Sunday, February 3, 2013

The family luncheon

By a wide margin the most pleasant aspect of our stopover in the Bay Area, has been the opportunity to visit with Herb and Susan, Pat's brother and sister-in law. We were invited to their home in an East Bay suburb where we were to meet and go out for lunch.

Here are Susan and Herb greeting us at the door. The one with the biggest smile is Patsy, who hasn't really seen or spoken to Herb since she was 5 years of age, when he came home on leave. It was a joyful reunion.

Here are Pat and Herb. He and his family are wonderful folks and we spent a time visiting before deciding on where to go for lunch.

This is Amber, their daughter. She was happy to meet her Aunt Pat. Pat was thrilled to meet her niece.

Since Susan and Herb knew where we were going for lunch, and we were strangers to the area, we went in Herb's vehicle. Here is a picture approaching the restaurant, everybody yakking it up like old friends. They chose an establishment we had never heard of before.

It was called The Elephant Bar. Upon entering one is greeted by this friendly pachyderm. I would imagine him to be 3/4 scale. It certainly is large enough to make an immediate impression.

On the walls are vintage looking posters exhorting one to visit distant and exotic locales. This one has several interesting elements. The distance from plane to ground is small, as evidenced by the shadow. Thus one is arriving at an African destination. The plane tree and giraffe in the background speak of a country, rather than city location for the airport, and the sundown intimates that it is the end of a long travel day......time to eat!!

To get to our table we wind our way past these denizens. They are smaller than life size but very faithfully reproduced, if you can ignore the gloss of their final coat of varnish. Very cute.

We arrive at our booth. The elephant appliques on the booth ends, and the vintage looking luggage racked above, make one think of a passenger compartment of a train, slowly chuffing it's way across the Great Savannah. These decorative touches make for an interesting experience. The surprised looking girl in blue is not one of our party, but has simply photobombed us.

We get seated, and get our jackets off and now it's time to peruse the menu. It's a popular place and we have high hopes for our dining experience.

The menu left us in no doubt as to where we were, and we selected our meals according to interest and taste. The menu was diverse and had something for everyone.

We started with 2 appetizers. I have had a taste lately for Sweet Potato Fries. These were served up with a Thai Chile Oil infused Ketchup. Very tasty.

We also ordered some Baked Garlic Bread Sticks. These were perfectly toasted and dusted with Parmesan Cheese, and served with a Tomato Basil Marinara dipping sauce.

Scooterrchick ordered the Chicken Marsala, very saucy and well presented. She found it very tasty.

Herb ordered the Prawn Adventure Platter. He adventured the heck out of that thing.

Susan ordered the Cajun Chicken. She found it a bit too, but finished it off without difficulty.

Amber decided to go with the biggest burger I have seen in quite some time. It was truly teenager sized.

I went with the Salmon Roll and Shrimp and Veggie Soup. It was served up with a large dollop of Wasabi. It was excellent and the Wasabi was very hot.

I got Amber to hold up her burger so y'all could get a better look. Now that looks like a burger you could stick both feet in!

I talked Susan into sharing a dessert sampler with me. There was a tetch of this, a smattering of that and a healthy dollop of the other. All artfully presented and delicious.

Amber went with the Mud Pie. It was more like a Mud Mountain. This would require every bit of Amber's concentration, nerve and determination to finish, but finish it she did....kudos!

Herb showed us his toy, which he keeps in the garage and trailers or drives out to the track to race. He has turned in some very respectable times. He got second place at a meet a couple years ago.

Scooterchick looks right at home. I think driving it on the road would scare the pants off her. It has a very powerful motor and a stage 2 nitrous set up which adds another 150-200 horsepower when engaged. Herb has had it up to about 200 mph, before he backed off on the throttle, of which there was still some left.

Here is a picture of the engine. The only thing I recognized as stock was the alternator bracket. Everything else is custom. It has taken Herb and Susan many years to build this car, and they have done a bang up job of it. It is tame enough to drive to the track, but will blow the doors off the unwary if the hammer goes down.

After chatting for a little while longer, Pat and I thought it time to take our leave, but Herb and Susan drove us up the hill so we could get an evening picture of the area. The sun had just finished setting so there was color in the sky and the city lights twinkling below us......delightful.

Here's another shot, looking Southwest towards the bottom of the bay. There was about 1/2 hr drive to get back to the hotel, and we crossed across the San Mateo Bridge. This bridge is about 10 mi. long including the causeway.

I stopped to take a couple pictures of the San Carlos CalTrain station. This station almost looks European. It is made of stone and is turreted. It could be in the south of France with the palm trees.

Here is a closer up picture of the turret and palms. It looks very old world.

Another view looking south. I think this would make a lovely residence. I frequently think thoughts of this nature when I see these types of buildings. Romanticism I suppose. It almost looks like a miniature castle. Pat and I would of course be the lord and lady of the manor.

This building is across El Camino Real from the station. It was built in the early 1920's  by Frederick Drake, a local land developer. It has elements of the Spanish High Colonial style.

Originally San Carlos was a land grant of approximately 5,500 sq. mi. to Don Jose Dario Arguello for a ranch, and was managed very profitably although the family did not reside there. His son eventually became the first Spanish American governor of California in 1830, and after his death the family resided at the ranch.

One last picture for this evening, this installation is outside the train station. It reads
Gather, you are beyond the generations, pay attention to things (of the) river.
What the heck?.............Yeah some things are so far out they are incomprehensible from here! haha.

Thus finishes another episode in the Musings of Scootard. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed the documentation thereof........Bye for now.

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