|San Francisco from our plane|
|Van Goat chevre on my new, beautiful fused glass cheese plate from Luna-Sea (Pescardero) my brother and his wife got me for my birthday along with 4 other goat cheeses|
Back to Reality: Right off the bat, I had to get up at 7 am (which to my jet lagged body was 4 am) to take Maya to her classes as Naomi had some medical issues to address, more so than I thought. A growth will be removed tomorrow (not serious but other things could be a bit more so). I was running late taking her there. I drove through town which is shorter but more traffic because the longer expressway route has been stop and go the last few times I took it. I go by the fire station and wouldn't you know, all their trucks came out ahead of me on a run. The boys would have been thrilled to see that. I have to get paperwork from Dontae tonight to give to the Headstart people tomorrow. Maya may or may not qualify for special preschool through the school system as she is making so much progress recently, she might not be considered special needs. She still needs speech therapy. When will I rest?
Josh got a very close to full asking price offer on his house but work still is in progress there so someone has to let workers in. Well I will let Steve handle that one. His biggest hurdle now is whether the appraisal will be high enough.
Whale Watching: Whale watching is not for the impatient. Some people stayed at Pigeon Point all day hoping to sight a whale. I gave it ten minutes. Fortunately the first day I went, I saw at least ten sightings. None when I went back with Steve. The California Gray whales winter off Baja California and make the 10,000 mile trek to the Bering Sea every spring. The males go first. The first male was sighted there April 17. Bringing up the back, are the females and their offspring so that's what I probably saw. I didn't see the calves that others kept saying were there, just the adults. A male can be up to 50 feet long so they are not tiny whales.
Bay Area Bridges: I didn't get a chance to see the Bay Light project on the Oakland Bay Bridge. Due to the State of California being broke despite containing the wealthiest people in the world, the Golden Gate toll collectors were all let go. So if you cross it, you'd better have a transponder. Anticipating this, I brought my EZ pass but it is NOT accepted in CA (why the HELL not?!). If one goes over the bridge without the special transponder, the license plate is photographed and you are sent a big bill. If you have a rental car, this bill can be as much as $45. I read the fine print of my contract (font at 3 points). It says there is something called a 'plate pass' embedded in the license plate.
Even if we just use it once, we will be charged $5/day for the duration of our rental period, the toll itself and some administrative fee. Were we verbally warned of this BS? NO! So car renters, my advice to you is to stay clear of the Golden Gate. I suppose California not using EZ pass can be excused because they are surrounded by states not using it (or any other system) But in the East, this is what is used.
At least the bridges we did use (hopefully not triggering the plate pass as we paid in cash)only were $5 and one only paid in one direction. At various points, we used the Oakland Bay Bridge, the Richmond bridge, some tiny bridge going to Vallejo and the 7 mile long San Mateo Bridge; all the same price regardless of length.
Weather: Absolutely beautiful with not a cloud in the sky. Highest temp: 70 degrees though inland on that day, it was 90 but we were on the water except in Sonoma/Napa.Not so beautiful here.I see my daffodils and hyacinths and snow drops (fitting!). The forsythias are not even out.
Food: Too much of it. Lots of crab as that is what is fished in the nearby bay. Good Italian too and Mexican. There was an artichoke field near the water near my brother's. His area is the pumpkin capital of California though no pumpkins at this time of year. Strawberries and artichokes were the two main crops sold now at the farm stand. In Pescaderso, all other fresh berries including their weird ollallaberry were in their market. It was nice in the evening to sit on the deck overlooking the trees and the ocean while we sipped our wine.
My Big Birthday Surprise: It was very special to be surprised by my family and spend the weekend with them. I was truly surprised when I turned around in the Stanford Art Museum and saw the 4 of them. It was fun also sharing the beauty of the places around my brother's house in our drives. Also I thank my brother and wife for arranging for their sleeping arrangements. They have a huge, beautiful house but it is not full of guest rooms.