16th: Do not puff up the cheeks, loll not out the tongue, rub the hands, or beard, thrust out the lips or bite them, or keep the lips too open or close.
The Other End of the Leash
THE PRINCESS IN MY MOTEL ROOM
8 September 2004
Doesn't everyone drive 250 miles for lunch?
Well, you do if you're going to meet a Princess.
My friend Lynn, a self-proclaimed princess for many years, has flown out from Houston to see her niece's new baby, Luke. A fine looking lad, as anyone can see...
Luke and the rest of the family are in Ventura, near Los Angeles. We wanted to get together while she was in California, so I suggested we meet in San Luis Obispo, thinking it was a good half-way meeting point. Only it's a 5 hours drive for me and a 2 hour drive for her. But there really isn't any other logical, fun place to get together, so San Luis Obispo it was.
I told her I'd meet her at the Apple Farm, one of my favorite restaurants here, and I also made arrangements for us to spend the night at The Lamp Lighter motel, on Tom's recommendation (I mean--it's the Lamplighter, even if they do spell it as two words!)
We were to meet between 12 and 1 and I left Davis promptly at 7 a.m., leaving Sheila un-walked. If I hadn't stopped to pee, I would have pulled into the parking lot of the Apple Farm promptly at 12:00, but it was 12:10 before I got there. I expected to find Lynn there wandering around the quaint shop. But she wasn' there.
I called her on her cell phone and she had gotten off, not at the wrong off-ramp, but in the wrong city. She was actually 10 minutes from me, and eventually called from the Apple Farm parking lot so I could give her directions on how to find me inside the restaurant.
It was so good to see her again. I think it's been 2 years since we were last together, and it was nice to get all caught up over our salads. We exchange e-mails, of course, but there is nothing like being face to face to remember what good friends we are and how much we enjoy each other's company.
After lunch, we checked into our room and she unpacked. Now, I didn't pack for this overnight until this morning. I threw a nightgown, a change of pants, a change of undies, and my toothbrush into a bag, put my computer into the car, and I was off.
Lynn arrived with a whole wardrobe of clothes and shoes, and complained that there was no iron in the room. We called down to the desk for an iron, which never showed up. But this is what Lynn brought with her (bearing in mind that the other half of her clothes were laid out on the suitcase stand. This is for an overnight!!
(Peggy would understand; I can't relate!)
We chatted here in the room for awhile and looked at pictures of the new baby and then decided to do some shopping in downtown San Luis Obispo.
We managed to do our share to help the town's economy.
We started at a craft store, where we did some serious damage. I mean--it was BEVERLY'S. I felt I had to do my share. I'll tell ya--I'd better keep doing this altered book jazz because I have now invested some serious money in it!
We wandered in and out of stores, looking for pet goodies (I managed to avoid buying anything for Sheila, but Lynn bought stuff for her two dogs), we looked for a dress for Lynn to wear to a wedding, we went through a couple of art shops, and we checked out the Mission San Luis Obispo. Mostly we just laughed, and had a terrific time.
The weather's hot. I expected to come this close to the coast and get a bit of cooler weather, but the forecast was for temps in the high 90s or 100 degrees--actually hotter than Davis. The problem with hot weather in this part of the country is that it's hot so seldom that stores aren't set up with air conditioning, as a general rule, so I spent a lot of time with sweat dripping down my face.
When the stores began to close, we went to The Mission Grill restaurant for dinner. We had a great waiter named Bernard, who talked us into having a lovely cornish hen, brought us a sample of a wine we ended up having, and talking us into a creme brulee for dessert. It probably helped that Lynn flirted with him.
After a stop at a store to pick up some Nyquil for Lynn, who is having some ear pain and a cough, we returned to the motel, where we compared our photos, chatted some more, and now Lynn has gone to bed and we're watching Ellen Degeneres on Larry King. I'm about to climb into bed myself and get some sleep.
The air conditioning is very flaky in this room and we seem to have two choices: oven or freezer. Where I am sitting is directly under the fan for the air conditioner and it's ridiculous that on such a hot day I'm wishing I had brought a sweater!