Whew! The last two days have been a whirlwind--lots of fun and so packed I can't do more than mention a few highlights:
Mike (who was staying at a hotel, Ellen's place being filled to capacity) stopped Wednesday morning before heading back to LAX. Said goodbye to us and his precious little girl and took off. I was happy later when he texted that he took an outside look at Colony Parc, and liked it.
Thanks to Gregg's excellent suggestion, we took off in late morning for San Simeon. Stopped for lunch at San Luis Obispo, where I was delighted that the restaurant had escargot. Got six of them, gave two to Vivian (she also eats fish eyes) and promptly dropped one, spilling the oil and garlic-laden plate over myself and the tablecloth. They were good, though. We stayed in the town long enough for Vivian to contribute to "the bubble game wall," a truly revolting custom, through which chewed gum with, of course, saliva from around the world, cover adjoining walls in an alley--ugh! Then took Vivian to a candy store, where she chose this and that.
Got to Hearst Castle in time for our 3:20 departure up the hill in the bus, me keeping my eyes closed most of the fifteen minutes it took (gorgeous views and sheer drops). Took the "kitchen and cottages" tour and it was wonderful. I've been to "The Enchanted Hill" many times and never tire of it.
Had reservations for dinner, went there, then to bed at our motel right on the beach. The next morning, walked it, admiring the gorgeous ocean, then took off. Stopped back at San Luis Obisgo, where Vivian went to Tom's Toys and got herself a few things, thanks to her generous Daddy. We split up for lunch, Gregg to a Hindu(?) place, we three to a more casual one, but met up with our meals at the garden table.
We had contacted niece Carolyn, and she invited us there for a pizza dinner. We dropped Gregg at his mother's, then went and had a great time with Carolyn, Dana, Finn, and Claire. Two years apart, Vivian and Claire greatly enjoyed each other's company. Left there after 9:00 and, still in Santa Barbara, went to Gregg's mother's, where we visited for just fifteen or so--very enjoyable to see her again.
Didn't get back to Ellen's until 11:00 and I was so exhausted, I just fell into bed. What a few days and so much fun, but now I"m more than ready for some down time.