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Know When to Fold Em

November 19, 2018

After a relaxing evening at the Hampton in San Jose and their free! breakfast! (yes, I love me some free food), Gladis and I got on the road about 7 a.m., hoping to avoid more San Jose OMG DO YOU HAVE TO CHANGE LANES LIKE THAT ANTHONY? traffic.

I would be home by three, I thought, including a carefully timed stop at Vic’s Cafe in Paso Robles for pie. I don’t even LIKE pie that much – I’m a cake girl through and through – but Vic’s pie is to normal pie as the International Space Station is to a 1964 Volkswagen Beetle. It’s good enough to convert pie agnostics like me.

Then I hit the fog. It was bad, a wall of white that made me squint and lean over the steering wheel. I couldn’t see more than a few car lengths ahead of me. I tried driving slowly, then realized I just couldn’t do it safely. I exited the freeway in Morgan Hill – about 10 miles south of San Jose – and crept along the country roads until I could find a safe parking place, which was hard because I could barely see the sides of the road around me.


One of the best things about having an RV? If you’re stuck somewhere in the fog, you have a comfy seat, a blankie, and a bathroom. I wrote a blog post and talked on the phone and drank my coffee. I waited about 2 hours for the fog to lift until it was safe to get back on the road.

Just after 11, I stopped in Soledad (city motto, no joke: “It’s Happening in Soledad!” City industry: a prison).

I had once stopped there about 10 years ago and had gotten a bean burrito that had the best beans I had ever tasted. They were a miraculously soft but somehow still firm silky perfection that made me think about them every time I drove by Soledad…but I was never hungry until this trip. I figured an early lunch would give me room for pie in about 2 hours…so I went searching for the same place I had eaten so memorably a decade before.

I found it on a side street – Acamparo Panaderia. And guess what? The beans were as I remembered them. Perfection! Just like mom used to make (my mom wasn’t Mexican, but she grew up during the Great Depression and could make a mean pot of beans).


I got to Vic’s Cafe at 1 pm. Vic’s seats maybe 65 people if you pack them in, and they had 4 servers and 4 cooks on. It had been a busy morning. I gasped as I saw this.


Because of the fog and because it was Sunday and because people in Paso Robles are too damned selfish to leave a single slice of pie in the event that a weary traveler stops by, THERE WAS NO PIE.

I sadly drank coffee and ate a consolation cookie at the counter, glancing over and over at the empty pie board. No pie. Sniff.

(Gladis, however, got a little snack of $100 worth of gas).

On I drove through the gold California landscape of fall, the beautiful flickering yellow cottonwoods and the apple stands giving way to the coast once again.

A few hours later Gladis and I were home. Nancy’s dogs were overwhelmed with OMG SHE’S HOME! I fell asleep at 8 pm, exhausted and happy to have had such a great 20 days on the road, and joyful  to have people and dogs glad to see me.


  1. November 19, 2018 20:59

    “THERE WAS NO PIE” is a great name for a horror movie.

  2. November 20, 2018 05:37

    Welcome home!

  3. November 23, 2018 15:06

    Cannot believe you didn’t get pie. Now you have to drive back there someday 🙂

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