Now, however, the time for SoCal reminiscing is done, and Dawn and I are moving our Pacer up the coast to Portland. The Big Sur coastline was as spectacular as ever, and I’m looking forward to a Bay tour and then flying up the Siskiyou and Cascade ranges. But for a quick lunch-and-gas break, busy little Watsonville is hard to beat. Ella’s, the cafe at the airport, is considerably better than I remembered, and it is chock-a-block with lunching locals admiring all the pretty airplanes parked out front. Our little yellow Pacer looks happy and natural out there, tucked between a beautifully restored green-and-cream Waco biplane and a big-tired, long-propped Cessna 185. I guess I’ve come a ways since the days when I took oil-stained flight-school rentals to dinner. Yeah, some things have changed in the California aviation scene over the last 15 years, but a lot here is just as good as it ever was. It’s been a really nice homecoming.