Friday, April 23, 2010

Last of the Trip, Home Again, Home Again

I don't think we have any more pictures, as the camera ran out of batteries and we didn't buy any more.

Anyway, Monday afternoon we arrived in Arcata to visit good friends, Kevin and Nicole. We stayed for dinner, graciously prepared by Nicole, and spent time deep in conversation with Kevin about his efforts to become a writer.  We urged him to start a blog, no news on that yet.

Tuesday morning we set out in rain, our goal for the day was Tracy. We drove south, getting wet all the way. In Santa Rosa, we had decided to try Willie Bird's, a turkey restaurant I'd seen on Diners, Driveins and Dives, and for the first time, Guy Fieri failed us. The turkey was clearly from big, plump, well-grown birds, but it was...uninspired, as was the rest of the food. I had a roast turkey leg, with stuffing and mashed, and John had an open face turkey sandwich with gravy & 'taters.  I tell you, the Laurel St Deli in Fort Bragg could teach Willie Bird something about mashed potatoes. I had some there with the special meatloaf that would make you slap your momma! 

I should have realized when I saw the episode on TripleD that when the cook said they don't season the turkeys as they roast, they really don't. Made everything bland. Not bad, just blah.

So, lunch done, we set out south again. We got a little turned around east of SF, and ended up in a dismal suburb named Pittsburgh, where a storm front blew through and dropped hail on us. Small, pinhead sized hail, but still! April in CA? Hail?

We made it to Tracy, where we stayed in a hotel we'd been in before, the Holiday Inn Express. In general, these hotels have done well by us. I think they upgraded their handicapped room since our last stay, the bathroom was very enjoyable and functional.  Next morning, we set off for home. More rain, on and off.

Driving down through the San Joaquin Valley again, this time on the 5 all the way, we stopped at a small family-run fruit stand for a break, and some fruit. Local citrus, pistachios, and mmmm fudge made by local culinary students. Wow, good. The owner told us that the day before, the front that hailed on us had torn down through the valley with a vengeance. It had come on like tornado weather, a black front advancing as fast as anything she'd ever seen, and rained sideways while bending some of her trees to the ground. (they recovered) It was cold that day, very unusual for the valley, which is usually 10-15 degrees warmer than LA at all times. 52F is nippy there. 

That was nearly the last break before home. We stopped one more time for gas, then made it home by 1pm Wednesday. Car is unloaded.

Almost half the laundry is done. It's taken me two days to catch up on all the business and home administration stuff of bills, calling I put off, fixing things that need fixing. I still haven't got my beads labeled and put away.  More on bead organization tomorrow. 

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