A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about friends

An Old Car and An Old Friend

Driving our Jag to celebrate a friend's 100th birthday

sunny 70 °F
View Aunt Verna's 100th on Miss Chris's travel map.

We had to rush home from Canada because we had a 100th birthday party to attend for a family friend. We’d taken our Jag over to British Sports Cars to get a new top before leaving on our trip. We figured that we’d get that done while we were on our trip to Canada.

Our grandson came from work on Thurs evening and Friday morning we left early for the coast. He loves the Jag so he is always ready for a look at the old girl.
We picked up the Jag and drove off to the 1st of the parties, in Los Osos at the park. We found our friends that Dale has known since they were children. Our friend’s children were there, some we haven’t seen in 30 years and 1 daughter for the 1st time. We exchanged text numbers, facebook info, and Instagram info.
We were invited to a party that evening. The party was in a home in the foothills of Arroyo Grande and included dinner. We’d brought a few things to share from our small ice chest, and a bottle of wine. The views were amazing and it was nice to sit and get to know some of the kids and catch up with friends.

The following day we went to the official party. We found Dale’s brother and sister-in-law who we haven’t seen in a couple of years and an old friend who we haven’t caught up with in several years.

While we were standing and visiting, someone came up with an elderly gentleman. We were told that he wanted to meet the owners of the Jag. He had worked on Jag parts many years ago and loved our car.

We insisted that Dale give him a ride and convinced him that his wife and daughter would be fine. Before he got into the car, he had a walk around it, oohing and awing. When he got into the car, he had a smile from ear to ear.
Dale gave him a ride of his life, stepping on the gas so that the car would leap out. I took photos and sent them to him so he could take the memory.

After the party, we were invited to our Moro Bay friend's house where our brother and sister-in-law were staying. We talked into the night.
On Monday, we were invited to yet another party and BBQ. We were feeling festive because it was Dale’s Birthday. Dale was surprised with a birthday cake.

We’d met the host couple many years ago but didn’t keep in contact, we didn’t even know that we had much in common. We all love traveling the world and we all love New Mexico and the NM food. They have a house in New Mexico so we are anxious to visit when we make it there.

Posted by Miss Chris 15:56 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip friends family morro_bay los_osos 1956_jaguar_xk140 Comments (0)

Another State, Another Restaurant

It's about friends and food

sunny 75 °F

If someone doesn’t know us, they’d probably wonder how we have so many favorite restaurants and do we do anything besides eat. We were laughing about this over breakfast and realized that we are only in the southern part of the US. We have many more favorites in other states.

And so from New Orleans we drove straight to Houston, TX, to meet a dear friend and co-worker, Jim and of course eat. This time we went to his favorite place, a little French Bistro.

The restaurant isn’t fancy but really nice. We felt mostly fine in our jeans but there were also people in formal wear. Maybe we just felt fine because we didn’t pay attention. But the food was very French and such a treat, as we’ve been eating lots of local, hole in the wall foods. Unfortunately, I couldn’t eat the sauces but I enjoyed my pork chop, and Dale his Canard A la Orange. Jim had wild boar. With mussels for an appetizer and a nice pinot, we were happy campers.

But, the best part was visiting with our friend, we haven’t had much time to visit since we were all in Boston. We’d really gotten to know each other when we worked the Richmond Fire about 3 years ago. We did some nice dinners and wine tasting together in the Sacramento area, so it was great to just sit down and catch up.

After dinner, we drove to the next rest stop intending to make it to San Antonio and Mi Tierra’s for breakfast. Mi Tierra’s has been a favorite for many years.

We knew that my grandfather had worked in the area in the early 1930’s. We have a photo of my grandfather standing by the produce truck he drove with my father and uncles as children. My grandfather worked with the bananas. We believed that the basement of Mi Tierra’s had been the banana distribution center and had learned, on one trip, that there was a basement that had been used for produce.

This trip, I mentioned to the waitress that my grandfather had likely worked in the basement, she went and got her manager. The manager verified that the banana distribution took place in the basement. She said that the owner is the 3rd generation which would mean that my grandfather would have worked for his grandfather. Small world.

The owner requested that we send a photo of my grandfather with the truck and they will put it on the wall. There is also a chance that at some point we might get to tour the basement.
Chilaquiles recipe has changed, they use to put strips of chilies in but now leave them out because the chilies are too hot. We will go for other dishes next time and of course the pan dolce.

Posted by Miss Chris 09:42 Archived in USA Tagged food road_trip travel friends rv houston san_antonio Comments (0)

A Road Trip From Sacramento to Death Valley

Another day, another road trip

sunny 50 °F
View Fall Trip 1 on Miss Chris's travel map.

I had to be in Sacramento for a FEMA workshop so thought that that it could be made into a road trip. Our thought was to go from Sac thru South Lake Tahoe, having a good lunch at the buffet in Harrah’s. Then go over to Hwy 395 and drive to the rest stop near Lone Pine. On Friday, we’d head to Death Valley to shoot photos of the wildflowers.

We have friends in Sac and really wanted to see them so 1st we got messages to 3 of them. One couldn’t see us until Wed night, John, and he invited us for dinner. It worked out to see the others on Tues, so we arranged to have a dinner party at the RV site.

The dinner party was a little chaotic as we didn’t arrive at the campground until after 5pm and friends came soon after. But we hadn’t seen each other in ages and all chaos was ignored. One friend, Julie, had recently married so we got to meet her new husband. The other woman, April, was friends with our boys in high school. We’ve kept in touch so we got to meet her 2 youngest kids. The kids are similar in age to 2 of our youngest grandkids so we were glad to have fun with them. And it was great to sit and talk with her and to see how she has changed into a woman.

My workshop was on Wed and that night was when we went to see our other friend. He has been a family friend since I started at State Farm in 1990. He is the one I can go to with any issue and he has been like an uncle to all 3 of our boys. It was fun to have dinner and just sit and talk for a while.

On Thurs, we arrived at Harrah’s starving and mouths set for the buffet. Unfortunately, the buffet was closed until 5pm so we ate at the American River which is a fun restaurant in the lower level of the casino. There is a waterfall and little river running thru the restaurant so that it feels more outdoorsy.

From Harrah’s we took a shortcut road to the 395, which was steep down into the valley, but amazingly beautiful. I don’t know if it was shorter but it was nice to take a new road.
For those who don’t know the Hwy 395, it is a road that runs north and south in the state of CA. It runs on the east side of the sierras. The Death Valley is east of 395, hence the need to get over to that side of California.

395 is the road one takes to ski Mammoth, but north of Mammoth is Mono Lake. This lake is beautiful with tufa's rising from the waters.. http://www.monocounty.org/mono-lake/

We saw Mono Lake from a vista point as we were driving down the mountain. It was a nice overview of the entire lake with mountains in the background. I shot some photos but hesitated to get the tripod out, regretting it for a bit later. But I wanted to get on down the road and was thinking about sunset photos that might be nice along the way. IMG_201602..3918639_HDR.jpg

Once down the mountain, the 395 goes right by Mono Lake. I was watching the lake but just wasn’t seeing what would make a good photo and told Dale that maybe I’d keep driving. But then at the south end of the lake, at the Visitor Center, I looked back and saw what I’d wanted to shoot. I quickly parked, grabbed the camera and tripod and ran for a good place to shoot. I was the only person around, just the wind, the lake and my camera.
Now on to Death Valley.

Posted by Miss Chris 10:30 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip nature travel driving death_valley friends rv outdoors mono_lake Comments (0)

Old Friends, New Friends

Dale reconnected with his college roommate from 50 years ago.

sunny 85 °F

Chef_Henry.jpgWe’d stopped at the last rest stop in Washington to spend the night thinking that it would be much easier to cross the border into Canada in the morning. There were several reasons, mostly because we didn’t want to arrive late at our friend’s house in Canada. As it turned out it was a good call.

We were going to Dale’s college roommate’s house, Henry and his wife Chrisanna. I’d met Henry once many years ago but didn’t get to know him at all. Dale lost track of Henry and then thru the wonderful searches in Facebook, reconnected. They had a guy’s weekend in Palm Springs a year or so ago and then Henry and I became friends on Facebook as well.

We were in Vancouver only last month and I tried to connect with Henry, but as it turned out he’d had medical issues and didn’t get my message. He and his wife wanted for us to return and stay with them, so when the opportunity came up for us to return to Canada, we connected.

I was a little apprehensive about staying with people I didn’t really know but knew that it was important to Dale. I also have learned over the years that it is important to be open to new opportunities and new friendships.

We had the most amazing day with Henry and his wife. We set outside and talked like old friends. Then Henry made his specialty dinner for us and Chrisanna set the table with their finest tableware. We brought in some really good wines from our RV and we shared a wonderful meal: Greek salad, fresh corn on the cob, rice and broiled steelhead trout.
Henry told Dale that skiing a run together was on his bucket list. I think that it is something we will need to do sooner than later. And since we will need to look at additional properties it is surely something we can combine. Besides we needed an excuse to come up and ski.

Posted by Miss Chris 10:47 Archived in Canada Tagged food travel friends canada Comments (0)

Old Friends, Good Wine

The plus side of a road trip

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One plus of a road trip is being able to stop when and where we want, see friends, make a detour, eat in a restaurant or in the RV, turn around and go back home.

Once I knew that I had to go to San Francisco for some claim work it made sense to come on up to the Petaluma area. There was a wine pickup party at Armida, a winery which we belong to and I wanted a couple of cases of Poison anyway for the road trip.

Some of the pickup parties can be quite fun, with wine associated games while wine tasting. This one had music and food. Unfortunately, little of the food was gluten free so I could only eat the meat. Then bees swarmed the chicken so that we were dancing, not to the music, but to moving from the bees. But it gave us a chance to try some other wines than we normally buy and have a little food in the vineyard.

From the vineyard, we stopped at REI, likely the last visit to the store, to pick up last minute items for the upcoming backpacking trips.

We have friends in Santa Rosa who we only see when we are passing thru and we arranged to meet for dinner. Jerry and Karen are people we’ve known for years. I met Karen at an AAUW meeting when our farm was going down and they’d been in similar circumstances. Then their daughter and one of our son’s got together and were together for several years. They’ve come to parties of ours and we have been to their place. So when Jerry and Karen moved to Santa Rosa we maintained our friendship, she says that she stalks my Facebook site.

We met for dinner at a wine bar and shared little plates and drank wine. We discussed our upcoming adventure, a move to Canada, and their moving adventures, our kids, and more travels.

Now off to Sonoma and then Oregon.

Posted by Miss Chris 15:12 Archived in USA Tagged food travel driving friends rv wine_tasting Comments (0)

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