Birthday Week

Well, I made it one more time around the sun.  To hear my physician tell it, I seem to be aging at twice the normal rate, but I’m sure he’s misreading the charts.  BMI-Schmee-MI.  Bunch of gobbly-gook nonsense.  Anyway, I had a very nice birthday, which is always something of a surprise.  I will admit I went into it with very low expectations, which I guess is how I go into most things.  Things started to look better when I had a moderately tolerable day at work though, and then when I went home and found a big cooler full of Jack Stack BBQ on my front porch things really started to look up.  Add in a few nice birthday cards in the mailbox, several well-wishes via text, and a fine steak dinner with the wife, and I rated it a very fine day indeed.

The steak dinner was a pleasant addition to the day.  Donette made 5:30 reservations at a new steakhouse nearby, C. Knights.  Yes, I know, that’s blue-hair dinner hour; do your worst.  Well the only other availability was 7:30, and yes, that is too late for me.  So, I guess if the shoe fits…  At any rate, the dinner was very good, and I got home in time to catch Matlock.  I ordered a 16 oz ribeye, Donette ordered the lobster tail, and we split them to make our own little surf-and-turf dinners.  Both were perfectly cooked and delicious.  The service was just a bit shaky, (I tend to get a little picky when the prices are that high I guess,) but not too bad.  Overall I gave it a solid B+, I’m sure we’ll be back.  Bellies full, we headed back home and watched a few movies.  I guess I need to start writing this stuff down because I can’t remember what they were;  Must have been great.

Saturday was day one of my self-proclaimed “birthday weekend” celebration.  At my advanced age I can only celebrate a limited number of hours in a day, so it helps to spread events over a longer time period.  It was a beautiful day outside, so we decided to dust off the convertible and go wine tasting.  After a short planning session, we decided on:  1) Baiocchi in Sutter Creek, 2) Scott Harvey in Sutter Creek, and 3) Wilderotter in Amador.  As is often the case, these plans got tweaked slightly over the course of the afternoon.  As luck would have it, they were having a little “event” at Baiocchi, with appetizers and live music.  This was probably in honor of my birthday, though they didn’t explicitly say as much.  Not being one to turn down free entertainment, we loitered there quite a while.  We had the dogs with us too, and as they seemed pretty comfortable we decided to just go with it.  We were there a few hours, then scratched the original plan and headed on to Amador.  Scott Harvey also has an Amador location, so we headed there next.  We hung out there for a while too, and then decided to just call it a day.  The pups were getting a bit antsy, as was I, so we rolled on back home.  For evening entertainment we turned on Black Panther, out on the back porch.  I fell asleep mid-movie, have to try that one again another day.

Sunday marked day two of the weekend celebration.  We started strong with a solid breakfast at Firehouse Cafe up the hill in Diamond Springs.  We’ve eaten there once before and really liked it, and this visit was a repeat performance of that success.  I had a fantastic chicken fried steak with gravy, and Donette had the corned beef hash.  Worth the drive to be sure.  I’m wouldn’t say it’s any better than the only place close to our house we like (Purple Place,) but it’s quite a bit cheaper and it’s nice to change up the scenery now and then.  After downing a few thousand calories, Donette took me up the road a bit and dropped me off for a bike ride.  There is a rails-to-trails project up in that area called, not-too-cleverly, the El Dorado Trail, and I’ve wanted to check it out for years.  It’s oddly difficult to get detailed info on it though, and I’ve never been too sure where to hop on it, get back off, etc.  Finally, I decided to just give it a go and see what happened.  Well….  That plan was only moderately successful.  I follow their page (or whatever it’s called) on Facebook, and they always post these scenic pictures with nice wide trails, and families riding their bikes down them.  Suffice to say, that is not the part I was on.  I still don’t know where that part is.  Instead, I rode 17 miles of overgrown single-track, with varying degrees of difficulty.  The fact that I didn’t see a single other bicyclist in the entire 17 miles was a pretty solid clue that I need to keep looking for the “fun” part.  There were sections when I lost the trail entirely, and had to just ride between the rails.  Yeah, that was a little bumpy.  It wasn’t horrible though, at least I got to enjoy some bike time.

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