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October 2014

Land Rover Quail Lodge Carmel delivers on the promise to experience off-road

Land Rover Experience Quail Lodge Carmel 2014 (5)Yes, girls do wanna have fun! We were squealing didn't someone say?  

Land Rover Experience Driving School at Quail Lodge & Golf Carmel California! On the Yelp scale WooHoo! As good as it gets simply isn't enough adventure fans! We pushed this up to set a new standard -- Yelper's Six-Star E-Ticket Thrill RIde Freakin' Good Time! Think that just about sums it up. We laughed. We screamed. And yes, we squealed like little kids! We cheered each other on as we got sideways, vertical, and looking down the front end into nothing, and rolling around in the back seat holding on for dear life. Tense. You bet!

Our driving instructor - Mark Curtsinger -- had it all under control. And the Land Rover came back none the worse for wear except a little road warrior dirt. Looking for perfect team building even Land Rover extreme parking job Credit Are You That Womant? Wedding, birthday, whatever party?! 

This would be the ultimate gift.  Technologically off the hook, the Land Rover practically drives itself over gullies and steep terrain. Skilled instructors provide all the support you'll need to drive one of these bad girl/bad boy Land Rovers and have you coming back for more thrills and chills. 

Exhilarating to the maximum degree! When they say they accomplish the impossible -- they aren't kidding. Off-roading, one-of-a-kind experience close to home at Land Rover Experience at Quail Lodge in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Weird Stockton is blowing in the wind

Medina Wildmill Ranch 2014 Credit Barbara L Steinberg32There’s some pretty peculiar stuff in California. No disrespect. I worship those quirky, roadside attractions. There are books – Weird California – and websites – Roadside America – touting all that is weird in the Golden State. And other destinations, too.  Happily, there are peculiar reasons to Visit Stockton! Who knew this could be a good thing? I live for the weird and wonderful and was giddy when I pulled into a Stockton roadside oddity. Included in one, but not both, of the aforementioned authorities on the subject. The Windmill Ranch will blow you away.

People collect stuff. How and why is anyone’s guess. In the case of Stocktonian Frank Jay Medina, the addiction was windmills.  “He always liked windmills and it started from there,” according to son Gary Medina. Frank retired early from the hay business and started looking around for something to do. Voila! He started collecting windmills from ranches throughout the region. Go figure.

The original collection passed the 200 mark according to Gary. About 40 remain with Aermotor being the prevailing brand. The “Cadillac” of windmills, Aermotor began manufacturing in 1888 selling 24 windmills that first year and is still in business today. One of the original Aermotor windmills lives at the ranch, along with the ranch’s largest windmill – 20 feet across – and the smallest – six feet across. The Windmill Ranch attracts visitors from around the globe and it’s easy to see why.  One windmill claims an “OK Corral Livery” moniker. There are more than a few bullet holes in the windmill tails, but that’s all part of the beauty. Possibly my favorite “mill” is the stunning red and white, wooden Dempster seemingly unchanged with time.

None of the windmills are operational. A piece of Americana – I consider them public art. Other antique farm equipment and objets d’art litters the ranch property – kitschy, yes! And Stockton wouldn’t want it any other way. Oh, wait, the kitsch doesn’t end here. Frank Medina made an appearance on To Tell The Truth and Ripley's acknowledged him as the "oldest man in the world with all his teeth who has never had a cavity.”  Insert laughter here. 

Stockton lOgoA 2008 visit by Huell Howser shined a light on local attractions and Stocktonians; somehow he missed the Windmill Ranch. We all know that Huell would agree Windmill Ranch is another fine example of California’s Gold.

Are You That Woman is not new to this whole weirdness thing. Author Jan Friedman, Eccentric California (2005), kindly acknowledged my assistance in researching her book. Yes, I have a few more California oddities up my sleeve and more to uncover.  Any other Stockton/San Joaquin curiosities you want us to explore, then by all means:

FYI – Enjoy the weirdness of the Windmill Ranch An Evening with John Covert, September 20, 2014.

Get out and discover Stockton!