Monday, October 4, 2010

Travels with Granddad

For the sake of the curious few who like to know what I have been up to, I will post these photos and try to explain why I so freely abdicate my responsibilities at home to travel with my dad on a whirlwind weekend (6 days, really).

Okay, #1.  My dad is 85 1/2.  #2 He has a new car.10-08-30-12-36-59H 10-08-30-12-37-26H #3 He has a reputation for liking cars with “a lot of pep” that “really put you back in your seat”.  (He goes fast)

#4 He has a GPS that fascinates him (thank goodness the one attached to his laptop has been replaced;  my mom felt like she had been replaced while that thing was in the front seat with them.)

So of course I wanted to go on his driving trip to the Bay Area to make sure he didn’t go too fast or focus too long on the GPS while driving down the road.

We didn’t drive too fast, no thanks to me.  He wanted to see what kind of gas mileage he could get on the open road.  So he set the cruise control at 60 MPH for most of the time until the trucks started passing us; then we went up to 65.  We didn’t turn on the air conditioning because it uses more gas.  The happy results were that he got 40.88 miles per gallon in his high performance SI.  I forget what the SI is for, but I know it’s important to car guys. 

We left Wednesday morning and got to Redding just in time for supper at –surprise to me but his plan all along-Jack’s, the restaurant where Denise R. works.  She is the mother of twin soccer players who were at U of Portland but have now gone on to play professionally and for the national team.  Dad has cared for the girls since they were freshmen, and their family has befriended him.  So we stopped for supper where the mom has worked for 24 years (it was a good bet she’d be in).

10-09-22-17-51-43H 10-09-22-17-35-18H And she was.

Passing Mount Shasta on the way:

10-09-22-14-44-10H

We were delighted with the blue skies and warm sun, having left behind cool and overcast. 

I was ready to stop for the night before Dad, probably because of being up too late the previous night, but we kept going to Williams where we found a place just off the freeway.  The ‘Continental Breakfasts’ that are included frequently now are not the Continental Breakfasts of the “Continent” which started them. Cold cereal and hot cereal, milk, brown sugar, apples whole or sliced, waffle batter you pour yourself out of a spigot into a waffle iron, whipped cream and berry toppings, eggs and sausages, biscuits and gravy, yogurt, sliced peaches, coffee (caff or decaff) tea (black or herbal) cream (liquid or powder, flavored or not), juice: orange, tropical, cranberry, muffins, breakfast rolls, toast, pancakes.  The French rolls and black coffee were  a freebie benefit in 1971 when I enjoyed Continental breakfasts in Europe.  Competition in the marketplace has resulted in overfed Americans, I think.

I digress.

We left Williams just as soon as we could to get into Berkeley to our “real” motel and get settled before the game.  We actually got there too soon; our room was not available and we had to do our sightseeing in our unwashed condition.  We checked in periodically with the young man at the desk and found him difficult to communicate with because of his accent, his entry level experience in motel management, and Dad’s hearing problems.  Did I mention entry-level English?

Dad was anxious to find the stadium, the ticket gate, and the parking situation for the 3:00 PM game.  We drove to campus and got situated but found parking to be difficult:  1)There are too many cars in the area for the number of parking spots 2) Dad doesn’t want to pay for a parking lot, especially when he would have to park his car next to someone else who might ding the door, and NEVER for a Valet to park 3) which left street parking, if you can find it without hitting a bicyclist or being scraped by one as they maneuver between you and all the jay-walking pedestrians!

Oh,the pedestrians!  It was a joyful Thursday afternoon with summer weather, in the 80’s, on campus.  That means shorts, short shorts, and camisoles, and high heels with shorts and bra things and fur coats here and there with boots and fatigues and purple hair and wigged out hair of every color.  It’s a wonder there aren’t a lot more accidents.  Between the bicyclists and the jaywalkers and Dad noticing the street clothes I was a nervous wreck.  Berkeley has a lot of one way streets and I know them well.  I have thought of many pictures I wish I had taken, but I was much too busy warding off dangers.

We walked along our motel street to find a lunch spot.  We were in a neighborhood of Indian shops and restaurants, Sari Palace, Sari Serenade, etc.  I saw a heavily encrusted necklace in the window of one that I was attracted to, but I couldn’t think what in my wardrobe would go with it.  Truly, it was beautiful—rubies! We ate at Subway, the only menu we could understand.

Then, to the game!10-09-23-13-23-40H Outside the 1921 Stadium ^10-09-23-14-14-53H I loved the architectural juxtaposition ^10-09-23-13-51-18H The team warms up ^10-09-23-13-49-26H Two other fans of University of Portland Women’s Soccer who travel to the games faithfully—but they fly!

Portland won, 3-1.  Not a big surprise, but at halftime it was 1-0, California. So there was a little edginess.

For supper, we happened on a fish house by GPS which turned out to be just a few blocks away from our motel.  It reminded me of Dan and Louie’s Oyster Bar in Portland, only much bigger.  It had charming history and decor, starting as a fish stand on the San Francisco Bay East Side in the 1800’s.

 

To be continued….

But before I close, I want to say: I wish I could remember all the things Dad told me along the way, the bits of road history he has fresh in his mind still.  He can point out the ice cream place south of Weed that he and Mom used to stop at in all the years they drove to  California, the defunct gas station with water tower where he and his parents had their picture taken in 1938, the particular rest stop in a grove of fragrant eucalyptus trees that they have always loved…the ‘Dunnigan cut-off” (now I-505) that was under construction in 1955 when we and my grandparents drove to my Uncle Clarke’s wedding in LA, the towns where my grandparents used to like to get olives at stands, and the bridge over the Carsequienes (sp?)Straits over which he traveled in 1938 10-09-23-08-25-34H10-09-23-08-25-56H

Above, the new suspension bridge for southbound traffic and on the left, the bridge Dad remembers from his childhood trip to Berkeley.

It’s good to hear those stories.

More of my story to come…

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