The drive was not exactly grueling, but it wasn't easy, especially since my tummy was complaining a lot. Thought I had that under control when I stopped at Walmart in Morgan Hill. This was a planned stop, sort of. I planned to stop at a department store to get a hat which would work as part of my 1920s-30s costume for the party, and I punched in Ross on the GPS, which took me to Cochrane Rd., but the Ross was out of business, so I went to the Walmart next door. Used their facilities which are conveniently located at the back of the store (this is one of the super stores with a full supermarket inclouded - it was a long walk). Found several hats, chose the best match for my outfit. These were in the gansta department, along with all the lowrider T-shirts and such. Picked up some black socks too, since the ones I brought with me were seriously cat furred.
Got to Hwy 1 around noon, or maybe noon thirty. Stop and go all through artichoke country (I was crushed to discover I was missing the Castroville Artichoke Festival), more than usual because it is the peak of crop picking season. At this point Hwy 1 is more like a city street than a state highway. Ain't politics great? This is a part of CA which is under-represented in the legislature, so it gets nada. But I digress.
A little north of Monterey the road becomes a freeway, but somewhere past that it starts to be a 2-lane winding ribbon poised precariously thousands of feet above the ocean. Spectacular scenery, major displays of tectonics, which I could not enjoy much because I had to concentrate on driving and every stop at a view point was 5 minutes more before I would find the next restroom. Finally found one just south of Big Sur, at a day use state park which was crowded with hikers. I am not fond of hiking, but I guess everyone else on the west coast is, and they were all at that park, wandering around with no regard for what was trail and what was roadway. When I tried to drive out, there were 3 vans parked abreast, blocking the entrance and exit, apparently the drivers felt they needed to triple park there to figure out where they were going. There was only one parking area so it should not have required a conference.
Enough traffic reports. Got to my hotel at about 4:30, went down to the shore and walked around the touristy area a bit, took some pix of the big rock, but the fog was making everything hazy so I'll try again in the morning. Better with the sun behind me than behind the rock, anyway. Back to the hotel to ditch the camera, then back to the Morro Bay equivalent of Cannery Row for dinner. Small portion, expensive, but the staff was excellent and what little food there was was good.
7 pm, time to get changed for the party. Decided not to take my camera, and just enjoy the party, which turned out to be the right decision. Also right was not bringing a violin case as a prop (I was dressed like a gangster). Drove to the pickup spot, an elementary school parking lot in Los Osos, nine of us fit into the winery tour van. There was free champagne but I don't particularly like that stuff so I declined. It was a short trip to a private home in an exclusive neighborhood. Paid the $10 cover at the door, was checked off in the VIP list, did some mingling, and a lot of ogling because there were a lot of hot women in risqué outfits, many of them red, all very Roaring 20's. Went out to the patio where the bar was set up, but only stayed long enough to grab a bottled water because both bartenders were smoking horribly smelly cigars. Period, yes, but sometimes you have to draw the line. And they hadn't.
Got a hug from the leader of the band, Molly Reeves looked incredibly sexy in a tight-fitting black lace over red silk full-length dress. I asked her if I had proposed to her yet tonight. And then, also in red, but in a short short dress with jeweled neckline over black tights was Pamela Sheffler, the violinist, who I am pretty sure is under aged, so I didn't propose to her, but later in the evening I did offer to adopt her. Had a good talk with Justin Au, their ace trumpet player, who is graduating from Cal Poly and looking at going to grad school in urban planning, or something like it.
How did it get to be 2 am and I'm not sleepy yet?
So, long story shorter, lots of friendly people, many of them recognized me as the guy who took those great photos of the band last week and posted them on the band's FB pages. I fell in love a dozen times, once with the third member of a poly lesbian trio (hi Emily!) and Ginger the photographer the band hired to cover the event. Ginger came up to me toward the end of the party and asked where we knew each other from. After much ruling out of places, we decided that last week when I was at the SLO mission park taking pictures of kids playing in the creek, so was she, and we were both trying to stay out of each other's shots. Looking at my Flickr page, I see I was successful. A pity, she's cute and smart and it would have been fun to email her a link to herself. If she took any photos of me at the party, I missed it. I told her I have a built-in device which protects me from being photographed. My face. :-)
The band played a fairly long set, then took a break, so time for more socializing, then they played some 1942 clips of Louis Armstrong, and then played a music video of an original number called Premonitions which is in the CD I bought last week and was playing on the ride down. Cute video, especially fun because all the people in it were in the room, but there were a couple of editing bloopers and one little out of sync moment. But well done for a first try. The song is very good too.
The second set started by playing a tag from Premonitions and lasted longer than the first set. Molly was seriously into it, the drummer was also going crazy, and they were all having way too much fun. It is so good to see people having fun playing good music well, and I love how Molly and Sam (guitarist) and Justin make musical jokes with their improvs. They ended the set to loud cheers and a long standing ovation, did two encores then another standing O, and it was time to go.
Now I'm sleepy.
Plans for tomorrow:
Maybe wake up in time for the free breakfast
Drive back to the Bay Area (101 this time)
Hope to get back in time to have dinner with my east coast nephew, his girlfriend and her parents, who are all up at Humbolt State today for girlfriend's brother's graduation. I think that's the story.
Somewhere in there it would be nice to get my nails done, but that probably isn't happening till next week