West Coast Spring 2017, Part Five

Timeline: April 6-17

British Sports Cars

British Sports Cars

In the rush to submit my last blog post, I neglected to include one stop we made Tuesday afternoon that was a highlight, at least for Evan and I. During our wanderings on Marsh Street we passed by an auto repair and sales shop known as British Sports Cars and so popped in for a visit. In the main shop were a collection of cars for sale, all classics, and in the back repairs were ongoing on a number being restored.

Hanging high up on the walls was a nice collection of restored vintage bicycles and other wheeled conveyances. We browsed the collection for a bit, then discovered a garage next door which held the balance of the cars for sale, including a couple of older Jaguars similar to the one that Evan owned in the 1970’s. There is a funny story involving that car, balky engine start-up, flammable liquids, and cat litter. Let me know if you’d like to hear it.

Wednesday morning, we all supped lightly at the Avenue Inn and then around 9am Jan and Evan drove us up to the top of Higuera Street to breakfast at our favorite SLO morning spot, Louisa’s Place. We’ve been coming here for years, often the morning after a one of the long (100 mile) bike rides (Wildflower and/or Lighthouse) we’d do each year sponsored by the San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club. This is a popular dining destination and often one must wait a goodly amount of time to be seated; if just Joanna and I we’d usually opt to sit at the counter, an entertaining diversion as you get to watch all the activity there and in the kitchen.


Take a Seat at the Counter

Our wait wasn’t long and we were seated along the side of the narrow storefront in one of the booths that line it. Joanna ordered a short-stack of Honeywheat pancakes and I the four-egg Guacamole and Bacon Omelet (with fresh tomatoes and sour cream) along with home fries and sour dough toast. Knowing that we had a full afternoon ahead of us, the large portions that came out to the table were welcome, as we’d need the fuel to provide a solid base for our planned activities.

Finished with breakfast, we bade farewell to Jan and Evan and after walking back to the Avenue Inn, took off in our car for the Cal Poly SLO campus in search of its Experimental Structures Facility, also known as the Architecture Graveyard. This little-known element of the campus was largely created and, in some cases, renovated by teams of architecture and design seniors from 1963 to 2009. Rain was in the forecast as we walked across a portion of campus containing athletic fields and an Irrigation Practices Field with goats grazing on it, Cal Poly being an agricultural college.

After some bumps and starts, we found the trailhead and walked up a dirt road a half-mile to reach the entrance to the Graveyard, pausing to review a map of the grounds before heading up the path to see each piece in numerical order.

The site is in poor repair, attributed to the absence of student caretakers, who until about six years ago lived on site for free and received a small stipend for low order maintenance.

When the recession of 2008 hit, that arrangement stopped and subsequently there’s no presence there, leading to a lot of vandalism and general deterioration of the pieces.

Two Structures

It was still exhilarating to be out walking up and down the pathways, a gusty wind heralding a storm front coming in, spending time at each piece trying to get a handle on what its intended purpose would be should it have been actually produced as a product.

Finished with our tour, we quickly walked back to the car hoping to avoid what promised to be a downpour.

On Coming Storm

On Coming Storm

We made it back to the Avenue Inn just before the heavens opened up, a deluge that would last the entire afternoon and preclude any outdoor activity.

View of the Campus

View of the Campus

Undaunted, we viewed this as a welcome opportunity to spend an afternoon indoors, watching a nearly four hour movie, Lagaan, that we had stored on the laptop and consuming a fair amount of adult beverages as the day disappeared. One nice change in the amenities now offered at almost all levels of lodging is the use of flat panel (plasma, LCD, LED) televisions with multiple inputs. If they are left unlocked one can simply plug in an HDMI cable and stream content from a laptop or tablet.

As for the movie, let me quote from a review at IMDb:

Perfect First Time Bollywood Treat

This was my first full-fledged trip into Bollywood and I couldn’t have asked for a better entry…. Some of the songs and dances were breathtaking and emotionally charged. In particular the number where Bhuvan and the young boy are sitting on a hill and they’re shrugging their shoulders, soon getting the village into the act. The other number where Bhuvan and Gauri re-enact the love of Krishna and Radha in exquisite dancing. Also there were many moments of stunning, breathtaking images, including the women of the village seated in the temple praying for salvation. Absolutely stunning.

The four hours did seem to fly by and before we knew it the movie was done, the rain had halted and it was time to set out for some dinner. We were determined to visit San Luis Fish & BBQ, the place we had rejected the day before.


San Luis Fish & BBQ

As we entered, we could see why the others had hesitated about eating there, as it resembled a fish market more than a restaurant. And for us, that was the good news.

Inside SLO Fish and BBQ

Inside SLO Fish and BBQ

Joanna ordered the Cioppino while I went for the Halibut and Chips, a bowl of the Clam Chowder along with a beer apiece. It didn’t take long for the food to arrive and there’s not much more I can say about it except that it was fresh, expertly cooked and absolutely delicious, a fancy restaurant quality meal for the grand sum of $33.29.

It's What's for Dinner

Halibut Fish and Chips

We returned to the Avenue Inn full and happy, glad that we had made it back there for a great meal at a outstanding price.

Our stay in San Luis Obispo, though brief, had been all we could have wanted, getting to connect with good friends, touch base with memories of past visits and explore entirely new sights and places to eat. This area is one of the more desirable in the state where a moderate climate coupled with a small town vibe produces a highly attractive ambience. We’ve often thought about settling down here; halfway between friends in Southern California and a few hours from Jessica and Kris in Oakland. Could be an option to consider in the future.

At the Mission

At the Mission


British Sports Cars: http://www.britishsportscars.com/

Louisa’s Place: http://www.louisasplace.com/

San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club: http://www.slobc.org/wildflower/

Architecture Graveyard: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/sports/outdoors/article138352358.html

Lagaan: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0169102/

San Luis Fish & BBQ: http://www.sanluisfish.com/


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