Normality Returns

Normal service was resumed this morning as we awoke to fog. Yesterday, Keith had been a little skeptical since, weather-wise at least, their first morning here had been clear. The skeptical one’s head, on the other hand, had been far from clear. This morning it was agreed that Tomales did, indeed, have fog. The skeptical one’s head was also, this morning, declared to be 98% fit as a result of a little more restraint having been wisely exercised yesterday evening; wise because today was departure day for Keith and Marlene who were beginning their trek back east.

Cockpit checks prior to departure The first take-off slot was missed when there seemed to be a slight delay in the cockpit checks and programming of the flight guidance system. Maybe the 2% fit that was missing was a critical 2%. Nonetheless, eventually the guidance system was successfully programmed and happy, the Tomales-Petaluma road is far from busy and our friends were soon taxiing out and on their way. It had been great to have their company for a couple of nights but now we were back to amusing ourselves.

Amusement today was hard to come by. Firstly, instead of the fog clearing to sun by late morning, rain had begun during departure operations and was attempting to wash the fog away. Secondly, Carol had ordered a package that was supposedly to be delivered by UPS today and was not keen on its arriving and being left out in the damp, so we stayed in until it arrived.

We were eventually released at about 4:00 PM and the highlight that saved the day was destined to be dinner in a Puerto Rican restaurant down in San Rafael with Steve and Kathy Delman and Fred and Lorraine Webster. We dawdled our way down to dinner via Petaluma calling in at an unexciting marina and, from this writer’s point of view, at least, an even more unexciting bead shop.

The restaurant, Sol Food, was a very different experience, not so much because of the food but rather because of the way the restaurant was organized. Firstly, upon entry we were presented with a menu and asked to place our order before going to sit down. Secondly, this was a dry restaurant in that no alcohol was available (though the substitute freshly made limeade, served in a large jam jar, was excellent). Thirdly, many of the tables were large refectory-style tables shared with other diners (we haven’t seen that since a trip to Heidelberg many years ago).

Plate loads of food were soon delivered to our communal table and, other than the salad dressing being a little salty, the food was very good. From what I could make out, the definition of Puerto Rican cuisine is “contains plantains”, which seemed to be prepared in two varieties, garlic and sweet.

After dinner we sauntered around downtown San Rafael, both to assist digestion and to get ice creams as dessert for those who still had room. The main street was cordoned off and a street market was still bustling together with some of the now expected street musicians. The street market did, of course, delay our ladies who seemed in no rush to make it to the ice cream parlour. Personally, being full of Puerto Rican plantains, I skipped the ice cream and could manage only a double espresso.

Well fed, we eventually returned to a once again foggy Tomales where I would be needing a dose or two of caffeine antidote before retiring.

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