California Start Your Engines!

If leather bucket seats, fuzzy ice, loud engines and plenty of poodle skirts are what you love to see at any Old Car Show, then Cherry’s Jubilee Motor Sports Festival in Monterey Laguna Seca is where you would like to go. Old cars from the ninety forties and newer hot rods to decked out motorcycles will catch your eye while you peruse the vehicles and stroll back in time. The first Sunday of every month in Torrance brings you Classic Cars and California Cowgirls. There are plenty of classic hot rods to see and the food and drinks are served by local cowgirls complete with leather chaps.

Visit the Sacramento Community Harvest Festival and Classic Car Show in October for music, used book sale; face painting and family, youth and toddler games. Be sure to support the community artists and crafters. Napa Valley hosts a more elegant car show, the Napa Concours d’ Elegance. It is dedicated to American classics as well as Italian Autos and all cars are judged. Beverly Hills also hosts this event, but they have gone high scale with a champagne brunch, Italian fashion display as well as Ferraris and Lamborghinis and private collection tours. It is annually held at the Playboy Mansion in August. Santa Rosa holds the Peggy Sue All American Cruise with a cruise in, live entertainment, BBQ, a chili cook off and a pancake breakfast. There are over six hundred cars at this event, so be sure to bring your walking shoes!

West Coast Road Trip Day Two – South Along the Oregon Coast

This is part two of a series of articles documenting a road trip southward down the west coast of the good ol’ USA, from Spokane, WA. to Southern California. Waking early after spending the night in Lincoln City, Oregon, we depart around 7 am. This is August and the weather is very cool, overcast and windy, and it feels more like April. Heading South on Highway 101 after stopping for fruit at the local grocery store, we start heading towards our destination for this day: Crescent City, California.

With only about 265 miles to travel in order to reach our destination, day two allowed us time to stop as many times as we wanted to. Depoe Bay was our first stop. This small ocean side town has character, as it was full of inns, cafe’s, shops, galleries, and some history. I had been here many years ago, and it was much nicer than I remembered it.

There were so many great little places to stop, but one that stood out was Cape Foulweather. The name alone made us want to stop. Its view didn’t disappoint, and was accompanied by a sign describing how it got its name: it was discovered by English explorer Captain James Cook on March 7, 1778. On that day, the weather was particularly stormy, and Cape Foulweather became the first location Cook named on his Pacific Coast journey. Another interesting fact provided by the sign: 100 mph winds are not unusual there.

The next three major stops on our west coast road trip were picked out by my ten-year-old son, and stand out among the rest.

The first was Heceta Head Lighthouse. We parked near a beach and hiked up a walking trail to the actual lighthouse, passing unique birds and a bed and breakfast along the way. The hike was neither too long nor too short, and we spent about an hour and a half on this stop. It’s hard to beat a nice lighthouse on any coastal road trip.

Though I was at first skeptical about the next stop, the Sea Lion Caves, it ended up being a worthwhile place to visit. This location provided quality views of the sea lions from two different locations. The first viewing area was from over a cliff, the second was much better. Going deep down an elevator shaft that had been cut and blasted out of solid rock into an actual cave. The elevator led us to the viewing area, and behold in all their glory were plenty of sea lions. Very nice. It also featured one of the nicest gift shops I’ve seen in a tourist attraction setting.

As it got closer to lunch time, we made our way to Florence, home of BJ’s Ice Cream Parlor. My son had read about it in a book and requested that we stop to try out their ice cream, so we stopped at one of their two locations. This one was right on Highway 101 and was decked out with nice old-school decor. The young lady who served us gave great service and directions to Old Town Florence, our next stop.

Devouring our ice cream didn’t quite fill us up, so we decided to head to Old Town to find some real food for lunch. It wasn’t long before we came across Bliss’ Hot Rod Grill. We zipped into the parking lot with a lead foot to take some photographs of all the hot rod decor lining the outside of the restaurant, and ended up staying for lunch.

With old road signs, memorabilia, and cars inside the restaurant serving as booths, the decor was just as impressive inside the restaurant as out. Despite the allure of the hot rod theme, the service did the quarter-mile in about forty minutes, the waitress needed an oil change, and the food could have used a tune-up. Nonetheless, I love places like this and I’m happy we stopped all the same. If I end up back in Florence, I’ll probably give it another chance.

By this time on our west coast road trip, we’ve made about ten stops and need to get our own hot rod back in gear. Continuing south to Crescent City, we make far fewer stops but enjoy the scenery all the same. Southern Coastal Oregon featured more 4 wheelers and off-road trucks with trailers than I have ever seen in my life. This was Sunday in August, and the dunes had plenty of action on this day. We exit Oregon on sensory overload from the beautiful beaches, the coastal landscape and the unique towns we visited. The beauty of the Oregon Coast is all that it is cracked up to be.

When we arrive in Crescent City, there’s still plenty of time left to enjoy Battery Point Lighthouse, the newly remodeled city park (complete with Redwood logs you can stand and walk inside of) and a local restaurant (The Apple Peddler) with the best waitress we’ve had in a long time, anywhere. After dinner, it was time to wind down from a very fulfilling day on the coast.

Claris Filters and Food Service

You may think that water filters are used for things like water fountains, but they can be used for many more common things than you would even realize. Sure, you get plenty of use out of filters from the office’s gossip-ridden water cooler. The cold water refreshes you and your co-workers during breaks and long hours standing in front of the fax machine crying in hopes it will take pity on your soul. However, did you know that the espresso machines and hot water tanks for tea at the office parties may also feature filters? That is right!

Hot water should be filtered just as much as cold water. One of the most useful inventions from Everpure Water are the Claris cartridges. They purify the taste of the water so it does not ruin that cup of joe you so desperately need when you get a case of the 3 o’clock sleepies. They are ideal for the automated machines too, where you are not in complete control of the water in the system.

Food services can benefit on an even bigger scale. These systems are perfect for combine steam and boiler-less cooking. Lime scale will ruin pipes, hot plates, and heating rods. This will definitely cause damage over long periods of use.

It works in a series of steps. The first substances removed once water enters the cartridge are the course materials. Sand and sediment will not be able to pass the entrance of the cartridge. Once that is taken care of, the water and carbonate hardness is adjusted. This softens the content of the water as well as removes metals like lead, copper and cadmium (common impurities that ruin the taste). From that point on it starts to remove fine particles. It will balance the fluoride and chlorine levels, fix the odor, and make the final product taste better. The water comes out of the system free of the problems we would normally see from typical tap water.

All of this is automated within the machines that use it, saving food services both time and money. They can buy these filters online at any point they need a refill. This is why when you go to your favorite coffee houses and cafes all you get is the absolute best quality. Espresso machines and other steam based grind coffee machines and tea-seepers are enhanced through the use of a filter.