Road Trip: San Luis Obispo Day 03 – Sunday 25 May 2008

Today, we golf. We never excelled at the sport, preferring to play a leisurely game. It had taken us three attempts to finally finish all 18 holes of the Dairy Creek Golf Course. The first time, we started at 3pm, after classes, and it got too dark to play by the 14th hole. The second time, we started at 1pm, but it was raining, and we gave up at the 14th hole again. The third time, we started in the morning and were determined to complete the course, which we did.

We had several nearly empty boxes of cereal to choose from. “Nearly empty” in that each of four boxes had less than three bowls left. This outing was to the Laguna Lakes Golf Course, a public nine hole course nestled between residential housing. Errant balls were likely a daily danger, and exposed windows were plastic/acrylic, rather than glass. Still, dents in the wooden walls or aluminum siding were probably common. Brave residents were sitting in patios overlooking the course. The driving range is a box, enclosed by netting on all sides, so you can’t really tell if your ball will hook or slice, and the distance estimating drop-down nets aren’t entirely accurate.

This municipal course is small, and apparently easy to maintain. All holes are either par 3 or 4, with no sand traps or water hazards. There are plenty of bushes and trees, and even hidden culverts and ditches, not to mention the danger of hitting out of bounds and into housing properties. Someone in the group ahead of us had hit his ball and we could hear a repeated clanging sound between two houses. Play went nicely and calmly. Nine holes means less pressure, and short holes (between 180-240 yards) mean not much need for the driver, which can lead to hooks, slices, lost balls, and house damage. I don’t think any of us lost a ball, which may be a first.

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After golf, it was lunchtime. We are on the same road as the relatively new Costco. I fill up the gas tank first, as the prices here are the lowest in the area, but it is still more expensive than at home. Looking at the food lines, we go inside to wash hands first, then go back outside to eat, as the food lines will only get bigger if we shop first. Inside, Darryl shops for dessert wine and a specific brand of seasoning local to the area. The wine is also available in other stores, as is the seasoning, but it is cheaper here. Four bottles of wine and seven jars of seasoning complete the shopping.

We return to Los Osos to kill more time until dinner. The local public school has a very nice selection of outdoor sporting areas: running track with football field, multiple basketball courts, and eight tennis courts. We get a nice tennis workout before it is back to the apartment to prepare for the evening. Darryl is meeting his aunt and uncle for dinner at Apple Farm, and Rob and I will kill time downtown waiting for that to finish, and then we will go to a local baseball game. Our dinner is a small meal at Pizza Solo. They try to overcharge me, and when I point out the listed menu price, they claim that those prices haven’t been updated yet, but I am able to get the posted price (which should be legally binding anyway). I wonder if that is why my Margarita pizza took more than twice as long as Rob’s pizza.

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I then browse the travel magazines in Barnes & Noble until we get a call that Darryl is finished and to pick him up. On the way out of the bookstore, I film this segment with my digital camera. The jerkiness at the top of the stairs is due to someone running into me from behind. Can there be such a thing as too many Starbucks?

The local baseball team is the San Luis Obispo Blues. Tonight’s game is the season opener against the Bay Area Giants. No, it’s not a very original name, they even use the same team colors as the MLB San Francisco Giants. Heck, they even use the same hat. They play at Shinsheimer Park, and the mascot is apparently a giant baseball. There is very little originality going on here, and I don’t even care for baseball. For an opening day game, I would have expected more people. I had previously mentioned that bad luck occurs when the home team wins. It could have happened again, as the Blues were winning going into the 9th inning (I can’t even remember the score, but they were ahead by 4 maybe?). However, we left early, as the other two were getting cold, despite having a hat and jacket. I was fine, and conflicted – I should have been happy to get away from a baseball game, but I did pay to get in, and I would have felt cheated by leaving early. That’s like leaving the movie during the end credits, which I have only done once (for the worst movie ever made, The Blair Witch Project), and I have never walked out of a movie during the screening. We listened to the radio broadcast of the game to hear that the home team did win, but perhaps by my not being present, I avoided the curse. Or perhaps in time, I will realize something that could be considered bad luck.

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