Today I drove from our home near Los Angeles, nearly 400 miles to the north to the San Francisco bay area.
My company provides equipment and union labor to set up trade shows in hotels and convention centers. The show that I will be installing this week is called the Nor Cal Spring Trade Show. It is put on by the Nursery and Garden industry. The exhibitors are manufacturers of products that you would find in the local garden shop. The attendees are buyers for these shops. So, someone doesn't come to the show to buy one rake, they come to place orders for hundreds of rakes to be sold in their stores.
My wife Jane (our beloved Coordiantor) and our 8 year old daughter Casey decided to travel with me this week. This is a treat, because usually I travel alone, and if they do come, it is for a day or two. This is the first time they have come for the entire time.
We ate breakfast at home this morning, then filled up the Suburban with 40 gallons of gas, and pointed it north. We didn't stop until we got to Harris Ranch, which is about the half way point. We had lunch there. It is a famous cattle ranch that supplies a lot of the fine restaurants in Los Angeles with top quality grain fed beef. They run a restaurant and a hotel (where we will stay for one night on our return).
I ordered a petit filet mignon, Jane had soft tacos made with tri-tip roast. Casey had chicken strips. The meal was delicious. The steak was tender and perfect.
The next stop was at Casa De Fruta, a huge fresh produce market in the mountains between the California Central Valley and the Pacific Ocean. We bought a large quantity of dried fruit products for snacks. I especially like dried apples, we got three variets along with some dried plums and other snacks.
Then it was on to Gilroy, a small town known as "the Garlic Capital of the World". This is the site of the annual Garlic festival where people make all kinds of strange things with Garlic.
In the photo above, you might notice she has something in her hand. It is a small container of ice cream. GARLIC ice cream!
She said, "Garlic ice cream is kind of good, except it is spicy". She ate it for awhile. Then let Jane hold on to it. Then a few mintues later she asked for it back and finished it off.
We also bought some different varieties of olives, called Garlic Ranch, plus some smoked garlic olives and some garlic chili olives. To top it all off, I bought a bottle of pickled garlic, and some roasted garlic. Man did the car ever stink!
From there we drove through San Jose, north to San Mateo, to the hotel where we will stay until Friday. San Mateo is just south of the San Francisco Airport. Kind of a quiet little town. The hotel has free high speed internet in every room, so I'm happy and at home right now typing on my laptop while connected to broadband.
For dinner we went to one of my two favorite BBQ restaurants on the west coast. "Armadillo Willies". You walk into this place and you can smell the wood smoke. They have two huge smokers going in a window. We all had baby back ribs. They were delicious. I'm pretty sure we will go back at least once if not twice more while we are here this week.
Here are some websites for places that I've mentioned:
Finally, here is a photo of Jane and Casey eating the garlic ice cream outside Garlic World: