Saturday, January 9, 2010

December Travels

I apologize for the tardiness of this post, but as you will soon see, my final road trip of December was to see some family in the Reno area and it seems that my laptop liked it there and decided to stay behind when the rest of us came home. Thankfully, between my son and our friends at FedEx, my trusty little tool is back in my hands and we are busy getting reacquainted (the computer folks.... I know what you were thinking).

As some of you know, I spent a good portion of December on the road, visiting customers for my work. This takes me on a pretty thorough tour of the greater Bay Area, so I thought I'd share with you all a little of where I went and what I saw while on my rounds.

These were taken the morning of the 8th, at a couple of golf courses in Contra Costa County, when much of the region was experiencing heavy frost. I think the low temps around here were mid-20s this particular morning. I realize that is still t-shirt weather in Chicago, but around here, that's freakin' cold!

My travels that day took me across the Carquinez Straights, past the fleet of mothballed ships. Most of these are 1940s to 1960s era supply & service ships, but one of the most recent additions is the USS Iowa, a very historic battleship that sailed from 1942 untill 2006, when she was brought here, complete with her incredible 16-inch guns. I had the pleasure of golfing in Napa that day with some customers, one of the better parts of my job for sure. Don't feel too bad, it doesn't happen all that often and I really suck at it, but I do enjoy being outdoors with friends and as you can see, the scenery was pretty good.

Another day of my travels found me in the East Bay. These pics were taken from the Alameda shore looking toward San Francisco and Oakland.

This was another ugly day, I had to cover Santa Cruz & Monterey counties and the weather was absolutely stunning (as you can see). These pics were taken at Seacliff State Beach in Aptos. The broken up ship you see is all that remains of the SS Palo Alto, a concrete tanker (yes, I said concrete) built in Oakland in 1919. To late to serve in WW 1, she was mothballed and eventually towed here where she was outfitted for amusement with a restaurant, swimming pool, dance floor and more. Unfortunately, the company went bankrupt two years later and the ship was abandoned and allowed to deteriorate. It is blocked from public access, but does serve as an artificial reef for marine life.

More of Monterey Bay; one of my customer courses and some of the beautiful rocky shore of the Monterey Peninsula.

A few more high-points for me this month. The wifey and I at our company Christmas party. Even as lean as this year was, they still treated us to a very nice evening at the Hotel St. Claire in San Jose, with dinner catered by the Il Fornaio restaurant downstairs. My travels took me through Hollister, which meant lunch at one of my favorite airport diners, the Ding-A-Ling Cafe. It's a classic little place and I just happened to catch a bunch of folks from one of the Unlimited air racing teams I follow, so that was a bonus. Yes, I actually had to go to a mall, thankfully the visit was mercifully brief. More travel pics, some cool ornamental kale that was probably brightened up by the frost and one of my favorite views from the ridgetop in El Cerrito, looking out past the Golden Gate Bridge.

My final road trip was to Reno on the day after Christmas to see some family in that area. It had snowed significantly that week, but the roads were clear now. If the snow gives the impression that it was cold out, IT WAS! Highs were right around freezing and lows were around 12F. It was a good trip and a great cap to the month's travels. Sorry my computer took so long to get home, but we'll get caught up soon. Hope you enjoyed riding along.


  1. I like airport diners. We go to the one in Half Moon Bay all the time. I think people fly in for breakfast there from all over.

  2. I, too, was in Tahoe that day and remember all to well that 12 degrees! About froze me to death, taking a leisurely stroll with my fluffy dog!!

    Nice job you have, Mister! Golfing? Napa? Aptos? Catered dining? Glad you had a beautiful December (and glad they treat you guys right...despite these lean times..)