This isn’t much of a travel blog instalment. I can never remember the names of places we’ve been and G gets fed up, eventually, of telling me so will write about other stuff. It makes G laugh when he reads it so it will have to do.
Hotel bed is big enough to sleep a dozen people. We don’t know another ten people in California so it was just us, as usual. I woke up in the middle of the night, pitch dark, didn’t know where I was and G wasn’t there. I called him and he said ‘what’s the matter?’ And he was in the bed all the time, miles away!
Went into the lobby place for free water from the machine and were glad we hadn’t paid 28 dollars, each, for the hotel breakfast as it looked disgusting. Like a kid’s birthday party spread, all sugar buns, maple syrup and pancakes. We’d had raisin bran cereal, sliced banana and grapes, topped with Greek yogurt and served in a Starbucks jumbo cardboard beaker sitting on our terrace. We win!
There were squirrels in the trees right in front of us, lots of them, and they were jumping from tree to tree, flying through the air for quite long distances. I said, ‘hope they’re not fleeing a forest fire or something,’ but they were just getting out of the way from a man mowing the grass. It was a big sit-on machine, but electric and silent, so as not to disturb the guests. I said, ‘they should all be up by now anyway, it’s after eight o’clock. Lazy holidaymakers.’
G gave me a look and I realised I haven’t actually got dressed yet. ‘I was just going,’ I said and went off to find some outdoor clothes.
Anyway, in the lobby, a granny type was sitting behind us and said "Rachel ordered a hot bagel with cream cheese, peanut butter and jello." She threw up all the way back. We will leave off the cream cheese next time, as it must have been too heavy."
I started listening in when I overheard someone talking about what sounded like a murder. She said something like, ‘I thought Arthur Ritus had killed him but it turned out to be the Buds.’
After a bit I realised that nasty piece of work Arthur was arthritis, but who were !the Buds?’ An LA gang, perhaps? The other woman said, ‘yep, he always did pack away too many beers,’ so they meant the man was killed by drinking too many Budweiser. Hope that’s spelt right, but G will notice if it isn’t.
Last night I was standing at the bar minding my own business and after ordering a treble gin, a bag of chips and a double shot on the rocks, only joking, just sounded impressive, a bloke next to me said "you sound like the queen". G said "which one Victoria?" I gave him a Royal wave and giggled a bit and off we went. Not for a Royal wee (we).
There’s a huge wedding going on in the hotel and guests keep on arriving in a big black Limo-Bus. The men all look fed up as if they’d rather not be here at all and the women and children are dressed up to the nines. The bride’s mother looks as if she might topple over and we wonder if she’s had her breasts done just for the wedding. When she goes by you can see people looking at her and giggling so she’s obviously looking a bit different.
The Champagne Reception is in the Lobby, but there’s a banquet in another part of the hotel afterwards. G Says we should go as there are so many people here nobody will notice two more. He says, ‘if challenged I shall say, in a very loud voice, I am the bride’s real father and I forbid this marriage.’ I persuade him not to go to the Reception.
We caught the bus to Balboa Island instead. The girl on the hotel desk said we should use the bus because it is hard to park a car on the island and the bus service is complementary. G kept mucking about saying things like ‘you’re looking so lovely, Marigold’ and ‘those shoes really suit you’ when we got on because he said’ it was supposed to be a complimentary bus
The bus driver Ken who said he was from Persia had been here for 38 years and married an Irish woman with a bad temper who threw things at him. He divorced her and now has a sweet second wife with no temper. He told us about life in Persia, would not say ‘Iran,’ and practically his whole life story.
After the Shah was deposed in Iran, Ken was already here in the US as an exchange student. Then he went on a bit of a rant, said President Reagan wanted to send him back home, where he would have been killed, but the Shah paid for his studies and he was allowed to stay. G whispered, ‘Jimmy Carter was president at the time the Shah was deposed, not Reagan,’ but I told him to shush. I’m sure he’s right as he’s good on history. (I looked it up later and G was right about Carter, not Reagan.)
Ken got quite animated and kept turning round. Will not be rushing to get on a bus with him again, and couldn’t really understand what he was on about anyway. I felt like throwing something at him and can understand now why his wife used to do it.
Balboa Island is pretty, loads of boats and quaint shops selling decent stuff. We were told we had got to have a frozen banana which is covered in chocolate and different toppings and frozen. There is a shop there which says it is the ‘original frozen banana shop.’ We gave it a go. Utterly disgusting. Tasted like soap on a rope with chocolate on it. It went in the bin. G persevered, ate the lot and then said “that was horrible”.
We had a good nose around at the gorgeous little houses, some fronting onto the water with a boat to whisk them away. We spoke to a couple of seniors, as they called themselves, who were sitting on a towel on the beach with a bottle of wine to hand. They were playing backgammon.
‘You folks just visiting,’ the lady asked, ‘or are you looking for the Open House? The Realtor’s just gone down there with another couple.’
We said we were just visiting. ‘Good,’ the man said, ‘that property is very overpriced. Our relatives will all think we’re loaded if it sells.’
‘How much is it?’ I asked.
‘Ten million, no offers. Mind you, one sold for thirteen and a half million dollars over the other side of the bay, but that was a three level.’
‘And it was horrible,’ the lady butted in. ‘All glass front, must have been like an oven inside.’
‘It sure was. They got their thirteen and a half million though,’ the man said.
‘I don’t think we’ll bother viewing’ I told them and we wandered back to see if chatty Ken had come back yet.
A dreamy little town with no tourist tat, just horrible frozen bananas. Big day on the road tomorrow. Hopefully, G will be along to tell you all about it.