From San Luis Opisbo to Salinas–Missions Mostly

It seems like two weeks ago that I left the Marriott Courtyard in SLO this morning…what did I do? Well, I missed the breakfast I hoped to have at the hotel…I dilly dallied around until 10…went down to find they were not serving so I went to a nearby diner and ate an obscene breakfast…but it was very good. Then I just meandered up to Morro Bay, DSC05925 Atascadero, San Miguel, San Antonio, and Trader Joe’s! I really liked my quiet drive today…I listened to Hildegard von Bingen so I was very mellow and the scenery was so Rubenesque….all those soft curves….it was like looking at huge rear ends or vast bosoms. And the texture of this state…those hills look like reindeer antlers or dried moss or brushed velvet or maybe even suede. Aren’t I poetic? Not.

I just drifted around….thank you God again for the GPS. I even went to a lavender farm in Atascadero….I was about 2 weeks short of the big bloom but it was still nice. And again, the confirmation: plant on a slope. The owner was also ‘mentored’ by Jeannie from Blanco…small world, huh? So I caught up with the Unlikely Lavender Queen’s latest news, albeit second hand.


To get to the lavender farm I drove through some mountains on route 41….once again, never ask anyone if a road is scary unless they look like Don Knotts or a human chiquaqua. Noooooo, one and all responded, not in the least spooky. Well, it really wasn’t as bad as some. Glad Len was not behind the wheel. He is too casual. Comments like, “Zoom, zoom” or “This is just like flying a helicopter” make me nervous not reassured. One thing I know, I can always turn around or go mad or breathe in a paper bag…but that seems to make driving even more hazardous. It is better to sing or chant…but in today’s driving, the Hildegarde music was perfect. It was very cool. Seems like I say this about every road.   


So on to Trader Joe’s for prosecco, crackers, and cheese for dinner. I was also was moved to buy two boxes of organic shells and white cheddar mac n’ cheese….when I get home I will try to add the roasted green chilies like they make at the Roaring Fork. Anyway, I like that store and the friendly folks that work there….seem to me that more older service people work there than in Whole Foods. I bonded with two nice older fellows–produce and dairy. DSC05950 Then off to San Miguel Mission….I like these missions….then I drove waaaaaaaay out of the way to the San Antonio DSC05952 mission. I love everything about missions. I think of one of Mom’s favorite books, Ramona …was that about a mission or just CA? What was the book by Alma ___? maybe Cather? Our book club read it ions ago. OK , back to the day.   

To get there you go through Ft. Hunter Liggett which I can tell you is a verrrrry remote Army post. Very remote.   

Here is a quirky observation: I need to live in places that are named for saints. I love San Antonio, Santa Barbara, San Miguel de Allende, San Louis Obispo, San Purisma, San Francisco, etc. etc. I am not so crazy about San Angelo. Maybe I just don’t know much about it.

I finally arrived at the next Courtyard Marriott (I sure should be a platinum member by now) around 6. While I did a little laundry, I used the fitness room then I ate up the tasty cambozola triple cream blue and the blue castello cheese and 45 savory crackers for a light meal…washed down by the refreshing prosecco. I am starting to feel a kinsman-ship with Marriott staff.

Tomorrow, Len arrives….the adventure begins. He kindly is bringing me a suitcase full of more unnecessary clothes. I hope this is a happy time for him.

POST SCRIPT: Seems that I have written about this day two times…could it have been the fine beverage I was drinking? Ah well, some details were omitted and others added!


One Response to “From San Luis Opisbo to Salinas–Missions Mostly”

  1. I am enjoying your journey immensely, particularly because we did a similar one a year ago and much of what you write about is offering double pleasure for me. We loved Morro Bay, just because it was so underwhelming. And your insight about the “San” locations fits perfectly. Imagine farm markets and breezes and flowers all the time….forget the cost…just have to figure out how to do it. All of California seems to me to be the perfect place for a big orange hat and the attitude that goes with it.

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