Thursday morning, we did the morning chores and packed the car under rainy skies.
The freeways were wet but traffic was light, as we drove up the coast under light rain. We stopped in downtown LA, at Philippe's, so I could have a beef dip sandwich. I've been eating these since I was a little girl. My dad has been eating them since he was a little boy. I order our sandwiches double dipped at the counter. Then we sit at little rickity tables, with sawdust under our feet, and I slather on their house spicy mustard. I take a bite, my nose prickles and my eyes run. I'm in heaven.
As we drove further north, the weather got colder and wetter. We stopped again in Santa Maria at a little coffee hut and had the most amazing Mexican hot chocolate (Brett) and Mexican Mocha (me). Mexican hot chocolate has a hint of cinnamon... so good. We arrived at our Best Western hotel in Pismo Beach in the late afternoon. The room was inexpensive so we weren't expecting much. We were pleasantly surprised. The hotel is old, but the rooms were clean with recently remodeled bathrooms and a comfortable bed. And a view of the water. We opened the sliding glass doors and listened to the roar of the waves drowning out the sound of the rain.
We had dinner with my son, Kyle, who is going to school at the university in nearby San Luis Obispo. Kyle will be 21 on New Years Day and he seemed more young man than than the teenager who went off to school a little over two years ago. My heart didn't know whether to be proud or whether to miss the little boy who climbed on my lap with a book. Pride won.
In the morning, we woke to grey skies and a couple relaxing on our balcony. When they saw us, the guy left but his girlfriend stayed behind and posed for pictures.
We met my parents for breakfast, lingering over our coffee and enjoying each others company. I gave my mom my old Kindle, which is dying. She's a big reader and my Kindle has 50+ books on it. She can try mine out and, if she likes the Kindle, get one of her own when mine bites the dust. It is getting difficult to charge and doesn't have a back light. Brett is getting me a new one for Christmas.
We got back on the road to finish our drive to San Francisco. The rain was steady as we drove up the 101. Brett munched on Good & Plenty while I stared out the window at the fields of wet cattle and vineyards. An alarm went off, startling us both. It was my iPhone telling us we were in danger from a flash flood. ...and sure enough the traffic ground to a halt and then we crept forward through a foot of water that was flowing across the freeway.
We were very happy to reach our hotel. It will still be raining Sunday when we head home. We are not going to take the 101. We will take the 5 freeway which is boring, but wide and drains well.