I'm spending tonight in San Luis Obispo to be in place for a 6 a.m. (oy!) interview tomorrow morning on the radio in Santa Maria.
I had a late lunch at the coffee shop at the venerable Madonna Inn. The M.I.'s kitschy decorative style remains in full display. (They're famous for their uniquely decorated rooms, like the Stone Age Room, the Valentine Room, etc.) The men's urinal where the water runs automatically (which was amazing in the 70s) still works. Since Alex Madonna recently passed away, I don't know how much longer the Madonna Inn will remain open. Seems like our culture is trending towards "sameness" in our experiences -- how different is one Starbucks from another? How much longer will the quirky decorations at the Madonna Inn pull travelers off the freeway. They may stop by for a nostalgic visit -- but will they stay there?
I remember visiting the Madonna Inn with my parents when I was little. Back then they had a few buffalo in a stable on display. I was terrified when my Father wanted to open the sliding glass door in the back of our room for some fresh air. I knew the buffalo would get out and come and get us! I don't remember exactly what I did, but I know the sliding glass door remained closed. And that was the last night I slept at the Madonna Inn.