Back to touring with Henry, my ninety-four year-old father-in-law.
The tour stopped at the Santa Maria Inn for one night on the 2 1/2 day adventure. Henry is very conscious of costs and was amazed at the price of almost everything, food being the biggest issue. However, he wanted the convenience of eating in the Inn. Henry has trouble hearing my high-pitched voice. He also has some difficultly reading at a distance in low light. I resorted to reading him the menu prices–$$$ on a scale of $ to $$$$$. The maitre d’ was not amused.
Across the street at a $ diner that looked like a poor cousin of Denny’s or The Clock, we enjoyed an All American meal. Henry pronounced the meal excellent and the waitress exceptional.
There were five US citizens on the tour. Seeing the USA through the eyes of the visitors was enlightening.
The young lady from New Zealand found Americans to be stressed and not always friendly.
The Israeli couple, on the other hand, wanted to know if all Americans are as relaxed and friendly as those they met in California. NYC is next on their itinerary!
Then there was the vastness of our country. Several travelers told us their country would fit inside our little LA to SF tour, or at least into the state of California.
The family from India was very pleased to see an American family traveling with an elder. The father, a physician, commented that Indians were beginning to use long-term care for their elderly. It was obvious to me it’s a change he doesn’t welcome.
When Henry ended up on the wrong side of the bus for the Pebble Beach drive, the doctor gave up his seat so Henry could see, then he graciously asked permission to sit next to him.
Friday night Henry wasn’t as delighted with our moderately priced meal at the R & G Lounge in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Henry declared that it wasn’t real Chinese food, not like we get at home. (I thought it was the best Chinese food I ever tasted.)
Our formal tour ended mid-day on Saturday after a bus excursion through San Francisco. The highlight was our walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Henry is busy trying to figure out why they built SF on a mountain. I, on the other hand, wonder why they rebuilt it on a fault line. A question I began seriously asking the day my son Benjamin announced his intention to move there.
The “dutiful daughter-in-law” is home again sane and sound. Safe. Safe and sound.