Not In This Issue: Bluebirds, Happiness and Vodka Martinis

…shaken, not stirred. The vodka martinis, not the bluebirds.

DogCon 5, Trip Day 3

Our only stop for roadside weirdness today was the Miniature Farm, which is a full sized farm with miniature versions of normal farm animals. Bantam chickens, call ducks, dwarf rabbits, mini cattle, pygmy goats, mini burros & horses…Flash and our goats felt right at home.

Naturally, our carnivorous pets were well harnessed and leashed.

Bea: It was very cool! The goats were good folks and the mini horses were almost as small as us!

Abby: That black & white buck goat was hot property, oh yeah!

Flash: Dude! Tasty little poultry just standing there and I was trussed up like Hannibal Lecter!

Lucy: Did you see those bite sized rabbits just looking at us?

Sasha: Man, I really wanted to go exploring and maybe chase those chickens.

After that stop, we rolled on up the road to Carmel for a walking tour and some tasty cookies at a local shop that made cookies for both humans and dogs & cats. Fortunately, dog and cat cookies are ok with goats, too.

Abby: Unless it’s an all meat cookie, we’ll eat it. Peanut butter and apple? We are so there!

During our stroll around town, we made a few purchases despite the high tourist rates they were charging. I bought a couple of bandanas, one of which featured local boy and former mayor Clint Eastwood. Mary bought a full color map of the area and I think Avis bought some art cards.

Back on the bus, we drove up to Monterey and visited the Aquarium and sundry other sites. At some point, it was decided that the women wanted to split off and go do stuff sans males, so we put the critters on the bus and then went off looking for stuff to do. That mostly turned out to be hanging out at a video arcade full of vintage games, where I’m proud to say we older fellows held out pretty well against Zach (age 30) in games like Missile Command, Ms. Pac Man and Centipede. He did beat us pretty badly at Donkey Kong and Galaxian, but by then we were claiming old injuries as our reason for losing.

We also checked out a local comics & games shop that got none of our money due to tourist prices and no used games for sale. After that, we headed back to the bus, where Joe had just finished his upgrades. We have our ability to mess with space & time back,

Flash: Insert many fearful comments here.

Sasha: Insert Mom & Sharon saying many curse words here.

but the coolest news was that we now have a working Chameleon Circuit!

Yep, that’s right, our bus can now assume the exterior shape and appearance of almost anything smaller than a house or larger than a VW bug.

Including a vintage British police call box. Oh yeah, I got all giggly.

Flash: Oh no, are we gonna have to call him “the Doctor” now?

Lucy: I haven’t seen Dad this happy since our white trash neighbor got his muscle car stolen.

Sasha: What’s a “Hippie Van”?

Bea: They kept getting on and off and looking at the bus from outside and laughing.

Abby: Humans are a bit nutty.

Flash: Ya think?

Anyway, when the women returned, we met them in front of a tie dyed VW van. Once I explained everything, they admitted it was kind of cool and would be much easier and cheaper to park. Miranda also noted that it would look pretty funny when we all started piling out of it at the next stop.

Nobody agreed that I should now be referred to as “the Doctor”. Another dream dashed. I shall weep.

Abby: Melodramatic much, Dad?

Flash: Thank Ceiling Cat! Dad has enough of an ego without acting like a Time Lord.

From Monterey, the rest of the day was spent on a leisurely drive up the coast to our stop for the night in San Francisco. We toured through the city and then went to dinner at a great eatery in Chinatown, then we adults went out for a bit of live music and, for those of us who drink, adult libations.

Now, you might think that leaving a teenage girl and a preteen girl in a VW bus (despite the very large interior) in Chinatown at night might be risky. Well, beyond the built in security measures, some of which are pretty lethal, our vehicle also enjoyed the protection of the Hip Sing Tong, a venerable organization that nobody willingly crosses and with whom I have had friendly dealings in the past.

Lucy & Flash: Wait, what?

So, as Miranda & Lauren ate popcorn and played games and played with critters,

Sasha: We all played King of the Hill in the Shoe Room.

Bea: Abby won!

they were considerably safer that we adults probably were.

Around midnight, we all returned to the bus and it was time for bed. Tomorrow, more wandering around The City, then it’s up to the Wine Country.

Radio Station:The Old Time Radio Channel”, featuring Old Time Radio programs from dozens of Earths

Destination Sign: The Other Side

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