Monday, August 31, 2009

Kitty's place - Downtown Denver

Dear Kitty (she's my BFF in northern, California)

Why didn't you tell me you had a store named after you in downtown Denver? (and that it sells adult videos and other "recreational" devices . . . you'd think after all these years . . . you would confide EVERYTHING to me!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Downtown Deer

We were driving through downtown Craig, Colorado (not a small town) and had to stop for a Mama and her babies strolling through, we followed them down an alley to take their picture and they ran into someone's back yard (so that's what has been eating the flowers!)
Sorry for the crappy pic . . it was almost dark

Sunset at the Colorado border

Great sunset on the Colorado/Utah border

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Stopping for critters in the road

Deer in the road, just out of Dinosaur, Utah . . . they just stood in the middle of the highway until we honked at them . . . I guess cars don't scare them

So, we were thinking of buying this great bed and breakfast

It has potential . . . . (and a great view)

Surely there is an explantion for this

Couldn't find a reasonable explanation for a giant green dinosaur, wearing a hat, eating a watermelon next to a grill of a giant burger, a large weiner and large vegetables . . . ??? This is one of those WTH moments.

Vernal, Utah

We think a Petunia salesman made the town one hell of a deal . . . there were pink petunias everywhere . . it was so pretty. Apparantly every year, the town of Vernal, Utah plants petunias EVERYWHERE . . it is like a pink & purple petunia explosion. The pictures don't begin to show the beauty of them all. (who gets to water all of these??)

The middle of nowhere . . .

There is a whole lot of NOTHING when driving through the Bonneville Salt Flats before you get to Salt Lake City. I wish I would have stopped to take pictures of the rock "graffiti" on the sides of the road. People have stopped and spelled things with rocks that range from hearts, I love you, their initials to giant peace signs (and a huge penis made with rocks) . . it was VERY interesting.

It would suck to break down out here!!!

The Martin Hotel - Winnemucca, Nevada

Growing up in Idaho and living for a time in Northern Nevada and Bakersfield, CA gives you a DEEP appreciation for Basque food . . . it is truly a dining experience that everyone should try.
We were saddened to hear that a favorite haunt in Winnemucca, the Winnemucca Hotel is no longer serving Basque food . . but our second favorite the Martin Hotel in operation since 1898 is still serving up the same great family style food (and PLENTY of it).

Good Basque food is always served family style, meaning you sit at the same table with total strangers and pass the bowls around the table. We sat with a great group of folks from Oregon, several of whom were experiencing Basque dining for the first time.

First course is bread and soup, since it was Friday night, a wonderful thick clam chowder was served. The next course was hot corn & peppers, hominy salad and beans, and then a green salad with the house dressing and a HUGE bowl of garlic mashed red potatoes. Next was the tongue (yep . . cooked cows tongue!) I prefer the pickled tongue as served in California, this was in a gravy like a beef stew, still good . . but not as good as the pickled. Main course last . . I had the prime rib, Jim had the lamb chops . . . all served with copious amounts of red wine and laughter.
Mmmm Mmmm Mmmmm . . if you go away hungry . . you are doing something WRONG!

Auburn to Reno

Auburn, California is a gorgeous little town, I wished I would have taken more pics. We stopped by a trailer sales outfit to look at their little teardrop trailers (wishing and dreaming). (have NO IDEA what the giant chinese man is all about, but he looked really cool!)

On the road from Auburn to Truckee, just before Reno, pretty country!

Leaving CA (Mmmm tamales on the road)

Before we leave Nick's . . a trip to Chepo's Tamales in Elmira is a must. No one there speaks ANY English . . but that doesn't stop us from taking home the BEST TAMALES I have ever eaten! If you get a chance to go by there, they are located at 6092 A Street & Hazen in Elmira . . don't worry about the communication factor . . it really isn't a problem LOL.

Hold up two fingers, say 2 dozen pork, nod your head when asked "Caliente?" . . it's all good.

(Lori, the blurry pic of tamales in a box are YOURS . . (if they make it home!!)

Friday, August 28, 2009

And . . we're eating again!

Jim, relaxing at Pasta Pomodoro
Tor, waiting for dinner

The minute we tied up the boat . . . everyone said "we're starving"! Nick wanted to go to the little outdoor Italian restaurant "Pasta Pomodoro" in North Beach, SF . . . everyone ordered something different. . .then we drove back to Nick's to take a nap . . it's a rough life

Fond farewells . . . .

Saying goodbye to someone you love sucks . . . . period.

We love you Gran! We hope you enjoyed the sail, we hope you laughed at our memories on the boat, we hope you enjoyed the flowers we sent with you and your silver owl. (LuAnn hopes you remember how to swim . . . LOL)
Thank you for being you! I really, really, really miss you . . .

On the water . . .

Heading out to sea on Ara's sailboat (those are my feet)
Craig untying the down haul line and raising the sail
Hanging out . . . drinking beer . . . and great conversation
golden gate bridge to the right, downtown SF to the left

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wards off bad JuJu (we think)

While wandering up and down the slips at the marina . . . we see this (we can't explain it either)

Ok . . now we eat . . .

says Ara in his lovely thick Romanian accent . . . we went to his favorite restaurant at the Marina, appropriately named "Fish"

We had pints of locally brewed "Anchor Steam" beer, fresh Ceviche, chowder, grilled sardines and calamari pasta, outside on the patio. . . Mmmmm

I like Oklahoma . . .but, I really, really, really miss the ocean.

Oooo . . the pretty boats

Went to check out our friend Ara's sailboat last night . . . we are taking it out today for a day trip to spread Mom's ashes around Angel Island. (Ara on left, Jim on right)

Ara is Romanian born and is a hoot! He is a NASA engineer, Jim has been helping Ara with a project to photograph and log BP aerial patrols, Ara is writing the software for photo recognition for Jim's aerial patrols (boy talk . . I just nod my head a lot) he is also working on a moon project for NASA that is fascinating (again, I just nod my head a lot and look like I get the gist of it all LOL)

The fog creeps in on little cat feet . . .

It sit on silent haunches,

Looking over harbor and city,

And then moves on.

Carl Sandberg

Elvis lives . . .

I want my portrait done in Jelly Belly beans . . . . I wonder how many it would take?

p.s. I bought a CASE of factory seconds for you Jelly Belly fanatics back home!!! (if they make the trip back [insert evil laughter here]

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It seems like all we do it EAT!

Eating again LOL! This time at Tognazzini's Dockside Restaurant & Fish Market in Morrow Bay. The view was truly "dockside" you could watch the boats unloading their catch and bringing it straight to the restaurant, doesn't get any fresher than that!

The chowder was fabulous, the calamari and shrimp were to die for!! Yumm, Yumm, Yumm!

Jurassic Park??

So, we are driving this winding road from Atascadero to Morro Bay and come across a pasture full of dinosaurs (and one lone donkey . . imagine what was going through his mind??), and I thought to myself . . "good thing they fenced them in"
[click on picture for a larger version]

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hero worship

Standing between Jim on the left and Nick on the right is Loni's neighbor boy "Klay" . . . who is airplane CRAZY and is in awe of pilots and planes.

He actually stared Nick awake this morning because he was so excited at the thought of meeting a real Air Force Pilot. He was so excited to have his picture taken with TWO pilots . . . he will have a story to tell at school today!

Nick left him two patches off his flight suit . . . he will be in little boy heaven!

Nick & Jill at Splash in Pismo Beach . . Mmmmm . . . awesome clam chowder