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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Adam Cohen and Leonard Cohen momentarily forget their lyrics--it can happen to the best of them.

A fun and moving moment I had to share!


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Research & Fun - Part Four: Morro Bay

On the last day of our fun research trip, Shawn and I headed over to the Central Coast again, this time to a typical tourist spot, Morro Bay. But aside from the purely entertaining--shops, bars, restaurants--we took a harbor cruise that was both fun and informative. I have to admit though, I didn't listen too closely to the information the captain gave us in a fast and very repetitive voice (the poor guy must have told the same story hundreds of times). I just relaxed and enjoyed the landscape and the many sea birds and sea animals.

Let's start with a few pictures. Well, actually, the first thing we visited was the Morro Bay Aquarium, which was going to be closed soon. Thank God, because it was a really sad affair. All these sea animals locked into these small areas. Too depressing, so I didn't take pictures. Shawn, however, has some very colorful photos. Link at the end!

Here is the aquarium from the outside:

Afterwards, we needed to fortify ourselves with a delicious lunch; well mine was, Shawn wasn't too crazy about his.

And here are the pictures from the harbor cruise. Below is Morro Rock one of 13  rocks in San Luis Obsipo county that are remnant necks of extinct volcanoes. More on that here, if you're interested:

This bay is full of sea otters, sea lions, and all kinds of sea birds and sea animals.

 The captain of our boat.

It's not easy to take good pictures on a boat full of people, but I'm proud of having caught a good shot of this royal bird!

All good things coming to an end. After Morro Bay, we separated, Shawn heading north and I south to Los Angeles. It was fun. Great time and great company!

During the coming weekend we explored interesting parts of Los Angeles. Stay tuned.

Make sure to hop over to Shawn's post!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A wonderful tribute to Leonard Cohen by the Irish singer/songwriter David Kettyles

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Research & Fun - Part Three: San Luis Obispo

I usually drive through San Luis Obispo on my way to Cambria or Paso Robles wine country. This time, I wanted to explore the city itself and what better guide than Shawn who has a knack for spotting interesting and quirky sites. Our first stop was the famous Madonna Inn. I've seen it from the road but have never been on the grounds or inside. What a crazy, more than slightly overdone but fun place that is! Now, if you have some extra (lots of extra!) disposable income, you can spend the night at this Californian symbol of craziness, but it's quite expensive. Looking around, however, is free and the food at the coffee shop is reasonably priced. The food is okay, the coffee somewhat sub-par for my spoiled coffee palate but the scenery is well worth a visit.

Anyway, here are a few pictures of this amazing hotel.

A painted cow seemed a fitting object for this environment.

Our next stop was at the mission of San Luis Obispo, with its beautiful gardens, a lovely museum and those amazing three large bells. The full name is Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and it was founded by Father Serra in 1772 and named after Saint Louis, Bishop of Toulouse, France. It was built with the help of the local Chumash Indians. If you are a mission fan, like Shawn, you can read more about it here:

Below are a few pictures of the mission:

The garden with the three beautiful bells and the small museum were particularly enchanting.

The next stop, an old library converted into a history center, was close-by.

There is a story to these bottles which Shawn describes in his blog (of course completely fictional).

Next, we took a quick break in one of Shawn's favorite places--a Tiki bar (it's a long story). I only have a few pictures, but on Shawn's post, you'll get more detail (link at the end of the post).

Next, we found a truly amazing place, another one which I've never seen nor even heard of. It's called the BUBBLEGUM ALLEY. That's right, only in California. It's an alley where people over many years deposited their chewed bubblegum on the walls and created a truly Californian "work of art" and to this day people still add their own gums to the masterpiece.

Next we headed over to the coast to Cambria to check out the elephant seals and Ragged Point, the entrance to the mountain road to Big Sur, which is still closed.

This odd place in Cambria is called Nit Wit Ridge--there is a story to this as described in the next photo, which you probably won't be able to read. Ask Shawn!

The last two photos are from Ragged Point, also called the entrance to the mountain road to Big Sur. Since I dealt with this and the elephant seal sanctuary at Piedras Blancs in former blog posts, I didn't take many pictures this time around. Shawn has a lot more on his blog post.

There is more to come in my next blog post. But don't forget to check out Shawn's interpretation of this day--an absolutely fictitious SILLINESS GALORE! Have a good laugh and enjoy some great pictures!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Research & Fun - Part Two: More Fun than Research in Paso Robles Wine Country

On the second day of my trip up north, I met with Shawn, who does some research for several of his own projects. We stayed at the Adelaide Inn in Paso Robles, which has become one of my "homes from home" during my jaunts in the Central Coast of the California wine country.


As you can see, the motel was already decked out for Halloween!

Once Shawn arrived, we took off for a reception at one of the wineries for members of the wine club he belongs to. I had the honor and pleasure of being the invited guest. On the way there, we visited another winery. Here are a few pictures of the Pear Valley Winery and the Chronic Cellars in Paso Robles.

Now, don't you get the wrong idea! It may not look that way, but this was by no means pure entertainment. After all, in order to write intelligently in an article or a book about wine, you have to be able to taste and investigate it. Okay? Never mind.

 Enough research. The wines were anywhere from decent to excellent. Mission accomplished.

In the evening, dinner in Paso Robles.

One of these four gentlemen I came across in Paso Robles must have imbibed so much that he forgot to put on his appropriate shirt. He was, in fact, Drunk 3.

My pal Shawn wrote his own blog post about this day and has a bunch of fun pictures as well.

To be continued.