Ignoring the Rumors on a Ramble up the California Coast

It’s about 226 miles to Cambria, we’ve got a full tank of gas, a hot thermos of coffee, it’s dark (and so late it’s nearly early) and we’re not wearing our sunglasses. Hit it.

We’re heading up the coast to meet old college friends for a long weekend in Cambria and Paso Robles – oh yes, there will be wine! …and local micro breweries and gourmet food and live jazz and…yeah, it’s that kind of place. Having finished my half of the driving duties up through Gaviota Pass I am free to blog about baseball for the rest of the ride so long as I keep my husband awake and entertained sharing news articles and your blogs.

The only problem? Ugh! After the news and rumors today I don’t want to blog about baseball. Manny!?! Yes, I know the rumors have been linking his name with the Angels off and on all offseason but now they’re starting to sound serious. I do not want Manny Ramirez on the Angels. I don’t care if he does hit a ton every third season or so. I like baseball players, not drama queens. Let Manny be a diva…er…I mean Manny anywhere else. The thought of Manny in an Angels uniform is enough to make that optimism I was starting to feel dry up again for a while. If they really want to sign an aging DH with no real ability to play the outfield anymore, sign Vladdy please. Professional, clubhouse leader, not a diva bone in his body, swing at anything and hit it more often than anyone rationally should be able to Vladdy.

So enough thinking about baseball for one evening if the rumors only annoy me, right? Okay, then music it is. I just noticed that there is a profound lack of Journey on the radio stations in SLO county this evening. Now anywhere else in the country this would be business as usual. But this year, from the Northern most tip of Santa Barbara up through Paso Robles (and I would assume all the way up the coast to San Francisco) the amount of Journey on the radio stations increased exponentially with the Giants fortunes as the season progressed. The last time we were up here, during the playoffs, Don’t Stop Believin’, Lights and the like were like Law and Order reruns on basic cable – at any given moment, they were playing on at least one station. Not so tonight. This is almost eerie. Can it be they’ve finally tired of it? …Yeah, back to baseball and still annoyed thinking about the Manny rumors. This isn’t working.

Let’s try this again. This is an absolutely gorgeous drive, even late at night. Ocean, forest, orchards, vineyards, plenty of reminders that California is a huge state with far more farms and open spaces than city even still…though that is changing slowly but surely. The cities stretch just a little bit further every year. Driving up here late after work is great because then you don’t eat up four hours of your day off getting to the vacation. The only drawback? Bring your own coffee because, seriously, trying to find decent coffee in Santa Maria or thereabouts after one in the morning is kind of like Mariano Rivera blowing a save. It’s technically possible. You’ve heard of it happening before. It may even have happened once or twice while you were watching. But just how often does it happen really? Yeah, I have a one track mind this evening and this is a lost cause. Okay that’s it. I’m putting this post away and thinking about friends and wine for the rest of the evening…er…morning.

And, of course, what song came on the radio right as I was about to put down the Blackberry? Yep, you guessed it. Uprising by Muse. Haunted I tell you. Well at least it isn’t Don’t Stop Believin’ because even if Giants fans aren’t tired of it, I am. 😉

Have a nice weekend everyone!



  1. crzblue2

    I love Cambria! It has been a while since I”ve been there but we used to go there with some friends, stay for the weekend and hit the wineries in Paso Robles! I am sure you will have a lot of fun!
    The times that I got to talk to Manny he was the nicest! really! the first time my friends and I had driven to Camelback for Spring Training. We had parked the car and who’s car had we parked next to? Manny. He was the nicest then.
    Wish I was in Cambria but soon I’ll take a day off and drive to Santa Barbara for the day. In fact a few of us on train were talking about taking the train for the day very soon.

  2. Jane Heller

    I’m trying to think of a decent place to stop for coffee in Northern Santa Barbara County and can’t. You’re right! But the weather’s just about perfect so there’s that. As for Manny, I’d rather have Vlad too, but maybe he can still hit and maybe he’s matured and maybe….Okay, I’m out of maybes. LOL


  3. raysrenegade

    I guess I am mellowing in my older advanced stage of senility, but for some odd reason, Manny doesn’t act like Manny anymore.
    Maybe it was a reality check of a 50-game vacation, or possibly a Dodger Blue moment that finally had the alarm clock ring within thew hair ringlets of Ramirez.
    Still think the guy hits the AL like a train, and has something to prove toa certain team in the Northeast, well possibly two teams.
    It could be the surprise MLB move of the year by September, or just another blown public relations bombshell to one day be a footnote on a Baseball Hall of Fame plaque….pick your poison carefully…Manny does.

    Rays Renegade

  4. blithescribe

    Emma – That’s good to know about Manny. If he’s a sweetie in person, that actually softens me up a fair bit. Santa Barbara would be fun too. I’ve never been wine tasting there and really should go because it’s closer, but my in-laws have a house up here so we tend to be Cambria/Paso Robles oriented for practical reasons.
    Jane – I’m sure there are decent coffee places when we’re not travelling at such an indecent hour and yeah, the view form up there is definitely envy inspiring. Those are a lot of maybes but fortunately from my perspective they are now someone else’s maybes. Wow, step away from the computer for one day and deals start flying left and right.
    Jeff – Yes, wine. Over 200 vineyards, many of them quite yummy…gotta love my technical wine tasting terms there, don’t ya?
    Russel – Thanks!
    Ron – I hadn’t even noticed the Angels email announcement until I read your comment. I guess I got really into the vacation. My initial reaction was more than a little pouty because they’ve underused Mike Napoli and now they’re trading him, but I love the idea of getting rid of Juan Rivera and think we’re getting a good if overpaid player in return. I’ll blog about it tonight or tomorrow.
    Lance – Apparently it was just a rumor. Interesting news all around today. Wow, I step away from the news site for one day and look at all the deals that happen.
    Rays Renegade – I am certain you are about as far from senile as they come and your observations are usually more than sound. If you think there’s potential for him putting together a decent season, then I will watch with interest. Now that your Rays have Manny and Johnny Damon too, well, if both of their bats light up this season like they can, that could be a potent combination. I am getting the sense this is going to a fun season all around.
    – Kristen

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