Installment Three – The Rest of the Way

How many blogs have I authored?  It feels like thousands at this point.  Not even 500, truth be told.  So why the heck can’t I get my pictures where I want them on my posts?  I fear an update.  Oh, lord.

So rather than publish without pictures, I will stop trying to figure it out and just write.  Much more satisfying.

Today was a grand Mal day.  We miraculously set our iPhone alarm clock correctly and it woke us at 5:30.  We hit the trail a bit after 6 a.m.  Way early for this kid.  But we wanted to get into Yosemite before all the maddening crowd.  The gates open at 6 a.m. so that is what we were hoping for but, we didn’t miss it by much.  No cars, no traffic at the gate.

We then took the northern route locally referred to as Tuolumee Meadows.  What a fabulous drive.  Here are some of the pictures, with explanations.  

This is a sign on the road into the Park. We saw these announcements on many signs in the San Joaquin valley.

This is a sign on the road into the Park. We saw these announcements on many signs in the San Joaquin valley.

The backside of Half Dome.   Below is a lake pretending to be a mirror.







This sequence shows a small deer peering up at me as I snap the shot.  The other picture shows the hind legs of another deer.  Look closely for the legs behind the big rock.  That deer never moved a muscle while hiding.  So sweet, really.

Deer legs and shadows.

All ears.




Sheer granite.


Note:  I posted a video on FB if you want a ride down the hill!

We exited the park on the east at Lee Vining, CA.  Not too far from NV.  Mono Lake is there.  We attempted to get into the Visitor’s Center, but it was closed.  Had to relieve ourselves in the bushes.  Ran.

We came upon hurdles but I’m not going to spoil my high with faux pas tonight.  Just not going to do it.  Don’t worry, dear reader, there will be plenty of faux pas to report on in the future!!

So, the ride is like trees, trees, trees interrupted by mountains of granite, scrubbed by wind, rain, sleet and snow.  The beauty of the place just overwhelms your senses.  This grandeur of monster mountains, green meadows full of life, …where the mountains are hard as…I was going to say rock but that would be too too.  

Then the brooks, the streams, the river too low of water, the lakes, the reflections on the lakes…it is just too much to believe.  We are so blessed to have these natural wonders in our state, our nation, our planet.  

The flip side is all the burnt trees we had to look at in a cocktail of sadness and fear.  Our planet is crying out for help and human beings in power around the world are not coming to her aid.  George Carlin put it another way, “The planet is fine.  The people are fucked,”    He argued that the planet will repair itself after it has rid it of us.  After all, that has happened before.  

Traveling is both wonderful and a pain.  There is nothing easy about it.  It opens new vistas and ideas and thinking as you muddle about trying to get about.  And it is made more difficult with a doggie.  Just making the reservations and then keeping track of them is a challenge.  I try to keep them digitally, but I almost always make a copy…it is as if I don’t trust digital.  Seems reasonable to me.

Finding food is easier than it was when you had to keep or catch your supper but on the road, finding a place to eat outside with our Beau is not without its challenges as well.  One place flat out turned us away today.  Luckily our second try netted a table outside with shade and a breeze.  As luck would have it, a hiker sat down at the next table and we struck up a conversation.  He had been hiking the Pacific Coast Trail since mid-Apr but he had to stop today because his fibia or was it tibia? was broken not from a fall, just hiking…  He lived in VA so it will take him a time to get home.  He was not a young man.  Quite interesting

It is time to retire for the day so I will continue this when I figure out my app issues.  

Your Intrepid Reporter,  Dianna

Hi again.  I’m back.

Carson City was where we decamped on our second night.  Our Home or My Home…a new hotel chain that I give 3 stars.  It was clean, modern, but it sat between a major artery, a freeway, an off ramp so opening a window was a fool’s errand.  A stuffy room was the result but we made the best of it and checked out after a delicious bowl of Crunchy Raisin Bran that came prepackaged in a bowl.  It was too sweet, but we paid, didn’t we?  

The other thing worth noting was that we arrived at 1:30 and they offered to let us check in early for $50.  AYKM?  That resulted in us killing time by getting the car washed, and finding the restaurant for late lunch/early dinner.  We also wandered into the Sportsman store where I observed a lifetimes worth of camo jackets, pants, underwear, hats, gloves, boots.  If you need to blend into the woods, this is the store for you.  And, there was a gun department with several men waiting on several patrons.  I wanted to throw up but decided, no I did not.  Instead I engaged with the man that was helping us find dog booties so Beau’s paws could be protected while he gingerly pranced over hot parking lots sans trees/shade or cook an egg on the sidewalk hot sidewalks.  The guy was from Iowa temporarily because he was helping his mom post surgery.  I expressed sympathy that he lived in Iowa.  He corrected my poor thinking by saying he loved Iowa.  “But, they are so hostile to women”, I offered.  He said he understood but he didn’t approve of abortion and that is where we left it.  Those guns give me pause.

Moving right along.  Some pictures.

f you can see the buildings, they show how high these “hills” were.

Look, ma, no cars.

Pano of the alkaline lake…it reminded us of the Great Salt Lake. It went on for miles and miles, and miles. Perhaps a preview of what the Salton Sea will be soon enough.

Our drive consisted of driving to  Burns, OR.  Burns is in the high desert and we have never been there before.  Ryan suggested we stay two night because of geology so we made a reservation at a Day’s Inn which was one of three places that allowed pets.  So that is where we were heading

Along the way we got hungry and so we stopped at a restaurant in Alturus that was featured in an article in the L.A. Times that I read in December.  An Italian joint.  When I went inside to order, there wasn’t a soul there.  Then a woman emerged and I ordered spaghetti after I discovered we could eat outside on the sidewalk.  As it turned out, it is hard to eat slippery spaghetti with a plastic fork.  Noodles just slip off like rain on a window.  Key learning, there.

After our lunch sans wine because they couldn’t serve us wine outside, a local rule, I suspect, we got back in the car and continued north.  The landscape was amazing and we were one of four cars on the road.  Two lanes, no traffic, hardly a car or truck at all.  It was nirvana.  And we had the January 6 affair to listen to on the radio.  The miles went by quickly doing 55 MPH.  

OMG.  The Jan 6 hearing was jaw dropping and I was so happy to hear a young woman testify.  What a patriot.  Wouldn’t it be ironic if it was women that saved the Republic?  Between Cassidy and Cheney, the ingredients are certainly there.  They are making the apologists for Trump look like fools…either that or fooled by the grifter that reminds me as more or a Mob leader in more ways than one.

When we arrived in Burns, we were given a smoking room.  I was adamant.  “I’’m not staying in this room”,  I told the kid behind the desk.  It reeks of smoke.  Do you have a non-smoking room”?  

Upon learning it was their only room left, we left.  The room had a sagging bed with an old Sears and Roebuck flowered bedspread, a wall air-condition that looked ominous, like a good example of a Legionnaires disease spreader.  God, it was horrible.  There might have been another room but the hotel was going thru a renovation and half the place was uninhabitable.  

Where did we go?  Dead tired after 6 hours on the road, we went west to Bend.  There was no place to stay that was any better than Day’s Inn in Burns that would take Beau.  

About 8:30 we arrived at La Quinta in Bend, we lugged our stuff up stairs to find our room.  Rayman walked the dog, I ordered tacos from GrubHub, and when it arrived, Rayman ate at the desk in the room while I sat on the bed and used the night stand as my table.  Flushing down the mediocre taco with gulps of beer, we finished eating, got ready for bed, and called it a day.  It was 10:30.

This brings us to yesterday.  With a three hour trip in front of us, we took our time leaving and arrived back at the SHIP in Portland in early afternoon.  In one pieceand very excited that we had such a beautiful trip.  The scenery was out of this world, we only got angry once or twice, and we toodled all the way to Portland.  Very successful trip.   

Installment Numero Dos

Pictures being worth 1,000 words or 10,000 words won’t cut it tonight.  I only have two pictures that I took today.

Our trip today took us from the shores of Morro Bay to the mountains of the Sierra Nevadas, sort of.  Having just checked into Buck’s Lodge, we are adjusting to a $250 bill for a room that has one dinky window, space just enough to fit a queen bed with all the comforts of say, a 2 star hotel.  However, having said that, we are 17 miles from the entrance to Yosemite…proving once again that it’s all about location, location, location.  

The room faces a gas station that is no longer in service but it does provide shade for two dilapidated old trucks that are parked under the overhang.  Our front door looks out on the road which is just one step our of doo…so close to being mowed down, it brings to mind our drive today.

The old gas station next to the motel.

We took highway 41 to Atascadero, 101 to 46 east at Paso, turning left at 41 to continue driving on 41 to Fresno.  Then it got really interesting.  We took back roads and ended up on  a road we weren’t sure went anywhere.  But out we popped and hit 120, newly paved and a pleasure to drive in the 100 degree heat that enveloped all of San Joaquin Valley.  Hot, hot, hot.  

And this is why I pulled off to take my picture seen below.  Those poor cows.  Over 100, no trees for shade, no water trough in sight.  We then passed a big ranch with a splendid gate that announced “Dry Creek Ranch” which had a big American flag flying to announce support for the GOP, I’m sure.  They seem to have claimed the flag as their own while the old chap-wearing, spur- adorned farmers do all they can to dismantle democracy in these parts.  If I looked up their Representative, I would be shocked to find a Democrat.  No, these guys like the GOP because they think the GOP will build dams everywhere to capture the water that never arrives.  We passed the San Pedro dam and it looked way low.  We are always mystified when we see these signs.  A dam isn’t going to a damn for them.  Perhaps they should have a better slogan…”We are sure that God will provide so please build dams”.  While they slam electric vehicles and solar power, they erect silly signs like it is going to make the difference.  So silly, are these folks.

Rant over.  

So, 120 going east is a huge climb.  Hairpin curves, no guardrails.  We could have performed a Thelma and Louise to great affect but thought better of it as it might have started a fire.  Things are dry as a bone.    

Yosemite this year requires a pass to drive into the park and passes are designed to limit the amount of cars in the park.  What a fabulous idea.  You can get a pass 1 week in advance.  I think the limit is 70 so we were lucky to score.  I’m talking about cars here, not age.  It is all done on the computer so if you can’t connect to the internet, you may be screwed.  This would impact people of modest means the most, of course.

We plan to traverse Tuolomme Meadows and fall out of the park on the East side via the Tiago Pass road which leads down to highway 395.  Only done it once before when I was way young, so really looking forward the the ride.  Think we will be on the outside, so other opportunities for ending it all will present themselves but we’re not ready to go yet!

Beau is laying between us as I type and Rayman relaxes on his iPad with his solitaire game.  He was neither seen nor heard as he traveled on the floor in the backseat.  Such a good boy.  We must leash him up so he doesn’t bolt from the door and get squished by the cars that drive by our room to get the other rooms in the back of this building.  What a hoot.

The road thru the Meadow is under construction.  Did I mention that?  Yes.  Delays are expected.  To avoid as much of that as possible, we plan to be at the gate around opening time which is 6 a.m. in the morning.  We may traverse some gravel too.  Glad we aren’t wanting to go to the valley floor in order to drive up to the Glacier Point.  Glacier Point road is completely closed for the season for much needed repairs.  That road offers one of the most breathtaking views on the globe.  

Rayman is out walking Beau and I‘m going to conclude this travel log to hoof it over to Buck’s Cafe and Saloon…  It might be a wild time in the saloon tonight.  

Here is Rayman with a view of the saloon.  It was surprising good.  Avocado toast and tomato basil soup was dinner.  Yummy.  Actually was the best meal of the whole trip.  I know this because we made it back to PDX and that is another Installment.


I’m having quite a time with this software.  Glad you can’t hear me!!

Our room for the night.


Road Trip for 2022 – First Installment

As we are in Chico, I am writing from Chico.  Arrived a bit ago after a drive from Roseburg to here.  Yesterday we traveled from PDX to Roseburg, Oregon.  It was a rainy trip for most of the time.  It has been reported that June is the wettest in recorded history…quite possibly dating back to Jesus Christ.

Yesterday’s trip was perfect.  We did not hurry, and everything went like clockwork.  For instance, we arrived in Roseburg at check in time and I tootled into the lobby and announced our arrival. 

“Name please”?

“Dianna Jackson.”

As he grabbed an envelop, he said, “Barbara Jackson”.

 “Nope.  Dianna”.

“We don’t have you on our list, he explained..”

“Oh, I have the reservation confirmation.  QR842b67Y5062VX233.

“That is not our confirmation number.  Ours all start with G,,,,,There is another Riverview Hotel right next door.  You might try them.”

Not to belabor the point, but I reserved in THAT place next door, the Riverview Hotel.  Leaving with my tail between my legs, I almost tripped.  Good thing I didn’t.  The hotel next door was our venue for the night.  It had paint trucks in the parking lot, painters painting here and there, and it was raining lightly.  

As luck would usually not have it, we got the best room in the place.  On the end, ground floor, with a balcony as there was a basement ground floor beneath us.  Ah, serendipity.  Sweet serendipity.  The place had seen it’s better days but we oddly liked it because the bathroom had a window.  And the most fabulous part of this unit, was the bottle opener that sat below the lock on the bathroom door (inside) so that if someone was entertaining, it would not go missing.  Nailed to the door, and repainted close to over 50 times.  Oh, and the stand up shower instead of bathtub with shower combo which is an overused application, IMHO.   It probably would be not hard to break a hand by hitting the wall while shampooing.  I’ve seen smaller in Europe, but this a close rival.  And it was cheaper since it probably fell into the 2 star range.  

Checking on Trip Advisor I located a dinner house.  Since it was 58 degrees and sprinkling from a variegated cloud formation, we took Beau so he could be in the car while we ate.  We arrived as they opened, at 4:30 p.m. after stalking the place by driving around the block regarding the “historic district” that had many store fronts shuttered.  The Republicans must be big in these parts.  And they must have big bucks for that prime location. Check out this picture.


And because we were the early birds, our drinks and food came expediciously.  The playlist was great so we did some chair dancing until others arrived and invaded our space in the main dining room.  The food was great, the martini we split was super cold, the olives extra big.  We split pork, polenta, roasted Brussels and crispy onions slices on top,  drowning  in a cream sauce that included pickled jalapeño.   Bonding with the server was easy.  We think she liked us.  

After dinner, we went back to the hotel to watch TV.  Problem is… the TV didn’t have our channel.  Then the phone rang.  My phone announced a call from Costco.  Costco?  With fear and trepidation, fearing it was a ruse, I answered the phone.  It was an employee from Costco who knew the maitre’d of the restaurant we had just left.. Brad was his name.  He called her because he found my purse draped across the back of my chair like a coat on a coat rack.  In my purse, he found my Costco card.   He called someone he knew that worked at Costco and she looked up my account and called me.  How fabulous was that? 

Poor Rayman went back to the restaurant which was very close by, to pick up my purse  (because my driver’s license was in the purse ) while I tried to figure out how to stream the news on my MacBook Pro.  When I kept hitting walls, it occurred to me that perhaps Rayman’s iPad could do it.  And it did!!  Rayman walked in just as I got the program on his iPad and we watched the news!!  Now that is great timing.  The news was so upsetting that Rayman didn’t even mention the lost purse episode.  And neither did I!  Overall, it was a very positive experience and we count ourselves lucky that my purse fell into good hands.  Rayman gave the nice guy a tip for his honesty.  It does the heart good to know there are some trustworthy people in our midst.   Not to mention the fact that I could have lost the purse for good, returned home and then discovered that my purse was missing., become insane and deranged at approximentaly the same time, etc.  Oh, the possibilities.   

Today Mr. Yang showed up.  Since Mr. Ying was so kind to us, Yang was a clear disappointment.  There was nothing open in a way of a bakery in Roseburg so we drove to Grants Pass an hour south.  Then the cutoff to 99 E was closed for construction so we had to double back a few miles to get back to I-5 so we could get another road over to 99.  We also had to stop for ice and I thought Rayman was going to blow a gasket.

We parked in the Safeway parking lot in Redding.  Forgot our masks so I sent him back to the car in a sincere attempt to save him from catching Covid, while I went in and bought the ice.  The plan was for Rayman to get the car and pick me up in front of the store.  Well, it was painted red, the sidewalk, I’m talking about.  Rayman wanted to move the car from the DO NOT PARK zone.  My idea was just to get the cooler out of back quickly, and pour the ice in and vamanos.  It became so contentious that Rayman said he worried we would get shot for being so stupid.  I said, “Oh, for Pete’s sake.  It’s fine”.  That is when the 6 shooter appeared, Rayman got pistol whipped, and I drove out of parking lot.  

Just kidding.

Nothing happened.  Other than raising Rayman’s blood pressure to a very unhealthy level.  

Now I would be remiss if I said the whole ice follies event occurred because Ryan gave Rayman an assortment of beer for early Father’s Day gift.  We needed to ice it down.  It is with us so we can drink it after a hot day on the road and today, the clouds disappeared and the sun shone bright enough to warm the the temp to 80.  If we haven’t have done that, I would be drinking warm beer right now.   So even though Ryan is in WA, I could make a case all this was his fault.  And if I did, divorce would be inevitable!!

Tomorrow we head home.  From Chico to Morro Bay.  It will be a long slog but perhaps it will be perfect!!

To finish this on a high note, I present to you some pictures I took in the bakery in Grants Pass.  Enjoy.  I would have tried to edit these but the beer has kicked in.  It’s called Diversionary Pinot Porter.  Very good.


Dragon Boat Races and other Delights

It’s Saturday.  Overcast.  Warmish.  And I feel like blogging.

With fear and trepidation in his heart, Rayman agreed to take mass transit into downtown Portland to see the Dragon Boat Races today.  We have never done that before.  Our virgin voyage.  We were meeting our friends, Al and Charlie, for a morning on the Willamette River and we were told traffic and parking would be difficult.  

The City of Portland transit system is a marvel.  A combo of buses, light rail, and streetcars work together to shuffle people here and there using the latest software programs to help passengers.  It is much more progressive than Bart which I rode when I lived in the Bay Area.

They have an app called HOP.  You establish an account.  Figure out how you want to pay. and you’re ready to go.  The app even allows you to put in your current destination and where you want to go and then gives you three options on how to get there.  Nifty.  

Of course, we had trouble but not enough to prevent us from arriving at the river only slightly late.  

Here we are on the bus, on the way.  


The bus ride took us to a transit center where we boarded the light rail system.  When we crossed the river, the train stopped and said there was an issue and that the train was waiting for resolution.  That’s when the police cars showed up.  So, we jumped off and started walking to the meet up location.  Visions of gun violence danced in our heads.  After a good walk, we met up with Al and Charlie thanks to texting with Al.  As Al said, “you’re not lost if you have a phone”.  

We then watched some races.  It was entertaining and colorful.  Think Portlandia.  Here is a picture of the boats post-race.  




Here is one of the many observers of the races.  He came fully prepared.  We didn’t even bring a chair so there was no sitting down for our sorry asses.


The lawn along the river was muddy.  The port-a-potties had run out of TP necessitating tearing the back page off the free program booklet.  So, not ideal but what the heck.

There are ships on the river right now.  Coast Guard ships.  There is even a submarine in the river today.  An actual submarine.  It was lying low if you’ll pardon the pun.  

After a time we grew hungry and left the festivities to go get a pizza at a place called Life of Pie Pizza.  Sat outside because forecasted rain had not yet materialized and gulped down pizza and beer or wine for a fine lunch.  

Rayman and Al at lunch

It was time to leave.  Al figured out how we should get home and it was via bus 24 or 30 or something like that and the bus stop was not too far from where we ate.  He also showed us how to use the app library on my phone.  Very instructive day.  


Our bus arrived, we bid fond adieu and off we went.  When the bus stopped, the driver told us we had to disembark because, we had to we did.  Now what?  Rayman knew where we were.  We were at the Providence Arena, a sports venue and there was a light rail stop a half a block away.  So, we jumped on the next train and basically retraced our steps from there.  



City art and old farts

Now this is not that lively a story but if you stop to consider that we vaguely knew a little bit about the system but went ahead and used it anyway…an old couple of Honored Citizens as the TriMet refers to “older clientele” and took the plunge, we managed.  We were successful.  

That and the fact that we were never lost at any one time for very long, it was even more impressive.

Key learnings:  if you leave the driving to them, there are no arguments, you get to watch the scenery go by, and you don’t have to pay to park, look for a place to park and all that entails.  

It really was marvelous.  


Headed home before the rain



A Date with the Rayman

Hello from the Pacific Northwest, and specifically Portland, OR.  We arrived here on a beautiful May Day and are now starting to get our bearings.  

Dicey is the word that you might find in Wordle and definitely the word you would use for the weather here.  The old adage, don’t like the weather, wait 15 minutes is totally apropos for this city.  And that iw the type of day it is today.  Winter and spring alternating about every 15 minutes.

We had a date today.  Freda and Diego were featured in a wonderful exhibition at the Portland (PDX) Art Museum.  They did not disappoint.  A very colorful show that rings true today as they were very much political animals and supported laborers, craftspersons, and the dispossessed. 




Here are a few original paintings of the two.  And lots of people in attendance so that we remained masked.  It was about a 60-40 split, mask v bare-faced.


Freda with monkeys.

Diego’s cacti

A few notes.  Loved the monkey picture.  They had monkeys in their home in Mexico City.  That home is now a Museum.  I want to go there.  Secondly, the anti is so interesting.  Male and female?  inquiring minds want to know.  Her self portrait with a picture of Diego between her eyes is weird but beautifully painted.  She shunned the idea that she was a surrealist.


But on to the rest of the story.

After the exhibit, we looked for a place to eat and decided on a food truck restaurant that Kirsten, Sue’s youngest, recommended.  As we were leaving the city proper, we espied Powells Books and Rayman wanted to stop in for a new book.  Parking was a mess, it was cold and sprinkling off and on.  So, in all my brilliance, I pulled over by the front door, suggested he get out and look for a book while I looked for a parking place.  As I pulled away, the car started beeping.  Why?, I wondered.  Then the phone rang.  Rayman had the key.  So, I circled round and he gave me the key.  They I was off again in search of a parking spot.  

PDX is a city under construction.  Collapsing lanes, no left turn signs, one way streets, streetcars to dodge.  All this added up to me getting lost.  This then afforded me to experiment with the voice button that I pressed, spitted “Powell”s Books into the microphone, wherever it was, and waited for directions.  While it is not hard, it isn’t easy and add that to the fact that I am completely unfamiliar with downtown, I was a sight to behold.  The phone rang.  It was Rayman wondering where I was.  He had purchased a book on Greek Mythology and was standing out where I left him.

Okay, but I was still lost, explained myself and told him I’d be right there reasoning that PDX is a small city.  Then I resumed practicing talking to the GPS which got me to the opposite side of Powell’s which was the wrong corner.  The bookstore is a city block, I think.  I called Rayman.  By this time, the sun had gone behind the looming, dark clouds, and it was starting to hail.  He was dressed for light rain, not hail and he told me that he was freezing and would I please come.  I may have turned left and then left again and there he was, my drowned rat.  No parking so I drove up the street as he broke into full run, for an old guy, quite surprising really.  He jumped in the car, flipped on the heated seat and I asked him what book he bought.  “OMG, I don’t have it.” 

Literally that was true.  It was not on his person as he had tossed it on the dash directly in front of himself.  With that then discovered, we caught the freeway and proceeded to lunch.  

PDX restaurants are open but most do take-out only.  So, I remembered that Kristen told me about a food court, PDX style…by which I mean food trucks in a courtyard configuration.  And that is where we headed.  Seating was in the middle.  The hail and the rain had stopped, Rayman’s derrière was mostly warm, the tables were covered by a roof, and there were heating devices hanging from the roof.  And that is where we had a wonderful lunch at a place called, oh, I don’t remember.  I took a picture though.  It was a fancy egg sandwich, perfectly perfect.

Rayman at the food court.

My sandwich half eaten. Yes, I finished it and washed it down with apple juice.


So, that was our date.  Now we’re are back home in our sweats, watching the weather from inside.  It is still changing every 15 minutes.  And Beau is thrilled we returned.

Table Number One

The only other time I remember being invited to sit at the Captain’s Table was on a cruise down the Soane when my Uncle was traveling with us.  He refused to accept the invite because, well, he could.  He may have said he wasn’t feeling well, because he wasn’t feeling well.  So, out of family support that evening, we declined the invitation.

Last night we were assigned to table one at a winery dinner.  And at that table were the owners of Dresser Winery which is located up the road, aptly named Dresser Ranch Place.  At the turn off at Dresser Ranch Place sits a just painted old house that my Grandparents, Birdie and Rollo Dresser, lived in for a bit of time.  It was “the ranch house.”  It is a house with a rich local history and it appears the new owners as of the beginning of this month, are sprucing the place up which is a huge relief to all that might strive to preserve history.  


The ranch house

But I digress.

Bottomline, the owners of the winery are entranced with the history of the Dresser Ranch for which I am personally thrilled and very much a Dresser descendant.  Because I am writing a book about the history of the place and my family, our stars collided when my friend, Tim Bryan, surprised me with a bottle of Dresser wine to introduce me to the new label.  

Life takes twists and turns like a mountain road, often when you least expect it  And in this case, my reaction to the turn of events replete with twists, was nothing short of swift.  Immediately, I joined the Dresser Winery wine club and as luck would have it, a party was planned for March 17.  So, along with buying a case of wine, I bought two tickets to the party.  And it was at that party, that we were assigned to table one.   

When we arrived, we were pointed to the pool area…a huge affair that called my name.  And this is where we met some ladies from Washington, D.C.  They had flown in for the event.  The smallest woman of the three was a retired Air Force officer, and she was a base commander in Ohio.  OMG.  Now, she works as a civilian at the Pentagon.  Oh, so many questions we had.  These three flew in for the weekend and ended up at the party that was limited to 40 diners.  It blows the mind.  We met a couple from San Diego.  They were bicyclists so we had much to discuss since we are bicycle groupies….we know and love dozens of bicyclists.  They are, after all, very brave.  

The kicker was the  husband and wife owners of the winery were like ying and yang as she was eleqant and he was a hoot, donned in a pair of green pants with an interesting print.  You know, you never want to look too long at prints on a pair of pants for fear of being considered too brazen, too improper.  But the pants were a scream.  Loved them.

Finally, the wine was delicious.  A different varietal was paired with the courses of the food and the entire affair struck the right note on the full mooned night.  That came as an instant relief to me because up until that moment, I had never had a glass of Dresser Wine.  A fine introduction all around.  A neophyte struck gold, is my description of the experience.  

A shout out to the others at the table.  A couple from Los Gatos, a couple from Atascadero.  The Atascadero folks were quite fabulous.  And as luck would have it, they are leaving for France at the end of this month…he is a winemaker at another winery, and she is a retired nurse who is too young to retire and so has developed another opportunity for herself which includes travel..  With youth on their side, the world is their oyster.  Of course, I had to refer them to my  blog and she impressively looked it up right there.  He was so moderate and kind.  Special people to our right.  

The other couple were from the Bay Area and he may have missed his calling.  He would give Larry King a run for his money.  Their story of how they met and married certainly caught our imagination.  They have been doing it right now for 45 years!  Because they were further away from me, it was very difficult for me to hear them.  Admittedly, I am deaf as a doornail, so missed out on most of the conversation, so I spent my time looking at them and I am here to report, their outfits were perfect.  Very well dressed and coifed.  

The wait staff was generous, efficient, and quite fun by the time I had gulped down about 3 bottles of wine.  Just sayin.  

They billed the party as dinner from 7 to 9.  We didn’t get home until 11:45.  So jazzed were we, that we talked all the way home, excited to be alive, to be healthy, to be wine menbers of the Dresser Winery.  

As a completely unexpected gesture, I invited the owners to dinner at our house for a TBD date.  .  The invitation included my offer to share many pictures with them.  They loved a few of the pictures I emailed them so, who knows?  He is a self described history buff and they are brilliant to have snapped up the Dresser name for their label.  So, one never knows.  

What I do know, without a doubt, is that you all need to go to the Dresser Winery east of Paso Robles.  It will definitely worth your time if you love red wine.  It’s so fine.

And I need to finish my book.