A few further comments on our test vacation over the course of the last week:
1. The long drive home was through the heat wave, which gets much worse in the Central Valley than out in the coast. It was consistently 110F throughout the Valley; a balmy 89 when we got home. Fortunately we had air conditioning and a sufficiency of water, though I drank about 6 tumblers after I got home.
2. We'd worried that the cats would sulk at having been neglected. Instead, they seemed to have some initial difficulty remembering who we were. We caught Tybalt's interest with a new cat toy, a rare souvenir from this trip. In gratitude to an Ace Hardware in South Pasadena where we'd used the restrooms, we wandered about looking for something we were in need of to buy; B. led us towards the pet supplies, where we found this nifty rock-toy on a string with an advanced retractable pole.
3. Best new restaurant of the trip, the Belgian Cafe in Solvang. We'd always eaten at Paula's Danish Pancakes, but the line was so long that we gave up and figured there had to be other breakfast places in town, and found this one where we subsisted on waffles.
3a. Worst, an unnameable cafe in Monrovia which serves Earl Grey when you ask for English Breakfast tea (they are not the same thing) and the water is too tepid to steep properly anyway.
3b. A quaint little Italian place where we once ate many years ago no longer has menus; you're supposed to scan a QR code on the table instead. But we don't have smartphones. After some thought, the waitress brought us the takeout menu.
4. The ONLY POOL CAR lanes on the freeways in LA were of some help in getting around, but traffic could be tight.
5. Google Maps fails us again. We needed to get from I-210 east of Pasadena to the spot where I-405 separates from the 22. Obvious route is to take I-605, right? Google Maps thinks otherwise. It routed us on the 57. (Take a look at a highway map of LA and Orange Counties if you want to see how stupid this is.) Why? Construction, it said. It took some searching to establish that the construction was not on the 605, but consisted of the exit ramp I wanted onto Bolsa Chica being closed. A look at an Actual Map established that I could take the next exit from the 22 and turn right, which would put me right back on Bolsa Chica where I wanted to be, and indeed an electronic sign on the 405/22 connector advised doing just that. But not in the world of Google, which could think of nothing better than to send us way out on the 57 and back on the 22 from the opposite direction.
(Note: This is Southern California, so I speak Southern Californian when referring to local conditions.)