We opened our five-star hotel room door and noticed that someone had visited. The clutter on our work table had been pushed back. “To the Boothroyd Family” read an envelope propped on a wooden plate of fruit and flowers. Behind this sat two glass bottles of “artesian water from Norway”. Beside it sat a plate with five chocolate covered strawberries resting on a brown sugar beach. A curving band of blue gel–candy was the sea, and on the beach, made of different colours of chocolate : a palm tree, a turtle, a seashell and two surfboards.
“This is not ordinary brown sugar” mumbled Ken, his mouth full. “This is maple sugar!”
Our bed covers were drawn back, and our pillows (6 per bed) had been stacked on edge like the battlements of an ancient castle.
We took about 100 photographs. Normal photos, like the one of Malkolm’s tent pitched in the bathroom. (You would have done that, wouldn’t you? Just because there was more than enough free floor space to do it). Most of the photos did not turn out, or this blog would have been adorned with a picture of me, reclining on the 6 pillows of my puffy white king sized bed, while Ken fed me grapes.
We are such hicks.
The Sea and Sage Audubon Society in Orange County was looking after us for two days. They are hospitality wizards. They took us seriously when we told them we had big appetites on this trip, and they fed us at every opportunity. They arranged for a complimentary dinner at Dukes, an renowned seafood restaurant, and they got Hyatt Regency to donate a “deluxe room” (I’m calling it the royal suite). They fretted about our route south of Orange County to Salton Sea, and gathered all sorts of road information. They worried more about our safety than I do, and I’m the safety officer.