An unexpected adventure - part 2

After a pretty good nights sleep, considering I was in a strange bed in a strange city without my hubby and kitties, we got up and made plans. First thing was getting the car to a mechanic to have it looked at.

While walking out to the car I snapped the view from our hotel:


Drove to Les Schwab and parked. A mechanic came out to greet us and see what we needed. Showed him the car and his first words were "what happened?!?!?!" To which we replied, we had no idea as the car had been "borrowed". So he checks to see how soon he can get us in, but the next open appointment was 2 pm. I looked at mom and said I would rather stay another night if need be, but I really wanted the car looked at. She agreed and we made the appointment. Now we had a few hours to kill. The mechanic suggested the Grand Sierra for a little gambling and lunch. So we headed off.

We decided that no matter what, we were going to see about getting back on the road after getting the car looked at, so we checked out of the hotel. We figured if the car was going to have to stay longer we could always check back in.

The Grand Sierra is set off from the rest of the casinos, it is the one you can see in the photo I took from the airport.

They have a really neat statue out front:


I LOVE the foal running along side its mother:


The foal is attached to the mother so all 4 of his feet are in the air.

The hotel/casino has a way cool revolving door, it is HUGE. Also automatic so one has to be quick and careful, esp while using a cane:


The chandelier inside is also pretty impressive:


We puttered about, checking out the various restaurants (most not open yet) and checked out the machines. They didn't have any real slots, so we decided to give the faux slots a try. Didn't stay too long, lost $5 and bemoaned the lack of feedback the faux machines don't have that real coins slots do. If we'd had the time I would have liked to have gone back to the Nugget to play their coin slots. But I didn't want to get too far from the Les Scwab as I didn't want to miss the appointment.

We had lunch in their cafe. Mom had their Asian chicken lettuce wrap appetizer and I had breakfast, 2 eggs sunny side up, 2 sausage links and hash browns. No toast since I couldn't eat it and I hate wasting food. Coffee came in carafs they left on the table. Food was quite good and mom had to get a to go box as there was a ton of food that made up the appetizer.

After lunch we decided to drive around a bit. I wanted to check out downtown and see the sights. Good thing we didn't got down the night before, I would have been a total wreak trying to find parking and getting around. It looks way cool and if we ever go back I want to get an inexpensive hotel within walking distance so I can check out all the casinos. Drove around some neighborhoods and discovered we'd been in Sparks NV the night before at the Nugget. Didn't realize Sparks pretty much abutted Reno.

It was finally time to head back and get the car looked at. Turns out the reason for it pulling so badly to the right was the right wheel was pushed back a couple inches. He wasn't sure if the sway bar was broken or just bent. When we mentioned how far we had to go with it, he did what adjusting he could (they were going to do an alignment, but the damage to the right front was too bad for that to work) and got the car to where it still pulls to the right, but I wasn't going to have to fight it doing so all the way to Vancouver. They checked a right tire to make sure it would hold air as the rim had gotten bent in what ever happened to it and it was okay. The container that holds the window washer fluid was cracked and couldn't hold fluid at all. Good thing it wasn't a very important piece of equipment.

So for no more then the price of the alignment they had quoted, we were on the road. I HIGHLY recommend the Les Schwab in Reno at 1290 Kietzke Rd, the people there were great and helpful.

So I plugged in our destination (Grass Valley CA) into the GPS I'd brought with me and we were on our way. We had decided we wanted to come back via I5 as there was more traffic and towns then any of the other routes, while more interesting, were a bit more desolate. Besides, we used to live in Grass Valley/Nevada City when I was younger and while dad was in Vietnam. His parents lived in Grass Valley, so we were close to relatives.

A fairly uneventful drive, tho we hit road construction:



Terrain was interesting:


Managed to miss the turn off for Donner Summit, so we didn't stop and get pictures. Not too many pics this leg of the trip since I was driving.

Made it to Nevada City, drove around a bit, saw my old elementary school (now a charter school), Pioneer Park where I have fond memories of the pool and romping in the nearby creek. Tried to get up to Banner Mountain, but couldn't remember the way from Nevada City, it had been a LONG time. So we hopped into Grass Valley and drove up from there. found our house:


It has changed a bit since we'd lived there. The 2nd story wasn't there and the room below it used to be the garage (which I usually avoided as the fire wood stacked in here house black widow spiders. ICK!!!!!). The side next to the garage used to be red dirt, that has been paved (probably to the happiness of whoever does the laundry if they have kids. It was my bother and mes favorite places to play. Much to the chagrin of my mom with all the red dirt we'd track in).

My bedroom is the far window that is cut off on the left. We drove around a little and tried to remember where everyone we knew lived. Then it was dinner time and we headed down the mountain.

Stopped at the Lumberjack, which used to be a different restaurant WAYYYYY back when:


Loved the decor:




Mom got liver and onions with a single trip to the salad bar and I opted for the tri-tip salad with blue cheese crumbles, tomato and avacado:



Called the hubby to keep him apprised of our progress and then it was into Grass Valley to see what we could see. Drove up Main Street and then around a bit to see the Lola Montez house. Then out to Butler Road to see Grandma and Grandpa Crawford's house:



The house itself hasn't changed much, at least from the outside. The grape vines along the drive way are gone, as is Grandma's rose garden out front. Couldn't see too far into the back, so don't know if the out buildings are still there or not, not to mention the garden and the chicken coop.

It was getting late and we wanted to get to I5 and a hotel for the night, so off we went. Driving into the sun was fun, but I managed okay. Once the sun went down it was nice. For a while tho the wind was blowing hard and blowing a lot of dust across the road once we'd gotten down to the flats. Luckily there wasn't a lot of traffic.

It seemed to take forever to get to the junction of 20 and 5 at Williams, but we made it and headed north. Wish we'd come onto I5 below Williams as then next place to find a hotel was Willows and that seemed to be a very long drive. I was almost afraid we wouldn't find a place until we got to Redding! But we found a Super 8 and pulled in for the night. A call to hubby to let him know and then pop onto the wifi and then bed.

Up early the next morning, caffeine up at the Starbucks next door and then fill up the gas tank at Arco and on the road again.

Weather was nice when we started, getting cloudy the farther north we drove. Stopped for a quick lunch in Yreka (Carl's Jr for mom, Taco Hell for me), another phone call (okay, cells phones do come in handy) and off again.

Started raining, okay not bad. Started snowing about Weed. Fun. Okay, can handle it. Then the fog AND snow. LOTS of fun. Eventually dropped below the snow line and stopped for a break:


Back in the car and continued north. I have to say, I am getting too damned old to be driving over 500 miles in one day. Since I still wasn't too sure about the car I wasn't going to let mom take the wheel for a while. I just have to say, whoever invented cruise control needs to be made a god. If it weren't for that I would have been a total mess.

But we made it to my mom's house, even thru rush hour traffic, but a bit after 6pm. Hit Fred Myers for rotisserie chicken and sides. Had a fight with her computer (a Mac) with calls to my hubby to have him help me figure out how to make things work. Went to bed about 8:30 and seriously crashed.

Slept okay, up the next morning, made my reservations to fly home on Sunday and then back to bed. Finally gained some sentiency and called my sis-in-law and went to visit them in Battle Ground. I want their back yard:


Had a nice visit, she cut my hair and I finally wandered home. Did leftovers for dinner and hit the sack about 10. I had an 11:15 am flight, so mom dropped me off at the airport about 10 am. Went thru security theatre, where I got nude o'scanned and they had to feel the back of my knees (I know I've got cute knees, but really?!?!?) and then I was on my way (since I was desperate to get home I decided to behave myself again).

Found my gate and settled in. Glad I kept checking my flight info as they changed my gate about a half hour before my flight. Luckily it was only a couple over.

I have discovered a really good upside to having to haul around my cane. I got to board a little early and get settled in. At this point my knees were giving me serious hell, so I moved a lot slower then usual, so not holding people up behind me while boarding is a good thing.

The flight wasn't full, so the gal sitting next to me moved to another seat, as did a number of other people, so I flipped the arm up and flew in comfort. A very uneventful flight and I was happy to be almost home.

Hubby met me at the airport, but he wasn't when I came thru security. Waited a few minutes and whipped out my cell phone (it really is coming in handy LOL). He was there but stepped away from the area. I don't hink I let go of him for a good 10 minutes.

So it was out to the car and into Spokane. Hit our favorite Chinese all you can eat for lunch, stopped at the Grocery Outlet for more yummy cheese and then found a Safeway to pick up flowers. Mom asked me to put flowers on Grandma Florence and the grandpa's graves. Drove to the cemetary, found the area where the graves were and wandered around until I found them. I split the bouquet up between the 3 and then took pictures to send to mom and my aunt.

From there it was home and my own bed and kitties.