Sunday, May 6, 2007

And now, the news

Alright, I'll give this another shot:

We are in a strip mall in Castro Valley (map), a location we chose because there is both a coin laundry and a grocery store here, and we needed both. We ultimately decided to spend last night at the Livermore Elks, mostly because we discovered that a city bus runs right past there and into downtown, and we availed ourselves of that fact to have a nice dinner at local landmark Strizzi's Italian restaurant.

When we arrived downtown we discovered the main drag completely closed off, and the booths and stalls of the Livermore Wine Country Festival just closing up for the day. I wish we had known it was going on -- we would have gone downtown an hour or two sooner and browsed a bit. No matter; we had an excellent dinner anyway. We found ourselves wishing we had checked out the transit situation the previous night, as this place would have been a better choice to celebrate our anniversary.

Speaking of which, alert readers have pointed out that there is also an Elks lodge in Tracy, "not far" from the shopping center we mentioned. Of course, we knew about the Tracy lodge from our trusty Elks camping directory, which is one of our worth-its-weight-in-gold resources for finding stopover spots, especially in major metropolitan areas. That being said, "not far" is a relative term: there were no suitable restaurants within walking distance from that lodge, and we never, ever drive either the bus or the motorcycles after a couple glasses of wine. Suitable libations, of course, are mandatory elements of any celebratory dinner, at least for us, and so we pressed on to Livermore.

In the good news/bad news department, our decision to stay in Livermore another night turned out to be fortuitous. It was quite windy in that spot, and, over a period of time, I noticed the wind seemed to be whistling right through the upper windshield. Closer inspection then revealed that the entire glue bead along the lower edge, and then extending up and around the right hand side, is no longer adhered to the metal. Even slight thumb pressure will open a gap into daylight. So this morning, we duct-taped the window in on both sides and across the bottom, the fear being that it could literally pop out on the freeway. Even closing the door causes the window to move slightly, so we've opened some windows to allow the air pressure to vent.

I have no idea how they are going to fix this mess. It would seem that the window(s) will have to come out and be re-glued properly, but removing them carries the risk that they will break. Tomorrow morning I will call Neopart to see if replacements are even in the country -- we could end up stranded in Alameda for weeks.

Quarter-inch gap in the window sealant that let the wind whistle in.