Since I was a somnambulant drooling slog at work this past week, and I’m currently feeling a bit under the weather, I need to once again travel back in time, so here it is, my last post about my recent vacation in the San Francisco Bay Area.
My sister, Dovima, ordered my brother-in-law, Herb (with a silent h) to think of what we could do during my last day of freeloading visit. Herb sat at the computer and began doing research. She went out leaving Herb and I alone with Thurber, the family dog.
Herb: How do you feel about going to Bodega Bay?
Herb (enthused): Yeah!
Me (enthused): Sure! Let’s go!
Fast forward 24-hours later.
Dovima: Bodega Bay! Ugh! Who wants to go there? They’re screening animated films at the Exploratorium in the city! You love animation!
Me: Ugh! I don’t wanna go into San Francisco! It’s such a schlep!
Me: Ugh! I don’t wanna go into San Francisco and run the risk of encountering more exes I hope to never see again. I have enough of a problem with that in New York. Hey, I’m on vacation!
Dovima: Why wouldn’t you want to go to San Francisco? Everyone wants to go to San Francisco!
Me: Don’t equate me with them. I want to go to Bodega Bay!
Dovima: You’re being ridiculous! What’s even in Bodega Bay?
Sweet Pea: Mom, didn’t they film The Birds there?
Dovima: Don’t tell me that you want to go to Bodega Bay, too, Sweet Pea!
Sweet Pea knows she holds the deciding vote. Herb and I look at the resident teenager longingly. Dovima looks at the fruit of her loins, threateningly. I scream inside my head:
Me: Remember, you’re my sole heir!
Herb screams inside his head:
Herb: Bodega Bay is great! What’s the problem?
Dovima screams inside her head:
Dovima: I’m your mother. You’re obligated to side with me!
Sweet Pea considers her options. The atmosphere in the house is tense.
Sweet Pea: Yeah, I want to go to Bodega Bay.
Dovima groans. I’m relieved. Sweet Pea high-fives Herb who appears a little stunned to have won a round. She sets him straight.
Sweet Pea: You owe me.
Off we go to Bodega Bay – a car ride that according to MapQuest is fifteen miles longer than if we traveled to San Francisco, but I’m in my bliss for every mile we drive further away from Baghdad by the Bay, that’s every mile I’m further away from possibly seeing the conquests of my youth — Lila Floot, Jo-Bang Kramp, Darlene Cunnilackus, et al.
The car ride is pleasant for the most part excluding Sweet Pea repeatedly asking Herb two questions that he completely ignores but his almost inaudible sighs of exasperation indicates that he hears:
Question One: How long before we get there?
Question Two: Do you even know how to get there?
We finally arrive. Dovima, who was still feeling residually foul losing the vote, anticipates that her One True Love is taking us to The Grease and Slop Diner, but Herb has another place in mind, an upscale restaurant called The Tides – that coincidentally is also the location where The Birds’ restaurant and boat dock scenes were filmed. Today’s Tides were rebuilt in the 1990s.
Both Dovima and Sweet Pea are very impressed with this choice – and they’re a tough crowd. Herb told me that he recalled eating at The Tides in his youth and always wanted to return.
The restaurant is crowded so Herb gives his name. When a table is ready his name will be announced over a loud speaker giving us time to wander around. Sweet Pea is determined to find sites that Hitchcock used in filming so she and her mother take off in search of someone that knows.
*To access Kyle B. Counts definitive article click this link, The Making of the Birds.
Herb and I do our own thing.
Herb and I think we hear his name so we find Dovima and Sweet Pea and approach the host who looks at Herb and asks:
Host: Are you Marv party of four?
Sweet Pea (loud stage whisper): Say you are, I’m hungry!
Herb (ignoring Sweet Pea): No, I must have misheard you.
Marv, who looks like a middle linebacker appears with his party, three burly guys that bring to mind lumberjacks that left their axes in the car trunk, reinforcing the old adage that honesty is the best policy no matter what your kid wants you to do.
Finally, Herb’s name is called – and they get it right:
Host: Herb (with a silent h) party of four!
Dovima and Sweet Pea both order what I really want, fish and chips, but since I am scheduled to fly the red eye later that night and I have a delicate stomach, I deem it best to go with the broiled snapper. Herb orders a mushroom omelet.
Dovima: Are you going to get a glass of wine?
Me: No. I avoid alcohol whenever I fly.
My sister, who always assumed she knew me as well as herself, faints. Sweet Pea springs into action and revives her mother.
Sweet Pea: Auntie didn’t say she was going on the wagon, Mom!
We enjoy our meal as well as the lovely surroundings – huge glass windows with an expansive view of the bay. Afterward, we go site seeing outside.
It’s possible that I went a little crazy photographing seagulls.
There are also several whaling artifacts on the grounds.
We then pile into the car where Sweet Pea takes over as back seat navigator, hell-bent on finding the schoolhouse used in the filming of The Birds. She and Dovima were told that it’s in the center of town, but determining which way to turn is a little confusing. Dovima thinks we should go one way, but Sweet Pea insists with such commanding authority we go the other even Dovima urges Herb the Beleaguered:
Dovima: Ignore me, listen to Sweet Pea.
He does and sure enough, my heir is right!
The schoolhouse is now a private residence but I’ve read mixed messages on the Internet about the current owner allowing tours. When these tours happen, if they do still happen, I don’t know. It was closed when we visited, possibly because the owner knew that Lame Adventures was in the hood.