The beach on the Great Highway
As I pull into the hotel there’s a glimmer of blue sky peeking through for the first time today at 5.50 pm, and as sunset approaches more appears and the sun makes an appearance as well. But there’s too much cloud for a decent show, and whilst it’s good to see a Pacific(a) sunset again, it’s not a particularly good one.
Out For Dinner
Later on I venture out to Nick’s again for dinner and music, and it’s busy tonight and I’m lucky to get the last free seat at the bar. Before I’ve ordered anything the guy to my right starts talking to me and then a few minutes later so does the one on my left. But I become more engaged with David – right hand man – than Eric on my left, and I end up chatting to him for ages. He’s a regular and tries to persuade me to have the crab main course but I’m not keen so he then recommends the broiled beef Teriyaki strips. Scotty takes my order and suggests medium-rare but I ask for medium. It’s only an appetizer size so I request fries but he then suggests the special Nick’s garlic sour dough bread, so I agree. Big mistake.
When it arrives half of the beef is not cooked medium but practically rare and the quality is terrible. The meat is mostly sinew and fat, it’s really, really bad and I end up spitting out loads of it because it’s inedible. What’s cooked is good but there’s not a lot of that. The garlic bread is average at best with the garlic butter being overloaded in the base. Overall there’s enough to fill me up – just, hence why I didn’t send it back – but to be honest it’s crap. I should have ordered the burger I was thinking of having. Must remember this if I ever visit Nick’s again…
David departs and he wishes me well on my travels – it was a good chat – whereupon Eric re-engages. Every third word he says is “fuck” and he’s a bit of strange chap but I’m happy to talk to him. A while later he also hits the road. Like David, he wishes me well with a handshake and a “nice to meet you.”
The band – called The Band at Nicks, tonight featuring Mike Renwick – has been playing all this time and the dance floor keeps filling up with locals dancing the night away. The band is a bunch old-ish guys apart from the drummer and they play covers but put a bit of a twist on the songs rather than doing note-for-note copies, which is good and the best way. There’s a good mix of songs too – Stuck In The Middle With You, What A Wonderful World, Get Ready – and everyone’s enjoying themselves, which is good to see. It’s good honest entertainment and none the worse for that. It’s all about having a good time on a Friday night and that’s what happened! Sure it’s not 5* or groundbreaking but in its way it’s as good as anything I’ve seen in bars in the US, given what it set out to do.
Time to depart and outside the sea is raging again, even worse than last night. I’d glimpsed it from inside Nick’s and I briefly went out during a band break. The waves were – and still are – bouncing high over the sea wall and into the car park. So I stick around to watch it some more and it’s amazing – so powerful and so LOUD! It’s better than last night and brilliant to witness despite its cause casting a slight over the day earlier. I found out later that it was also a high spring tide which, allied to the storm surge, made it so awesome.
So despite the weather the day was OK. Alcatraz was very interesting although I might have stayed longer to walk around the island more if not for the rain. Ditto the drive back would have been so much better if the weather was nice but you can’t guarantee that, and I just need to make the best of it. I wasn’t sure how long the Alcatraz visit would last so I expected some dead time to fill, which was the case, but it’s still interesting to people watch and observe a different place and culture. To bed…