Flutterby™! : Thanksgiving Trip

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Thanksgiving Trip

2002-12-09 18:40:15+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

[Tree Top room at Felton Crest inn] Okay, backing off from Hong Kong, for Thanksgiving week Charlene and I went down to the Santa Cruz mountains to spend a couple of days hanging out at Felton Crest Inn. What makes the inn isn't the surrounding redwoods, the monstrously heavy comforter and mountains of pillows (removed for this shot), the champagne and fresh fruit in the room, or even the breakfast; it's that Hanna Peters, the owner and proprietor, is so gracious. We had a wonderful three days hanging out there, including a fun evening hanging out in her living room helping her decorate her redwood Christmas tree clipped from beside her driveway. For future reference, young redwoods are kinda scrawny and spindly and don't make good Christmas trees, but we had fun.

[On the roller coaster] On Friday we went down to Santa Cruz, played for a little while on the boardwalk (and I've gotta be frank here: Disney's California Adventure[Wiki] is better), and then ended up at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center at Long Marine Laboratory[Wiki], up near Natural Bridges State Park[Wiki](where only one bridge remains...). Had a lot of fun, they've got some really good exhibits, a bunch of interesting creatures, and a staff that really enjoys the subject. Next time we'll sign up for the guided tour. And they've got a skeleton of an 87 foot long whale outside that's an amazing sight.

[Shay locomotive] On Saturday we headed out to Roaring Camp Railroad where we rode behind one of their two Shay locomotives. The Shay is an interesting beast because it's a geared steam locomotive, with a side-mounted three cylinder engine. A gorgeous example of 100 year old machinery. But it also took a lot of skill to run, good engineers learned to play with the throttle coming into curves to let the driveshafts slide, so that they didn't jump the tracks when the trucks couldn't turn, and steel on steel does not give great traction. It too three tries for them to pull us up one particularly steep grade.

Friday night we ate at Ciao! Bella!!, a good italian bistro, with a twist. When you read "ciao, bella" think of a wolf-whistle; to "voulez vous couchez avec moi, ce soir?" overdriving the sound system, the owner and waitresses swung off poles and ground on stage in between courses. Fun, although they didn't quite connect with their audience that night, it could have been a little more compelling. Do not go unless you're comfortable with being mooned at least once during your meal. Saturday day we had lunch at the Cowboy Cafe[Wiki] in Felton, and were pleasantly surprised. Real greens, good food. And that evening we at at the Tyrolean Inn, which was decent, although we both thought Ciao! Bella!! had better food.

Thursday we went to the Winchester Mystery House, I'll give a separate accounting of that later.

[ related topics: Photography Nature and environment Food California Culture Machinery Trains ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-12-09 19:20:20+00 by: Diane Reese

Sounds wonderful! Your stop at Felton Crest reminds me of why I want to be the proprietress of a B&B when I retire from this corporate gig... But hey, no Mystery Spot?!

#Comment made: 2002-12-09 20:05:16+00 by: Dan Lyke

Nope, we walked up to the ticket window at Mystery Spot, heard that there was an hour wait, listened to the opening of the speil of the group that was just gathering and decided that we could find much more interesting things to do.

#Comment made: 2002-12-09 20:36:32+00 by: Anita Rowland

In most circumstances, being mooned during dinner wouldn't be very appetizing for me. Were there women and men "dancing" on the poles? I read too quickly the first time, and pictured circus-style aerials and gymnastic stunts instead of strip-club style stuff.

#Comment made: 2002-12-09 23:04:05+00 by: Dan Lyke

It was a pretty athletic dancing, on par with the best dancer I've ever seen at a strip club (ie: that "jump to the top, spin the body out horizontal to the ground, and slide down the pole with the body held out" thing was the norm). And there were two aerial supports out over the dining area that got used. The only person to take clothes off was the (male) owner, but the dancing was pretty suggestive.

It's a place to go if you want "an experience", not necessarily a place to experience quiet fine dining.