Today’s big event is the California Festival of Beers at Avila Beach Resort. The tickets were bought long ago, but I declined mine, so it was sold off. I don’t drink, so I figured I would be assigned to be designated driver for the three who would be sampling from 70+ vendors over 4 hours. We pick up Scott and head to IHOP for the starter breakfast. Apparently, these same people went wine tasting a while back without eating first, such that the alcohol hit them faster and harder. I wish IHOP still had the Country Griddle cakes, which were made with Cream of Wheat instead of buttermilk. Those had an interesting flavor and texture, compared to the blander buttermilk pancakes. This time, I have the Harvest Grain ‘N’ Nut pancakes, which are on the fluffy side, but quite dry. I am able to easily separate the upper and lower halves with the fork and drip some syrup inside (better for syrup integration).
Food tip: the buttermilk pancake’s outer surface is too oily from the griddle and the syrup will slide off.
I have never been to Avila Beach before. I went to school here for 4+ years, but you already know I’m not a beach person. I did try to apply for the marine technician position at the Cal Poly Pier in Avila Beach, but I didn’t have SCUBA certification at the time, and when I asked if I could get the certification after I apply, I was told that without the certification, my application would be ignored entirely. I was hoping that I would have an advantage, having graduated from that department, and the current head of the Pier project was my senior project adviser (I was part of a team that converted a dichotomous key for algae into an interactive web page for him).
Scott and I head back to SLO to waste time until we return to pick up the boozers. We finally get back to the Madonna Inn when I have a camera, so I can prove to others that there is a rock waterfall urinal in the restaurant bathroom. All the guest rooms have a theme, such as caveman, Victorian, etc. The men’s restroom is caveman-themed as well. The rest of the restaurant and hotel has a lot of pink going on (the current wedding reception brought out even more pink).
After the hotel, we go to Scott’s apartment so he can show me some photos, he can take all my photos from the day (as he appeared in several of them), and I can try some of the homemade ice cream his lab group made. Returning to Avila Beach, my phone had mysteriously lost all reception (I think it was from all the attempts to connect to Scott’s wireless router that his Mac Mini screwed up), so I missed the call that they had finished drinking an hour ago. Oh well, they were too buzzed to notice, and the time spent walking along the beach helped them. The five of us went back to the Los Osos apartment to prepare for dinner, which consisted of meeting another college friend and his girlfriend in Morro Bay.
At the Embarcadero Grill, I had a Caesar Salad and a bowl of clam chowder – average at best. The soup was a bit on the grainy side, meaning not a smooth creaminess. The salad had old and brown leaves, with plenty of dark spots and withered bits. The fries looked good, but I didn’t get a chance to try them. After dinner, three of them leave and the four of us head back to SLO for a night-time show of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Waiting to enter the cinema, I’ve never seen so many blue jeans being worn in one place – probably 90% of the people in line. The movie was a major disappointment.
We take Scott back to his apartment and retire back to Los Osos, where they finish The Bourne Ultimatum and I find that the DVD skips chapter 14 and 15, not good. This didn’t happen at home before, so I wonder if it is his player, or a recent defect/scratch on the disc. Our tee time tomorrow is at 10:10am.