You are currently browsing articles tagged California.

A ride to the old adobe

It was cold last night, up here at the Alisal ranch. I woke up around 4 and just lay in bed listening to the wind rustle through the old oaks and what sounded like rain but was really just the sprinklers going off. Never did go back to sleep. The ride to the old adobe was scheduled for 7 so it was one of those deals where you just lie there and wonder how much more time you’ve got before you have to get up and you never really do go back to sleep and then it 5 and then 6 and then you might just as well get up. Which is what I did.

I was the first one to arrive at the barn. Excepting the wranglers who were all standing around a camp fire drinking coffee and stomping their feet to keep warm. Soon enough a small group of women showed up and they were assigned to their horses, saddled up and headed out.

Haddie, the head wrangler, who is cuter than a bug, came over and chatted with me for awhile. She said I’d be riding Wyatt. At first I thought she said I’d be riding White and I told her I thought that was a strange name for a horse. She said, “Not Whi-te…Wy-itt.” Course, with her little Western twang it sounded like the same thing. We walked into the corral together and she went and found Wyatt, who was a good size horse (and also white), and I climbed aboard, and with the sun just peaking over the dry hills, we headed off down the trail, neither Wyatt or I quite sure about the whole thing but trying to be good sports about it anyway.

“Listen,” I said to Wyatt as he did a little sideways dance, “I’m no happier about this than you are, but let’s just try and get along for an hour or so and then we can both be on our way.”

I guess that was good enough for him because he didn’t give me any trouble the rest of the way, though he had reason to.

Tags: , ,

Driving Sideways

This afternoon I was driving through Buelton on my way to Alisal and passed the Hitching Post. Remember the Hitching Post…from the movie Sideways? Just had to stop. It’s where Miles Paul Giamatti) gets blattoed while pining for Maya (Virginia Madsen). Truth be known, I would have pined after her too. Where has she been in the ensuing 8 years (was it that long ago?)…I miss her.


Tags: ,

A Letter from San Francisco:

I met Christine, the woman who taught me never to say no to champagne, for breakfast at Café de la Presse. While we were looking at the menu we kept thinking about ordering a little bubbly but then Christine had to go to work and I had to catch a flight. So we behaved ourselves.

It’s interesting: They serve their lattes in big bowls (I’ve never really liked that idea; the coffee gets cold too quickly) and although Christine ordered a double and I ordered a single, what they brought to the table looked identical in size. Maybe Christine got a double shot of espresso? But they tasted the same, too (we switched).

Anyway, the thing to get here, for breakfast anyway, is the Oeufs à la Norvégienne: smoked salmon eggs Benedict. With a side order of crispy bacon if you’re feeling particularly hungry (I was).

Café de la Presses, 352 Grant Ave., San Francisco.

Tags: ,

A Letter from San Francisco:

According to Bette Davis, “There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of Champagne.”

If you feel that way, may I suggest you head for one of my favorite San Francisco bars, The Bubble Lounge. If you don’t feel a bit brighter about things after a glass of bubbly here (they serve over 300 champagnes and sparkling wines), then you’re beyond redemption.

If you stop in on Mondays or Tuesdays in April or May and use the code words “Spring Fever,” they’ll even give you 20% off a bottle of champagne. Do not pass this up!

Tell them The Flaneur sent you.

Tags: ,

Randy Grubb's Decoliner. Photo by David Lansing.

From our Palm Springs correspondent:

We’d heard about the Vintage Airstream Trailers show during Modernism Week and headed over to have a look at the decked-out Caravels, Safaris, and Bambis. Our favorite, however, wasn’t an Airstream at all. It was Randy Grubb’s Decoliner, an odd beast that looked like a cross between a 50s bus and a hot-rod Globetrotter.

Randy had driven the Decoliner, which has an open-top flying bridge (so it can be driven from either inside the cab or from on top of the roof), all the way from Grant’s Pass, Oregon, where he is a glass-blower when he isn’t messing around with cars. It took him 20 months to construct the beast which is made from a ’73 GMC motor home chassis, a 455 Oldsmobile engine, and a hulking 1950 COE (Cab Over Engine).

This thing is just meant for a long road trip.

Tags: ,

« Older entries