Driving to Lompoc

The drive up Highway 1 to Lompoc was pretty good. The highway is picturesque, although there are houses on stilts in the surf lining almost every inch of beachfront. It brought back memories of TV news coverage some time back with these places being destroyed by the surf in big storms. I can certainly see how it happens now. However, they are so taken with the place that they rebuild on the same spot right away.

Lompoc is town in a valley where the highway leaves the coast to bypass the airforce testing range for Titan Intercontinental Balistic Missiles. Once a little town, the base and local agricultural success has yielded a population of about 45,000 (still with nothing to do, a young person working at the motel pointed out to us).

The Lompoc Quality Inn demonstrated a growing body of evidence that name and price do not correlate directly to hotel functionality and comfort. The Lompoc Inn accomodation was a nice large room, new and well appointed. Also quiet. Free access internet machines (2) in the lobby and a very complete breakfast provided in a pleasant breakfast room. All this for less than half the cost of the San Diego Marriot which, although comfortable, had no internet stations, no breakfast, and expensive parking – definitely not geared to a family. This trend will lead to later rules of engagement formulation for hotels in the future.

When we checked into Lompoc the clerk surprised me by mentioning that our dog would cost such and such extra. I said “What dog?” and she looked surprised. It turned out that a huge Dog Show was in town that weekend and there were lots of show dogs staying at the Inn – mostly greyhounds from what we saw. This was great, since the we were missing Moxy, and the sound of other dogs was welcome. They were not noisy at night.

We were not charged for our dog who was at home …

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