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Unread 20 Jul 14, 09:03 PM  
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geoffa
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In the footsteps of Lewis & Clark - Day 11

DAY 11 All ashore that are going ashore ! And the steps to obtaining a good table at dinner.

Tuesday 1st July 2014

Not many days left now in our itinerary. We awaken to the sound of the surf. By 6:30 we are in the Jacuzzi again. The area above the water is cool and misty yes, we still have the sea fog. After a long soak we get dressed. Breakfast is arranged for 7:30 a.m. This arrives in a supermarket type basket but laid within the folds of a gingham cloth. Very Wizard of Oz! Juice, milk etc. comes in small Mason jars (Kilner) and cereals and breads are cling-filmed in or on their flatware. This means you can breakfast in private in your own time.



We intend to have a further investigation of Pismo once we have tidied up and repacked. Later we will start to head further down the coast to Long Beach. This run will only be 114 miles and should only take around 2 hours. So far we have now done some 1400 miles.

Breakfast sorted we have about an hour before we move on. We take a stroll along the boardwalk and make our way to Pismo Creek.



This is where the river joins the sea. There arent a lot of brilliant shops in this immediate area but we review the ones that are open. They have some quirky stuff like this shark shovel for kids.



Also - an alternative T shirt:



The gas station is a 7-11 and it does have snacks and postcards. We want to return to a glass shop where we saw some mermaid ornaments yesterday evening. This will make a great addition to our souvenir Christmas tree. Once purchased, we head back to the hotel for a few last minutes enjoying the ocean and its surf. Its hazy out at sea but many folk are surfing or belly boarding and there are quite a few walking their dogs. Here they clean up thoroughly after their pooch has toileted its the law! There is a group of about forty people in a circle doing Pilates. We take our bags down to the car there is no Bell Service as such but you help yourself to a bag cart, take it up to your room and then bring your baggage down to your car. Personally, we find this quicker than having to wait for it to be done for you.
The car gets loaded up and off we go. We are heading further down the coast now and it is still a little sea misty in places. We are now headed to Long Beach for an overnight stay on the RMS Queen Mary (QM1). Along the way we call in at The Crossroads shopping centre. Here they have a Walmart and isn't this display of soda cans just wonderful:



There is a place where we will detour off our main route to call in for lunch. Solvang (pronounved Solvain) is a Danish community. A group of Danes settled in the area many, many years back and today the town of Solvang has a population of over 10,000. It has its own brewery, its own bakery (superb pretzels|) and even has artificial storks in nests on the roofs of the shops.






We have lunch at Paula's Pancake House where we ask for an outside table in the shade.



They have a vine growing along the front of the property and this really does create an umbra area. Darrin had pancakes with Danish sausage. If you are familiar with Cornish Hogs Pudding (white pudding) it is very similar. That's butter on the pancakes by the way - not cream!



I chose shrimp salad nice and refreshing in the heat of the day. We forego desserts.



A stroll on the shaded side of the street brings us to a pet store. We have to get a little gift for Blair, our Westie. They have chewy animals made from leather. We get a squirrel. He hates the real thing and would worry the life out of them. Dont worry we checked its source and the fact it was animal organisation approved. Hell love it.
And its back to the car and onwards.

We arrive at the Queen Mary about 5p.m., later than we would have liked. We spent too long shopping in Solvang!



The check in is efficient and our required bags are delivered to our stateroom. The rooms are original fittings things like fans do not work but they have air conditioning these days. In the 30s they had vent that you turned left for sea air or right for heated air which came straight from the boiler room!. The handles on drawers and wardrobes are Bakelite. Amazingly, they have never got broken.





Note the novel toilet flush -left of the picture.

We settle in to the room and unpack, wash and change for dinner.

We call at the Observation bar for a pre dinner drink:



We are booked in Sir Winstons. This restaurant is at the blunt end (stern) of the ship above the sports deck. To get to it you climb a staircase covered with a blue awning. We check in and are shown to a table almost by the very door which we entered. The view wehave is the aforementioned staircase and awning. The server arrives with menus but before he even places them on the table I ask for a better table preferably near the panoramic window at the stern ( Think Be our Guest ballroom setting ). Im not being stroppy but (1) the restaurant is barely full and (2) at these prices we aint spending the next 90 minutes looking at a staircase. There is some kerfuffle with the maitre d but they agree to move us. We now have a view of Long Beach and the stretch of water that leads to the main Pacific Ocean.



The meal Darrin starts with Roast Oyster Rockefeller with proscuitto, spinach, garlic and bechamel:



I have Wild mushroom Chevre (goats cheese) strudel:



To follow - Darrin has Sea Scallops with bay carrots, cauliflower puree and wasabi buerre blanc:



I choose rack of lamb witha pistachio crust, asparagus, green beans and roast potatoes:



Between the mains and dessert they offer use an amuse bouche (pineapple sorbet) to clean the palate. To follow chocoate souffles witha hot runny middle followed by coffee and chocolate dipped strawberries.

Wine by the glass was Iron horse Chardonnay for Darrin and Geoff has Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.

One fabulous meal and the restaurant really does desrve its five star rating. the service was impeccable.



We retire back to our cabin about 9:30p.m.and both crash into bed. We sleep deeply until Darrins iphone rings at 3 in the morning. Its India who are on India time. Despite being on holiday Darrin still has to be there for his clients. They keep his business going in this crazy 24/7 world. I pull the duvet over my head thinking Whatever happened to 9 to 5, Monday to Friday with a half day closing on Tuesday world that I used to know?.

Car mileage today 114 miles Total to date: 1460 miles

Trip report INDEX: http://DIBB.in/9823405
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Edited at 08:21 PM.
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Unread 21 Jul 14, 11:00 AM  
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Florida again
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The food looks lovely.

We looked at Queen Mary when we were thinking of doing the west coast, which was going to be next year. We decided to put the road trip off a year or two until the kids are a bit bigger though, so it's back to Orlando for us but reading your trip report is getting me excited to go. It will happen, I'm sure
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Unread 21 Jul 14, 08:25 PM  
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geoffa
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Originally Posted by Florida again View Post
The food looks lovely.

We looked at Queen Mary when we were thinking of doing the west coast, which was going to be next year. We decided to put the road trip off a year or two until the kids are a bit bigger though, so it's back to Orlando for us but reading your trip report is getting me excited to go. It will happen, I'm sure
Well - you are the first to know - we had such a great time this year we have already booked 80% of next ywar's trip and it will be San francisco, Carmel, Pismo, Santa Barbara and Disneyand (it's 60 years old next year!) We even got early booking discounts at a couple of places. Unfortunately, the Queen Mary won't be featuring.
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Unread 21 Jul 14, 08:55 PM  
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Love the way Walmart makes the designs with soda boxes...I have a photo of a NasCar..and always regret not taking one of the snowman..

Another great day, thanks for sharing.
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Unread 22 Jul 14, 12:58 PM  
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Oh my, that food!
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Unread 22 Jul 14, 03:15 PM  
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The Queen Mary looks fab.
If you want half day closing you should move to Suffolk, most of our little high street still closes for half a day, but on a Wednesday not a Tuesday!
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Unread 22 Jul 14, 06:32 PM  
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geoffa
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Originally Posted by Snaps View Post
The Queen Mary looks fab.
If you want half day closing you should move to Suffolk, most of our little high street still closes for half a day, but on a Wednesday not a Tuesday!
I didn't think there was anywhere in the Uk that still had half day closing. Most were on Wednesdays . For some reason we were Tuesdays.
Did find in Scotland on recent visits though that some places don't open at all on Sundays like Perth!
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Unread 22 Jul 14, 08:06 PM  
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Lovely day Geoffa, food looks really fab! Pussycat
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