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Mmmm, a beautiful weekend. Poor Kidlet was just about going stir crazy from being home alone so much for two weeks of spring break, so Peter and I conspired to sweep her away for the weekend. Her friends have all been away (what's with all the ski trips to Mammoth, etc.?) and she's been house-bound, sick the first half and mindlessly channel-surfing the other, so a weekend in another town and some hiking seemed like a good plan. So, after seeing the *very* enjoyable Ice Age 2 movie on Friday, we were off like a herd of turtles by noon on Saturday to nearby San Luis Obispo, a truly charming town about two hours north of us. Stopped in tourist-trap Solvang on the way for lunch and Danish goodies, and managed to eat in the only restaurant in town that *doesn't* serve Danish food. No, we ate at the Belgian waffle and crepe place. But we left town with Danish chocolates and marzipan Napoleon hats and petit-fours, yum. Got to San Luis and settled in at the hotel, then walked around downtown and by the mission. Kidlet has, alas, been sucked into the whole "I'm a teenager and I live to shop" mentality that makes me wonder whose changeling child she is, given my loathing of shopping. So we mooched around cute shops and she got some cute things to wear, and I got a big book called "Hippy" that's sure to bring back a lot of memories. Also followed my nose into a gourmet food shop and bought some Piave (parmesan-like) and Amsterdam Gouda cheeses, more yum. After a nice dinner out (me in my baggy flannel used-to-be-husband's shirt, oy) we went back to read in the hotel, like the geeks that we are. Not Kidlet, though! She's not a geek. She'd rather die than be a geek. Heh.

Sunday found us moving like turtles again, checking out at noon and getting downtown again for lunch, which was just lattes really, at the Starbucks. We got some ciabatta bread to go with the cheese for our hike, and had much glee from a dog in the back of a pick-up truck -- he brought up from the bed of the truck a big hank of neatly tied rope, for all the world like he was offering it to us as we walked by. We had fun speculating on whether he was giving away all his master's possessions in revenge for being left alone in the truck, or if it was his favorite fetching toy and he was just trying to entice anybody, anybody at all, to play with him. Funny dog!

We drove off on Highway 1 toward Morro Bay, a lovely stretch of farmland and rangeland overhung by *humongous* rocks just poking straight out of the land. You California-dwellers, what are the bright yellow flowers that are found along all the freeways and just everywhere right now? Fields and fields of them growing wild. They're not sourgrass, nor wild mustard. Anybody? Anyway, the hills are all green and full of flowers and oak trees and livestock grazing, and it's just so beautiful. And a highlight was pointing out the California Men's Colony to Kidlet, so she could see where Mommy spent her time in jail. It brought on a lot of questions about what jail food is like. Yep, baloney sandwiches. Then we took the connecting road to Montana del Oro state park and walked the bluffs and headlands. We saw small birds and hawks, squirrels and bunnies, and Kidlet found hermit crabs in the tidepools. After her autumn spent as a volunteer at the Sea Center, she was very knowledgable about the sea critters.

The drive home was uneventful but lovely -- the sky was graying in and out with rain clouds that never fully formed, but it enhanced the greens of the hills so well. We maybe can't whisk off for a week of skiing at posh resorts, but we sure do make a heck of a serendipitous overnight trip.

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Sally

March 2017

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