donderdag 28 november 2013

28 nov; Las Vegas, NV - San Francisco, Ca

Guess who woke up at SEVEN AM?!!!  Yeah  baby!!!

We were planning to stop at the same gasstation in Barstow again (because all roads lead to Barstow ;-) but we had a different exit from the interstate to this highway (58) so we missed it. Then we noticed we didnt have much gas left so I freaked out, as this is a "small" highway and I wasnt sure if the gasstations we would see would be open, cos we cant use the creditcard for gas. (maybe we can, can someone please explain) And as it's Thanksgiving, we assume everything is closed. Anyway Robert took the first exit that said "gas".
Minor detail: it was a handpainted sign leading onto a small road to some buildings in the distance. Apperantly there was a place called Hinkley somewhere.
Rings a bell, anyone? Film fans?
after maybe one mile we saw a small ran down 50's looking gasstation. It was open, so we parked and Robert went in, though the gasprice was sky high.
I enjoyed the scenery, this was as far from tourists routes as could be.
Robert came back and tried to put gas in but it didnt work. we were messing around and gave up and he went back in. Turned out you have to push that black thing up :-D (isnt that very old fashioned? )
We went back in for coffee... pay attention Europeans, those tiny milk cups arent always milk :-D (in the USA, most of the times they are funny flavored sugary-milk cups) but hey, coffee with a weird taste is coffee too!
the shopowner was very friendly. For some reason he had a scarf tied up around his head. Not like in any religion, but a normal scarf you wear around your neck, tied around his head like it's a present. He asked us if we saw the movie Erin Brocovic (probably misspelled) because this gasstation is in the movie. I did saw the movie, a long time ago, and promised I would watch it again. I tried to remember details, and a local that was hanging around said "its 60 years ago" The movie is based on a real story.
In the end, a small funny intermezzo. It really was a place you dont see to often as a tourist.

aww, a gasstation with the name "Love's" and a lot of hearts on the trim of the roof :-)

and some nice hills with real trees and a lot of rocks, the highway zigzags between it, very pretty.
and now the yellow velvet hills are back.

Tehachapi Loop!! cool, didnt see it though.   (look it up if you're a traingeek, its pretty cool)
Yellow velvet hills stop abrupt, we're almost in Bakersfield now, we can see the view between the hills of an endless valley.
Yay we're back in the fruit valley, our first orange trees are here!

Before we entered the I 15 a road took us through Bakersfield. It looked very upclass and it had at least two churches every block.
We took an food exit somewhere in a place called "Buttonsomething" (more or less) Slowly we drove passed all the restaurants... Denny's... isnt that all fried crap? Subway? Neh, not now. Starbucks? Thats not food. Some others we didnt know, and at the end of the street a place that looked a bit old and it was called TASTE OF INDIA. Yes, every single Indian restaurant in the world is called Taste of India. From Hasselt to Buttonsomething, California.
It looked a bit funny inside and we were the only non- indians, and we picked something out.
"is it spicey?" I asked the man and he smiled "as spicy as you want" Ok, not spicy. We got a good meal but a bit weird. Apperantly Indian food all over the world is different.
We wondered if we would have an emergency restroom break on our way but it all turned out ok :-)

The I-5 to San Francisco is long and boring. Sometimes something turns up like the fields with one million cows (maybe even two million) but other than that its just flat landscape and boring. we tried the radio again, didnt sound very good but hey. We found a country station with "country" songs, most of them sounded like pop to us.
Laptop battery died, and it got to dark to crochet, so, boredom. Whats even more boring than the I-15? the I-15 by dark!! we knew it on forehand, but its the shortest route to get there. The interstate 1 along the coast is super, but it took way longer and this was allready an 8,5 hr ride.
But we got there. Familiar citynames and streetnames turned up when we reached the Bay Area,  and we approached the former fabulous Bay Bridge. (nag nag, we dont like the new part, the old one is way cooler) Paid 4 dollars (what a way to spend Thanksgiving, alone in a tollbooth, and still friendly) and there we go! Beautifull lit San Francisco was right in front of us. The gps didnt understand that we were driving on a new bridge (a few meters to the north) and lost it :-D
When we left the bridge we were right in the middle of the skyscrapers. Our GPS, that just started working long enough to send us in the more or less right direction, couldnt get signal here and tilted. It went "turn left on Market. Turn left on Pine (we were on pine) Turn left on California Turn left on this; Turn left on that. Only thing we could do was keep on driving and watch the green lights. Some street names we crossed rang a bell, but thats not enough :-D Finally it started working again and it sent us in the right way (we were allready going in the right direction).
More or less by coincidence we're right across the street from the hotel we stayed in last time. We wanted to go back there first because of the location (Lombardstreet), but it was too expensive 
 and we found this, Town House motel across the road. we selected this because of the location, free parking and fridge on the room, but had no clue what it would look like.

Well, it looks pretty amazing! The owner gave us a very warm welcome and we dragged our stuff upstairs, to find out that the room is very nice, a bit small (and a bit noisy) but clean and pretty and 1000x better than the motel in Hollywood.

we installed ourselfs and ran to the Safeway for a sandwich, but the Safeway, thats always opened according to the website, was closed. Aaaahhh!!! Would have been nice if they put THAT On the website too!!! We understand that businesses close for Thanksgiving, but please let us know.
We walked back to Lombardstreet, looking for a restaurant, or nightshop or gasstation selling food, and ended up in Mel's Diner. Nice place! Fifties looking diner, very cute, and they didnt only sell hamburgers. To celebrate Thanksgiving, Robert had the spaghetti with turkey meatballs and I had the Turkey salad :-)
They had little jukebox thingies on the table and I selected Otis Redding with Dock of the bay, just because its a nice song, but it struck me a bit when I realised he's singing about SF.
Another struggle to find out about the right tip ("help us, we're European" always works :-) ) and we walked back to the hotel.


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