2023 Mar 05 | Californian central coast with Kat and Kendra

We had planned on going to Palisades at Lake Tahoe with Kat and Kendra this weekend to ski. However, there was a blizzard there Tuesday, which closed I-80, and while some of the snow might melt off by Friday, there is supposed to be even more coming in on Saturday and Sunday.

There was even a small avalanche in Olympic Village.

Literally right across the road from where we were planning on staying.

Everyone is warning to not go to Tahoe this weekend, from the National Weather Service...

... to the newspapers.

Palisades is still trying to sell us discounted tickets, although you could use those later in the year.

Not to mention it's going to be very cold. So we decided to cancel Palisades and just hang around the central coast instead.

First stop: some local wineries.

To do some tastings.

Rustique has a neat barn.

With a nice hilly backdrop.

Ogii enjoying her wine.

Some historical pictures inside.

Indoor seating if its cold.

Many upcoming events.

A big dog.

Who liked being petted.

Trying some reds now.

The four of us.

Finished here.

So time for the next one: Pessagno.

Wines in a box.

Tasting menu.


This winery had cats.

He really liked Ogii.


Beautiful stained glass.

Into Salinas for dinner at Mangia.

Which always has excellent Italian food.

Then to Banker's Casino for some poker. They used to have aces cracked and high hand promotions; they have done away with those and now have discounts for early players.

We had a lot of fun playing together, even though we didn't always win. Ogii had this woman crushed until the woman hit a king on the turn.

And Ogii and I both had straight draws, but this guy made his staight instead.

Ogii made crepes for breakfast.

A low rainbow.

Cool old houses in Santa Cruz.

Out onto the wharf.

To watch the sea lions below.

Hanging out on the posts.

A few people playing volleyball, even though it's quite cold with a few sprinkles of rain now and then.

Then over to Natural Bridges. The water was high, so we had to cross over some small streams on logs.

A small structure.

This is the highest I've seen the water here.

Ogii and the bridge.

Lots of moss on the rocks.

It was very green.

Kendra and Kat.

Gotta line the picture up so their heads are inside the notch.

Back across the stream.

Beautiful mural.

All along with road.

With lots of animals.

Tiny houses for the homeless.

Next was Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park for a short loop hike.

A big tree.

It was sprinking a bit, so we wore rain jackets.

A fallen tree.

Inside a tree.

A very tall one.

This one had lots of moss.

A huge burl.

Some trees that grew together.

And ones that grew apart.

Ogii and I kept our eyes glued to the ground looking for banana slugs, but we didn't see a single one. All I found was a pack of gum.

The Roaring Camp Railroad is right there.

We ran to the cookhouse when we saw the train coming to beat all of the riders there.

Hamburgers for lunch.

The general store.

Duck food for sale.

Some history in the back.

Lots of old pictures.

Ogii spotted some dear as we were leaving.

A couple of fawns by their mother.

Then onto the Mystery Spot.

There we finally saw a banana slug.

Along with some info on them.

Tilted house.



The second room.

With some steps.

And a hanging ball.

Don't let it hit you.

Looking back the other way.

Outside, short to tall.

Now they're all even.

The banana slug had moved over here after our tour.

Giving every guest a bumper sticker is a great marketing idea.

A modern house.

A very shiny car.

At the Winchester Mystery House.

Zelda's fortunes.

Old player piano.

A shooting range.

Onto the tour.

With a bit of history.

A lot of stained glass, along with spiderwebs and the number thirteen.

Low rise stairs as Sarah had difficulty with the normal ones.

Stairs to nowhere to confuse the ghosts.

It is a huge place.


Spiderweb windows.

Sarah's bedroom.

The wooden floor is removable to make it easier to water the plants.

Thirteen coathooks.

Beautiful open area.

With lots of light.

Us looping around.

Red stained glass window.

Painted-over redwood.

Beatiful stained glass window.

More with daisies.

There was some damage from earthquakes.

The bannister on the left is original because Sarah was short; the right one is for tourists.

The man on the right is sometimes seen as a ghost.

The woman on the left was very excited about the tour.


Spider web stained glass.

Dining room.

With beatiful glass above.

Front door.

Larger hall.


The only stained glass windows with words on them...

... are from Shakespeare.

Old broiler.

Old stove.

Upside-down pillar.

Lots of wood.

Lots of light.

Thirteen holes in the drain.

Unused sculptures.

Final room.

Pretty rocks in the store.

Walking out front.

It's so large.

Lots of curved areas.

The four women.

Straight on.

Some of the stained glass windows from the outside.

From the other side.

Vines growing up.

Ogii got a picture of us.

Info on Victorian architecture.

The door to nowhere on the right.

Superimposed onto the house photo.

Pho for dinner.


Ceiling decorations.

This kid had a strap for his iPad.

Cake for Kat's birthday.


Their cat liked to drink running water from the tub.

Checking out the phone.

To the Monterey Wharf the next morning.

What are those?

A bunch of sea lions.

They're looking at us like we might throw them some fish.

They're quite active.

Cannery Row.

Fun mural.

Cute baby deer on the sign.

Down 17-Mile Drive to the Lone Cypress.

And then to Pebble Beach.

Which has a nice visitor's center.


Tiger Woods won a few times.

Photo of expensive cars.

Kendra with another trophy.

There are a few restaurants.

With great views of the golf course.

Into Carmel.

Neat sign.

Lunch at Anton & Michel.



Steak sandwich.

Seafood Linguine.

Interesting car.

Checking out the real estate.

With ocean views.

A cute little dog.

Needs a few pets.

$75,000 for an artist proof.


The area we almost rented is now a little store.

Beautiful painting.

Donuts made fresh while you wait.

Quite a variety.

About to eat.

Carmel beach, with Pebble Beach in the background to the north.

To the south.

Ogii and me.

Gotta take some fun photos.

Even better if you can time it with a bird.

Trees and volleyball courts.

Scenic Road has so many neat houses.

I like the stone ones.

Great mosaics.

Great views of the ocean.

Their mailbox is a mini version of their house.

Then to Refuge.

For some evening soaks.

Playing some games the next morning.

Which were a lot of fun.

Er, I don't know about that.

Best friends.

We checked the Palisades conditions over the weekend; a lot of the lifts were closed.

The gondola was closed because a gondola fell down. Good thing it happened at the beginning and not far above the ground.

Many of the ski resorts closed completely.

Traffic was really bad or even stopped.

And it was so icy cars were sliding all over.

So even if the roads were open, many people were stuck in traffic for hours.

Which the ski resorts warned about.

We had planned on coming back Monday, but the roads were only open sporadically.

And even then, there were whiteout conditions. I think we made the right decision in not going.