Thursday, February 23, 2006

Day Tripper

I love day trips. Anything longer involves packing. And planning. And making arrangements for someone to feed the pets. But a day trip is just perfect, long enough to feel like a break in the routine, not so long that the effort cancels out the relaxation.

I used to take a lot of day trips. When the kids where younger and my days were more tightly scheduled and hectic, day trips, as often as possible, were a pleasant alternative to prescription medication to keep me calm and functioning.

Nowadays I do a lot more traveling, not all of it by my choice. And I have more freedom in my regular day-to-day routine. So I don't feel the need to take day trips very often anymore, which is a good thing considering a) the price of gas these days and b) the fact that there's not a lot of day trip destination possibilities when your starting point is Susanville. There's one small town with a few shops and restaurants 30 minutes away at Lake Almanor. After that, it's a 100 miles in any direction.

But I woke up this morning and thought, hmmmm, a day trip sounds like fun. I suggested it to the hubby and teen and surprisingly, they jumped on the idea enthusiastically. Both of them had specific reasons why they were excited about the trip. William wanted to go to Olive Garden, Jeff wanted to go to Barnes & Noble. More importantly, they both wanted to play with the GPS program in our rental car (our Subie got dented in a bump-and-run and was in the shop). Within half an hour we were on the road and headed to Reno.

With absolutely nothing we needed to do, the discussion on the road revolved around "what did we want to do" with our day. Well, and we talked about how the GPS worked. To say that William was enamored of the GPS "toy", would be to seriously underestimate his interest in it. Jeff, too, thought it was nifty. I'll admit, it was entertaining, but I also couldn't shake the whole "big brother is watching" feel of having a small screen tell me exactly where I was on the planet.

I suggested we go to the Nevada Museum of Art, something I'd wanted to do for some time but never managed to fit into our plans. I didn't actually know where the museum was located, but fortunately the Nevada Museum of Art was listed as one of Reno's local attractions in the GPS and so we pushed a couple of buttons and it took us right to it.

Along with the regular collections, they had a visiting show of Russian Icons. They were so beautiful. Definitely my favorite part of the museum. Next to the icons, I think my favorite thing in the entire museum was this deliciously soft, retro, green leather couch and chair in the entry area. Especially the chair. Not only was it really cool looking, it was comfy beyond belief. Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you're the legal sort) it was a little too big to slip into my purse and sneak out of the building with. Sigh. I settled for purchasing a cute little glass blown raven in the gift shop.

Next, the boys were happy to stay in the car (and play with the dials, buttons, knobs, and GPS program), while I spent a nice, long time in Windy Moon, a very well stocked local quilt shop. I was very restrained. I only bought a few bits, so I had the pleasure of indulging without the usual accompanying guilt at the cost. Win/win.

Although William had originally asked to go the Olive Garden, I suggested we go to the buffet at The Atlantis. Their buffet is always voted best in town. We don't go very often because the cost goes up and down, pricier during high tourist days/hours, and we don't often get the timing right when we're in the city to get the lower "locals" prices. William thought The Atlantis sounded like a great idea. So, for the same price one moderate dinner and an iced tea at your typical mid-scale restaurant, I had a half dozen different kinds of salad, a large shrimp cocktail, fried shrimp, stuffed peppers, mashed potatoes, veggies, assorted chinese dishes, a hot spinach salad, apple crepes a la mode, bread pudding, chocolate mousse cake, chocolate mint cake, a cream puff, iced tea, and coffee. William and Jeff also added ribs, fried chicken, ham, prime rib, assorted mexican dishes, sundaes and cheesecake to their plates. So, if you're ever in Reno.... excuse me while I pop open the top button on my jeans. Groan. Yum.

Oh, while we were at the casino, it was so cute - I watched William walk off across the restaurant on his way to the buffet. He's so tall (6'2") and he has this gorgeous, long, ash blonde hair. He's all angles and ambling gate and I was just thinking how cute he was and then I thought, hey, I'm his mom, of course I think he's cute. I wonder what he looks like to other people. I was trying to imagine that when just then I noticed another teen who was walking with an older man (his dad I assume) back to their table. The teen stopped midstep and intently watched William for a few seconds before nudging his dad and whispering something. Then he pointed William out to his father. The father looked. The boy said something excitedly. (they were too far away for me to overhear their conversation) The dad nodded in agreement, and they both watched William for a half minute more before making their way back to their table with big grins on their faces.

I can't know for sure, but I got the distinct impression that they had somehow mistaken William for someone famous. I wonder who they thought he was!? The first thing that popped into my head was maybe a famous snowboarder, what with all the interest in the winter sports teams during these Olympic days, and many of the winter athletes do live in the nearby Lake Tahoe area. Of course I know he snowboards, so I'm sure I was reading that into it, but I still think he just looks like a snowboarder. Who knows what they were really thinking, but it was fun to watch it play out.

After stuffing our faces, we went hit a few computer shops, a sports store, Barnes & Noble. I picked up a couple art magazines, a cozy mystery, and two hardcover novels on clearance. Of course we had to get Starbucks for the ride home. I pointed out that now that we have our very own Starbucks in town, getting Starbucks when out of town just doesn't have that special treat feel to it anymore. Ah well, the price of convenience. Regardless, caffeine is necessary for the ride home. Also, as William insisted on punching in our home address, so too is GPS capability.

I know, a boring "what I did on my summer vacation" type blog entry. Nothing witty or philosophical. But, I don't care. I had a wonderful day with two fun, silly, nice friends (who just happen to also be my husband and son). And that's more than good enough for me.


Post a Comment

<< Home