May 20, 2011

Best last day! Or, the Joys of Highway One (and friendship).

Wednesday was my last day in California, at least for a while. Unfortunately, for various reasons I won't be able to work full time on the restaurant with Ariele for the next couple of months. I had to go back to New York for now for another project but not to worry, I will come back in July for the final push and the celebratory opening night (and maybe another road trip back to New York??). In the meantime, I will assist Ariele from Brooklyn the best I can and I might also post here about some design projects I'm working on in New York.

What a cool last day together we had, though. We did what we're best at: a road trip.

My plane was leaving at 10pm from San Francisco so we decided to drive up Highway One along the coast. San Francisco is only about two and a half hours from Monterey so we had plenty of time, or so we thought. Turns out time flies by when you're having a good time.

We left shortly before noon, after a morning at the site working out final details with the architect. We stopped for lunch at a Mexican market called Mi Tierra. This was my "last meal" demand. Actually, if for some horrific reason I ever have to ask for a last meal, this might be it. Granted, this was maybe the fourth time we went to Mi Tierra that week, but it did not disappoint! I'm in love.

We then drove up to Santa Cruz, where we checked out a salvage yard Ariele's mom told us about. It was amazing. It was the Mi Tierra of salvage yards.

We bought this awesome old school chicken wire window! Got a good price on it too. Guess it was rainy and the owner was eager to sell it? Or maybe he's just a really nice guy? Anyway, sixty bucks later it was ours. It's in great condition, no cracks, big, and is exactly what we were looking for for a particular corner of the restaurant.

This is the owner. Yeah, we thought it was weird too. I mean, if you were a talking cat, wouldn't you have better things to do than run a salvage yard in Santa Cruz?

This one was really hard to pass. My boyfriend is a huge backgammon nerd. This would have been the perfect gift and would have given me the upper hand on every single argument ever. "What do you mean, it's my turn to do the dishes? Remember that giant mirrored backgammon table I gave you? BAM!" Sadly, there was just no way I could bring this back to New York with me. That thing is huge. And heavy. (And yes, broken, but I could have fixed that). I'm still trying to get over it. It's been difficult.

After an hour (or two? or three?) at the salvage yard, we got back on the road. Highway One! Very beautiful, even on a gray rainy day.

We made a screeching stop after seeing a sign for "sweet cherries". Turned out the guy also had apricots. Yay!

We stopped at another salvage yard, this one in Oakland (one of the ReStore outlets from Habitat For Humanity). They had a lot of stuff, sadly we got there just half an hour before they closed... We picked up a cool door and quickly checked out their lumber section.

Then we crossed the bay into San Mateo to get to the airport. The weather was spectacular: the storm had passed and the sun was peaking through the dark clouds.

We grabbed some Burmese food on our way to the airport, ate in the car, then Ariele dropped me off and we said goodbye. Until July! We're great work partners, and even better friends. If we didn't know this before we started this journey together, boy, do we know it now!

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