Sunday, February 5 - Berkeley to SolvangSolvang Tourists
At 9:00 I picked up my friend, Rich Fuller, along with his bicycle and gear and headed off to the freeway. We drove down US 101 and arrived in Solvang around 2:30. We stopped for lunch at a Subway sandwich shop in King City Gary Johnson, our ride director, happened to be in the Parking lot of the Wine Valley Inn as we arrived so we got to meet him right away. Vicki Elmer and Tom Grant were also there. I knew them from a BAC ride that I took to Mallorca in 2007. It was nice to see them again.
Rich and I checked into our rooms and discovered that we had been upgraded to junior suites. My room had a large sitting area with a couch, two easy chairs, a desk, an HDTV and a wood burning stove. My bedroom with a king size bed and a separate HDTV was down three steps. I worried a little about negotiating the steps in the middle of the night to get to the facilities. The bathroom was reasonably large with a walk-in shower.
Gary scheduled a 3:00 Happy Hour so that he could discuss the week's procedures and hand out our route sheets before the start of the Super Bowl. Most of the riders were there partly because our meeting/breakfast room had a TV tuned to the Super Bowl. We managed to go around the room to introduce ourselves. Being a large group of 28 people, it was difficult to remember names. The real Happy Hour started at 5:00 with the TV on (muted). This was really a continuation of the first Happy Hour with arriving riders joining us.
Our first group dinner was at the Fresco Valley Cafe. I had a green salad, pasta primavera and a brownie for dessert. We had a lively discussion at dinner and I was happy to get back to my room a little past 9:00.