3 Days On the Road and a Most Wonderful Birthday Dinner With My Son…
On September 24th we take off to see the oasis, the wonderful oasis of Oz… I mean the Coachella Valley Preserve. Thousand Palms is our Emerald City without all the glam and glitter. It is an emerald in the rough. The California Fan Palms shine brightly against the deep blue sky while the subtler tones of green from creosote, mesquite, arrowhead, cat’s claw, indigo, smoke trees, alkali golden bush, cattle bush, cheese bush, dye weed, quail bush, desert holly, four-winged saltbush, and sandpaper bush pale by comparison. But in my eyes all these greens sparkle like gems.
Follow the 101 Highway…
The first night we stay at Giant Redwoods RV Park just off the Avenue of the Giants in Meyers Flat. We don’t encounter a scarecrow who wants a brain, but giant trees that are grateful that smart people have allowed them the freedom to live.
I don’t take any pics, so here’s one I “borrowed” from the website.
Follow the 101 highway…
The second night we stay in Pleasanton outside of Oakland at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.
We don’t meet a rusty tinman who wants a heart, instead we meet up for dinner with my handsome son, John, who HAS a GOOD HEART 💜!
He is in Oakland, the headquarters for Dictionary.com, where he has been promoted to Senior Research Editor. Yay, John! As a matter of fact, John came up with the Word Of The Year for Dictionary.com at one of the company’s brainstorming sessions. (No brainless scarecrows here either.) Of course he won’t tell us the word. We have to wait until December 2nd to find out like the rest of the world.
John is staying in a hotel near Jack London Square, a landmark and symbol of Oakland’s history as a seaport. The Square faces a natural estuary that leads to San Francisco Bay. This site was the heart of Oakland’s port operations linking the industries of shipping and agriculture. Today Jack London Square remains a vibrant working waterfront plus an entertainment and commercial site, home to stores, restaurants, hotels, and more. (jacklondonsquare.com)
Jack London (1876 – 1916), the American writer who wrote The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and The Sea-Wolf, spent much of his boyhood on this waterfront as an oyster pirate and sailor. Later he became a pioneer in the evolving world of profitable magazine fiction as one of the first Americans to make a lucrative career exclusively from writing.
He sat in Heinhold’s First and Last Chance Saloon penning notes for future books.
Opened in 1883 by Johnny M. Heinhold, this waterfront saloon built from the timbers of a whaling ship, is named for the first and last chance sailors had the opportunity to heavily drink alcohol before or after a long voyage. Now a National Literary Landmark, Heinhold’s preserves its rustic character from an earlier era when it was frequented by eminent politicians, statesmen, authors, and artists, as well as humble sailors shipping out to sea. (jacklondonsquare.com)
We walk to the Square, which is a few blocks away from where John is staying.
I thought we were going for pizza and beer. Instead, John treated us to an amazing dining experience at Dyafa, a Middle Eastern restaurant of snacks and main courses to be shared.
The term “dyafa” is Arabic for hospitality: Our wish is to bring you into our home and treat you like family. (dyafaoakland.com)
We share quite a delicious and diverse array of delectable dishes and quite a few glasses of sparkling rose wine! John picks up the tab, his gift to me for my 67th birthday. Thank you, John!💜
And good luck with your new position with Dictionary.com! Seriously, I recommend you sign up for “Word of the Day.”
Follow the 101 highway…
The third night we stay at Lost Hills RV Park outside of Bakersfield, California, one block west of Interstate 5 at Highway 46.
No cowardly lion greets us. It’s my birthday, however, and I roar with the courage to embrace my approaching 70th in 3 years.
Tomorrow I click my heels and we return to Thousand Palms Oasis. There is no place like home… in the desert, or the northwest coast, or wherever family live!