Saturday, September 29, 2012

Day 24 - You've Got To Have Friends

Did I mention that Petaluma was once know as The Egg Capital of the World?  It still has some grain milling and chicken processing industry and it sits in the middle of some very rich farmland.  Did I mention that the air smells bad at this particular spot in Petaluma?  Maybe the odor is from chickens or maybe it is from all the cows in the area.  It definitely smells farmy.
I have been trying to remember why I seemed to know something about Petaluma.  Eureka - it was the home of the world wrist wrestling championships from 1952 to 2003.  Snoopy wanted to be a champion arm wrestler and he headed for Petaluma.  He was disqualified because he had no thumb.  Also The World's Ugliest Dog contest is held here.  I can now rest easy.

It is no small investment to travel the country in an RV.  I think that our neighbors may have gone a bit overboard.  They are traveling to Florida from Ontario is a huge Class A motorhome.  They are towing the cute little, black Mercedes convertible.  Nice!

This is a campground with a lot of amenities.  They do get a lot of families here in the summertime and have some very nice places for them to play.
The playground has lots of new, well kept structures for climbing.

And a seriously, cool tractor to play on.  Grampy loves tractors!
If anybody asks, he's 5.  I don't want to be asked to leave.

This little guy was very excited about all of the goats at the petting zoo.  He wanted to tell us their names.  There are also sheep, chickens and peacocks.  We talked to the young woman who tends the animals.  She seems to love them very much.  Many of them are rescues so she has also saved them from an early death.

Our driving for today consisted of getting ourselves to the city of Vallejo.  This is where my long time friend Saskia lives.  We have not seen each other for more than 20 years.
The trip over took us through more farm land.  There were several sheep ranches along the way.  The stretch of road just before here was marked with a sign "Falling Trees".  Now that's a new one!  

Vallejo is in the bay region.  It seems most well known these days as being the first large city in California to file for bankruptcy.
I think that this is the Napa River which eventually makes its way to San Pablo Bay.  We saw a big barge on the river a few miles from here.

Here is my beautiful friend Saskia.  We are sitting on her deck drinking champagne.  It is never too early to drink champagne.  There was a lot of catching up to do so the talking was flowing as freely as the wine.  Isn't it nice that even after all these years, there was so much to talk about.  Hmmm.  Maybe there was so much to talk about because of all these years.

It is not an exaggeration to say that Saskia loves cats.  She has four of them and I believe they are all rescued.  Maybe I should put her in touch with the KOA caretaker.  She might want a goat!
As you can see, Vladimir seems to like Brett and Brett seems to like the champagne.  The circle of like.

Food art.  The picture is blurry but I just had to show off my lunch.  This is a vegetable polenta Napoleon.  Saskia took us to lunch at a very nice restaurant in Benicia called Sailor Jack's.  The building dates from 1868 and has been a sea captain's house, a brothel and now a restaurant.  It was named for Jack London who once lived in Benicia and who called himself Sailor Jack when traveling the Klondike. 

After lunch we strolled around Benicia and checked out quite a few antique shops.  This is my wall art offering for the day.  It was in a nice little antique shop "mall".  Best sighting was agreed to be a 1908 National cash register (with a big Do Not Touch sign on it). 

Certain compost aficionados in the contingent were practically agog at the sight of a community garden.  We went in to have a look.  There is still a lot of stuff growing.  Each little bed had a slightly different personality. Most were very well kept.  I liked some row markers that were made from wooden skewers topped with a wine cork.  And of course I liked the name "Avant Garden".

Earlier this week, Brett had a craving for gum drops.  This was satisfied when he found some at the KOA store.  But one mustn't waste an opportunity to visit a candy shop.  We had fun picking candy from quite a large selection. 

Saskia's husband Joe is restoring this Model A pickup.  I think it looks beautiful already and the engine runs!

I was sad to say goodbye but oh so very glad that we were able to say hello.  It was a wonderful day.  You've got a friend indeed!

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