Black Friday in the U.S....Hawks on the Prowl in California Skies
SAN LEANDRO, Calif. - Not sure it's a good idea to be out on the highways on the biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S., but we'll see.
After a couple brilliant days of sunshine and temperatures around 17 to 20 degrees Celsius, there's a lot of clouds and a bit of light rain in the San Francisco Bay Area today. We just finished breakfast and my uncle and aunt from Sacramento are watching the hawks - huge, black ones with wing spans that look like about four or five feet - lazily circle in the sky as they look down at the East Bay hills below for a mouse or a squirrel or some other form of food.
Had a great Thanksgiving dinner, with a perfect turkey on my Dad's barbeque (the master is at work in the photo below). Of course, we forgot some of the vegetables in the microwave, but it's a family tradition that something gets left in the fridge or in the oven so at least we're consistent.
The radio is full of ads for Black Friday shopping, and I'm sure the roads might be a little messy. Still, we're gonna head down to my Dad's cabin in the Santa Cruz Mountains, about an hour south of San Francisco.
It's lovely country, with towering redwoods and rich valleys lined with deep green ferns and small mountains (big if you're from Ontario, I think) and wineries and horse pastures and winding, country roads. And it's only ten minutes to get to the beach in Capitola, which I once wrote a story about for Star Travel. I think I called it the best California beach town the Beach Boys never sang about, or some such.
It's a great town, with surf shops and high-end food places and aging hippies selling candles and wind chimes and window decorations shaped like fairies and such. Some really good little restaurants, including a cool Mexican place called Margaritaville and a place that sells french toast with cream cheese and walnuts as I recall. There are beautiful, brightly painted beach homes at one end of the sand, plus a huge pier that juts out into Monterey Bay near the foot of some dun-coloured cliffs. There probably will be some brave surfers out, even though it's only about 14 degrees Celsius today and the water is damn cold in this part of California.
The Santa Cruz boardwalk has a perfect, old-time roller coaster and lots of arcade games, although I think we'll take a pass and concentrate on Capitola and maybe, if the sun comes out, a margarita on the back porch overlooking the beach.
A bit more California stuff on Monday, then back to the Big Smoke for work on Tuesday. I'll get back to my deals of the day, too, in case you want to get out of Canada before the holidays.