I never say no to a road trip so when an invitation to a golf resort comes up, I am packed in a matter of minutes. My trip’s wardrobe begins with a purse (no surprise there) which then determines the color scheme for my clothes. Once the outfits are selected, shoes and accessories become easy picks as they only need to coordinate with the weather and activities for the entire trip. Routine breeds efficiency. I have a packing checklist stored on my computer and for each trip I just need to fill in the specific item of clothing and accessories. Sometimes OCD behavior pays off.
From LA we head north, passing by the site of the Sylmar fire and the mountainous Angeles National Park. Right around Pyramid Lake…
we encounter signs like Smokey Bear Road and Hungry Valley. Over the Grapevine my ears pop from the elevation but my eyes are treated to shimmery three-dimensional Van Gogh panoramas; it’s fitting that California is called the Golden State:
In Bakersfield we can smell the cows before we even see them. Did someone say shoes?
Approaching Gilroy we start to see fruit and vegetable stands:
I’m all over the ripe cherries …
…but when in Gilroy, it’s truly all about the garlic. Its pungent smell seeps through the cracks of our windows; I wonder if the residents of Gilroy ever get used to the odor.
Driving up the long stretch from Bakersfield to Fresno to Gilroy that is the breadbasket of California, I see migrant workers busy with back-breaking work. I want to photograph these clusters of men as they toil, stop for a a quick lunch, or doze in the shade. But I’m embarrassed to trespass their privacy. Do we ever think about them when we eat our dinners?
By early afternoon we reach Silicon Valley,
and I conveniently suggest a late lunch break at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto. It is one of the most picturesque outdoors malls in the country, and there’s a wonderful market for fresh fruits and deli (Sigona’s Farmers Market) and impromptu picnics:
After a nice lunch outdoors, I head to Sprinkles for a sweet treat (here come the fashion pics again):
The long drive wears us out so after dinner we all go back to our respective laptops, PDAs, and TVs. I get busy researching the area around the resort and scheme a short stop into San Francisco in the morning (it’s sale season after all!) before we head out to Santa Rosa.
Tomorrow we reach our destination. See if I survive being unplugged.