Since I’ve been 16, California has seemed like the “Promised Land” to me. I have always dreamed of driving the Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible with the wind in my hair and a smile on my face (kind of like an Irish Setter with her head out the window, I know). I finally got to live this dream, but not exactly in a convertible…
We flew to San Francisco to meet-up with our dear friends and riding partners, Randy and Denise, who live outside of Santa Fe. We made arrangements beforehand to rent Harleys from Eagle Rider, and were to pick them up the next morning. It was amazing to fly into SFO airport through this dense cloud-cover…as if everything was coated in a layer of whipped cream!
A brisk taxi ride (that’s polite for “our driver was a total maniac”) to our hotel, and a very nice receptionist said, “I upgraded your room.” This is what greeted us! We turned the chairs around to face the windows and had cocktails, and hors d’ouvres in our room.
For dinner, we went to Tadich, a place know for it’s “soups.” If you like Cioppino – this is a must go! You can sit at a counter that seems to go on forever, or a booth. We waited (a while) for a booth, and it was worth it – pretty romantic!
I awoke the next morning wishing I could return for breakfast. It was time to go pick up our motorcycles. My suitcase was down-sized to one saddlebag, and part of a top-box. My beauty routine was streamlined to a travel-sized: vitamin C cleanser, moisturizer, my CC cream (with built-in sunscreen) and a tube of mascara and tinted lip gloss. My wardrobe- even simpler: 2 pair of jeans, thermal underwear, lingerie, 4 long-sleeved t-shirts, riding boots, and a fisherman’s sweater with a big neckscarf. Not so sexy…but I wasn’t aiming for that…it’s all about being warm while riding!
We rode in-and-out of fog, (which feels great to your skin – now I understand why the English have such nice complexions) alongside the Pacific Ocean, savoring the salt air. We twisted our way through forests of dappled sunlight, mossy banks, 100′ tall trees, the smell of redwood and eucalyptus. All so very Zen!
And on the last day of riding, we came out of a redwood forest, after perhaps the most beautiful road yet, and were greeted by Alice’s Restaurant! I like to play Arlo’s story each year before Thanksgiving dinner…kind of a loose tradition around my house. Now I can say, “I’ve been there!” Speaking of food – we didn’t have a bad meal the whole trip!
All of this ended too soon, and it was time to return the bikes and head home. I look forward to when I can return again, stay a little longer in each place, and wear some pretty clothes to dinner each night. Maybe a dress and a pair of dangly earrings!