I think I’ll just focus on Sunday from that weekend. For one thing I spent the rest of the weekend working, and for another I think I have enough material from Sunday to whip up a sizable paragraph. Our Sunday Funday began rather early, when we took off in a westward direction for Sonoma. One of our favorite wineries there was having an “event,” and we decided we just might as well attend. So we headed down I-80, destination Walt Wines. We generally stay the night when we head down to the Napa/Sonoma area, but it’s really close enough to day-trip and we didn’t want to take vacation and all that mess. An hour and a half later, we were walking in the door for some wine tasting. They also provided free food for everybody, catered by Rebel Dog, and that was worth the trip in itself. (Well… Nothing in life is free, as they say. They got their money.) It was a great afternoon, I bet we stayed three hours or so. After we got bored (or they ran out of tamales) we loaded up and headed back home. On the drive we got to cipherin’, and decided it seemed something of a shame to drive all that way and just go to one spot. As we came to this inescapable conclusion we happened to be coming up on Cuvaison winery, so we made the quick call to make that our second destination of the day. It worked out quite well for us, we were very fond of the spot. Their wines were very good, and the tasting room was quite nice also. It was on the whole much more… errrr… “affordable” than Walt. Much as we like Walt, I don’t think they really fall into the “value brand” category. Gotta mix things up a little I guess. We hung out there for quite a while, and then continued our drive back up the hill to the homestead. We got home around five, much to Quinn’s delight. Poor lil’ fella doesn’t care to be left all alone so much. Matter of fact he was so wound up we got on the phone and made some quick dinner plans with his bestest buddy Rennfield up in Cameron Park, and took him up there. While he ran around the yard like a wild, feral animal, we enjoyed a wonderful tri tip dinner courtesy of Rennfields owners. Can’t beat that deal! The pups showed no sign of slowing down after dinner, so we hung out and played a few games of cards too. Whew, full day.
Well that was an…. interesting weekend. It kicked off Friday with a light after-work function at Hop House. Met a vendor down there with a few other guys, didn’t stay too long. After that I rolled home and fixed something-or-another for dinner…. The details escape me. Seems like I had fun.
Saturday was something of an adventure, I suppose. We met up with our friends Michael and Alaina and went to a costume party at one of their friends house. Really. I’m not kidding. It was an Austin Powers theme party, and I suppose it was fun. I suppose. Donette put some amount of work into both our costumes so I was obligated to go and play along. We went as Dr. Evil and Frau Farbissina from the jail scene in Austin Powers 3. Not bad get-ups, especially Donette’s hair. Now of course I did have some reservations about the entire concept. First and probably most important: Why the theme? Why not just have people over and talk and have fun? I have trouble enough with that part; Add in dressing up like a dork and it makes it even more difficult. I just don’t grasp the “fun” part of the theme parties. Never will. I’m against them. Second, it was 90 flippin’ degrees, and I’m standing around in jeans and a long sleeve shirt pouring sweat. Yeah, that took a little away from it too. If I ever have a party I’m going to call it a “no theme” party. Yeah. That’ll show ’em. I’ll probably do that in a week or two.
Sunday was more my speed. We went to brunch at El Dorado Saloon with Quinn. The morning was quite pleasant on their patio, even if service was a bit spotty. I think everyone was enjoying the slight break in the heat, they were pretty overwhelmed. It was easily overlooked though, and once Quinn got his tri tip breakfast bowl he had not a care in the world. After that we sort of rambled all over the place, literally. We went to another spot in El Dorado Hills, then back to the house for a bit of work, then up to Placerville, then right back to dinner in El Dorado Hills. Sunday-Funday, indeed.
I’m not entirely sure what the phrase “Indian Summer” refers to, but I think we may be experiencing one. Maybe I’ll just get on the google and check that out. It’s hot, I know that. The 3-day weekend was nice and appreciated and all that, but the weather really took away from it. And, right on cue, the dog chewed holes in our low-rent pool so we didn’t even have that option for relief. We made the most of the situation though, or at least tried. We kicked it off on Friday by inviting our friends Michael and Alaina over for dinner. I had a tri tip in the fridge that needed to meet the grill, and that sounded like a nice sociable option. Well, as it turned out they already had plans. They’d invited family up for a nice dinner. Hey, sounds fun, what time should we be there? What can we bring? Sometimes you just have to jump in there and invite yourself. We took our tri tip up and threw it on their grill, and it came out delicious.
Saturday we went over to a friend-of-a-friend’s house for dinner. This was edging just a bit out of my social comfort zone, but they live like a block from our house so I figured what the heck. It turned out to be a wise decision. The guy was a bit of a foodie and had all kinds of cool cooking toys to talk about. He made a short rib ragout for dinner, and it was awesome. I did leave a little earlier than everybody else, which may have been rude, but it was past my bedtime and I figure sleeping on their couch might have been even ruder. Not sure what time Donette wandered home but she said she had fun too.
Sunday the heat wave topped out, and I had to work for a bit. That combination of factors led to a pretty lame day. We drove up to Auburn and picked up a wine shipment at Mount Vernon, and then I napped the afternoon away. I had to work at 6:00, and it went as well as could be expected. When I got done I checked in with Donette and she was up in Cameron Park at a friend’s house, so I bee-bopped on up there to join them. We spent a few hours playing beach-ball in their neighborhood pool which felt great, then played cards to round out the day.
Monday not too much went on. We had the bright idea to order a late-night pizza up at our friend’s house the night before, and both of us were feeling the effects. It ain’t easy getting old. We recently bought a new computer desk, so we just kind of puttered around the office all day putting that together, as well as dismantling the two old ones it’s replacing. I like the new desk, it’s big enough to fit both our computers on and is actually made of wood. It’s older though, and was apparently made before the proliferation of huge dual monitor setups. Her dual 22″ setup works OK, but my 24″‘ setup, not so much. I am thinking of going to a single 32″ instead. This is considered a huge “life event,” and must be given way-too-much thought over the next several weeks. Anyway, we got the office put back together pretty well, and were able to give away our two old desks so we don’t have to figure out how to get rid of those. After that it was off to the couch for the evening. Donette played on her ipad all evening, and I watched “Creep” on the patio. (Odd movie, and more than a bit disturbing.)
And now, for something completely different. This weekend, for reasons unknown, we headed up the hill (over the hill?) to the city not-so-affectionately known as “Dirty Reno.” Hmmm, yeah, sounds like a place I’ve always wanted to visit. It’s a consistent moniker though; Pretty much everyone around here refers to it as Dirty Reno. So much so, that when checking the weather forecast I actually typed Dirty Reno in the search field, and then was briefly puzzled why nothing showed up.
Anyway, it wasn’t really for reasons unknown. I wanted to attend a festival up there called Canfest, and by either good or bad fortune that’s where it was. We went with another couple also, who can’t seem to get enough gambling, so there was something for everyone. First though, we had to make the arduous drive up I-80 to get there. That, people, is a miserable drive. It’s technically two lane, but with the large number of semis plodding over the mountain at 20 mph it’s effectively reduced to one lane. Slow, tedious, frustrating drive. We got there though, albeit with no small amount of grumbling. Friday night was kind of a bust for me. Everybody just wanted to stay in the casino (we stayed at Circus Circus) and throw their money in the air, so I joined them for dinner and then snuck off to the room to watch TV. (Not an all-together unusual scenario actually, even without the gambling circumstance.) Saturday they continued with their gambling ways, so I just kind of people-watched around the city until the real fun started. And, by the way, the people-watching was top shelf entertainment. Wow. There are some hard people in that town. I didn’t lack for material, I’ll just say that. (Bonus side note: The Sporting KC farm team was in town, staying at our hotel. Enjoyed talking with a few of them.) When the miscreants were done gambling, we headed off to the canfest. It was… A festival. A good festival, I must say. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ll go so far as to rate it “worth the drive.”
As for the “Dirty Reno” title? Eh, I don’t know, it was actually pretty darn nice. The casinos were all very clean, and didn’t have the horrific smell of the Vegas places. The restaurants we visited were all very nice too, not to mention reasonably priced. Heck, everything there was reasonably priced, more so than at home. I’ll go back if there’s a good reason. (And that reason excludes gambling. Not my thing.) They’ve got a rib-fest coming up, a balloon fest…. All kinds of good stuff. Done travelling for now though. We’re back home in good ol’ El Dorado Hills, enjoying the scorching 108 degree weather. Thought we were done with the heat for a bit, sigh.
We got out of town for a short while last weekend, it was a much-needed break on several fronts. Work, weather, you name it. We rented a motor home and rolled down to the Russian River area for a few days. In some ways, it’s not unlike the Ozarks area. Rivers, lots of forest, and… uhh… different people. I’ll spare the details. Just… Different. I guess another little difference is, if you get on the river and float a few miles downstream you end up in the ocean. Anyway, good times. We played lots of cards, ate lots of good food, and just sort of “camped.” We took the same trip last year and slept in a tent; The motorhome was a welcome upgrade. Still not ready to buy though, the rental seems like the way to go to me.