Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Cambria, California, Part 2

If you haven't read Part 1 of this post yet, read it here.

After pulling up to the ranch house near Cambria and talking to the two women Saturday, Gisela was away from the car with the women for maybe 15 minutes while I sat in the car. When she finally returned to the car, she let me know what was up, but I had figured it out already: We had a pretty nice place to stay for the night.

Once Gisela relocated her rental car to a spot beside the guest house, I gathered up all my stuff and carried it inside. Soon I took my first shower in 18 days--another new record, by a day. In the shower I watched all the dirt run off my body and down to the drain as I washed myself. Then I washed myself again just to be sure everything was AOK. When you haven’t had a shower in 18 days, you don’t come out until you’re nice and wrinkled like a raisin, first of all because you want to make sure you’ve accomplished your objective, but also because you just want to feel the warm water spray down upon you for as long as possible.

When I got out of the shower, I gathered up all my dirty clothes and took them to the guest house’s laundry area, along with a couple items that Gisela wanted washed. Boy I needed that. I’m not sure I’d even met our hosts at this point.

Eventually I made my way out of the guest house and got to know our hosts. There were three hosts, although only two of them live on the ranch. The ranch owners are a married couple in their late 50s, Jon ("Yon") and Lindy Pedotti. Our other host was Lindy’s sister, Leisa ("Lisa"), who lives in San Luis Obispo. I can’t remember her last name right now.

After our showers, Gisela and I were both hungry, so she asked Lindy where we might get something to eat. Lindy told us the Main Street Grill in Cambria is a pretty good place to eat, so we set off to Cambria. When we arrived, Gisela told me she’d pay for my meal, up to $8, as long as I didn’t order anything with meat. If I ordered any meat, I’d have to pay for it myself.

You have no idea how badly I was craving meat at this point. For several days, my diet had consisted essentially of apples, English muffins, and peanut butter (and not much of any of it). I wanted to pig out, and I wanted to pig out on beef or chicken or just about any kind of meat. But I was screwed. Not just because Gisela wouldn’t let me order meat but because this restaurant’s menu had hardly any items without meat. There were a couple veggie sandwiches and some salads on the menu, but I don’t eat salad and I didn’t want a veggie sandwich. That left me with essentially one option: French fries and garlic bread. So I ordered a basket of fries and some garlic bread, which added up to about $5.

About those fries… The Main Street Grill has two sizes of fries: regular and basket. I figured my basket of fries would be reasonably big, but I had no idea just how big, especially because they were only $3 or so. Anyway, their basket of fries takes up at least as much volume as a bowling ball. I’m talking major shitloads of fries here, y’all.

If you ever pass through Cambria, be sure to visit the Main Street Grill. It’s one of the few restaurants out there that does it right; it’s a well-oiled machine. I’m not saying their food is spectacular or anything like that. It might be, but I don’t know because all I've eaten is their fries. Anyway, this restaurant is happening. It has a wide open kitchen, nice prices, and an efficient flow. No pretentious table service requiring you to tip someone for doing what you'd rather do yourself. It's just one of those special places, like "Ryan’s Pizzeria" would be, if it existed.

I didn't spend much time talking to our hosts Saturday night because bedtime crept up quickly. Gisela slept on the bed and I slept on a couch.

Sunday morning I stepped outside and heard someone call my name from around the corner of the guest house, at the main house. A woman’s voice asked, "Ryan, are you going to come over and have breakfast?" A moment later, Lindy came around the corner and told me they were fixing up breakfast in the kitchen. Breakfast was scrambled eggs fresh from the farm, with a mixture of cooked vegetables and chopped ham, and English muffins. Lindy told me Jon always loves a good excuse to cook up a nice breakfast, and today Gisela and I were the excuse he needed.

After breakfast, we all chatted for a long time in the main house. You have no idea how cool these people are. To welcome total strangers into their home like this, and then to treat us with such hospitality. It was amazing. Really good people.

Early in the afternoon that day, after deciding to hang around the farm for one more night, Gisela and I headed up the road to Hearst Castle, where I ended up sitting around trying to pass time for about four hours. I sure wish I'd taken the laptop, instead of leaving it back at the farm with most of my other stuff.

Aimless Video Evidence


Ah yeah, this is where it all goes down in ten days. The Ohio State Buckeyes versus the University of Southern California Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. #2 vs. #3. A preview of this year's national championship game, perhaps? (I'll tell you one thing right now: Current #1 Georgia won't be playing in the second week of January.) You can bet I'll be back on the premises for the big game. Think I'll get into the game? Well, I'm 2 for 2 so far at OSU road games and I have plenty of time to develop a good strategy. I have some good ideas brewing already. Maybe I'll hang around the USC band practices for several days. Maybe I'll make a sign that says "Hitchhiked 6,000+ miles for your extra ticket." Maybe I'll just have the magic touch. I'll figure out a way to get into this game. Go Bucks!

Correction: Make that #1 vs. #3 and Georgia at #2.