Driving West on Friday

My wife and I generally get out of Chicago for a month now that the children are moved out and on their own.  When we go, we usually drive.  We own a diesel and bought it in 2009.  It has 155,000 on it and I hope to keep it another five to ten years.  Of course, in the course of the last year we had to replace a lot of stuff on it and this week it’s no different.  New turbocharger.

I didn’t feel confident driving from Chicago out west with a leaky turbo even though people said I could drive it.

My wife and I have driven all over the country.  We have driven from Chicago to NYC and back.  Our kids went to school in the south and we drove all over.  We drove to Austin, TX in 2016.  You can learn a lot about people if you take the time to listen to them while you are driving around.  Trump’s election wasn’t super surprising to us.  We had spent the previous years driving all over rural areas of the Midwest and South. When we drove to Austin, we didn’t see one political sign for Hillary on the entire trip up and back.  We saw Bernie signs.  We saw Trump signs.  Of course, in Texas, we saw Cruz signs but nowhere else.

Going places and seeing it in person also helps you separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to how people have reported on them. If you read right-wing media, California is a total mess and you need a poop map to walk through San Francisco.  If you read left-wing media I need to keep my head down and worry about the KKK and getting shot on the way.  However, when I get to California it will be milk and honey.  The media sensationalizes everything.

I don’t think I would retire in California.  The cost of living is just far too expensive for everything.  California has a lot of things I like when it comes to food, wine and weather.  It’s nice to be able to do stuff outside.  I don’t think you can retire in Illinois anymore either.  It’s one reason why both states are seeing out-migration.  That trickle is going to turn into a river and a flood soon I think.  Beneficiaries will be neighboring states, like Nevada and Indiana.

We are going to LA for a couple of days and then will be in the Bay Area for the month of February.  Both of us will be working.  If you are in the Bay Area and want to meet up we might be able to make that happen. You can contact me through the website.  Once we are up in the Bay Area, we plan on exploring different places we haven’t been, like Yosemite.  We will do one weekend in the wine country since my wife’s brother in law lives up there. I don’t know about you.  I think Napa is great but I really like wine tasting in the Dry Creek Valley and the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County.

If you have a restaurant rec in San Francisco, put it in the comments.  We have great spots in Chicago but we are closet foodies and always are interested in something new.  Chicago doesn’t exactly have the best Chinese food in the world so I suspect we will be sampling some of that.

We are going to hit up a few Iyengar yoga studios while we are out there.  One stop is Manouso’s studio in San Francisco.  If you know of another Iyengar teacher we should see let us know.

We don’t know which way we will drive out west.  The traditional way is I-80 via Nebraska.  It all depends on the weather.  If it’s bad, we will go the southern route through Texas and Arizona.  A friend said I have to stop in Paxton, Nebraska and have a meal at Ole’s Big Game Steakhouse.  If you know of any other places we should stop at we’d appreciate a tip.

Now I have to go take the car in and get it ready.


11 thoughts on “Driving West on Friday

  1. Tonga Room in San Francisco is fun. Anywhere in China town for dim sum. We will be there later in March and we are looking forward to exploring Sausalito as well.

    1. Bourbon and Branch for a speakeasy style bar. Pricey but good, but what isn’t in SF? Okay, some are pricey and overrated…
      Oh, and get reservations before you go to the B&B.

  2. Pier 23 can be a fun place to spend an afternoon in SF. For old school italian, try trattoria contadina. If you’re heading up to Dry Creek area on route 1, stop in point reyes for oysters. Many other good suggestions can be found in Sunset Magazine.

    1. I concur with the Trattoria Contadina. It was a little worn when I went a few years ago, but the cuisine was molto bene.

  3. Drive safe. If you pass through Sacramento I can show you around. It ain’t Chicago but it’s a nice cow-town gone big. If you take the Highway 50 there is a crepe restaurant right off Highway 50 and Watt Avenue that is great, and has an awesome French Onion soup. It’s called Danielle’s Creperie. That way you can get right back to the freeway and think about taking Interstate 80 back, or take US 50 – the loneliest highway in America. I can confirm that having done that. Stark. Beautiful. Have a full tank of gas and at least a 300 mile range.

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