Siegfried, Part I
Before Siegfried on Sunday afternoon there was time to take an excoursion.  I am not one to bother with Wagner symposiums or the such on off days.  I have attended a few, and they were dull, dry, academic affairs with not a scrap of decent Wagner music to be heard, just some professor-looking man (spotty bow-tie, blue blazer with a hankie sticking out of the pocket, and a pair of rumpled beige cords) with a penchant for making light of the Ring plot following in the footsteps of Anna Russell.

I go for the music and the drama, so "off days" are spent exploring and savoring the environs.

Around San Francisco are many scenic treats.  Using guide books and web sites, we had chosen to drive 160 miles North to a place called Little River, and specifically to a cliff-side hotel called the Heritage Inn which was used in the filming of a dreary old dish-rag of a film called "Same Time Next Year".

If you could ignore the tedious yakking characters (made of cardboard), you could catch glimpses of a wave-lashed Shangri-La, and indeed after a 5 hour drive that is what we found.  A stunning resort on a foggy cliff with lashing waves and the call of seabirds.
There was a fine veranda on which to sit and observe the beauty of the meeting twixt land and sea and sky, and within the rooms were a fireplace (soon filled with blazing logs) and a big jacuzzi.

When it got dark there was the sound of seals barking, joining the chorus of the waves.  A first class meal was served in a room with panoramic windows, the better to enjoy the view of the cosily-lit cottages with plumes of smoke rising from their chimneys.

The next day was a Saturday and I was reluctant to take my leave of the Heritage, but in the outskirts of SF, to the North and East of the city, lay a soiree I had been looking forward to for quite some time.

I allowed 5 hours for the drive and had the pleasure of putting the Mustang through its paces on the hilly twisting turns of the Pacific Coast Highway.  When I finally turned off the engine I entered into a garden, and there was greeted by the sight of my hostess, the bubbly Terri, whom you may know from her writings.  Her first words to me were something to the effect of taking my camcorder and using it as a 'Proctocam".

My camcorder goes everywhere with me and I delight in my "fly on the wall approach".  The shot I was composing as she raised her glass and her fist to me showed a table bowed under the weight of hearty provender from Terri's kitchen, and face down in a bowl of peel-and-eat shrimp was Wolf from Germany, while Jean McMullan was draining another bottle of vino dry.

Well met, good companions!!!

I was suffering from extreme exposure to the sun and my face was badly swollen and my skin was already dropping off me, leper-like.  But I was made welcome and offered a place behind a screen comprised of the hood of a 1985 Chevy Nova propped up against a wall, lest I put anyone off their food.

When it got dark I was allowed at the table and Terri sizzled up some fine cuts of meat and some of those red potatoes with fresh rosemary from her garden and a wonderful salad.

The wine and Spaten flowed, the music (Bo Skovhus) wafted through the warm night air, and the time sped by in this glorious company.  It fell to me to get the guests home safely, back in San Francisco, and I found my way like an arrow despite Terri's garbled directions.

Siegfried would be my last sampling of this Ring.  A good night's sleep was in order.

To be continued......

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