North to Many Places



How did we spend the end of June through the fourth of July?  Traveling.  Again.  Still.  Do we ever stay home?  Good question.

Sometimes.

Anyway, the Rayman drove to Corvallis to see the new and improved son.  He lost weight and looked great!!!  They played golf and wine tasted.  Shock and awe!!

Moi stayed home and rested up for the ensuing trip.  The plan was to take the train to Salinas, spend the night in Gilroy with friends and travel the next day to Lincoln (north of Sacramento).  This all happened.

Meanwhile Ray travelled from Corvallis to Tahoe Donner (by Truckee) so that he could party and play golf and poker with Indian Guides friends.   Which he did.

By the time we met in Lincoln, he was half dead from driving the car, driving the golf club and driving himself.  He had a cold and kept me awake all night hacking.  We stayed with our friends, the Dunleys and had a great time.  We went to a party on Wed., a party on Thurs., another party on Friday and a 70th birthday party on Saturday.  These guys know how to party.  And between parties we played golf.  And did I mention it was hotter than Hades?

We then left and drove to Nevada City and stayed at our friends there.  They were in Oregon on a 400 mile bike ride which followed a hike up Mt. Shasta.   Darn I feel lazy.

The highlight of Nevada City is the charm of the town, the Magic Theater (we saw Midnight in Paris) that still uses reels to show the movies and they had an intermission to reload the reels.  Very small place…makes the Palm look palatial.   Very fun.  We went to the 4:00 p.m. show and found out they don’t do matinees during the week.  At the 7 p.m. show there were two women behind the bar selling tickets and popcorn(organic), and cookies and things.  The woman in front of us bought a ticket for her husband who has, “brown hair with some gray, but really mostly brown.  I keep telling him he looks distinguished but he still insists that he has brown hair, so if he shows up you will probably recognized him by his brown hair with some gray in it.”  She bought the tickets and we bought ours and we ended up sitting directly behind them.  It ends up she lived a year in Paris when she was 13 and then they moved down by the Med and she attended a school where no one spoke english.  She absolutely loved it.  She had already seen the movie but her not her very gray haired husband, so she dragged him out to see it because she loved it so much, “and I’m sure he’ll really like it.”  He didn’t speak.  Not because he was a Walter Mitty type.  She just specialized in talking and she was a hoot.

And our friend’s home.  It is fabulous…I dubbed it the trapezoid house.  It is full of angles and colors.  A wonderful, magical house.  It had a big dark purple wall, yellow walls, green walls…and windows everywhere that looked out on pines of various ages and heights.  And manzanita.  Stunning.

Today we are perched in a tree house of sorts.  We traded for two days for this prefab green house that sits on Rollins Lake near Coxfax and Grass Valley.  All the windows open like accordions and you truly feel like you are in a tree house because of all the pines and other species of trees crowding the slope around the house.  Get this, this house will build and transported to City Hall in San Francisco as part of perhaps, Earth Day celebration a few years ago.  The owners saw it and went through it with about 220,000 other people and they bought it.  A picture of it adorns a book cover.   See below.   So while it was being transported to this piece of property they owned, the truck driver would not go down the narrow road to the lot and so he put it down on the side of Hwy 174 and left it.  This gives new meaning to the phrase, “well, there’s a picker upper!!   They had to hire another outfit to bring it in.

The house is 700 square feet.  And it is totally off the grid.  That’s because PG&E wanted to charge them $50,000 to bring in electricity.  So, they have solar panels that sit on the roof of a “shed” nearby.  With a back up generator (read lots of shade here).  And their water is stored underneath the porch in two big plastic tanks, much like a catamaran…brings back memories.  So, it is very instructive to stay here.  We were instructed by a very detailed book they have here to conserve.  I mean, really , really conserve water.  And electricity.  Which we did.  And while there was a tiny inconvenience (short shower), we enjoyed conserving.  It felt virtuous and it was enjoyable.  Did I mention, no TV.  Well, there was a TV but only for DVDs.  That’s when we discovered that, yes, we had already seen Sex and the City.  So left to our own devices…well, I’ll leave that to your imaginations…OH, heck, I’ll confess.  I read Theodore Rex and Ray played Angry Birds.

We did have 3G so the new ipad was a plus.  But really, we just didn’t need for anything.  It was quiet, relaxing, and really beautiful even in the rain.  The RAIN?  June 28th?  Yep.  It rained most of the day.  A nap was in order.  That’s because on our way here we stopped at the Happy Apple Kitchen on highway 174 because the sign said, “homemade pies”.  We had fabulous sandwiches that were so big and delicious that we took a FRESH CHERRY pie home with us.  OMG.  When was the last time any of you had a fresh cherry pie.  They used fresh cherries to make this pie that weighed about 4 pounds.  OMG.

But I digress.  The lunch was so big, a nap was in order.

We also stopped at a store for groceries.  Bought chicken to barbecue.  But alas, it rained.  So…we drove to Grass Valley and ate at Goomba’s, an italian restaurant located in a “hard for Glenda, the GPS” to find.  Sure glad we did find it.  We ordered a pizza and it was divine.  The place was decorated with old pictures of Italians…all family members of the owners.  Family owned restaurant in Grass Valley…a real find for a down to earth joint.  Met the owners.  They were wonderful.  She was a little thing and he was, well, not so small.  She confessed she was afraid to look at Yelp.  That’s how we found them so we encouraged them to check it out.  They are very popular on Yelp.

So.  Here is the deal.  I fell down on my blogging.  It got busy and I was so worn out by all the business that I just didn’t blog.  OH, well.

After we left the eco house, we drove up to Fallen Leaf Lake to visit my cousin, Susie who was staying at a cabin of friends.  What a fabulous place.  Pat, the hostess, cooked us a great dinner which we ate on the deck of the house.  I kept warm in a new sweatshirt that I bought at the store at Fallen Leaf Lake while we were out viewing the sights.  OMG.  Just too cool.  Did I mention that we got lost looking for the cabin?  Glenda, our GPS, steered us wrong and so I approached a cabin that might be the place.  It sat right on the lake.  As I approached the door, I looked around and noticed someone sleeping on the deck, her head covered by her hat.  I said hello and she sat right up.  What a delightful woman.  Her name was Irma Jean Rombauer or something close to that.  She had been coming to the lake since she was 5 years old.  She married a boy that leaved in the cabin next to her families’ cabin.  We had a delightful conversation on the deck of her vacation cabin while classical music floated through the air to provide beautiful background sounds.  Well.  Bottom line, I was one street off.  So…I took leave and found the right street.  Larry was in the street fending off a couple of big barking dogs.  We arrived at last at the cabin.  Here’s the view and some other pictures.

Me and cousin Susie on hammock.

Sue, Pat and trees.

Ray swinging                                    Ray at the falls

A lake above Fallen Leaf Lake                Me on the deck at Fallen Leaf Lake

Ray and Pat in the back of the cabin

Our hosts, Pat and Dick.

This cabin was so much fun.  You can see that in the pictures.  And before we left the next morning, Susie cooked us some eggs.  The really wonderful thing about cooking is that the stove has to be lit.  Literally.  It is a very old stove that requires kindling, wood and fire.  Here’s some more pictures.

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