After visiting the Avila Barn on Friday, the first full day of our vacation, we went back to the beach house where I left Sandy to rest while I went out and did the remainder of the grocery shopping. We also found when we arrived at the house the evening before that it had not been cleaned very well, if at all, after the previous tenants left, so Sandy arranged to have the rental agents come in and clean the bathrooms while I was gone. (I also spent a little time dusting and cleaning the other living areas while Sandy rested--I can't say I'd recommend this particular vacation rental company!)
Although we didn't have a direct view of the ocean from inside our house, the common rooms and master bedroom were located on the upper floor, and there were decks on either side of the house with beach and ocean views. Downstairs were two more bedrooms and a bathroom--we didn't spend very much time down there but to sleep. The living and dining areas were one large room, and we were able to set up cutting, sewing, and ironing stations around the room. The dining table was large enough to seat the four of us comfortably, and that's where we spent much of our sewing time.
The other two quilters, Imelda and Irene, arrived Friday evening around dinner time. Since Sandy was ill, rather than go back out to eat, I made a pot of clam chowder for dinner, and the four of us took a walk down to check out the beach.
Our rental was actually in Oceano, just south of Pismo Beach. Oceano is the one place where cars can drive down on the beach, and I understand there's a campground that's only accessible by that means. Although I'd heard about the beach "highway," it was still an odd sight to see so many cars driving parallel to the ocean, nearly bumper to bumper. I didn't take my camera down to the beach, so I can't share a photo of the sight with you, but here's a photo I found on the internet--obviously there was a lot less traffic in this shot than what I described!
Coming from Sacramento where the temperatures had been over 100 degrees each day, I wasn't really prepared for the chilly beach weather. The daytime temperatures were nice--probably in the high 70s or so--but the nighttime temperatures were downright chilly, and I didn't have very warm clothing or bedding, for that matter. The other ladies I was with were happy to sleep with open windows and the heater turned off, but I was bone-achingly chilled and had a difficult time sleeping comfortably. I also found that the downstairs, where I was sleeping, was at least 5 degrees colder than the upstairs living areas. Brrrrr!
A little later in the week, I visited a thrift store and picked up some warmer clothing to sleep in, but sleep was difficult those first few days, and I had some weird dreams. Friday night/Saturday morning, I had a particularly disturbing dream that the Wild Child had a bad cold; we soon learned that it was more than a simple cold. Whatever it was struck fast, and within a few hours, she was dead. A very upsetting nightmare, right?
But here's the weird thing. On Saturday afternoon, I talked to Hubby, and he told me that on Friday evening, the Wild Child and the Drooling Dog were out taking a walk when they were attacked by two dogs belonging to a neighbor--a Shar Pei and a Pitbull. The Wild Child tried to beat off the attack and was knocked to her knees and bitten; in fact, her cell phone was destroyed when one of the dogs bit through it. The Drooling Dog took most of the attack before the owner of the other dogs arrived and pulled them off. The Drooling Dog was pretty chewed up and needed stitches and a night at the vet's while the Wild Child required a trip to the emergency room. Now, a week later, both are doing alright and it looks like the owner of the two other dogs is taking care of the financial arrangements. I can't help but wonder whether my dream about the Wild Child that same night was somehow triggered by a mother's intuitive connection, or was it just a coincidence? What do you think?
Up until this point, my vacation tale doesn't sound like a very happy one, does it? A sick friend, a less-than-clean house, disturbing dreams and uncomfortable sleep, and a daughter who was injured and miles away. But it got better, I promise! Tomorrow I'll tell you about some of the fun things we did, like shopping and sewing. "See" you then!