Days 8-9: SLO down!

I enjoyed the brief stay in San Luis Obispo. I could envision living there, teaching at Cal Poly SLO, making the occasional trip to LA and SF, frequent visits to nearby Central Coast wineries. Now that would be the life!

My home for the night in SLO - not fancy, but not expensive, either.

My home for the night in SLO – not fancy, but not expensive, either.

Downtown San Luis Obispo is attractive, slightly quaint, relaxed. Around the same size as Ann Arbor, but it seems much smaller.

Downtown San Luis Obispo.

Downtown San Luis Obispo.

Walking down the main street in SLO, I stumbled upon the headquarters of iFixit.com, the outfit that shows people how to disassemble and repair things like iPhones and other electronic gadgets. Pretty cool place. I went in and talked to one of the staffers about their business model and plans. Through their iFixit Pro program, they aim to empower entrepreneurs to create their own businesses repairing high tech gear. Interesting!

I stumbled upon iFixit.com headquarters in downtown SLO!

I stumbled upon iFixit.com headquarters in downtown SLO!

I am SO glad I took the detour to visit Paso Robles. The town square is surrounded by restaurants, retail shops, and wine-tasting rooms. I had a very tasty, very large hamburger at Pappy McGuire’s Pub, a local landmark. Man, it was DARK in there!

Downtown Paso Robles - a haven for good eating and wine tasting.

Downtown Paso Robles – a haven for good eating and wine tasting.

After lunch, I drove out to DAOU Vineyards and Winery. Kishna had forwarded my a New York Times article which said if you only had time to visit one winery, this was the place. I had time to visit only one winery, and I was in no way disappointed. DAOU is a magnificent place, and the surrounding landscape is stunning. Rolling hills patched with grapevines – downright idyllic. This is definitely a spot we will return to.

DAOU Vineyards and Winery, Paso Robles, CA. One of my new favorite spots on Earth!

DAOU Vineyards and Winery, Paso Robles, CA. One of my new favorite spots on Earth!

After my too-short stay at DAOU, it was time to make a break for LA. I wanted to pick up my grand-niece Kariah, who just finished her junior year in electrical engineering at USC, and head over to brother-in-law Jamal’s place to hang out with him, his wife Stephannie, and Nadiyah’s cousins Yasin and Maryam.

It was raining during most of the trip to LA, and an absolute downpour by the time I approached the city. I wanted to reach Jamal and Stephannie’s by 8 pm, before the kids went to bed. Picked up Kariah at about 7:30, and pulled into Jamal’s at 7:54 – made it!

Had a nice dinner with Jamal and family. Stephannie’s sister Petra was visiting with her fiance’ Yon, ahead of her State Department posting to Equatorial Guinea (West Africa). We had a nice dinner, and it was great to see everyone. Maryam and Yasin were disappointed that Nadiyah hadn’t made the trip, but I promised that she would be visiting soon.

Returned Kariah to USC and headed over to Venice to meet Aaron’s college buddy IK (Ikpamosa Olomu), who, after graduation from U-M, migrated to Southern California to start is IT career. We spent a few hours drinking at a local Venice establishment, after ¬†which I crashed on IK’s sofa in Marina Del Rey. IK’s place is nice, right on the canal. He’s having the time of his young life.

Next morning, I treated IK to breakfast at Huckleberry’s in Santa Monica, then headed over to SM Volkswagen to get an oil change and inspection for the GTI. Had to make a 12:30 lunch appointment at City National Bank in downtown LA, to talk about a possible future speaking engagement. Wonderful lunch with Kim Hosea and Karen Clark at Drago. I look forward to returning.

City National Bank Headquarters - site of my luncheon meeting. Note the address!

City National Bank Headquarters – site of my luncheon meeting. Note the address!

After lunch, headed out to Rancho Cucamonga to see lifelong friend Allen Thompson and his family. I arrived at about 5:00 pm. Allen already had barbecue roasting in his Green Egg smoker. I broke out one of the bottles of red wine (the “1740” blend from DAOU) and we had a really nice dinner – me, Allen, Allen’s wife Denise, his son Durell, and Denise’s mom. Thanks Alley Cat!

 

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