Independence Day Diary

July 7, 2004

Went home from work friday feeling prety low. I had the achy body, the beginnings of a sore throat, and an unconquerable headache. Took a big nap and some vites, and felt quite a bit better toward the evening.

That was good since Pop and I had planned to fly one of the Tomahawks from WVI to SBP. We would meet up with Arti and Mimi who would be driving the pickup loaded up with our old oven and microwave to deliver to Em and Mark.

We met up with Mimi and Pop at <a href=>Ocean Air</a> at about 9am Saturday.

The fog layer was hanging thick and low, and showed no signs of clearing. Bummer for VFR Pop and me. So we decided to all drive south, caravan style.

We arrived in Los Osos a couple of hours later to witness Mark putting the finishing touches on their lovely new backyard. He made a killer curved shed (with curved doors) and a picnic table set out of a huge plank of wood he got from a friend. He does first-class work.

Mark and I installed the microwave pretty quickly in a spot made for it in their kitchen, then we all took a little siesta.

I got in touch with the Drique, who was up visiting the Bellmans with Kendra, and Isabella. Ari, Marlen, and Ariella also drove up from LA. We planned to meet up at El Casa de Bellman at 7pm for a seafood feast.

The Bellmans' place is great -- up in the hills of Atascadero. Great air, views, and dark nights to check out all the stars. The plan was to boil up several bucketloads of crab, shrimp, and mussels, and eat it off the table. It was great fun -- they set up a few tables in their garage, covered them with paper, and dumped out the pots of seafood goodness in three big piles. There were about 20 of us there to enjoy it.

Everyone ate till they could stuff nary a mussel into their bellies. We capped the night with some tasty peach and strawberry pie a la mode with coffee out on the front porch by the chimley.

We headed back to Em and Mark's place around 11pm, and went straight to bed.

Shortly after getting cozy in our sleeping bags, I started to feel a rumbling in my belly. About a half hour of worrying about throwing up found me making the Vomitously Mad Dash to the bathroom to enjoy the dinner again, but played in reverse.

Too too bad -- it was such a tasty meal. I was up all night going back and forth between the sleeping bag and the toilet ("this had better better be the last time i pu.... back to worship Her Porcelainness!"). Things finally settled down around 4:30AM. I was empty.

A couple hours of sleep later, it was time to wake up. A big breakfast for everyone else (mint tea and dry toast for me) and it was time to head to the big 4th of July parade in Cayucos.

Cayucos is a town of maybe a thousand people. But on the 4th, EVERYONE from the area -- SLO to Paso Robles -- converge on the main street of Cayucos for a big, old-timey parade. From the local Hot Rodders, to the Harmony Elk's Lodge, to the local high school baton twirling club, it's happening in Cayucos.

Photos of the weekend are <a href=>here</a>.

We met up with the Cruzaleguis, Bellmans, and Gatis around lunchtime and had a bite to eat.

By this time, D and D Stein were getting a bit restless, and I was just about ready to fall over from lack of water, sleep, and calories, so we decided it was a good time to go.

Goodbyes all around, back to Em and Mark's place to pack up, and we came back home. It was nice to be back here where things are cozy and familiar.

We took it easy that evening, but headed down the street just after 9pm to watch the fireworks show the city puts on. It was just about canceled this year due to lack of funds, but some pyrotechnicophiles got together and raised enough money to put on the show. It was really exciting -- they do it in a park that's a few blocks from our house, so we got right up to it. Here are some <a href=>pictures</a> of the show.

On Monday, we took care of some projects around the house, then went for an AWESOME hike at <a href=>Castle Rock</a>. We arrived at the trailhead around 6pm, and hiked about 6 miles. I stopped a lot for <a href=>photos</a>, so we didn't get back until after 9pm. It was the best Bay Area hike I've been on. Lots of varied terrain, interesting rock formations, excellent views of the Coastal Range and the Pacific, waterfalls, Madrone trees. Most of the hike is in the shade, and doesn't carry on for too long going up or downhill, though there are some strenuous and technical parts of the trails.

In sum, a great long weekend -- just wish I could keep those mussels down!