I left off telling you we were going on the wine train. More on that in a moment.
One of the best parts of the trip was watching Gary`s family home movies. We went to his cousin`s place for Christmas dinner and the night was topped off with old home movies that had been switched to dvd. Some were fuzzy but they were very like everyone`s home movies of the time and it was like looking back at all of our lives.
THE WINE TRAIN
Most of the time I was in California, I was just lazy. I didn`t do anything but read and spend time with Christine. We did go out to lunch a couple of times, once to Willy Bird - a Turkey restaurant in Santa Rosa and we met Brian, Beth and Lily for a lunch of fish and chips at Murphy`s in Sonoma. It was an extremely relaxing vacation.
New Years Eve we spent with the neighbours, Kevin his daughter Brandy his mother Barbara a.k.a. Ya-Ya and the dog Ashley, the only pit bull I have ever liked. We had Barbeque ribs and articokes and carrots. Ya-Ya kept us all in stitches. She is ninety and expresses herself as only 90 year olds do. Afterwards we watched the movie ``A Funny thing Happened on the Way to the Forum`` - the original with Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers, Jack Gilford and Buster Keaton. It was fun.
Have I mentioned the cats? Simon is still walking in circles - always clockwise, and Faruk likes me. He would come up on the couch beside me and push his head into me.
Left California yesterday. Christine and Gary drove me to the airport. They packed me a lunch as airlines never give you food anymore. I paid for an upgrade to sit near the front. Good thing I did as there was a screaming (crying constantly) child at the back, right near where I would have sat. I heard her when I went back to the washroom. I felt sorry for the parents who didn't seem to be able to do anything that worked and for the passengers who had to suffer through it. I was disappointed with United Airlines. Air Canada has plug-ins for your ipod and a TV at every seat. United didn't have any of that. The TV's were every couple of rows hanging from the ceiling. The one in First class had much better picture then the ones in front of me. You didn't get any choice of movie like you do on Air Canada. It made me laugh because the napkins said that the airline was keeping up with our priorities. Most peoples priorities are electronic - Are you listening United?
When I arrived in Toronto, got my luggage, cleared customs, I phoned the Hotel for a shuttle pick-up and waited for ages. When I got to the hotel I found out the Lounge and Bar had closed (because of New Years Day) and room service was just closing. I had counted on dinner and hopefully a beer and expressed my displeasure. I told them I had eaten lunch but had counted on them for dinner. I even fibbed and said I had picked the hotel because the lounge stayed open late. Well by the time I finished smiling at everyone and asking if they could help P-L-E-A-S-E, I got what I wanted. A turkey club sandwich and fries, NO Beer but a diet pepsi. The best part of all - it was free! Because I am a prefered customer and they had let me down. Went upstairs to eat and watched Storage Wars and Pawn Stars and went to bed.
This morning I decided I could afford a good breakfast as I had a free supper. French Toast, fruit and bacon. Packed up to come home, found the nearest Tim Horton`s for morning coffee and headed into snow squalls. San Francisco weather wasn`t bad after all when you compare it to Canadian winds and snow squalls. Boy those winds were biting! The truck started right away and was easy to handle. Put it on cruise and floated home.
Found two cheques in the mail, an income tax receipt and a postcard from New Zealand. I like that kind of mail.