Road report: San Francisco and on south..


I’ve driven more than 2,400 miles in the past two weeks, and I’m starting to feel a mite road-weary. It’s not just the driving; it’s that while Richard is managing to stay in good spirits despite advanced brain cancer, he can’t help in other ways. (Good spirits are a way to help, I remind him often.) So I’m driver, navigator, meal-planner, organizer, guide… By the end of the day, I’m often wrung out.

Still, we’re still having a grand time, and I don’t mean to be Pollyanna-ish. We really are, which I think is a testament to how much we needed to do this trip, have the time together on the road, and visit family and friends on the way. It’s been rejuvenating. Richard just glows.

Right now, I’m in Sudz, a laundrymat in Pacific Grove (a green, sustainable business run by a delightful woman named Loni), finishing the wash–yup, after enlightenment, there’s still the laundry!–while Richard sits in a nearby coffeehouse. We’re headed down the Big Sur Coast to Lucia tonight, and won’t have internet for the next day or two. So here are some photos to show you our weekend in San Francisco and our drive south to the Monterey Peninsula.


The view from Molly and Mark’s living room in their third-floor flat on the east side of Telegraph Hill in San Francisco. That’s Treasure Island and a tower of the Bay Bridge in the background. In the other direction, they have a clear view of the Bay all the way around to Alcatraz Island. It’s a beautiful spot (and they pay primo rent for it…)


Richard was feeling good Saturday morning, so decided he could walk from our motel in the Marina District to our regular coffeehouse, Caffe Roma, in North Beach, and on up the hill to Mark and Molly’s. Turned out that was a bit of a stretch for him, but he made it. In the photo above, he is resting on the way up the Tel Hill (if you know San Francisco, you know a hill there is REALLY a hill) with Mark behind him.

Molly and I discovered this great hat shop in North Beach, just across the street from Washington Park. So we got flapper hats. (Molly gave me mine for my birthday–thanks, sweetie!) We’re pretty cute, huh?

After a great birthday brunch at The Plant, an organic cafe right on the Embarcadero waterfront with Molly and Mark (thanks, you two!), we headed on south, planning to meet former Salidan Louella Pizutti and her honey ZZ in Palo Alto. Louella mentioned that the Palo Alto Art Center had a Patrick Dougherty sculpture, so we jumped at the chance to meet them there. We were delighted to see that this particular organic “stickwork” is alive and sprouting on site.

While Richard rested and talked to Louella and ZZ, I explored the sculpture’s hobbit-like rooms. Oh, to be six again and have a Dougherty sculpture as a playhouse!


After our visit, we headed on south, wound our way over the Santa Cruz mountains, and then followed the curve of Monterey Bay around to Monterey, where we had dinner at Abalonetti’s Seafood Trattoria on Fisherman’s Wharf, thanks to a gift from artist friends Nancy and Dave Mayer. Monterey friends Laura Arnow and her daughter Sarah joined us, and we celebrated my birthday in style at a table with a view of the harbor and the sunset.


Nancy and Dave had told the restaurant it was my birthday, so after stuffing ourselves with calamari and other seafood, a slice of dense chocolate torte arrived at the table. Good thing there were four forks so we could share it… I did say we were eating our way down the Coast, didn’t I?

On we go to the Big Sur Coast, for some peace and quiet to succor our spirits. So think of us in a cabin atop a cliff overlooking a tiny bay, with a view of miles and miles and miles of wild coast. And now it’s time to climb into the car and go…