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Back again - Ghosts, John Steinbeck and little boys

Post 1

You can call me TC

So I'm back from the US. Everything went so smoothly and all according to plan, even I was amazed. Mind you, the fates had a lot to make up for after our first trip out in 2015. The fiasco with the hire cars: ( http://www.h2g2.com/dna/h2g2/classic/F56786?thread=8314647&skip=0&show=20 ) The fiasco with the lost luggage: ( http://www.h2g2.com/dna/h2g2/classic/F56786?thread=8314575&skip=0&show=20 ) What had changed? We may have been eating at more upmarket restaurants this time (definitely more by luck than judgement) but we had much less of a feeling of being hurried. Only once did a waitress plonk the bill on our table when our plates were still half full, telling us to "take our time" - putting us in that uncomfortable position where we felt obliged to gobble up, pay and go. We were left in peace to finish our meals and enjoy the last sips of wine before having to actually ask for the bill. Sorry, check. In fact, we were left in peace with our food much more - no incessant interruptions asking if everything was OK. We were bothered with this on average only ONCE per meal! Of course, usually when I had a mouth full, so I adopted the practice of just giving them a thumbs-up and/or nodding. What hasn't changed? The Americans still fry the Bejeesus out of the bacon (if that is what it is), resulting in stiff sticks of nondescript saltiness instead of soft, pink, oozy rashers, which look and taste like proper bacon. Otherwise we had a very productive trip. The first week was spent, as planned, babysitting our 4-year-old grandson, who didn't seem to miss his parents at all, who took their first break without him since he was born. Of course, it was made easy for us because he was in his own home, own bed, own car seat and own routine. We took him to his pre-School on 3 days and to his "Sports Club" one afternoon. Whilst he was in pre-School, we spent the time exploring San Jose (where they live), including the Winchester Mystery House - which was far less tacky than I had anticipated. http://winchestermysteryhouse.com/ Our son and daughter-in-law returned on Easter Saturday and we spent the weekend together - going to Mass in the Santa Clara Mission on Easter Sunday morning with our daughter-in-law. The church was full, although it was early Mass. I reckoned about 500-600 people in the congregation, and some standing at the back. We strolled around the gardens afterwards for a little, admiring the flowers and statues. On the Monday, we left for a little holiday of our own. Our Travel Agent with whom we booked everything (somehow we feel obliged to - long story - but it does give us back-up as the whole adventure is not cheap and a very long way away)... Our Travel Agent's idea of a holiday in the US is getting up at 6, driving 700-800 miles and stopping at a hotel miles from anywhere - repeat ad lib. 3 years ago he had sent us from Silicon Valley down Highway 1 with the first night booked in Santa Barbara. I met a man in the whirlpool at the hotel there who said he and his mates had spent 5 days doing that stretch ( this was the conversation: http://www.h2g2.com/dna/h2g2/classic/F56786?thread=8314928&skip=0&show=1 ) So this time we took our time as there is so much to see between the bay and Santa Barbara. We spent 2 nights in Monterey, 2 nights in Pismo Beach and one night in Salinas. No drive longer than 2 1/2 hours. But that is enough for us. We hadn't come to sit in a car all day. We were very, very lucky with our ventures: First stop: Santa Cruz. Much of a dump, really, very like a second class holiday resort anywhere in Britain. Capitola - a much nicer holiday resort with the same amenities, but somehow more class! The Aquarium in Monterey which we had heard so much about turned out to be quite small. But we managed to see 2 feeding times with some extra bits (shoals of sardines and a hammerhead shark, unscheduled, barged in on the feeding time in the Deep Sea basin, a couple of tiny sharks


Back again - Ghosts, John Steinbeck and little boys

Post 2

Sho - gainfully employed again

Sounds like you had a lovely time - you're right not to rush round, holidays are supposed to be relaxing!! missed you at the meet


Back again - Ghosts, John Steinbeck and little boys

Post 3

You can call me TC

Thanks Sho. I could possibly have got back for the meet, but the flight back on 29th was „1¤7400 cheaper, so we stayed the extra day which also gave us the whole weekend with our son, and meant that our grandson left us to go to pre-school rather than us leaving him.

But he was very good about the various parting he had to go through whilst we were there; he is a well-balanced 4-year-old.


Back again - Ghosts, John Steinbeck and little boys

Post 4

paulh. Following butterflies through the meadows

I read you post before having my morning smiley - coffee, and "Sana Cruz" looked like "Santa Claus" at first. smiley - headhurts

And while you were In California, I was getting lost near the Holborn Station on my way to a hotel and the 20th Birthday get-together.

I did eventually find my way....

smiley - smiley


Back again - Ghosts, John Steinbeck and little boys

Post 5

Sho - gainfully employed again

we missed you at the meet but family comes first!
Maybe next time!


Back again - Ghosts, John Steinbeck and little boys

Post 6

paulh. Following butterflies through the meadows

Gin slightly off-topic....

Sho, I mentioned an event on the pirate ship that I thought you were involved in. I may have been thinking of Flo. The other person involved was Pandora. Sorry about the mistake.


Back again - Ghosts, John Steinbeck and little boys

Post 7

Sho - gainfully employed again

yes! I was wracking my brain about who you could have meant. No problem. It was lovely to meet you after all this time!


Back again - Ghosts, John Steinbeck and little boys

Post 8

paulh. Following butterflies through the meadows

It was a delightful time. I enjoyed meeting you.


Back again - Ghosts, John Steinbeck and little boys

Post 9

Recumbentman

Great description TC!

What is it about Cannery Row that made it a byword for debasement?

You better come home Speedy Gonzalez
Back from Cannery Row
Stop all of your drinking
With that creature named Moe

(Vintage 1962. Pat Boone I think.)


Back again - Ghosts, John Steinbeck and little boys

Post 10

Recumbentman

Steinbeck of course.


Back again - Ghosts, John Steinbeck and little boys

Post 11

paulh. Following butterflies through the meadows

I don't think Pat Boone has benefited from the passage of time. On the other hand, some of his songs hve made their way into the soubndtracks of a hnumber of movies like "The shape of water" and "Game night."

"Cuando cuando cuando" will probably be of occasional interest in the future. "April love" and "Love letters in the sand" are pleasant enough. As an actor, he has made three movies since 2015.

He's still alive i his mid-80s. There's an interesting phenomenon about turning 80: suddenly you get extra credit just by still being around. If there's an entertainment project that needs a geezer, you have a better shot at getting the part, because time has thinned the field a great deal. Again, you get credit just for not being in a wheelchair or nursing home or Alzheimer's facility. Not that that helpeed Peter O'Toole win an Oscar. smiley - sadface


Back again - Ghosts, John Steinbeck and little boys

Post 12

Recumbentman

I went off Pat Boone in a big way when he started spreading lies about Barack Obama.


Back again - Ghosts, John Steinbeck and little boys

Post 13

aka Bel - A87832164

Sounds like you had a great time. smiley - smiley Did you catch any of the atmosphere there, pre-relection? It seems far away, but the campaigning started, afaik.


Back again - Ghosts, John Steinbeck and little boys

Post 14

paulh. Following butterflies through the meadows

"I went off Pat Boone in a big way when he started spreading lies about Barack Obama" [recombentman]

smiley - laugh I went off him in the 1970s when I saw him in a remake of the film "State Fair." I can't believe that Richard Rodgers would tolerate the casting of that movie, nor write the horrible new songs for the film, nor countenance switching the locale from Iowa to Texas. I have herd the Rodgers had a dark side, and I am going to blame that for this project. Or senility. Whatever.


Back again - Ghosts, John Steinbeck and little boys

Post 15

You can call me TC

Not really, Bel. We were quite busy looking after the little one and there are so many non-Americans in Silicon Valley, they may well not spend a lot on campaigning there. We may have seen some posters, but it was nothing compared to the rows and rows of posters on every lamp post that we noticed as soon as we got off the train at home.

European and local elections coming up
I may have to look into it and start voting for the first time in my life.


Back again - Ghosts, John Steinbeck and little boys

Post 16

aka Bel - A87832164

Well, I don't think I've voted in the EU election before, but I certainly will this time around.


Back again - Ghosts, John Steinbeck and little boys

Post 17

Sho - gainfully employed again

try this, it's pretty helpful, and at the end all the parties have a little description, whether or not you pick them as one of your 8 that you want to compare

https://www.wahl-o-mat.de/europawahl2019/


Back again - Ghosts, John Steinbeck and little boys

Post 18

Sho - gainfully employed again

or maybe
http://www.wahl-o-mat.de/europawahl2019/


Back again - Ghosts, John Steinbeck and little boys

Post 19

paulh. Following butterflies through the meadows

41 parties? If those are for celebration, then smiley - wow. If they're political parties, then smiley - yuk.


Back again - Ghosts, John Steinbeck and little boys

Post 20

Sho - gainfully employed again

most of them are fringe, single-issue parties


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