Well Sweet Things,
I just had to take a break from the Bay Area and once again drove down to the Santa Cruz Mountains.
I took a chance that a hotel or motel room would be available, but this time I did not go all the way to Santa Cruz but instead stayed in Brookdale just 5 miles north of Felton on Hywy 9.
I think it was last year that I drove past it on my way to Santa Cruz and thought it would be a quaint place to stay for a night or two.
Work was boring me, and the weather had turned yucky, not warm enough, over cast, just a bore.
I was ahead of things and with WiFi I knew I could keep in touch if I had to, so I made arrangements and on early Thursday evening I took off, Chugged South down 880 and I have to say chugged because it was afternoon going home traffic.
But near Los Gatos I took the opportunity to turn off onto Hywy 9, the back door, granted with it's twists and turns it is slower, but at least people don't try to run you off the road like they do on Hywy 17.
I was so into going along the road that I missed the turn off for Brookdale Lodge and had to back track, not unusual considering how tight things are.
And I was lucky they did have a room available, I had a chance to see the age of the building, it had been around for a long time, and it seems that maintenance is a never ending chore, but the room was comfortable, the water hot, the fellow stayees quiet.
They have a swimming pool, a cafe for breakfast and lunch, a bar, live music on the weekends, and the most fantastic dinning room, a brook runs through it and an excellent dinner, more than enough to eat, I had to take what was left over to my room and finish it later when I dined there on Friday evening.
I was told that I should come in the spring after the rains and see the brook when it runs at it's fullest.
There are some down sides, no air conditioning but it seems that people come to the mountains to get cool and air conditioning is not necessary, heat really is.
So I used Thursday to settle into my room and do a bit of simple exploring in nearby Felton in the evening where I came across a park that had a historic bridge built and had a chance to walk a bit in Henry Cowell redwoods with a family before sunset. It was enchanting, and felt otherworldly
Granted Felton had a number of the "modern" conveniences, like a chain drug store and super market, the Starbucks, but if one looks you can find things that are still "rustic" and "Homey".
Friday I used to see what the town of Brookdale and the other nearby communities, there was a church that had been converted into a museum, I was lucky to get there just as docent was opening it up, I bought a couple of books about the area and took pictures, the lady who was more than happy to talk about things told me about some of the other historic places I should check out and about Roaring Camp, Big Trees Railroad and was advised to get there early for parking----it seems that "Thomas the Tank Engine" was going to be visiting Roaring Camp
Saturday Morning I got up early and had a very good breakfast at the Lodge's cafe, blue berry pancakes and they didn't skimp on the blue berries, I got there early and found parking and was already being overwhelmed by little children and their parents clamouring about "Thomas"
The closest I came come to the excitement is like opening day at Disneyland, a lot of children, a lot of steam whistles and a lot of parents tired before the day begins, but friendly helpful staff at Roaring Camp, I managed to buy a ticket to ride the Narrow Gage train that takes one up Bear Mountain----this was different from the Thomas train ride-----very informative, historical peaceful and just delightful. We even managed to catch a glimpse of a buck I think his antlers we coming out of velvet, of course the children cried out "Bambi", it just stood there for a moment and then trotted off while everyone clicked their cameras.
A lot of old growth and second growth redwoods, all preserved for future generations I'm happy to say and the people of the concession of Roaring Camp also working to preserve it as well.
I've got to admit, I spent time in the "General Store" afterwards buying books in regards to history about California and the West---it seems my library is going to be taking a different turn.
I again had a chance to take a walk from a different end through Henry Cowell Redwoods, seeing it from a different time of day, but I felt at peace with it even though I could hear the steam train whistles it seems as if they were not intruding but a part of the fabric of the area.
I left about 1:30 just when it was getting really, really crowded, but staff was smiling and working to make things run smoothly, I could appreciate that. I also manged to get information about future events they are going to have, I have to plan on going down for Labor Day weekend when they have their Great Train Robbery Event---it should be fun as well as a nice little get away.
I couldn't leave right away as there was a pond with ducks and since I also bought a bag of duck feed I had to toss it to them, all fat and sassy.
In going back through Felton I checked out several place that were more out of the way and quiet and found several to my liking, they still had rooms available for Labor day weekend, but I'll have to reserve them by this week.
When I eventually returned to Brookdale Lodge, I was amazed to see the parking lot filled with antique autos----I found out that they were doing a run from the Bay Area taking Hywy 9 with the owners staying at the Lodge overnight.
I made the acquaintance of one couple that had the most marvelous Model T. They invited me to join them for dinner at this little restaurant in one of the communities that was just two miles away, so jogging and jolting along I had the most fun ride, and enjoyed the wonderful company.
Paul and Gretchen live in Fremont and knew a few acquaintances of mine, they said they were coming up for Labor Day weekend as well and recommended one place that was on my list, it seems they are also members of a Gunfighters re-enactment group that is taking part in the Great Train Robbery event. Now I have to go.
But all too soon Sunday morning has come, I had to return back to my home. My new books are now on my shelves waiting for me to read, in checking my e-mail and work everything is going smoothly.
So now I just have to do a little grocery shopping, pick up my mail from Lillian and treat her to dinner and tell her about my travels.
This next weekend I need to go to my gold country properties, I know it's going to be hot, thank goodness my car has air conditioning. I'll also be taking some more clothes to my country house and see how things are going with them.
But after my little "escape" from the world----I'm beginning to wonder do I want to continue to do what I'm doing---do I want to do something else. These are things I'm going to have to ponder on.
I know I have to make money, and my money needs to make money even in these tough times, it will take some careful consideration.
Until later, Kisses Sweet Things.
Next weekend I'll be visiting my gold country properties.