October was one rockin’ month. There was the 78th birthday of the late, great – I mean groovy- John Lennon. (How can that even BE??) I always treat myself to a wee British treat on this very important day for Beatlemaniacs. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I consider myself a charter member of John’s fan club. Wish he were here. I’d fancy hearing him tell all the people to just “Give Peace A Chance.” Right On. We can do it if we try, try, try.

Right before John’s birthday we attended the annual “Indigenous People’s Day Pow-Wow” in Berkeley. It was canceled last year because of last October’s fires in the North Bay. There were many tribal people from the area and some major roads were inaccessible. But this year was bright, sunny and warm. It was a fine day for such a community gathering of Native folks. There were dancers, drummers and exquisite hand-made crafts to peruse. As I paused to view the jewelry creations at one particularly colorful booth, I asked the hubby what he thought about some cute barrettes. The man seated in the booth said he liked my earrings and where did I get them.

Well, I told him I bought them at the Pow-Wow several years ago from a lady with a booth on the opposite side of the Park from this spot. That “lady” turned out to be his wife, and she suddenly peaked out where I could see her. Nice folks, and she still makes gorgeous stuff that is reasonably priced. It would be so groovy to see them next year. I have a date with the Indian Taco purveyors as well. This is a yummy food. Try munching one if you ever get the chance. Or perhaps you would prefer the Indian Frybread topped with strawberry’s and dusted with powdered sugar! (Uh-oh, my fat cells are starting to expand.)

Just get SOMETHING, Okay!

The day after my beloved former Beatle’s birthday Henri and moi left for a leetle trip down to Southern California for an anniversary celebration. It was a l-o-o-o-ng drive, folks. We left mid-afternoon ( I wanted to leave in the morning ), which is so not advisable. Zee traffique is oh-so- heavy, mon. The freeway also isn’t as free as it once was either. Somebody decided to add toll lanes for workday commuters in a bit of a rush to get home/ go to work. And you need a well-paying job to afford the humongous toll charges. The trolls who control the tolls are working on installing them on my nearby freeway, too! What can ya do?
I didn’t have any lunch because I planned on eating at a legendary split pea soup restaurant. It was dark when we arrived in their parking lot and I crawled to the front door- not! I had an all-you-can eat soup special. For travelers, it was. (I guess they realize hungry folks get stuck in bumper to bumper traffic these days…or into the evenings.) I slurped down four or five bowls of split pea soup; and I could have slurped more, but the manager said I had more than enough already. Yeesh.

Our first rest area spot was not all that far away from the restaurant. I ate all that PEA soup, remember. On my way to the rest room were two workers who commented on my colorful cane. An older man wanted to know if it was a “Mardi Gras” cane. I just like color I explained. It makes me happy and most people respond well to bright color. On to SoCal! (Southern California)

Even though I have some groovy photos of our trip I hope you will Google -puleeezze!- The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside. This hotel is beyond magical. I’ve never seen anything like it before. Truly gorgeous, full of history, it is on the National Register of Historic Places. We got to Riverside at one in the morning and the streets were rolled up for the night. OK, so maybe not, but it was super quiet. We had a reservation for later in the afternoon, but we had to find a place to crash. I had thought that the Mission Inn was 55 miles north of Los Angeles, however, it was past L.A.! What a bummer.

I won’t say much about the hotel -after all it was an anniversary trip, you understand. But we had a special anniversary dinner on the unbelievably beautiful outdoor patio. There was a margarita involved and you will see I became a wee bit tipsy as a result. They hold a Festival of Lights every Holiday season, and they were already installing lights while we visited. The one experience I would love to have involves a “pre-arranged Elf Tuck-ins for children residing at The Inn.”

OK, so technically, I’m not a child, but don’t I deserve an Elf Tuck-in? I saw photos of, ahem, some of those “elves” and I want in. We left and drove to Seal Beach to visit & lunch -in Los Alamitos- with my warm & funny Laughter Yoga instructor who left San Fran to care for a parent. She now resides in his condo which she could never afford in S.F. She leads Laughter Yoga classes at the beach on weekends. HoHoHaHaHa.

We also spent a couple of sunny days in beautiful Santa Barbara, often referred to as the California Riviera. There are palm trees everywhere, along with a drive-on municipal pier over looking the deep blue sea. We spent time there finally deciding to eat at a view café located over the ocean. Fab view we had. Also visited the Santa Barbara Mission (went to mass there) and had a wonderful time. I did not want to leave Santa Barbara. Surfers and sun lovers living in harmony, man. Over the San Marcos Pass (Google it) to arrive in Solvang. Yeah, it’s a Danish theme town, but we managed to find an Irish Pub to dine in and have a refreshing drink and then visited yet another Mission: Mission Santa Inez. So beautiful, sacred & worthwhile. We headed home after a wee stop in Pismo Beach located half-way between L.L. & San Francisco. It was a short jam-packed excursion. We had a wonderful time but were glad to come home. And so was our doggie diva, Rosie Colleen, who was unhappy with her sit & stay vaycay.

The week after we returned was also birthday time for Bender & moi. Mine is three days before his & I decided on Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. I was there for Mother’s Day, however, the places I would have liked to have dined at were closed on Tuesday!! I got a free birthday dessert, but no cake. Henry wanted to go to Carlos Santana’s Maria, Maria in Danville. ANOTHER free dessert -for both of us!
Just what I needed -not!

The late & equally groovy George Harrison had the following quote about birthday cake:
“All the world is birthday cake, So take a piece, but not too much.”

Well, Henri went way overboard when he went to buy a cake we both could share. The dude bought TWO cakes. We gave some to our neighbors but still had way too much cake to eat! NEVAH again.
Next time I’ll apply it to my hips. OK, there won’t be a next time. I know I worked off some of it decorating for Halloween. And I did NOT eat a single piece of Halloween candy. The idea was just too scary, man.

Hope you had a rockin’ October, too.

Peace & Love & joy & laughter from Kathleen

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