Mostly quiet on the western front, with the exception of a few shows we made it out to. For our “opening act” we drove the motor home up to Tahoe to see Dave Matthews. Love him or hate him, it’s always a great show. Side note, if you hate him you are completely misguided in your musical tastes. I am not sure how many times I’ve seen him actually, but I always enjoy it. On the other hand, I do NOT enjoy the Harvey’s Outdoor Arena. I’ve skipped several shows that Donette went to, because they were at that place. It’s hard to get in and out, and for the bigger shows (like this one) it’s all General Admission. I got there a little early to secure a good spot down front, but once you’re there you ain’t moving until the show is over. This kid is entirely too old, not to mention out of shape, for standing in the same spot on blacktop for a 2+ hour show. Last year I actually bailed out a little early, but this time I stuck it out, and my back paid for it. To add insult to injury, the sound isn’t very good either. To be expected, since it’s a freaking parking lot, but come on; find somewhere else. Anyway, marginal venue aside, I enjoyed the weekend. The antique RV performed flawlessly, and we enjoyed several other “Tahoe activities” while were there too.
After that, we headed back down the hill for a mid-week Cake show. Well, it didn’t work out so good. It was down at the Golden One center, which I generally enjoy, and we had good seats. But, as mentioned above, I am old. After a good dinner at The Bank, we rolled over to the arena, found our seats, and enjoyed a solid opening set from Tall Heights. That was a nice surprise; Never heard of them but they put on a good show. After that one, and a short intermission, Ben Folds came out. Yeah, not a fan. Somewhere in the middle of his set I fell fast asleep. You might think this hard to do in a loud, crowded arena. But I guess the combo of dinner, exhaustion, age, and general disinterest formed something of the perfect storm. I was pretty excited for the Cake show, actually I’ve been looking forward to it for quite some time. Alas, I snoozed through the better part of it. Guess I’ll have to find my cassette tapes and listen at home.
Well that was a reasonably entertaining weekend! And the best news it, I have one more day of it. And the even better news, I have one more day of weekend and a 3.5 lb tomahawk ribeye in the ‘fridge. My plans are pretty well set. Side dishes are a little iffy, but then a hunk of steak that size, who needs sides anyway.
It was a low-key weekend, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Needed to wind down a bit anyway. We did a little grilling, and I was dog-sitting for a friend for a while. Not just any friend, a friend with cable tv. Not having such luxuries at home, this made for an entertaining time. I got to watch the Oregon football game, and probably about six movies. Their dog isn’t exactly high-maintenance either, like some others I know. (Cough cough, er Quinn & Nacho.) He is 14 years old, so for the most part he just sleeps in his bed. Having such similar routines, we got along famously.
Once again, I’ve been out of town. I’ll call it a pseudo-vacation of sorts. We flew to Montana for the entire week. Donette was working, I was just along for the ride so to speak. And by “ride” I mean car ride; We put in a lot of windshield time. As usual I’ve already forgotten everything we did. I really need a notebook or something. I recall we flew into Missoula, and out of Billings… All the cities between have escaped me though. There were a lot of them too; Besides spending the first weekend in Missoula, we went to a different city every day. Speaking of Missoula, I couldn’t help but notice it was roughly the same population as this gawd-forsaken-place I currently reside in. Despite being the same size, there were countless places to eat, and even several big-name concerts going on. Why is that? We have zero decent restaurants, and about 3 horrid cover bands that take turns annoying me. WHY?!?! Donette reasons that Missoula is an actual city, whereas EDH… “isn’t.” I’m not even sure what it is, a town? Whatever. Annoying. I guess we could move to Sacramento, but honestly it isn’t a whole lot better from what little we’ve seen of it.
Random ranting aside, I enjoyed the trip. It would probably be worth a repeat visit, especially if she didn’t have to spend the whole time working. Of particular note was Glacier National Park. Unfortunately all we had time to do was drive through it, but even that was pretty spectacular. I’m not entirely clear why it’s called Glacier Park, I didn’t see any stinking glaciers, despite being plenty cold for some. I could probably figure that out with a little reading…. Nahhh. Having just come from Yosemite Park, I would say it was favorably comparable. Definitely would like to get back there some day, maybe even in the motorhome. Of course I snapped a gajillion pictures as always, but they just don’t quite look the same as seeing it. We drove by Yellowstone park also, but didn’t have time to veer off course to that one. Another trip to be made, I guess.
For somebody that complains about a constant state of boredom, we sure have been doing a lot lately it seems. This weekend, we dumped the puppies on some friends and headed out of town (barely) to a Bed and Breakfast called Saluti Cellars in nearby Somerset. We had purchased a certificate to stay there at a fund raiser a while back, and finally got around to using it. As in, QUITE a while back, I was a little surprised they even honored it, but luckily they did. We made it out there Friday, got settled it, and headed out to dinner at a place called Gold Vine Grill. That was definitely one of the highlights of our weekend, I would have gone back the next night if it had fit in the schedule. The dinner was great, and reasonably priced. You rarely see either of those qualities at any of the restaurants near us, and definitely not both at the same place. It was a night-ender though, we were both so full we could hardly move. The bread pudding dessert may not have been the best idea, but it was worth it.
Saturday we did the “wine country” thing. We only went to two different places and tasted, but loitered quite a while at each. We’d gone up enough in altitude to buy us about a 10 degree cooler temp, so we mostly just enjoyed being outdoors without roasting. We put the top down on the car and did some driving around the winding, hilly roads too. I liked that immensely, Donette not so much. Hey, I don’t get to drive my car very often, I get carried away sometimes. For evening entertainment, we went to a party they were having back at the B&B. It was maybe something of a forced attendance; They had about 100 people show up and a pretty loud band, all right under our bedroom window. Hey if you can’t beat ’em… It was a good time though, we most likely would have gone anyway. Not like we had any better plans.
All-in-all, we were definitely for the place and I imagine we will go back. Really the only downside, and it was not that big of one, was that our loft or whatever you call it was right over the barn. We enjoyed watching our animal neighbors all weekend, but for whatever reason in the mornings the horse stall was a bit… “pungent.” Not overwhelming, but not pleasant. This little drawback was outweighed by having an incredible pool right next to us, great breakfasts in the morning, and fantastic views all weekend.
Well that was a much-needed vacation last week. We’ve had a trip to Yosemite scheduled all year, and it finally got here. We took off in the motorhome Monday afternoon, and made it as far as Merced where we parked for the evening in a Costco lot. It was… Tolerable. Factored into that rating was the camping cost, a grand total of zero. That came with a few caveats though, mainly the issue of triple degree heat and parking on blacktop. Wow it was hot. We loitered in Costco for quite a while enjoying their air conditioning, but when they closed it was back to the hot box. We finally had to turn on the generator in the middle of the night and run the a/c, it was too hot to sleep.
Tuesday we got up early, gassed up, and headed for Yosemite. It was nice to break up the drive a bit, because once we got in the mountains it was brutally slow going. For all their conveniences, the motorhomes just ain’t no sports car on the road. We got there though, in about double the time google maps quoted. We got all set up and went to enjoying the park, and were soon joined by our friends Ed & Kim. They’d flown into southern California for a wedding earlier, then rented a motorhome and drove up to the park to join us. For the rest of the week we did the camping thing; A few hikes, a few dinners, and no small amount of swimming in the river to cool off. The campgrounds were rather… “rustic” so we didn’t have any a/c. Seems to be a thing out there I guess. The views were great though, and the price was definitely right.
Overall a great trip, we both want to return. Probably in the fall sometime, when it’s cooled off a bit and hopefully isn’t so crowded. The new vehicle performed admirably aside from a few “quirks” which I guess just come with a twenty year old motorhome. We dropped it at the shop when we got back home and hopefully some of them will get worked out. Worth the drive for sure, even at the cost it takes to fill that beast up. We watched “Free Solo” when we got back home, and it was pretty cool to see all the places we’d just been. (And also a little nauseating watching that guy climb that rock… Holy smokes. That thing was huge.) Need to be quicker with the cameras too; We saw lots of cool wildlife but missed it all. We even got to see some bear cubs, hated missing that shot!