Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Road Trip

A year or two ago I began thinking about life outside of San Diego. Actually, I have visited a place or two, and even enjoyed other places, but never, ABSOLUTELY NEVER, have I thought about living somewhere else.

California has become a difficult place to live. The weather is great, and we are so close to the ocean, mountains, desert, and Baja California, but the people here get worse and worse all the time (I acknowledge that I am part of the problem).

So I've been looking at houses and property in other states. My wife, my dove, Clyrinda, laughs at me when I find a farm in Nebraska, or a horse ranch in upstate New York, or a home on the prairie out in Wyoming or Nevada. That scoffer. Her idea is for us to go visit places and see if we like them. RIGHT!!! She's got a point.

So I took the week after Christmas off and we went on a road trip to check out Northern Nevada. Land is cheap up there, and the antelope roam, along with the wild donkeys, and supposedly Mustangs too (the four legged sort). I wanted to get up near the Humboldt River area and check out the hills and valleys, which are said to have a trout stream every hundred yards or so.

We hit the road and after 6 hours (two in the worst SoCal traffic I've ever seen) made the town of Lone Pine CA, our first stop. The Dow Villa hotel sits in the shadow of Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the continental United States (couldn't tell from our room).We were tired and hungry, and Lone Pine was the perfect place to end the first day of our trip. Lcpl Tyler, traveling with us, noticed there was a cute young lady working the desk in the hotel lobby, so we sent him to ask her where the best restaurant in Lone Pine was. Now mind you, Lone Pine is a one traffic signal town. There are two sporting goods stores, both closed up for winter, a hardware store, two or three gas stations, a Mcdonalds, and a western clothing/cowboy supply store. We were pretty sure the young lady would tell Tyler to take his pick of the 3 cafes in town, but she didn't. She very confidently told him "the Merry-Go-Round three doors down". So Tyler comes back and tells us we should go to the Merry-Go-Round Cafe, just a slight error in interpretation on his part. We should have known something was off because the tables had linen tableclothes and napkins, and there were only 5 or 6 tables in the place. But we were seated right away and ordered drinks (that would be water for me). The waitress brought us menus and informed us that there was "one more special left tonight", which was a "Teriyaki Pork Chop"..........not your everyday "cafe" entree. Upon opening the menu I found four or five entrees, all about $20-$30 each. Being from California we are used to meals being about 15 to 20 bucks, but not in a "cafe" in Lone Pine.

My dove wanted to leave, but I insisted we stay and enjoy the experience. The food was good (not exceptional, but better than Dennys), and the place was mobbed. The entire time we were there people were calling in their reservations or coming in off the street and putting their names on the list for the 45 minute wait. The meal cost us $100 not including the tip, which was generous and well deserved by the hard working waitress and her helper (whose day job is managing the Mcdonalds down the road a bit)

I don't get the whole "trendy restaurant in Lone Pine" thing, but it is what it is.

The next morning we got our breakfast at a cafe across the street from the Merry-Go-Round before heading out on the next leg of our road trip. It was a very good breakfast (breakfast is my favorite meal to have at a restaurant) and definitely satisfied our craving for "on the road cafe food".

Stay tuned for the next installment of Road Trip................Into Death Valley We Go


At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Sandy said...

Sounds like the beginning of your trip was an adventure in itself :) It is always interesting to see different peoples perspective on things...to the lady at the counter... the "best" was also the most expensive. I look forward to hearing more about your "travels"... Just a suggestion though... I'd stay clear of the farm in Nebraska (LOL!) I went to college in Nebraska... big culture shock from California... unless you like to watch the corn grow :o)

At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Lora said...

By "the people", you mean the population? I've only been to southern California once and I have to say it was a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there. The traffic is absolutely crazy....EVERY day, ALL day it seemed like. I like living in Des Moines but even here there are times that I simply stay away from the freeway. It's NOTHING like CA though! I would not want to face that all the time. No way.

Good luck with your house hunting.

I look forward to the next post on your continued adventure. :)

and Sandy...there's nothing wrong with watching the corn grow...but come to Iowa to do that! :)

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Sandy said...

yes, Lora I have to agree with you...if you MUST watch the corn grown... than Iowa is a MUCH better place to do that in than Nebraska... much prettier too!! ;) Wonderful people there as well!! "It's a great place to grow"


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