanged herself at the end of the last series?

Anyway, enough rambling.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Now I want to live in San Luis Obispo

Yesterday was hubby's birthday and we spent the night in the Misty Rocks room at the Madonna Inn (see photo on the left; it looked so much nicer before we emptied our stuff everywhere...). It totally lives up to the photos on the website, and then some. Our room had a 'waterfall' shower built out of rocks - that was an experience. But even more of an experience was dinner in the padded pink-ness of the steakhouse. Liberace would have been sooo jealous of us. I had to control my urges to kit myself out in rhinestones from head to foot with the delightful attire on offer at the Ladies Boutique. Luckily hubby didn't even set foot in the gent's clothing store for who knows what 'Elvis in his fat period' outfit he might have appeared at dinner in? And during dinner we were entertained by the Cal Poly Swing Dance Club - they weren't purposefully entertaining us, they were just there practising, but it was definitely entertaining.

Anyway, this morning we had a look round the town of San Luis Obispo and now I want to live there. Perhaps a residence in Santa Babs, one in SLO, and an apartment in NYC for the Xmas period...? Hubby & I unfortunately went in to the Apple store in SLO and now we want to buy an iPod Touch. Fools and their money are soon parted, and we are easily wowed by new technology, especially when we don't understand it.

We've just got back from a tour of Hearst Castle (see photo top right of the outdoor swimming pool; the indoor one was just as spectacular). Wouldn't mind living there either. I think I'd like to be a "collector" like William Randolph Hearst. Wonder if my collection of tat will ever be worth as much as his collection of antiquities?

Tonight we're staying in Cambria. We were only due to stay one night but we like the look of it so much that we're throwing caution to the wind and staying an extra night. Only been on our travels 6 days and already the schedule is out the window.

BTW, I'm sure you'll all be glad to hear that it has been tipping down with rain most of the day and I'm sitting here in my thermal underwear and a waterproof jacket. I'm wearing other clothes too, so don't worry that I might get arrested by the local CHiPs!

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Oh, the exotic life of the traveller.

Here's hubby's birthday cake - it was soooo huge it lasted us a week!

Well, here I am again.Only a few hours after my last post and I'm on t'interweb again. This time in a slightly more fragrant environs than the library. Can you guess where it is yet? Is there a clue in the title? Yes, the exotic hangout of every traveller... (well, every clean traveller)....

...the laundromat! Only been going 5 days and already we're washing our travelling garb. Such clean peeps we are. Perhaps we felt grubby after our visit to the down & out shelter, I mean the library. Still, at least the visit to the library has helped me make a valuable career decision - I will never apply for a job in an American public library. It would drive me mad. Although, I was rather impressed by the relaxed shelver I witnessed pushing a trolley full of books while (look away now if you work in a library) eating a bar of chocolate and carrying a can of pop. Imagine!

So, I guess if you are reading this you might want to know some details of our trip? Well, there's not a huge amount to tell I'm afraid. We've not done anything massively exciting. We thought the end of our trip had come a few weeks early last night when we were rudely awoken at about 2am by an almighty crash (we are in an earthquake zone after all). We both ran to the door to see what had happened to witness a Winnebago sheepishly reversing, having driven in to the overhead sundeck (at the end of which happens to be our 1st floor room) - clearly the Winnebago driver thought he had a bit more clearance. What a durrbrain.

Tomorrow we are driving (well, hubby will be driving and I'll be navigating a.k.a admiring the scenery) further up the coast to San Luis Obispo for our night at the Madonna Inn. Do have a look at their website if you haven't already - what a place! We're staying in the Misty Rock room; and we'll be eating dinner in the pink-ness of the steak restaurant (see photo top left). And it's hubby's birthday, so please join me in wishing him a very happy THIRTY-SIXTH birthday. Ha.

5 down, 102 to go (of Part I of the Big Trip)

So, here we are again in Santa Babs Public Library amongst the "interesting" people (most of whom smell real bad). See the lengths I'll go to in order to keep this blog up-to-date? (not to mention the lengths I'll go to for FREE internet access).

Right then, what to tell? Our first three days were spent in Santa Monica, which was lovely. The beach was fab, the weather was great and we found a very yummy pizza shack. Then Saturday morning we drove 90 miles up the coast to Santa Barbara, which is where we still are. I LOVE Santa Babs. I want to live here. They have lovely shops, they have lovely weather, they have lovely people (except the smelly ones)

Saturday, 19 January 2008

We're here!

Currently making good use of the free internet facilities in Santa Barbara Public Library - how my former colleagues at the Uni would be proud! Can I just say though, to any Library peeps who might be reading this - this place would drive you mad! There are people on mobile phones, there are people eating, there are people drinking, and there are MAD people who clearly make this their home for the day. The students are little darlings in comparison...

I digress. We have arrived. We've 'done' Santa Monica (see photo featuring hubby at Santa Monica beach) and are now approx 90 miles up the coast from LA in Santa Barbara (see photo at top) - what a lovely place. And the weather has been fab (so far) - in the mid-high 60s.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

It's the Final Countdown...

One week to go! ARRRGGGHHHH! So much still to do. We are still frantically packing and painting. Well, when I say 'we' and 'frantically', obviously I just mean me. Hubby never does anything 'frantically', he's too laid back.

So I am frantic and he his calm; hopefully, like the tortoise and the hare, we'll both get there in the end.

Just five more rooms to paint, lots of 'stuff' to pack away (where does all this 'stuff' come from?), and everything we need for a 17 week trip to cram in to a rucksack. Hubby says he's going to pack tonight. Easy for him, he's only taking one pair of pants and a toothbrush. Whereas, being a girlie, I have to pack creams for this, creams for that, lotions for this, potions for that, tablets for this, capsules for that, not to mention a gazillion copies of Hello...

Monday, 7 January 2008

Uncomfortable of Henley

Yesterday (Sunday) we (well, hubby and two strapping young men from the rugby club) moved practically all of our furniture in to storage. We are now left with one bed, one dining table and 6 deckchairs in varying degrees of (un)comfort. See how I have retained a semblance of interior decor with the fairy lights round the fireplace - tres chic, don't you think?

Saturday we had a viewing with a nice couple from Essex who were very taken with the house (good job they saw it Saturday and not yesterday or today as it now looks like the proverbial bomb site). Today the estate agent (Hamptons - how posh are we??!!) called to say they would like to rent it for 12 months - hooray! Although we have been here before so let's not hang out the bunting just yet. Wait til they've signed on the dotted line...

Today is my friend Liz's birthday, so let's all join in a rousing rendition of 'Happy Birthday' for her.

BTW, am sure you'll all be pleased to know my back is much better. So much so that this morning I was up a stepladder sawing down the rose tree that climbs up the back of the house and is the bane of my life. Good riddance to it. Apologies to hubby as he rather liked it.