Monday, October 15, 2018


No one's destination of choice.

The two things you need to know about King City:

1.  Slow down.  For whatever reason, the CHP have it covered better than a Moslem gal in a burka.

2.  No matter how hungry you are, do not ramp off for the local cuisine.  (This town should be called Fast Food City.)

A few years back, I was driving a VW GTI about 90 mph approaching King City.  Mr. Oink, cruising the other direction, did a double-take and (I could see this in my rearview mirror) braked for a U-turn.  

I ramped it up to 100 mph and, at the first exit, zipped off, around the corner into a strip mall, plunked myself into the local Subway, bye-bye oink-ster.  But a ticket would have been better than the sandwich I got served.


SLO Town.

(And the pies aren't bad either.)

I've lost track of the times I've stopped here whilst rolling along 101.

Friday, October 12, 2018



A slice of this evening's camaraderie (as the Dodgers failed us).

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Tuesday, October 9, 2018


The road from Lake Payette to Boise, Idaho
November 2014

Looking back four-and-half years, to soon after this blog was born, I discover in my notes (after the first three road trips) that I wrote some basic "guidelines" (not "rules") for Clubhouse on Wheels road-tripping.

Road trip departure is preferably a Sunday or Monday, depending on the destination a) to alleviate road traffic and b) assure vacancy in hostelries and available tables in restaurants of choice. 

We do not book ahead thus allowing for the spontaneity and flexibility to alter our destiny at whim.  

We do not necessarily aim for the finest hotel in town, but often the most historic or interesting, say, those haunted by ghosts, thereby adding a pinch of the past to our experience.  

Jerome, AZ, March 2014

We eschew chain motels and hotels, and bed bugs, and will drive many extra miles to avoid them.

Departure time is 9:33 a.m.  This precludes rushing about and provides time for coffee and breakfast before setting off.  

Thereafter, departure from destination to destination is no later than 9:33, but earlier if possible, because it allows for an easy seven hours on the road, or 300-400 miles, arriving at an overnight destination no later than 4:33, allowing time to assess hotel options and immediate occupation.

Rarely two nights in the same place, it’s a road trip, not a vacation.

Once checked in, a walk to stretch legs and breathe fresh air.  In my case, a stroll through galleries and vintage shops in search of talismans and artifacts.

By 5:33, we will have discovered the best saloon in town. This being a club, it is about enjoying the finer things in life, especially with regard to libations.  My aperitif of choice, most evenings, is a gin martini.

Kate's Big Nose Saloon
Tombstone, AZ, January 2016

If my stomach is queasy from motion or road food: Fernet Branca.  The Italians invented this multi-herb potion as a digestif to be taken at the end of a rich or abundant meal to assist digestion.  But it works even better as a stomach settler, even if Big Pharma would rather sell you Zantac. 

The choice of restaurant is likely to be the best one likely to serve dishes indigenous to the region: local delights, new flavors, innovative preparation and presentation.

Ideally, a local wine will accompany the fare, but if no such thing exists, our fallback is a pinot noir from California or Oregon, as good with seafood as beef.

If in the desert, maybe tequila, but it must be the sipping kind, as smooth as cognac, say, Don Julio Anejo.  Never shots.  The idea is to make a few drinks last as long as possible, and shot of something—anything—defeats that purpose.

As for a dress code:  One dresses for comfort in the COW.  For me it means linen bush shirts by day and cotton button-downs by night, blue jeans and a pair of suede boots; a lightweight wrinkle-resistant safari jacket that can scrunch into a pillow, add a sun-and-water-resistant Tilly Air-Flo hat.

Historic Route 66

Various tools to record my ongoing travelogue: a Mac laptop, Leica C camera, leather notebook and pens. 

In my toilet kit I carry a spray of vodka.  Not to drink but for its versatility as a cleanser.  Use it on cuts and stings, clean your eyeglasses and sunglasses, kill germs on the hotel TV remote. 

Close to hand (on bedside table):  a high-powered pocket-size flashlight and tactical pen.


Saturday, October 6, 2018


The Red Barn, Old Town Santa Ynez

Family & friends, good food, fine wine.

Monday, October 1, 2018


Something very stinky went down in Parkersburg, West Virginia.

A curious case of local law-enforcement covering up a murder to protect the perpetrators. 


Sides Hardware & Shoes, Los Olivos
(Spirits in a bottle, spirits everywhere)

The most spiritual, festive quarter of the year begins.

The Crooked Path, Los Olivos
"Not a business, but a music sanctuary"

Every weekend, Bent Myggen opens his front yard in the center of Los Olivos and, often joined by his talented friends, performs his very own, very beautiful compositions.

Bent Myggen

Sunday, September 30, 2018


Oldest community in the Santa Ynez Valley, settled 1880.

Saturday, September 29, 2018


The Red Barn, Old Town Santa Ynez

The most blissful place to chill after a week on the road.

And the finest Idaho trout I've eaten since Steamers in McCall, Idaho, four years ago.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Saturday, September 22, 2018


The relics of Saint Pio are touring the United States to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his passing on 23 September 1968.

Fifty years before that, on 22 September 1918, Padre Pio began to suffer stigmata.

Th relic above is one of the blood-soaked woolen gloves Pio wore, and behind it, his mantle.

Sep 20 - Diocese of Paterson - St. Peter the Apostle Church

179 Baldwin Rd., Parsippany, NJ 07054
Thursday, Sep 20: 8:30am - 6:30pm 

Saint Pio Comes to America - Saint Pio Foundation

Friday, September 21, 2018


Sometimes you just need a quiet place to sit.


112 Mercer Street

Albert Einstein lived here from 1935 until his death in 1955.

All those stories about Einstein walking around the neighborhood in his pajamas... this was where.

He didn't even notice what he was wearing, or care.  Or notice what anyone else was wearing, or care.  That's because he was self-actualized.


A Princeton institution, inside the Nassau Inn.

(Jeff Bezos was here)