Saltgrass Again . . .

I spent most of today at work finishing up a few small problems with the new Shipping computer, mostly things that weren’t where they were supposed to be. Looks like all I’ve got to do now is the get the UPS remote station working right.

Tomorrow we’ve got another Saltgrass/Alvin Opry get-together. We just ate there two months ago, but it was so good that everyone wanted to go back.

Sea Caves And Lighthouses


May 18, 2010

Sea Lions and Sea Food…

Just what I wanted to see when I got up this morning – Rain.

Few things are more fun than trying to get ready to roll while you’re getting soaking wet.

But I guess it’s about time we saw some actual northwestern rainy weather. We’ve actually have very little rain since we hit the west coast.

Into every life, and all that.

We left Midway RV Park about 8 am, earlier than normal, because we wanted to stop and see the Sea Lion Cave just north of Florence, OR.

We got there about 10 am and found easy parking for our rig. But then we had a mad dash across the street to the entrance, trying to dodge cars zooming by on US101.

But it was all worth the trip. The cave was really great!

The Sea Lion Cave was discovered in 1880 and opened as a tourist attraction in 1932 when 101 was still only a gravel road.

SLC_Late_30s_early_40s_Building

And by the mid 50’s it was still going strong. Don’t you just love those car colors.

Sea_Lion_Caves_in_the_Mid_1950's

This pic, from the observation deck shows you the kind of weather we had today.

SeaLionView

We had about a 100 yard walk along the trail leading to the elevator.

SeaLionView 1

We took the 200 foot elevator down to the sea lion cave and looked out into what is billed as the largest sea cave in the world.

And there were sea lions everywhere. Along the walls, on the rocks, in the water, all over.

SeaLionCave 1

SeaLionCave 2

SeaLionWater

SeaLionCave 3

The other end of the cave looks out over the cormorant rookery, and what is called “The Most Photographed Lighthouse in the World”, the Heceta Lighthouse.

SeaLionCave 4

Cormorant Rookery

HecetaLightHouse

Back on the surface we looked out over the other side of the cave.

SeaLionCave 5

We arrived at Circle Creek RV Park just south of Seaside OR about 2:15 pm.

Around 3:30, after we got set up, we headed back down the road about 7 miles to eat at Mo’s Seafood, a place that had recommended to us.

And it was great.  Jan had a Seafood Platter with Clam Chowder, and I had a bowl of Oyster Stew and a Blackened Cod Fish Sandwich.  Hmmm, Hmmm, Good.

Tomorrow, we only have a 105 mile run to Westport, WA, so we’ll probably go out to breakfast and drive around a little before we leave.

We’ll be in Westport for 3 nights catching up with our friends, Al and Adrianne Cox, who we first met in Fairbanks, AK in 2008.

Meat-Filled Ravioli


May 18, 2013

A Bear for All Seasons . . .

After coffee drinking, Kindle reading, and Internet playing, Jan and I headed out for some sightseeing, dinner, and shopping.

We drove around for about an hour, crossing back into Nevada, past all the casinos that suddenly appear at the state line.

Driving further out along the road we came in on, we got a good view of the surrounding snow-capped mountains.

Tahoe Views 1

Tahoe Views 2

Tahoe Views 3

Coming back through town we drove out on the other side for a while just to see what’s around.

Along the way, we came across The Bear’s Den.

Tahoe Bear's Den 1

This place has pretty much any type of carved bears you could want.

Tahoe Bear's Den 4

Big ones,

Tahoe Bear's Den 5

little ones,

Tahoe Bear's Den 2

and more.

Tahoe Bear's Den 3

By this time our tummies were rumbling, so we decided to try Passaretti’s Italian Restaurant, located right outside the park entrance. We’d noticed the last couple of days that the place was always busy every time we drove by. And we’ve found that a busy place is usually a good place to eat.

It was interesting to find this great hot rod sitting in the parking lot. I’d seen a sign about a car show while we were driving around, but this was the only car I’d seen that might be part of it. Turns out, it wasn’t.

Tahoe HotRod 1

I did notice that the right front tire was going flat, though.

Tahoe HotRod 2

As it turned out our meal was delicious. Jan found her favorite meat-filled ravioli on the menu, and I had my usual spaghetti marinara with meatballs.

We both started out with salads with their really great homemade dressings. We also had an order of their garlic bread with melted mozzarella on top, again really good.

And after our entrees, we had to top it off by sharing a piece of their homemade carrot cake.since we’d seen it recommended online. It was delicious, but so big, that along with our meal, we could only eat half of it. So we’ll have the rest of it with coffee tomorrow. And we’ll definitely be coming back here again before we leave.

One other thing, when we got to Passaretti’s we found that there was a wedding dinner going on in the back of the restaurant. And as it turned out, the hot rod out front was what the bride and groom drove from the church to the restaurant. Unfortunately, the honeymoon had to be delayed for a while when they came back out and found the flat tire. The delay however, probably wasn’t a big disappointment, since the bride was already noticeably pregnant.

Leaving the restaurant, we stopped off at Raley’s for some groceries. On the way, I wanted to check out this service station that had been converted into an auto parts store and antique car lot.

Or so I thought.

Tahoe Runnel's Auto 1

Old Studebakers, old Oldsmobile’s,

Tahoe Runnel's Auto 2

And for some reason, a bunch of old Volvos.

Tahoe Runnel's Auto 3

You’ve really got to like old cars to like old Volvos, don’t you.

Tahoe Runnel's Auto 4

A little research told me the real story about this place.

It’s not an antique car lot. The cars are not for sale. They are parked there to be an deliberate eyesore.

The owner of the lot, apparently very rich, has, since 2007, been refusing to sell his auto parts place to the city. They want to build something else there, but he wants no part of it.

The city supposedly keeps trying to find any kind of violation to get him out. So in retaliation, he bought all these old, ugly cars and parked them on his lot, right along the main street through South Lake Tahoe.

Sounds like my kind of guy.

My Long-Legged Redhead


May 18, 2016

Oh, You Doubters . . .

While Jan enjoyed her Kindling, I spent most of the afternoon fighting my way through PayPal’s convoluted Business Account setup for a client. Just as you think you’ve covered everything, they pop up with something else they want. They’ve added a lot of requirements since I set up my Business Account.

Then when I finally finished with the setup, I had to design the default templates for the invoices that they will use to bill their clients through PayPal. That went much smoother, and now we just have to wait for PayPal to make the small deposits into the bank account that links to the PayPal account.

PayPal makes a couple of small deposits into your account, like $0.12 & $0.17. Then you have to tell them the date and amount of the deposits. This confirms to them that they are linked to correct account, and that you really have access to it.

They used to just leave the few cents in your account, but I guess those dimes started to add up.  So now after they’re done, they pull the deposits back.

For you doubters out there who were snickering at yesterday’s blog where I mentioned that I was skinny and had hair when Jan and I met in 1967, here’s the proof.

Greg-CMA

This is me at Columbia Military Academy in 1965.

Greg-1967

And this one was actually taken by Jan in Titusville.
She carried it in her billfold for years which is why it’s kind of chewed up.

See, I told you.

And this is the beautiful long-legged redhead that I fell in love with.

JanBrandi1975a

****** SPOILER ALERT ******

In case you recorded the Castle finale and haven’t watched it yet, skip this.

asdfadfadsf

asdfadfadsf

asdfadfadsf

asdfadfadsf

asdfadfadsf

asdfadfadsf

asdfadfadsf

Jan and I have been Castle fans since the first episode in 2009, and were disappointed to see it go off the air. And we’re still not sure how we feel about the final episode. We both kind of thought it had been cobbled together at the last minute, and it turns out we were right.

Stana Katic (Beckett) was already leaving, as was Tamala Jones (Lani), but it was hoped that the show would continue on with Castle, Alexis, Hayley, and Martha running the PI agency, as well as Ryan and Esposito helping out.

Thus the ante-penultimate scene of Castle and Beckett crawling to each other after they were shot. Then next season, Castle would wake up and find out that Beckett had died, and the series would proceed from there.

Apparently the word on the street in Hollywood was that the series was going to be renewed. The ratings were still decent, and the writers were already outlining new scripts. But the producers filmed a short wrap-up scene just in cast.

And it’s good they did, because last Thursday night, before the finale this past Monday, the network abruptly canceled the series with no warning. So it was a mad scramble to re-edit the show in time for the last episode.

We’re sorry to see it go.


Columbia River Gorge


May 18, 2017

Three States in Four Hours . . .

Finishing up on yesterday’s trip from Bend/Sunriver to Hermiston.

One reader asked why we were traveling with full waste tanks, and what we would do if we had to boondock along the way if our tanks were full. Well, there were several reasons for doing that.

1. Due to all the wet/snowy weather recently at the Bend/Sunriver TT, there was only one dump station available for use for the entire park, and people were complaining of 30-60 minutes waits to dump when everyone was leaving in the morning.

2. I wasn’t feeling very good and we were already running late anyway.

3. I use times like this as an excuse to clean my black tank. Before we headed out I dumped two big scoops of cheap, powdered laundry soap, a capful of Calgon water softener to help cut the grease, and several big squirts of Dawn in the toilet and flush it down.

Then all this sloshes around during the trip, breaking everything loose. And no, I don’t put a bag of ice in the tank. A 10# bag of ice in 40 gallons of room-temp liquid will be gone in just a few minutes.

Then when we get to the next park, I hook up to the sewer and dump the black tank. When it’s about finished, I connect the shore water hose to our rig’s built-in flush system and turn it on full blast. I have a clear 90° elbow in my system and I’m always amazed at how much more ‘stuff’ comes out as I’m doing this that didn’t come out by dumping alone. I do this once a month or so.

4. Although I said the tanks were full, and effectively they were, we still could have gone another day or so boondocking if necessary with no problems.

Despite my not feeling well, it actually was a very nice trip with a lot of great scenery along the way. The only downsides were a couple of really long climbs and the very gusty high winds swirling around through the canyons. You never knew which direction the next gust was going to come from.

I guess the high winds explains the miles of wind generators we saw along the way, all flailing around like pinwheels.

But finally at Biggs, OR, US97 dumped us down into the Columbia River Gorge and I-84E. And there we encountered one of those rarest of rarities. Something that some RV’ers brag about, like the size of the fish they caught, and none of their friends believe them.

It was a genuine tailwind.

I first noticed it when I looked at my Silverleaf display and saw I was getting over 30mpg, and we were running level at 60mph. Then a few minutes later I pulled over to take some photos and when I opened the door the wind pulled me out so hard it almost dumped me on my face in the dirt.

But we did have some spectacular views.

Columbia River Gorge 3

Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge 2

We never did figure out why this is planted this way. No sign of a house or anything else.

Columbia River Gorge 1

We pulled into the Pioneer RV Park in Hermiston about 3:30 and I got us set up in a nice long pull-thru so we didn’t have to unhitch. Then after we had our left-over Baldy’s BBQ for supper, I took some aspirin and went to bed for a few hours.

When I woke up about 8:30 I was feeling a lot better, but just washed out. Don’t know if I had some stomach bug, or what, but Jan was just fine.

I did feel OK this morning, so I guess it’s passed, whatever it was.

After a nice night, we pulled out of the Pioneer RV Park in Hermiston a little after 10am and were quickly out on I-82 and heading north toward Coeur d’Alene about 205 miles away.

As several people had told us, Pioneer is a very nice park, $20 per night Passport American with 50amp full hookup pull-thrus, long enough that we didn’t have to unhitch the toad. Since we didn’t plan on going out for dinner, that worked fine.

And be sure to call ahead to let them know you’re coming. They’re either full, as they were last night, or almost full, every night.

Our trip today turned out to be a very smooth, very scenic trip with good roads the entire way, passing through 3 states, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho along the way.

I’m still kind of confused by this dump station located at one of the rest areas we stopped at along the way.

Dump Station Pathway

Guess you need a really long hose and a good pump.

We pulled into the Coeur d’Alene Elk’s Lodge about 2:30 and were quickly greeted by the on-site host and led to a nice grass-covered site, a pull-thru with 50amps and water, but no sewer.

Coeur d'alene Elks 1

Coeur d'alene Elks 2

But since we dumped last night at Pioneer, that won’t be a problem.

We plan on staying here two nights before heading on to Garrison, MT for a night, and then on to Billings, MT.

On our way here we had planned to have dinner at The Cedars, a high-end steakhouse that floats on the Spokane River. We last ate here in 2010 and it was really, really good. Well worth the high price.

But when I went on Yelp this afternoon to check their times, I was struck by all the bad reviews, leading to only a 3-1/2 star rating. Reading further, I found that they were now under new ownership, and things had gone downhill quickly after that – bad food, cold food, bad service, being seated an hour later after getting there 15 minutes early, and a 9” hair in the salad bar.

Considering that their Ribeye is almost $40, we quickly had second thoughts. Scrolling down the Yelp listings, I came across the Texas Roadhouse listing. Besides being only about 2 miles away, it had a higher rating than the Cedar’s.

So Texas Roadhouse it is.

We’ve never had a bad steak, or a bad meal, at Texas Roadhouse, and tonight was no exception.

Jan got her standard 12 oz. New York Strip while I got my go-to 16 oz. Ribeye.

Texas Roadhouse Ribeye 5

Great salads too, as well as great service. And Jan’s and my steak together were the same price as my Ribeye alone would have been at the Cedar’s.

A great choice. And a lot cheaper.

Coming home we got maybe the best car wash we’ve ever had, getting a lot of built-up dirt off.

Tomorrow we may head up to Sandpoint and drive around the area some. Plus Jan wants eat at Tomato Street Italian Restaurant once again.

Happy Birthday, Chris


May 18, 2018

The Big Five Oh . . . Almost!

About 4:45 Jan and I headed up to the Webster area to have dinner at the Outback Steakhouse at Baybrook Mall. We were meeting our son Chris, his wife Linda, our granddaughter Miss Piper and her boyfriend Conner. We were celebrating Chris’ Big Five Oh Birthday, but a day early since Chris has to work tomorrow.

Outback Birthday Group

Jan started out with Outback’s version of the Bleu Cheese Wedge Salad,

Outback Wedge Salad

while I got the House Salad with their Tangy Tomato Dressing.

Outback Salad 2

For the entrée Jan followed her usual pattern by ordering seafood, Grilled Tilapia with Lump Crab Topping, at a steakhouse.

Outback Tilapia with Crab Meat

For my part I did stick with their strong suite and actually ordered a steak, an 11oz Center Cut Sirloin, along with the Grilled Asparagus.

Outback Sirloin

It’s been over a year  since we’ve eaten at an Outback, actually last April in Palmdale, CA, where we were staying at the Soledad Canyon Thousand Trails Park north of Los Angeles for a week.

For many years Outback was our go-to place for steaks, but over the years it’s been somewhat displaced by Longhorn, Saltgrass, and to a lesser extend, Texas Roadhouse. But Outback is always good.

Original Mexican


May 18, 2021

No Sun, or Sunflowers . . .

After it rained heavily all morning, it was finally clear when we left the rig a little after noon, heading for Galveston and the Sunflower Café. We were meeting up with long-time friends, Peri and Jim Dean to have lunch there again.

We’ve known Jim and Peri since we first met them in Las Vegas in, I think, 2013, and we always get together whenever we’re close. And the last time was back around the first part of last December, also at Sunflower Café.

But Sunflower Café wasn’t in the cards for us today, as when we got there about 12:45 this afternoon, they were locked up tight, with no notice or announcement. So we decided to adjourn to the Mosquito Café right up the block, so I put in a call to Jim to give him the change of plans.

We’ve wanted to eat there for a while and this seemed like a good chance, but this wasn’t to be either. They were very crowded, probably because Sunflower was closed, and there seemed to be a long wait for tables. So changing plans again, we moved the whole operation a couple of blocks up the street to the Original Mexican Café, where we were seated immediately.

The Original Mexican Café is the longest continually operating restaurant on Galveston Island still at its original location, and that’s since 1916.

Original Mexican Cafe

And although we’ve eaten here a lot over the years, the last time was in December 2017, when Jan was very unhappy with her meal. So we haven’t been back.

Needless to say, Jan can hold a grudge.

And it looks like they’ve redeemed themselves in Jan’s eyes, since she said that her Chile Relleno was very good.

Original Mexican Cafe Chile Relleno

So I guess they’re back on her Nice list again.

Jim and I both had the Original Platter with a little bit of everything on two plates.

Original Mexican Cafe Original Combo 3

Original Mexican Cafe Original Combo 3a

Apparently Jim and I both thought it was really good since we pretty much cleaned our plates.

I don’t remember what Peri had, but I assume she liked it as well, since I didn’t hear any complaints.

Original Mexican Cafe Jan, Peri and Jim Dean

And as usual when we get together, we sat and talked for almost 4 hours before we headed home, and Jim and Peri went back to their rig at the State Park.

We had a great  time and hopefully we’ll be able to do this again soon.

And Thursday we get to do the whole friends-get-together thing again, with Ed and Debi Hurlburt, and Janice and Dave Evans, this time up in Huntsville at the Farmhouse Café there.

Supposed to be really good, so we’re looking forward to it.


Thought for the Day:

A Boy and his Dog.

Landon and Baxter

Or is it A Dog and his Boy.

   

    .

%d bloggers like this: