California Craziness

Here are some interesting/amusing signs we spotted on our trip to Northern California last month.

Silver Surf MotelSilver Surfer Motel

This seemed appropriate for a trip to a comic convention. And like the Sylar Industries sign I posted earlier, all it needed was a little adjustment. Can you get a room with the power cosmic? Found in San Simeon, across the highway from our motel. (Keep in mind as you read on that the one on the right is the only doctored photo in the post.)

Sign: Mr. Speeder, Meet Mr. Traffic CopMy personal favorite was this one in Sunnyvale. It’s always nice when city planners (or anyone making a sign, really) have a sense of humor.

Perhaps Mr. Speeder was frustrated by driving this street, somewhere near San Luis Obispo:

Exit 220A to Traffic Way


This was found in Napa Valley. It was trying to indicate making a U-turn, but the circular arrow brings to mind either old recycling symbols, or directions telling you to spin in place. I guess if your car’s turning radius is too wide, you don’t get the information?

And then there it was: the tourist information center…and deli.

Napa Valley Visitors Center & Gourmet Deli.  Wine Tasting.  Free Winery Passes.

With wine tasting, of course. This place made me wonder whether wine tasting in Napa Valley might be like slot machines in the Las Vegas area, with every little store making it available. This turned out not to be the case. (Apologies to anyone reading this who is disappointed!)

NUMMINUMMI (in Fremont, on the east side of San Francisco Bay) is actually a car factory, a joint venture between GM and Toyota. But “Nummy” brings to mind images of food, probably baked goods or something sweet. Or else Wesley Windham-Price, impersonating Angel, talked into drinking blood or blowing his cover, exclaiming, “Dear God! That’s… nummy!

Which brings us to this:

After we checked into our hotel in San Francisco proper, we met up with my brother at Powell St. Station. He explained the intricacies of getting a MUNI ticket when you didn’t have enough quarters, which involved (IIRC) going to the BART ticket machine, getting change, then going back to the MUNI entrance with the quarters. (It’s been a month, I’m probably misremembering it.) In any case, while we were waiting for the appropriate train to arrive, I looked at the subway map, and noticed that they’d made a spelling error on Sunnyvale [edit: it's a street name; see below]. It was all the more funny because the the past two weeks, I’d been repeatedly calling the city Sunnydale myself! Too much Buffy, I suppose…

This was at a snack bar on the grounds of the Winchester Mystery House, right next to the gift shop (which is, otherwise at least, much classier today than I remember it being when I was a kid). Fortunately, there are worse ways to misspell popcorn.

This next item was found in a book of menus for restaurants in Cambria and San Simeon. Hmm, could a Louisinana be a banana from Louisiana? :D

Appropriately enough, this was found at the end of stay in San Francisco. And of course, it’s Howards End.

There was surprising variation in “Wash your hands!” restroom signs up and down the coast. Here in the LA/OC area, they’re usually just “Wash Your Hands” in English and Spanish, sometimes getting as elaborate as “Employees must wash hands before returning to work.” Counties in central California made an effort to explain why it’s necessary to wash your hands. Then there was this cartoony one in downtown Napa:

Wash your hands, or the angry chef will get you!

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