Friday, August 31, 2018

TBL At Twenty

For Father's Day, daughter Rebecca had bought tickets for us to see one of the 20th anniversary screenings of The Big Lebowski. I have seen the movie an indecent number of times, and with each viewing, I see and understand more. This was the first time I had seen it on the big screen. Thanks, Rebecca!
Us, there; note I am in my Dude sweater

A few weeks later, at a Boomtown, Nevada, casino: "He
looks like a f***in' loser"

Tide-pooling At Half Moon Bay

We had a nice month in Menlo Park, including several trips and an extended absence, taking grand-daughter Penelope camping up into the Sierras. There were outdoors experiences, museum experiences, dining experiences, and cinema experiences. And other experiences, too. Our first weekend there, after jet lag, we all went to the Fitzgerald Marine Preserve at Half Moon Bay for a morning of tide-pooling. Rebecca had engaged a guide, so it was an even more informative experience.
Us, there

The tide-pooling area, sandwiched in between crumbling cliffs and a seal

An excited Penelope leads the way

What you come to see...marine life in the low-tide pools, mostly anemone and
starfish and mussels and such

Anemones all over

At age seven, P is fairly fearless and uninhibted


Breakers off-shore

Looking back toward Moss Beach, a place we have visited many times with P;
Rebecca and Jeremy were married very near here

Star fish

P has found a particularly good anemone

A bit of the land-slide area

Neat place...good preparation for New Zealand, where
Rebecca and Jeremy and Penelope will be spending some
time in early 2019

Seal city

Looking back to the tide-pooling area

A flight of pelicans swoops by

Woods near Moss Beach; Rebecca and Jeremy's wedding pix were from here

Neat place, neat day

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Return To Middle California, 2018

We drove back to Rome July 17th and spent the next few days sorting, packing, cleaning, repairing, etc. Such is life when every now and then you change your modus vivendi, modus transportandi, modus whatever, as we do. Le Duc will stay at the Emerald Meadow for some months now, except for a bout of repair with Mr. Edigio, per Alessandro. On July 21st, Norwegian Air shuttled us from Fiumicino back to the States, where daughter Rebecca and grand-daughter Penelope greeted us at OAK. The next day we brought Le Sport back out of hibernation and began setting ourselves up for eight months (!) in the States. Storage is sometimes tough on RVs, and Le Sport's de-hibernation was not without incident, but all ended well. We are back in Middle California, and several posts now will ensue, from Half Moon Bay to The City to Oakland and to old friend Pinecrest, way up in the Sierra Nevada.
Le Duc at his bay at the Emerald Meadow
At Half Moon Bay, me, Jeremy, Penelope, Rebecca, and Vicki

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

San Marino: #56

For some reason we had begun counting countries visited and estimating how long it might take us to reach 60. And for reasons apparently having to do with this, we decided to stop by the Republic of San Marino on our way from Padua, through Ravenna, and then Rimini, toward Rome. It was on the way. Sort of. (San Marino, not Dan Marino (#13), as some might think). It is another ridiculously small republic, nestled there by Rimini, in northeastern Italy. Only San Marino is on a mountain top, sort of another picturesque hill-top, fortified town. Sort of. I am sure that the history of and reasons for San Marino's independence must be very interesting, most likely tied up with some pope or cardinal or other. Maybe the Guelphs or the Ghibellines. In any case, the place exists, it is a real country, not a shit-hole, as #45 would say (maybe), and definitely counts if you're counting countries. Not as much as Andorra or Vatican City, or even Lichtenstein, I would say, but it definitely counts. And we were there.
Something you don't see every day; nor had we ever seen even after some
years of driving all over Europe: a San Marino license plate

Their current tourist slogan, which I don't get: the place is not so large that
they would be looking for settlers

View from the cable car, looking back toward Rimini and the Adriatic; a hilly
mountainous countryside

Among the founders: a Borghese, wouldn't you know

Helpful map; the chug up-hill to the RV parking was the steepest Le Duc has
so far encountered, including Alps, Pyrenees, Apennines, etc.

Not above tree-line, however

The place is replete with public sculpture and historical markers 

Um, isn't it supposed to be "In and Out"?

Unchanging guard

Today's wedding

Government building; the architect was Rene' Sance

The usual cute alleys

Perhaps Rand Paul could move here?

Wall and tower; never breached; why would anyone attack?

Street scene

So the place has both a Madame Tussaud's and a Museum
of Torture...what more could you ask?

Plus tons of Old World ambiance

And a church that will be just right should the Greco/Roman gods and goddesses
make a come-back

But mostly, San Marino seemed to be about shoppes and shoppes of replica
firearms; one sees these occasionally in tourist towns in Europe; but San
Marino had many

And fragrance shoppes; all totally authentic, of course

And shoppes of figurines, miniatures

And, of course, a Christmas shoppe; although not, I note,
a Kathe Wohlfart

And replica firearms; if San Marino is ever attacked by a
replica army, it will be strongly defended


Fortunately, San Marino's RV car-park permits overnight stays, and we stayed
there in the company of the usual international contingent; very well satisfied
with having notched #56 in our walking sticks