Wednesday morning, I hopped in my Escape pod and headed west from Reno across the Sierra Nevada mountains on I-80. (For those of you not familiar with me, my "Escape pod" is my Ford Escape.) Weather forecast: snow, 40 degrees. Good, no ice or packed snow over Donner Pass.
It took me three hours to reach Stockton, California, only stopping to fill up the gas tank and go to a rest area. My Aunt Genie greeted me at the door with an easy smile, a hug and "Welcome." Nothing like being welcomed by family. I arrived at lunch time. After Aunt Genie showed me the guest room, we sat and ate chicken noodle soup and a ham sandwich. Then she asked what I would like to do for entertainment: we could shop or go sightseeing. Sightseeing? Sign me up.
We hopped in the Escape pod and took a short drive to a park on the San Joaquin River. This is where my cousin's son, Matthew, does his rowing practice. Just because it was there, we drove through a Good Sam RV Park that is right next to the river. Some of the campsites backed right up to the river!
After the RV Park, we drove over to the Stockton Marina and we took some photos at the marina:
|Aunt Genie at San Joaquin River|
I said, "Can we do both?"
We decided we could split the time equally between the two activities. We headed up I-5 to Eight Mile Road. Yeah, right, eight miles of bumps. That was the bumpiest paved road I've ever been on. It's so bad, the speed limit is 25 mph.
Eight Mile Road ended at the delta where there was supposedly a ferry to take you to the other side. No ferry. We looked at the boats at the marina then headed east back across the expanse of bumpity pavement.
Back on I-5 north, we went a few miles and took the Hwy 12 exit (12 Mile Road, according to Genie) to the Van Ruiten Family Winery www.vrwinery.com. Our sampling included Sauvignon Blanc, Old Vine Zinfandel, and I tried the Late Harvest Viognier (too sweet and syrupy for me--it IS a dessert wine...but still). Aunt Genie tried a chardonnay as well.
Afternoon was drawing to a close and we had dinner to make. The plan was to make dinner at Aunt Genie's house, then transport it four houses away to my cousin Kristin's house. Aunt Genie had marinated the tri-tip and put in the oven. I washed and peeled the asparagus, and washed and cut up the new potatoes. Aunt Genie made coleslaw, then we put the new potatoes in a casserole dish, drizzled them with olive oil and put fresh cut rosemary from her garden on them; into the oven they went.
At 6:30 p.m., Dan (Kristin's husband) drove over and we loaded all the food, including rolls and brownies, into the back of his SUV and drove them over to their house. We had the best time talking, drinking wine and eating dinner. I hadn't seen Matthew since he was about four. Now he's a senior in high school and a personable young man. Time flies!
Kristin and Dan have an orange tree in their back yard which is loaded with fruit. They asked if we'd like some. Thank you, yes, we'd love some. They filled a big brown grocery bag for me to take on down the road.
|At my cousin, Kristin, & Dan's house for dinner--Dan, Matthew, Aunt Genie, Kristin (sorry about the spot)|
Before I fell asleep, I was able to read more of "The Hunger Games." Exciting!
This morning, Aunt Genie, prepared a wonderful breakfast: scrambled eggs, blueberry muffins, chicken sausage and orange juice. We caught up on all the family news and then it was time for me to head east to Sparks, Nevada. She sent me on my way with mint brownies and blueberry muffins. My Aunt Genie has always been a gracious hostess. (She also had gifts for us on the guest bed! What a sweetie.)
My drive back to Sparks across the mountains provided a little extra excitement. I almost got hit by a Chevy Suburban. I was in the middle lane, he was in the fast lane. I guess he wanted to pass someone on the right and hadn't a clue I was there. He quickly came halfway into my lane. I laid on the horn and moved into the slow truck lane (luckily no truck was there). He moved back into the fast lane. I pulled back over next to him and gave him "stink eye." (Stink eye, in case you're not familiar with the Hawaiian term, means I glared at him; gave him "the look," as my husband calls it.) He took off and didn't look back. I must be pretty scary.
At Donner Pass it was snowing, the light snow blowing in swirling, hypnotic patterns on the pavement. Truckee, California had heavy hail causing the freeway to be white. When I got to Sparks, my car was absolutely filthy. I got my baby washed and it snowed in Sparks, just light tiny flakes that did not stick or make the car dirty again. The temp is 40 degrees at 6:30 p.m. Tomorrow's high is supposed to be 37.
We will be driving to Tonopah, Nevada tomorrow. No snow or high winds predicted.
By the time we get to Phoenix next week, we'll be in 80+ degree weather...finally some warmth!
Cat entertainment today:
|I can't believe this cat fits in this box!|
|Bowie playfully attacking Sunnie through the holes in the box.|
|Bowie hogging the limelight...Sunnie peeking out.|
|Sunnie's body fills the rest of the box! He smooshes himself flat to exit.|
Travel Bug out.