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Ramblings From The Road

Listen to this, COLORADO OUTLAWS FARMYARD NOISES - "The state of Colorado has passed a law to cut rural noise levels after complaints about animals from townies and weekend home owners. Farmers can now be fined a minimum of $525 if their animals make too much noise or their farmyards smell too much. The law was passed after city dwellers complained that their weekends away were being ruined by moos, crowing cockerels and farmyard odors. The regulation outlaws loud persistent and habitual howling, yelping, braying, whinnying and crowing"... From the London Daily Telegraph........ What is this world coming to?

On to Montreal... Oh, what a beautiful city Montreal is. I wonder if their farmers are having the same problem? Anyway, I spent about two weeks in Montreal and had enough time off from my job to go sight-seeing in the city. Montreal looks like in aught-something, a benevolent king reigned over this tiny island kingdom and all his subjects were happy, happy, happy! It looks like the subjects had a little money too. I ate at some great restaurants. Here are my tips for this Ramblings: estiatorio Milos, 5357 Avenue du Parc, 514-272-3522. This delicious establishment is a Greek seafood restaurant. The fish is so fresh and so simply prepared and the ambience is as if we were all in a Greek fishing village where all the food freaks were HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY! The second place I went to is Tokiwa, 1184 Rue Bishop, 514-876-0056. This is a Japanese restaurant and the sushi was to die for. I never saw the ambience, my nose was too much in the food. And the last restaurant I was taken to was a French restaurant, Ooh la la! La Chronique, 99 Rue Laurier Quest, 514-271-3095. This was simply delicious French food. I don't know how to describe good food any more. I just know my plates were empty at all three of these restaurants. Should you find yourself in Montreal you must visit Old Montreal, the Notre Dame Basilica, and St. Joseph's Oratory as well The Plateau District and Upper Westmount. This is truly a beautiful city. It's not as ornate as Paris but still extremely French with the same attention paid to beauty. It reminds me, in this country, of San Francisco.

Speaking of San Francisco, next time you're there, try Zuni, 1658 Market Street, 415-552-2522. I went to SF for work as well and took time off to see the wine country with my friend Nancy. SF and Marin County are a daily panoramic drama with the fog rolling over the hillocks, with one part of the city in full sunlight and another part enshrouded in a cloud. So beautiful, but not beautiful enough for me to live on an earthquake fault. Nancy and I drove up Pacific Coast Highway 1 to Sonoma County. On our way up the scenery was breathtaking, the rugged coastline and the Pacific Ocean and my favorite, the California beach bungalows, on the cliffs, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Oh, if it weren't for that fault. Nancy is an actress and worked in a town on Highway 1 (I can't mention its name) and so we went back to visit this town I can't mention. This town doesn't want you to go there. They are not in any California tour books or calendars. Martha Stewart bought land there, planted some trees, and they went and cut them down. They don't want you in their town. It's beautifully located with a tidal basin and a funky, funky Main Street. Looking at the people that live there, they're crusty old surfer hippies. I'm convinced they eat their young to keep the population down. They don't want you there. I can't blame them. I'd like to live there if it weren't for that damn fault.

Continuing up Highway 1 passing through small towns with populations of 50 (can you imagine?), we came to Marshall, CA on Tomales Bay. We ate at Tony's Seafood. Pretty good, check it out. All up that coast for about 20 miles there are seafood stands and restaurants and the speciality is barbequed oysters. Nancy tried them. A gourmand herself she wasn't all that impressed. But these oysters you could not eat raw, they were the size of the belly of a bullfrog. We went to Bodega Bay, it's where Alfred Hitchcock shot "The Birds". I was looking all over the place for a phone booth to have my picture taken ala Tippi. No luck, it must have gone down in the last earthquake. The countryside is awesomely beautiful inland as well, so dramatic. Brown hills with green Eucalyptus trees. The smell of pine and eucalyptus and cow and horse dung. It made my day, it didn't ruin it. We stayed at a place I wouldn't recommend in the wine country. They were perfectly nice but it was an upscale Holiday Inn. Not what I was looking for. We tasted wine. The first winery I've ever been to was Ferrari Carano. I didn't know who was more full of shit, the people on this side of the bar or the people who were pouring the wine. Too pretentious for my taste. And the gift shop wasn't that good. I convinced Nancy to blow off this wine tasting and come canoeing with me down the Russian River. YEAH BABY!! Those two old broads did ten miles. YEAH BABY!! and we made it back to tell the tale! Ooh, I'd live there too if it weren't for that damn fault. The more I travel in America the more I marvel at its awesome beauty. It's no more beautiful than any other country but it is my country. And when I travel around it I make sense to myself somewhat. I highly recommend River Road between Healdsburg, Santa Rosa and Guerneville. It's majestic country. I went to my first Redwood forest. When we got out of the car there was not a sound coming from the forest, not a chipmunk, not a bird. So serene. Hey! I sound like one of those Colorado city dwellers. "Turn off the birds!!" That puts me in mind of The Daintree Eco Lodge in Daintree, Australia. It is literally cottages built in the rainforest with minimal destruction of the trees. The owners told me they got a call at 4:00 am one morning from some Americans. They wanted the front desk to turn off the soundtrack.

I have wanderlust. All I want to do is travel. It makes me feel better about myself when I'm looking out.

That's it for now, babes.

Love, Patti


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