28 May 2021, from Santa Barbara to San Jose

… seeing familiar places and names.

The Dinner meeting on 26 May with son Alex and his lady, Lauren, was a smashing success from my point of view, even if the restaurant was too noisy. Alex and I caught up on things in our lives and in those of others. He continues to be successful at his day job with Campus Learning Assistance Services at UC Santa Barbara. And his musical group Killer Kaya, in which he is the bass guitar player, is wrapping up its next album.

I learned that Lauren loves to read science fiction and is writing something in that realm. She consented to look at my long-pending SciFi novel to advise me where it could be a more exciting page-turner.

Earlier in the day, after I checked out of the motel in Oak View, I had lunch in Ventura with a friend I hadn’t see in over 30 years. I invited her to write something for my Being Old blog. I hope she does. She has had an interesting life.

The traffic back to Ojai by Highway 33 was essentially stalled; there was one lane for two-way traffic on a busy highway, thus making it impractical to give myself a brief tour of Ojai. I was not disappointed, for I was tired and needed a nap before I met with Alex and Lauren. Just being in the environs of Ojai gave me the memory refresher I was looking for.

I checked into a justifiably cheap motel just off highway 101 in Goleta, north of Santa Barbara.

I was on the road very early next morning, without the benefit of coffee or breakfast. It wasn’t until I reached Los Alamos, 50 miles further that I, once again, found the perfect place for breakfast: Bob’s Well-Bread Bakery.

After great coffee and a filling breakfast, I was on my way. The gas tank gauge showed near empty, so I veered of the highway as soon as I saw the signage for a station ahead: Nipomo. Perhaps the gas station is the main business in town?

From Santa Barbara to San Jose, I was familiar with every name attached to towns and cities and river crossings and turnoffs at junctions. This is one reason why I am showing small pieces of the trip, so the names are more apparent. I have been on this piece of highway 101 perhaps 100 times, or more.

I didn’t stop again, not even at Paso Robles where I could have, as in the past, eaten an early lunch. I zipped on through knowing I would have to wait until King City to eat. Not far beyond Pas Robles in a town I have never visited: San Miguel. I thought there might be a place to eat. No. But the entrance to the town was picture-worthy:

Readers of this journal who are from, or who have lived in California will be familiar with the establishment of 21 Catholic Missions during the Spanish era.

King City was a bust. I was looking for iced tea and apple pie, at a place I have stopped many times. It had changed owners and apple pie was not on the menu. I took the iced tea to go.

Next target, Gilroy, the Garlic Capital of the World. I got off the highway here, wanting to travel to the home of Ken, my son-in-law, by the back roads which are full of hills and agriculture.

The roads roughly parallel highway 101 to the west.

I made it!

I was tired, but I stayed up until 10PM with Ken and his two daughters, my granddaughters, Sydney and Sonya. We had a grand time eating Ken’s excellent cooking, talking and looking at family photos I had brought along on a thumb drive.

I’m going to settle in for around two weeks (thanks Ken!) and create the details of my further travels to visit many friends and family. First stop, the burial place of my old pal Fred Pape.

Stay Tuned!

For the next journal entry: GO HERE

2 thoughts on “28 May 2021, from Santa Barbara to San Jose

  1. It seems like magic that your journal on my very birthday show maps over my favourite part of California where I have twice been so fortunate as to make a trip along the Pacific Coast Highway. So thanks for bringing back those wonderful memories in my mind – memories of Big Sur, Nepente and Bixby Bridge among others. Wish you a continously great trip.

    1. I would have taken the pacific coast highway (no. 1) to touch base with Big Sur, Nepenthe, etc., but I read there was a landslide a few months ago near Big Sur which took out part of the highway. I didn’t want to risk a long delay or other disappointment. Thanks, again, Helena.

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