Good weekend out west. We took a few days off and headed up to Tahoe for the annual Celebrity Golf Tourney. Our friends go up there every year and have always come back saying how much fun it was, so we decided to give it a go. That pretty much covered the whole weekend, we went all four days. Honestly I was a little over it by the end, hampered by my lack of interest in golf and celebrities in general. But, it beat staring at a computer monitor all day by a long shot, so I ain’t complaining. If I was going to pick a highlight of the weekend, it would probably be the Pitbull concert Friday night. Given my relative disdain for his music that might seem a little odd. As it happened though, we lucked into some VIP passes and ended up 10th row center. I don’t necessarily have to be a huge fan of the music to enjoy a good show, and he put one on. It adds a whole new dimension when you’re that close. One of those dimensions was that I still have greatly reduced hearing in both ears, but you can’t have it all. For added entertainment we sat next to Doug Flutie and his family, and regaled them with fascinating stories of our life during intermissions. I could tell he was into it by the pained grins and nods.
We got back to our regularly scheduled “nothing” this past weekend. For that I am thankful. I just can’t keep the pace in my old age. I might have taken it to the extreme though, I was very nearly bored. Not quite though. Friday night we just hung out on the back patio and watched a movie, which was nice. I believe “Snatched” was the selection if I remember correctly. Eh, it was OK. The list of movies we can both tolerate at the same time is a very short one, so at least it passed that test. And of course the dogs were happy to have us around, or at least they didn’t run around tearing up the furniture like they do when we’re gone.
Saturday we went to Amador to pick up a wine shipment. They’ve been sending us increasingly hostile emails about picking up our 3-month-old shipment. Geez people, lighten up, we’re extremely busy people. It was really kind of a nuisance because it’s so flipping hot out and I didn’t feel like driving, but we headed out anyway. We dropped the top on the convertible and blasted the air and I would say made the best of it. On the way we stopped in Plymouth at one of our favorite spots of late, Marlene & Glen’s Diner. This place is definitely a “diner,” or “greasy spoon” if you prefer. It’s hard to find a place like that around here, so it’s a nice change of pace now and then. I had a pretty awesome chicken philly sandwich, and Donette enjoyed a huge green chili burger. We’ve only been there twice but have been more than happy both times; It’s definitely on our “list.” From there we went on to Wilderotter Winery to pick up our shipment. We weren’t really feeling “wine” and planned to just pick up and bolt, but as it happened they were doing a special vertical tasting of their Syrah. Being the highly sophisticated wine connoisseurs that we are, we know you just never pass up a vertical, so we pulled up a chair and enjoyed a few sips. We are so fancy. For dinner we went over to a friends house and enjoyed a tri tip dinner. They’d picked up the meat at a local butcher shop we’ve always wanted to try, and now I know I really need to get there. It was just far and away above the grocery store offerings, even my beloved Nugget. After dinner we actually watched two entire movies. I mention that only because of the unusual occurrence that I did not fall asleep.
Last night we went on something of a “date night.” Yeah, I guess you can call it that. We went to dinner at Pete’s (based solely on proximity to the movie theater,) then headed to the early showing of “Jurassic World.” I can say with some confidence that I saw more movies this past weekend than I’ve seen in the past three months. This was probably my favorite of the four, recommended.
Wow that weekend was exhausting. That’s one of those where you need to get back to work to rest up from having fun. We took off east-bound on Friday, destination Sly Park Lake for a little camping trip. The facility is very nice, if grossly over-priced. I guess I should just accept that everything out here is grossly over-priced and get on with it. Some things just really jump out though, like the camping prices. They gouged us $50 per night, and that was an unimproved tent spot. No electricity, no water, and a two-door outhouse. If that wasn’t bad enough, they dinged us an extra $15 per night for a second vehicle! Geez man. Apparently they can get away with it though, as the place was completely full. As a matter of fact, it’s always completely full, we had to book our site last year. Well, cost aside, we had a great time. Our friends Michael & Alaina joined us and we proceeded to… well…. camp. The lack of amenities made it feel almost Float-Trip-esque, and that was compounded by setting up my ancient relic of a tent from my floating days. Munkirs and I got that tent somewhere around 1991, and we got a lot of use out of it. It probably hasn’t been set up in the last 7 or 8 years though, and I was a little nervous that it would just go up in a puff of dust when I unrolled it. It was in fine shape though, if a little musty. Luckily I anticipated that situation and had a bottle of Febreeze handy for good dousing.
Saturday brought more camping. We started the day off with a solid casserole, appropriately prepared over the fire in foil packets. For that matter, we cooked pretty much everything all weekend in foil packets… Kind of hard to go wrong. After breakfast we took the short walk from the campground to the lake (about 20 yards) and set up the big island float for a day of relaxing. Just like last weekend, we managed to turn it into an entire day. I guess we’re pretty easily amused. We bobbed around the lake all day, then enjoyed a nice dinner of bbq ribs. In foil packets.
Sunday we got up and ate breakfast, then packed up camp. We were getting a little grungy from all the dust, and a nice shower at home was in order. Not to mention, the temp was going up rapidly, it was obvious that it was going to turn into a scorcher. For evening entertainment we had some friends over for a “vertical tasting.” That’s some kind of “thing” out here. Over some amount of time, we’ve collected six different vintages of the same wine from one of our favorite places out here, so we all sat around and tasted each and then discussed in detail the different nuances of each year. I think we all agreed “Yep, they taste like wine. Red wine.” It was fun though, and I grilled up some ribeyes that came out pretty well to go along with it.
Seriously, I guess I need to update this. What can I say, we’ve been busy, and 90% of it you don’t want to hear about. Heck, nobody probably wants to hear about the remaining 10%, but I paid for this thing and dang it, I’m going to use it. Sometimes. I’m going to just pretend the last few weekends never happened and jump right up to this past weekend. This past weekend kicked off Friday with absolutely nothing. Well, the Royals were playing out here on the west coast and those 7:30 games just killed me. Who even stays up that late?!?!? On the positive side, they were very watchable on the back patio as it cooled off nicely by that time.
Saturday I got a strong start with a decent bike ride. I still don’t get many long-distance rides in out here, usually between 15 and 20 miles. Heck, Munkirs and I used knock out 30 miles on any given week night, 20 is one of my “long weekend” rides out here. Oh well. But, what my rides lack in distance, I feel they make up for in climbing. I’m sure I’ve probably mentioned it before, but no matter what direction you ride here in El Dorado Hills, you will no doubt hit some hills. I usually ride “this hill” or “that hill” so far this year; Saturday, for whatever reason, I decided to ride this hill AND that hill. They aren’t the worst (best?) hills in town, but they ain’t flat either. Indeed, in my short 20 mile ride I got in 2,000+ feet of climbing. About the only perspective I can offer on that number is that my all-time record for one day of climbing is 4,000 feet… And that was spread over 100 miles. Yeah it’s a little “rolly” out here. I still have 2 hills on my “list” that I haven’t even been able to make it up. I almost tried one of the two Saturday since I was in the area, but chickened out. I’ll wait until it gets really hot and give it a try. Anyway, fun ride. I saw some turkeys, which are always sort of cool to watch, and some really nice old cars that were driving around, and quite a few fellow bikers. Not so cool things, I dang near hit a big snake. Scared the crud out of me. I was on a road that was closed to traffic, focusing on trying not to hyperventilate from the climb, and didn’t even see it all laid across the road. I barely missed it’s head at the last second. I don’t THINK it was a rattler because I’m pretty sure I’d have been bit if it was. I sure wasn’t going back to look. Note to self… watch the road. After that bit of exercise we took the pups to the dog park for a little play time, then we all went to the El Dorado Saloon for lunch.
Sunday took a rather unexpected pleasant turn. Can’t remember the last time that happened. I had to work that evening, which generally causes me to just write off the entire day and lay on the couch. But when some friends called and said they were heading up to Camino to check out a new winery, we figured what the heck. It was a quite pleasant day out, so we dropped the top on the convertible and met up with everybody. Good times. We spent the entire afternoon up there in the area, just kind of hanging out and enjoying the weather. When we got home, everybody came over and fired up the grill while I snuck off to work. I’ve been on something of a bad run of luck with my work stuff lately, but for once everything couldn’t have gone smoother. Wrapped up my stuff in about 45 minutes and had a nice plate of grilled chicken waiting on the table for me, woot!