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· The Toad
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
... rides one too.



The king of Jordan roared into Carmel on his Harley-Davidson on Wednesday, stopping for a pancake breakfast before taking off with about 10 other bikers for a ride down the Big Sur coast.

"It blew the whole town away," said Randy Bernett, a partner at the Katy's Place restaurant, which served King Abdullah mixed fruit along with his pancakes.

The king's visit was meant to be low-profile, said a Jordanian consulate official, though it's rather difficult to remain incognito in the small city of Carmel when your entourage includes a host of Secret Service agents, members of the royal guard, a California Highway Patrol escort and a lineup of black SUVs.

Bernett said Abdullah and his group arrived at the restaurant about 10:45 a.m. Wednesday. An advance team had arrived earlier to make certain that the seating arrangement was correct and to clear out the restaurant.

Would-be diners of lesser royalty were asked to wait outside until the king arrived, but were allowed in once he was was seated, Bernett said. He said the king apparently picked Katy's "at the recommendation of a good friend."

About 100 people gathered in front of the restaurant when word spread through Carmel, and the crowd applauded when Abdullah stepped outside. He wore a black Harley jacket and a pair of bluejeans.

The king - his full name is His Majesty King Abdullah bin Al Hussein - is a 43rd generation direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, who assumed his constitutional powers as monarch of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1999.

The 42-year-old is apparently in California this week on a road trip along the coast. Carmel police Cpl. John Rana said the king and about 10 friends departed from San Francisco on their Harleys early Wednesday. He said Carmel police officials were notified Tuesday that royalty would be in town.

The Jordanian consulate official in San Francisco said the king's visit was "extremely private."

"He needs his space," said the official, who asked not to be identified.

He noted that the king was a student at the Naval Postgraduate School in 1998 and rented a home on 17-Mile Drive, about six months before he assumed the throne.

The king's biker gear included no flags or insignia that would identify him as a monarch.

"He was just another guy," Rana said.

At Katy's, Bernett said the king seemed like "a very nice man." He chit-chatted with co-owner Gytha McFarland during his hour-long meal.

"The group left a very nice tip," he said.
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