Indian John Hill Rest Area (Westbound) Urinal Report

The Indian John Hill Rest Area makes a lovely stop along I-90 on the east side of the Cascades in either direction, and by “lovely” of course I mean “adequate”. Today I stopped on the westbound side.

There are two urinals of the standard white porcelain variety, with a two-tiered height presentation and functional wall-mounted flushing buttons. You can read about the Human Trafficking Hotline in a variety of languages while you’re engaged with the facilities, thanks to a centrally posted sign. The entire restroom was reasonably clean, and not all skeezy as is so often the case at rest areas.

As you no doubt know, Indian John Hill was named for John Quititit, a Kittias Indian who owned property on the hill and was well known among white settlers of the area in the late 1800’s. He and his family are buried near the rest areas that bear his name.

I recommend the Indian John Hill Rest Area (Westbound) for your westbound pre-Cascade urination needs.

IJHRA(W) Urinals

Santa Barbara, Phase 3(b)

I returned from Santa Maria to find myself abandoned, forcing me to relax by myself on the balcony with an ocean view for over an hour.

But Lobo and Alcalde eventually came back, and we decided to take a bike ride downtown and have lunch. By we, of course, I mean Lobo, who eventually badgered us into it. Alcalde’s bike was mounted on the back of his nomadic travel camper van vehicle, and he’d lost the key to the lock, so he used his bolt cutters to remove the lock. The fact that he carries bolt cutters might suggest something about his ability to keep track of keys, but it would be rude to point this out and beneath the dignity and decorum of this blog, so I’ll just gloss over that observation. He had another lock that he was going to use, but didn’t have the key to that lock either, so we ended up using Lobo’s lock for all three bikes.

Anyway, Lobo was right. It was easy and pleasant to ride downhill on a sunny day, and riding bikes downtown had a strong Summer of ’76 vibe as well. We ate at the Public Market again, and I had monkey skewers again.

Alcalde’s tires were semi-flat, so we rode to Open Air Bikes on Carrillo to get them inflated, then rode/walked back up the hill. Alcalde has one of those newfangled electrical bikes, but Lobo and I just had oldfangled bikes, so Alcalde graciously kept pace with us and didn’t zip by us while taunting us, which is probably what I would have done.

We tried to go to Chuck’s of Hawaii for dinner that evening, and in fact did go, but couldn’t get in, because I wasn’t smart enough to make reservations. We had also arrived a bit later than intended because Lobo had us going on some weird detour up in the hills. So we made reservations for the next night and went to a random nearby Thai place instead, where two-thirds of us had a good meal.

But it was all business the next morning, culminating in Lobo’s Three Futures presentation, which was well worth the 30-year wait, even if the motivational speaker was a no-show. We had a light lunch at La Super Rica, then went driving around a very nice assisted living facility in Montecito. Alcalde was oddly interested in it, but started to get a little squirrelly when Lobo and I mentioned having him committed. I guess some people are just indecisive.

We stopped by Third Window for some beers and I once again failed to get the sweatshirt I wanted. So I bought a t-shirt instead.

With a couple hours to kill before our dinner reservation, we watched Nandor Fodor and the Talking Mongoose. It’s a very odd movie. It looked like it was filmed at 48fps, which gave it a sort of soap opera quality. It also took some liberties with the story of Gef, to the extent that it might not be 100% accurate. The final scene even shows Gef looking like a CGI meerkat! Disgraceful. Alcalde fell asleep, in accordance with tradition.

We got to Chuck’s on time, without any unscheduled detours, and had some excellent New York (not Kansas City) strips. I had a mai tai, and after three beers in the afternoon, I was a little loopy. It wasn’t until the next day that I realized that Alcalde had paid for the drinks. (Thank you, Alcalde!)

Tuesday morning it was time to re-enter the real world. Humphrey was up before dawn to see us off, and after a busy morning of sitting around, Alcalde set out for Jalama. It remains unclear whether the Jalama Burger is world famous or merely regular famous, but Alcalde spoke well of it, and managed not to get eaten by sharks, so it all worked out.

I hung around Casa Villa for a little longer, then drove around for a while taking pictures before I had to turn in the car and fly home.

I landed at Seattle that evening and Ubered home. Riding home in the rain after dark while Gurdeep played Punjabi dance music was a whole vibe, as the youths like to say.

Madonna Inn Urinal Report (MIUR)

On Saturday morning I drove to San Luis Obispo and had breakfast at the Madonna Inn. I don’t think I’ve been there since the ’70s, but it hasn’t really changed. The only difference I noticed was that the building that used to be a gas station isn’t anymore, and next to it is a long row of Tesla chargers.

I had breakfast at the Copper Cafe and afterward availed myself of the facilities. I thought there were several restrooms with elaborate designs, but the only one I remembered clearly (and the only one I found) had a sort of rock grotto urinal (RGU) with water that starts pouring down the back when you pass an electric eye. It provides considerably less privacy than I would normally want, but no one else was in there, so I could enjoy the full rock grotto experience.

The faucets are water pumps, also automatic.

I looked around for other noteworthy restrooms, but the others were all conventional and lacking in pizazz.

Santa Barbara, Phases 3(a) and 4

On Thursday evening, Lobo provided the pizza that he perpetually owes us. On Friday morning, he ditched us to go have breakfast with an unauthorized friend. Later that morning, I ditched them both to drive to Santa Maria for my cousin’s wedding.

I stayed at the Radisson next to the airport. There was some kind of space-oriented convention going on, so there were spacemen in attendance. I tried to talk to one, but he just stood there. Kind of rude, tbh.

Friday night was a post-rehearsal catered shindig at Rick and Claire’s house, featuring a “welcome drink” and “light bites” which you could eat in sufficient quantity that they were no longer light. Anna told me about her new better job that finally got her out of the dog bakery. Cameron and I ate all the strawberries in the flower arrangements, and there was some weird helicopter-like thing that kept flying over, and what exactly is in this welcome drink?

Saturday was the actual wedding, and Rick and Claire were married in accordance with the laws of California. The wind made the wooden structure sway and creak, but it didn’t fall over, and the ducks registered their enthusiasm by quacking throughout the ceremony. Then we went inside for cocktails and dinner.

There were speeches and toasts and food and whatnot. Anna made some emergency frosting but it wasn’t needed so she passed it around to frosting aficionados. I danced a little with Briar, but only at the table. The tri-tip was excellent.

I drove home on Sunday morning to start Phase 3(b) of the Santa Barbara Excursion.