Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mill Valley

Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Driving start: 8:00 am PDT, Westport, CA
Driving stop: 12:30 pm PDT, Mill Valley, CA
Crash pad: Travelodge, RM158 (no pets)
Total road time: 4.5 hrs

Back on the road. We had a spot of trouble yesterday afternoon with the van. The van did not fire up. Keith tried to jump start the van but no luck. Finally, he tried using Thad's battery charger which did the trick.

I must admit that the Northern California coast was the most challenging driving with its many twists and turns during this year's summer road trip.

We set up camp at the Mill Valley Travelodge (about 20 minutes from our new home) so that I could have internet access for work in the evening. After lunch at Bill's Place, we went to the realty office in South San Francisco to sign the lease and pickup the key to our new house rental.

With the key in hand we proceeded to the house. However, when we got there painters were transforming the place from blue with white trim to white with blue trim. Last minute touches.

Ah well, we decided to let them be and drove back to Mill Valley for the rest of the day. I worked on the computer while Keith and Syd took a walk along the Golden Gate Bridge. K & S later had dinner with friends Al and Annegret.

Praying Mantis on the rooftop of a garden store across the road from Travelodge.

Bill's Place - "Home of the Hamburger" on Clement Street in San Francisco


Thursday to Monday, July 26-30, 2007

The original plan was to move into the San Francisco house the day after the family reunion. However, we got a call from the rental agency. They wanted to move the date to Wednesday, Aug 1, because they needed more time to prep the place. Fortunately, we could return to Soulsong in Westport for the rest of the week.

I spent more time working via virtual office in Fort Bragg's Library, Headlands Coffeehouse and Starbucks. Keith and Syd came into town with me a couple times and had a bit of vacation time.

Berry picking in the garden for Blueberry and Razzle Dazzle pies.

Westport Union Landing State Beach

Friday, July 27, 2007


Saturday to Wednesday, July 21-25, 2007

Sandborn house on the Cleone coast

Bedding - Van Bueren family renunion

Diablo challenge - Gerhard and Tim do a double toss/catch and Syd practices as Kate watches

Judy's blankie for Ginger

Walking across the backyard - sand dunes

Beach beyond the dunes

Point Cabrillo Light Station

Mendocino - Headlands

Lake in the dunes

Last day on the deck

"It's like I'm in beach heaven." -- Sydney

Harry Potter

Saturday, July 21, 2007

It's all about Harry! We went to get J.K. Rowling's latest, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at Cheshire Bookstore in Fort Bragg.

"Reducto!" -- Ginny Weasley brings down the house in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Friday, July 20, 2007

Fort Bragg

Thursday to Friday, July 19-20, 2007

I spent these couple days working via virtual office (Mendocino County Library or Starbucks) in Fort Bragg. Keith helped Thad with projects around Soulsong. Syd helped Donna in the garden and toodled about.

As I drove into Fort Bragg, I was treated to this view of the Westport coast on Shoreline Highway.

Thursday night we went to the afternoon film showing of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in Fort Bragg. Harry is our hero!

"Expecto Patronum!" - something to say when encountering Dementors

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Deposit

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

We enjoyed an early morning cafe latte at Puccini's in North Beach (equivalent to New York's Little Italy).

When we walked back to Jeff and Margaret's place, we passed Washington Square park in front of St. Paul and Peter church where many elderly folks were warming up for their daily exercise of Tai chi.

We paid for the deposit to our future home this morning before heading back up to Westport for the Bedding - Van Bueren family reunion. We can sign the contract, pickup keys and move in next week! And they allow a cat! Syd is thrilled that Willy can join us for San Francisco adventures.

"Rubicon, Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, San Francisco Chronicle 2005 Rising Star Chefs - Brioza's savory courses segue seamlessly into Krasinki's sweet ones. They riff off each other, push each other, taste each other's creations and push some more." -- San Francisco Chronicle, advertising seen on a truck on Stockton Street (we gotta check this restaurant out some time)

The Call

Sunday to Tuesday, July 15-17, 2007

We spent our time in Palo Alto running a couple errands, organizing paperwork, visiting with family and friends, but mostly crossing our fingers for a call from the one house rental place we sent an application to.

The thought of finding a home further up the coast started to become appealing as we continued to look at the minimal craigslist listings for new house rental postings in our price range. Maybe, Eureka???

Syd and the grands relaxing in the backyard patio.

Tuesday afternoon we got the call we were awaiting. The owner of the house on 48th Ave and Balboa (Richmond district) was amenable. A deposit was required to secure the place on Wednesday. Yippeee!

Tuesday evening found us heading back to San Francisco to view one more house rental which turned out to be a nice one in the Sunset district. A possible place to go to if the Balboa one falls through. Afterwards, we drove down the curvy section of Lombard Street to meet Syd's uncle Jeff and aunt Margaret for dinner and a sleepover.

Word of the Day: pilgarlic (noun)
Pronunciation: \pil-GAR-lik\
1. a bald head, a bald-headed man
2. a man looked upon with humorous contempt or mock pity
(sent to us from Magda)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Day 16 - San Francisco

Saturday, July 14, 2007 - official end of the summer arm-chair traveling

House hunting begins.

We looked at 5 house rentals and 3 are good prospects. Hopefully, we'll have a positive answer for at least one of the three places we applied for sometime next week.

Got a little beach time in the neighborhood.

Coffee break and book browsing at the Green Apple Bookstore on Clement.

Word of the Day: Abibliophobia (noun)
Definition: The morbid fear of running out of reading material.
(sent to us from Mary)

Note from Syd

these pictures are for your viewing pleasure taken by my grandpa

Day 15 - Palo Alto

Friday, July 13, 2007
Driving start: 8:30 am PDT, Westport, CA
Driving stop: 2:30 pm PDT, Palo Alto, CA
State(s): CA
Crash pad: Syd's Grandparents home
Total road time: 6hrs

On the road again.

Today's journey takes us to Syd's Grandparents in Palo Alto - our bay area home base.

We drove through San Francisco and got some outside views of prospective homes before heading down to Palo Alto.

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge

"Friedman's - If we don't have it, you don't need it." --Home Improvement Store in Ukiah

Day 14 - The Headlands

Thursday, July 12, 2007

More hanging...

Syd and Nugget

A view from The Headlands in Westport.

Syd and Donna in front of Seaweed forest.

Keith and Thad lounging on the coast.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Day 13 - Soulsong

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Just hanging...

Oriental garden - one of three beautiful gardens on the property

Big Garden - lots of fresh organic fruits and veggies - yummy

Coloring wood

Day 12 - Westport

Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Driving start: 9:00 am PDT, Crescent City, CA
Driving stop: 4:00 pm PDT, Westport, CA
State(s): CA
Crash pad: Soulsong
Total road time: 7 hrs

The day started very foggy and cool as we drove through Crescent City. Sweater weather for a summer day in California.

Crescent Beach

Giant Redwoods in Trinidad, CA.

Tasted our first Dutch Bros. coffee in Eureka, CA. Excellent! The Dutch Mocha was made just right. With coffee in hand, we pushed through lunch time and continued onward.

Beware of Banana Slug (state mollusk) slime! Syd had a devil of a time washing it off!

We made it! Soulsong!

The house goddess welcomes all!

Interesting find: Legend of BigFoot --store in Garberville, CA