Friday, August 19, 2005

Catching up

It's been a busy summer. Here is what's happened since I last posted:

Justin and I went to Seattle for my grandfather's memorial service in July and spent our time there hanging out with my family. Ronel really likes having an uncle around.

While in Seattle, we bought Civilization III, which consumed our lives for the rest of the month. It's a great game. I don't know how people play it and have real jobs.

The first day of August, we flew to Seattle and spent about a week there. I got to see several friends, who come to think of it all read the blog occasionally: Anne, Deanna and Eric (and Alexandra, who's not so precocious that she's reading quite yet), and Heidi, Chris, and Madeline, who happened to be visiting Seattle at the same time. Grandma seemed to be doing a lot better.

We drove in a quasi-caravan in my grandfather's Jeep (that's another entry in itself) to Portland, where Justin finally got to experience Powell's! and onward through wine country (August Cellars, great Pinot Gris) to the coast. We spent the night at the Inn at Spanish Head in Lincoln City, where I took some great pictures. We spent the next night at Roseburg, then drove to Crater Lake (Justin and I just kind of buzzed by) and stayed two nights in Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where we saw Love's Labor's Lost and Twelfth Night. I like the latter more as a play, but LLL was a superior production, I think. (We saw Twelfth Night at Ashland a few years ago, and that production was tough to beat.)

After that, we continued to Lake Tahoe for the festivities surrounding my cousin Peter's wedding. Unfortunately, we missed the kickoff barbecue, but we had a great time at the rehearsal dinner and wedding. I was six when Peter was born, and it's kind of weird my little cousin (tall little cousin!) is married. Though my reaction is not quite as strong as my sister's when she found out he had a girlfriend a couple of Christmases ago, and asked him all sorts of questions, including whether they'd had sex. In front of our grandmother. Oy.

Justin and I had planned another long western Americana trip...So the day after the wedding we drove to Reno and northwards around Pyramid Lake, eventually taking dirt roads in the near-desert of northwestern Nevada. On one such road, about ten miles from the nearest town of any sort, we had a dramatic tire blowout. Fortunately, we had a spare tire, a jack, and a copy of Auto Repair for Dummies to tell us how to use them, although we were saved a lot of time by two kind people who stopped for us (and we were fortunate that anyone at all was on that road). A retired archaeologist with a dog named Petroglyph lent us a spinner wrench for the lug nuts and coached Justin (who did his best to demonstrate his manliness; I mostly watched and fetched drinking water) in changing the tire, and another fellow in a pickup followed us back to the paved road. We had the choice of driving to the nearest town--Gerlach, if you've got a map handy--and probably paying the crazy gas attendant we'd already encountered through the nose for whatever tire was available, or driving very cautiously another 80 miles to Reno and hoping we'd make it on the little spare tire. We chose the latter, and survived. Now the Jeep has new tires (the remaining old ones were in okay condition but, well, old) and a full-sized spare, because now we know better.

We spent a full day in Reno at an absurdly inexpensive casino-hotel recovering from that adventure and eating lots of In-N-Out burgers. From there we decided to come home and perhaps limit our travels to northern California for the time being. There is a lot to do here, too.

Only now Justin is driving out to Denver to visit John again. Oh well. I miss him more than I did the last time he was gone--or I'm worried about him driving alone, although he just called from outside Cheyenne and he's fine--but the cats are glad to have me to themselves. Only they have to share me with Civ.

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