Day 1 - May 9

  And They're Off...

Well, we got off to an early start, arising at 3:45 to get to the airport. Our flights on the bankrupt TWA were terrific and very cheap—the first leg was empty and the second 2/3 full.  Both arrived on time.  So did our baggage.  So what's all this flap we hear about over air travel?

Arrived in downtown San Francisco and met Brian Barnett, a.k.a. the seller, at the car.  Everything was cool with the car and Brian's a cool guy.  As we were leaving, he warned us about "floppers"— types so desperate that they flop themselves in front of cars to try to pay the bills.

Anyway, we headed east out of town toward Boston.  Unfortunately, we were jet-lagged and tired, and ended up some 200 miles north and west of San Francisco.  But the scenery was beautiful, driving up California's coastal Route 1. Tomorrow we promise to do better and not head west.

The car, in case you're curious is just as advertised.  Mechanically, she is great—engine strong and smooth, the suspension firm and supple, and the transmission is the smoothest we've ever shifted.

Well, we're tired and, more importantly, we discovered that that there is a brewpub here in Fort Bragg, on the northern CA coast.

This is where we went today
Today's Map

Heeeeeeere's Brian
Meet the teary-eyed Brain Barnett, previous owner of the road warrior. This is where we met him at the garage where he kept the car.  Cover's off, getting packed, ready to leave.

Lombard Street, SF
Before leaving town, we HAD to make an attempt at the Lombard Street hillclimb (normally run the opposite direction at 2AM).  No records were set.

Golden Gate Bridge
When we got here, we realized that we weren't heading east.

Fill 'er up!
Do note the gasoline prices here in CA and quit your complaining.

The Pacific Ocean
Them lumps down at the bottom are ... seals!

The Pacific, redux
And speaking of seals, there don't seem to be any leaks!  Here's a typical scene along the Shoreline Highway, a road consisting of thousands of Alfa-esque twists and turns.

Beer(s) of the Day

Double Black Stout
Redhook Ale Brewery

This was suggested by Brian, so we followed it through.  We both still believe that Guinness is the definition of stout, but this one was VERY enjoyable, far more than most.  Thanks for the tip, Brian!

Culture Feature

Today's subject is sculpture.  Tree sculpture.  Don't worry, they'll get better.  Maybe.

Alfa Spotting!

We actually saw LOTS of Alfas in San Francisco, so we'll start our tally tomorrow.

May 2001


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