Friday, July 29, 2011

Road Trip Part II: The Non-Adventure, Non-Food Day

Not a lot of photos today until we got close to our destination.  But, I know you're wondering about the $2.99 Ham and Eggs.

We walked from our hotel a short distance to get to the casino cafe next door.  The smell of cigarette smoke saturated the carpet and air from years of being trapped in a huge room without windows.  It wasn't fresh cigarette smoke, not that it'd smell any better.  If Buffalo Bill Cody had been there, I'm sure his cigarette smoke was in the casino.  Maybe even George Washington's.  Actually, it smelled like a buffalo had been in there smoking.  It was bad.

It was about 8:30 a.m., and while the casino wasn't bustling with people playing the machines, there were several people sitting at machines, pulling handles in hopes of winning the jackpot... drinking beer for breakfast and just getting "a pot."  It looked like they needed more exercise than just sitting in front of a slot machine.  I guess they still call them "slots" because credit cards to go in slots now instead of coins. 

We found the cafe tucked into a back corner of the casino and waited in line to be seated.  We were first in line and the line wasn't even very long; but as we were waiting there, we realized that even though about half the tables were filled with people, no one was eating.  Most were looking at menus; others were looking at each other with sleepy, blank faces just waiting.  It appeared that only two "wait" people were moving around in the cafe, and they weren't moving very quickly at that.  We didn't see any food coming from the kitchen.  We decided we should probably consider finding something else for breakfast or we wouldn't get to our destination until midnight.  So we left and gave others our first-place-in-line position.  So we have no idea whether the $2.99 ham and eggs even really exists.

We walked over to McDonald's in hopes of finding something reasonably healthy.  What was I thinking???  Phil had a sausage burrito and a mango pineapple smoothie. Actually, I couldn't even see the menu board with my distance glasses until I got up to the counter, so didn't want to hold up the rest of the line, either, while trying to figure out what I would eat there.  So I ended up filling my water bottle with ice water and just sat with Phil while he seemed to enjoy the smoothie more than the burrito.

While we were sitting there, Phil noticed a grocery store at the far end of town (it was a small town), which is where we headed after walking back to the hotel.  We stocked up on small quantities of fresh fruit to fill our cooler, and one little container of Greek yogurt and a banana for my breakfast.  Then hit the road so that we wouldn't get to our destination at midnight.

Not much adventure for the day driving through the Nevada desert.  Not many stops, as I kept hearing we didn't want to get to our destination at midnight.  I was searching for thrift stores on the GPS and my phone browser in hopes of finding a treasure somewhere.  We looked for one of the thrift shops.  The goal was supposed to be for me to not spend more than 15 minutes inside, not spend more than $5, and the store had to be near a gas station so Phil could put gas in the car while I was in the store.  But the address turned out to be a clothing store for teens/young adults... dark inside (or maybe I still had my sunglasses on) with loud music and flashing lights.  So, we hit the road again.  So we wouldn't get to our destination at midnight.

We stopped for lunch at a great place - I think it was called The Pig BBQ.  Very tasty pulled pork - on a salad. I think it was in Winnemucca.  There was a billboard on the way into that town advertising a "huge" thrift shop, but it was only open 3 days a week - none of which were that day we were on the road.  However, once we found it, we stopped quickly at another one adjacent to it so Phil could take a quick nap, but no treasures to be found there, quick or not.  So, back on the road so we wouldn't get to our destination at midnight.

Traffic was moving along nicely... we actually had a lot of "turns" required by our GPS route to get to our destination, and plenty of road construction that slowed us down to 55 mph, so it was a long ride.

The worst part of the trip was a rest stop in the middle of nowhere on the way to Reno.  Besides the awful smell from non-flush toilets, signs were posted everywhere about an 86-year-old man and his dog, Lucky, who have been missing since April. They found his car on the road near the UT-NV border, but not the man and his dog.  That is just very upsetting.

The ride into the Tahoe area was a nice climb through a lot of pine trees.  We zipped through pretty fast.  I begged for a rest room stop, but it seemed that because we didn't want to get to our destination at midnight, I had to wait for a more convenient stop.  I also was hoping we'd eat dinner, as it was about 6:30 California time - and 7:30 Mountain time; but we didn't want to get to our destination at midnight, so we didn't stop for dinner.

The descent into the California central valley was odd.  I hadn't realized how long it has been since I've seen oak trees. 

By the time we got to the change in trees - from pines to oaks - I remembered I hadn't taken any photos.

We passed some grazing cows when we got to where there was more grass than oaks.  And then eventually we were in agricultural areas with all kinds of fruit and nut trees, and grape vines.

There were a lot of little fruit stands, but being after 7pm they were closing up.  The current plan is to stop at one of them on our way home to buy some fruit.  If we really do, I will be surprised.  :-)

A lot of the fruit farm houses had cypress trees standing around them.  It looked like images of Italy I've seen.  But, then we started climbing again into the pine trees, almost to our destination, at just about 8 p.m.  Not midnight.
After checking in at the hotel - and meeting Junior, the English Bull Dog who lives there, we tried to find dinner without much success.  We had no idea the whole town closed down at 5 p.m. - except for the restaurants.  By 8 p.m. they started running out of menu items.  So, we actually ended up not getting dinner except for a little bit of fruit that we weren't even asked about at the agricultural inspection station when we entered California.  Oh, and some wasabi peas that I found at a gas station en route for a mere $1.99 for a pretty large bag (deal of the day!).  And a couple of snack bars that we had floating around in the cooler so they wouldn't melt.

The outside weather was hot.  Fortunately the AC in the car kept it cool inside.

So, here we are... in Paradise, California.  It just doesn't seem right to have tropical plants right outside our door.

This is the view of the ponderosa pines from our front door:

And this is a view from our back door:

The pool is inside the fenced area.  I hope we didn't lug our bathing suits all the way here to end up not being able to go into the pool.

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