Saturday, April 25, 2015

The lost hot dog

I stumbled across a taqueria at a Valero in Redwood City that makes authentic Mexican hot dogs -- two pieces of bacon wrapped around the dog and grilled with onions, served with pico de gallo and topped by a grilled jalapeno. The car filled with California gas at $3.49 a gallon, I pulled onto the street and stopped a few blocks away at the spectacular K&L Wines, where a bottle of Islay single malt had my name on it. I figured I'd sit in the parking with Charlie and wolf down the hot dog when I realized that, yes, I had placed the hot dog on the top of the car before I left the gas station.

So, I had the bottle of single malt for lunch. Nah, just kidding. I bought the bottle and headed on down the road. I spotted a local bakery, bought a ham and cheese sandwich quite literally the size of a quarter-sheet cake (not kidding). Two-thirds of it remains in our hotel room.

The drive from Redwood City to the coast went through redwoods and eucalyptus trees, the air so thick with the smell of eucalyptus that I could taste it on my tongue. At last we arrived at the coast, and here this must be said -- the California coast is beautiful, but it can't hold a candle to the Oregon coast. Not. Even. Close.

Charlie and I got to Santa Cruz, which was bathed in sunshine but still marred by the boardwalk. Which reminds me -- I had originally booked a room for this trip at the Casablanca Inn in Santa Cruz. When we got there, with fog oozing through the open office, it was not exactly what we were expecting. Kathleen asked for a key to see the room and the look on her face when she came back made it clear we would be staying elsewhere. We ended up at a Marriott Courtyard in Milpitas.

What we learn -- for heaven's sake, don't put your hot dog on the roof of the car and pay attention to TripAdvisor when a lot people say a place is a scary, nasty, mildewed dump with a great location.

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