Friday, March 25, 2005

We are back at the San Jose Elks Lodge (map) for a few nights. We had not planned on being back here now, instead hoping to head south from Monterey after our visit there. Two things intervened to derail that plan. The first was the delay in getting all the wheels for the great tire project, as I have already chronicled. The second item was waiting for the results from a family member's surgery. What we had all originally assumed would be a relatively minor procedure turned out to be more involved. All's well that ends well, though, and we are glad that the surgery was a success.

The postscript on our spa visit is that we arrived around 3:30 for our 4:00 massage appointments, which meant we had to foreshorten the normally hour-long "bathing ritual" that is recommended before the treatment. Nevertheless, half an hour in hot mineral baths was enough for us to unwind and settle down from the drive, and we both enjoyed our 50-minute massages. We had arrived too late to check in to the Inn before our spa sessions, and by the time we checked in we had missed the 5pm wine tasting session.

There was a complimentary bottle of friendly, though unsophisticated, white wine in our room, and we polished that off before heading over to dinner in the prix-fixe Sante restaurant. All of the dinner items were tasty, if a bit overpriced. Also, we often share an entree when we dine out, and the prix fixe format precluded that, so we overate a bit. The soufle of the day, strawberry with cassis creme anglais, was to die for.

This morning we headed back to the spa area and spent a couple hours "taking the waters," relaxing in the mineral baths that initially brought fame to the region (known as Boyes Hot Springs) and are the raison d'etre for the resort. We ended our stay with brunch in the Big Three restaurant.

No stay in a four-star resort is complete without some sort of drama, and ours came when we got ready to leave and noticed that Odyssey had leaked coolant all over the parking lot. We were able to clean most of it up with kitty litter and alerted the maintenance staff to hose down the area. Apparently, it got very cold last night, which often leads to some of the steel hose clamps expanding faster than the brass pipes and allowing some seepage around the hoses. When the coolant loops are hot, it's not a problem, but we left the heater off since we were in the hotel. The problem was probably exacerbated by the fact that, even though the boiler was off, the circulating pump was still running. One more item to add to the "lay-up" check list.

We returned to the south bay via the Golden Gate Bridge and highway 101. A brief stop in Menlo Park to see our nieces and friends before they jet off to Hawaii tomorrow, and then we proceeded to Sunnyvale to visit Edith and Bob. Bob's birthday is later this month, and tomorrow we are taking him to the Capital Club for his birthday dinner.

As long as we're still here in San Jose at least through tomorrow evening, I made an appointment with Ross Equipment for Monday morning to have the alignment done. Now that all the new wheels and tires are on, the timing is right to get this done, and Royal Coach recommended Ross. It's worth an extra day here to have this done by someone we know, rather than taking our chances somewhere on the road later.

So we are here until Monday morning. After the alignment, we will again head south, en-route to San Luis Obispo, where we need to be on Thursday. We were hoping to go down the coast, but it is closed, so I am working on an alternate route.

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