Well, that was a bust

Yesterday we drove up from Los Angeles via the Big Sur. Gorgeous, stunning, indescribably wonderful views… hidden by a thick mist. They tell me I should come back in winter.

Nepenthe is high enough so that we could sit and drink a beer while enjoying the view of the cloud bank from above. (Excellent) beer at $8, (OK) wine at $12/glass. Didn’t stay for seconds.

Big Sur Campground is excellent. Recommended for a longer stay. We were in campsite #6, right next to the river, but if you do get the choice I’ go for site #8.

Went back to the Big Sur Bakery for supper and, as others have said, it’s good but pricey.

Struck camp this morning, got breakfast burritos at the Big Sur Deli, and continued to enjoy the mist-shrouded scenery.

The Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town is excellent, so it’s always a toss-up on whether any given aquarium is worth visiting (i.e. better than Two Oceans). The Monterey aquarium qualifies. It’s neatly build into what used to be the canning factory, and they are really capitalising on the whole John Steinbeck thing. It works, and they have sea otters. Neat. (We also said “hoezit” to the expat penguins, they just stood around looking bored).

It’s a long road so we were late (I’d aimed to get there at their 14:00 opening time) at the Pacific Pinball Museum, W000t. Lots of machines all set to “free”. Didn’t enjoy Electra as much as I’d wanted to, but I think Fireball (the first one) is a lot of fun. The Stern Orbitor 1 is amazing. Realised, once again, how much I like the old EM games. Pity they don’t have a Top Score, would love to see how a good one plays.

So then we headed up to Casa Loma Hotel, which we booked online via booking.com, only to find the place boarded up. Fsck. I’d been worried about this because they didn’t reply to an email last week and I’d only been able to reach an answering machine on their phone number… not find the place. It’s right next to a boarded up shop, and since they had not replied to my emails nor answered my phone calls, we assumed that they were in fact bust*.

Anyway, there are not that many problems that can’t be solved by applying the universal spanner, being… money. Found a parking spot (difficult), grabbed the Rough Guide, and started phoning (did I tell you that I bought a $9.99 cellphone at Best Buy?). Found a place on the other side of town (it’s right next to the zoo) at twice the price, but it’s beautiful in a fifties Art Deco meets Japan way and the WiFi is fast and free and there’s a Deli around the corner sells sarmies for supper and all kinds of beer so all is not too bad. Of course I had to extend the rental car by two days, which is not a bad thing ‘cos we can then drive to SFO instead of humping suitcases on a train… life is sooo easy if you fling gobs of cash at it.

Anchor Brewing Liberty Ale: excellent.

Anchor Steam Beer: Not bad at all, but I won’t take seconds.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Torpedo IPA: TBD Not bad at all.

Mad River Brewing Co. Steelhead Extra Pale Ale: Foamy light mouthfeel. Maybe a good breakfast drink, but I’ll pass.

Anchor Porter: TBD Bloody good.

* And of course, with us being a no-show, I now hafta pay them $110 cancellation fee.