Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic
howeird

Another scorcher

This morning's adventure was a search for breakfast. Harrah's, which is connected by underground tunnel to Harvey's, has a HUGE esign saying their buffet on the 18th floor is now open. Or maybe it was the bar. It took a long maze navigation to find the elevators, and the view from the approach to the two eateries was gorgeous, but both were closed.

The only place I found open was in the basement, and there was a 20-minute wait.

By the time I'd given up on breakfast it was almost time for lunch, so I went exploring, and found that Heavenly ski slope's gondola was only a couple of blocks away. But this time of year it only runs on weekends. There's a while village of shops and such and I found a nice place called Gunmetal. As I was reading the outdoor menu, a yellow jacket bit my leg. When the hostess seated me outdoors as i asked, she said "we have a bee problem, you don't mind?" I told her I was just bitten by one, but not a problem. Because it wasn't a bee. But I didn't correct her. Of course as I was eating my buffalo burger (which was excellent) a yellow jacket tried to eat it as well. It was very persistent, and avoided my finger flicking.

Back to the room to get my camera, then Ingressed my way to the bus station at 1:30. Misread the schedule, thought it said 2:30, but it said 2:05. Glad I got there so early.

The driver had the aircon set to "Freezer". He probably should have removed his sweater. The drive was very scenic, wrapping around Lake Tahoe for half the trip, some beautiful views. Hazy, though, from lots of small fires. The second half started in hugely tectonified mountains, plates at right angles to the earth. Spectacular images. It ended in the flatlands, and central Carson City.

I had planned to spend some hours at the state historical museum, but the main road in town was being re-paved, and there was no way for me to get across the street to it. Apparently it was closed anyway because the construction was not just obstructive, it was noisy and smelly.

However on the same side of the street as me, a few blocks down, was the state capitol. Beautiful blend of colonial and Victorian, but with a catch. You can't see it very well because it is surrounded by gardens of trees which were planted 150 or more years ago, and they range from huge to gigantic. Most of them have plaques saying the name of the tree and where in the state it was from.

There are hardly any flowers, which is kind of a shame.

Got back half an hour early for the 4:30 bus. Plan A had been to catch the last one at 6:40 but with no museum and not much to photograph in town...

Got most of the photos I missed on the way up by sitting in the same seat. Serious eye candy in the two rows ahead of me. Nice driver let me off right in front of the hotel (there's a stop there, but I had to ask).

Best $4 of the trip. ($2 each way at senior price)

While I was waiting to return, my phone beeped with a FB message from a NC friend whom I knew was in San Jose today, inviting me to join her & hubby for dinner tonight. So sorry to miss her, she is my best friend from Peace Corps. That's two old & living far away friends I missed when they were in town. :-(

Back to the hotel, dropped off the camera, got some ice and a Pepsi, did some online stuff and then hunted down dinner. It took a long time. I made a side trip to the hotel shop, looking for insect bite meds but all I could find was aloe. Also got a more managable water bottle.  Did not want to go to Bee Central, found there was nothing on my side of the street except a burrito place with a neon warning sign "MENUDO", and a pizza place called "Dough Pizza". Not inspiring. Stopped in at a convenience store, again no insect stuff, but got some snacks for the trip back and diet Coke.
Across the street the one nice big place had live music.

Let me back up.

As I was having lunch and enjoying Gunmetal's recorded folk & bluegrass music, someone not too far away started channeling Johnny Cash. Complete with his famous tone deafness. It was horrible. After lunch I walked toward the source of the pain, and it was a nearby outdoor stage for this place I just mentioned.

I listened to the dinner singer from across the street as I waited for the light, but the three young women waiting with me were singing along, and they had chorale-quality voices. It was a Whitney Houston number.

Across the street, the women went off in another direction as I parked myself near enough to hear. The singer had a gimmick of singing the last note of each line up an octave, so it took a good 45 seconds to hear she was off key at least once a phrase.

FAIL.

On to the next place. "Fire & Ice, Improvisational cuisine". I sit down, am handed a tiny flip card menu. It is all drinks. Except for the first page which says to go to the salad bar, invent your own salad, and when you return the waiter will take your drink order.

Not what I was looking for.

Finally back to the first place, Stateline Brewery. It's in the basement, down a steep spiral staircase. I'll take the elevator back up. Despite being a brewery and half of it is a bar with lots of craft beers, they had a pretty good menu. The spring salad was excellent, I loved the lemon juice in the bleu cheese dressing.

And then the inevitable happened. They brought out my BBQ ribs before I was halfway through with the salad. It was a surgical strike delivery by a bus person, so no chance to have them keep it warm till I'm ready.

It was good, but too much too sweet sauce, the mashed potatoes still had a lot of skin, the cole slaw was overkill in light of the salad.

After the ribs were delivered, i didn't see a staff person again until 15 minutes after I was done eating. And even then, wait person had hostess take care of the bill, which took another 10 minutes because she was also accepting a delivery and playing with a friend's kid who just dropped by.

There was not a generous tip.

Got lucky on my way back and found the food court in Harrah's right away, and got me a chocolate shake to take back to the room.

And here I am now.

Plans for tomorrow:
Check out by noon. Maybe have something breakfast-like at the Starbucks in the lobby.
1:30 Amtrak bus to Sacto
Train to SJ
Home.
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