Been a couple weeks since my last entry...sorry. Snuck away secretly on a little family vacation out to sunny California. First went to WonderCon in San Francisco (not so sunny). The con was great but we had to duck out a day early as little Stella was feeling rather ill. But that gave us a chance to check out the Napa Valley area a day early and it is spectacular! Loved it there...so beautiful and peaceful and has wine...lots o wine. Yum. We did a couple tours including Frog's Leap, an organic winery, which was fantastic! The wine and the tour. Check it out if you ever get the chance. Highly recommended. The entire Napa Valley area.
Then we headed to Yosemite Park where we almost lost our lives traveling through the mountains at night...can anyone say "white knuckle flight"? I guess we should've known when we approached the park's entrance and you saw the huge flashing signs saying "CHAINS ON TIRES REQUIRED!" and "PARK ROADS CLOSED BETWEEN 10 PM AND 6 AM" and the ranger station was unmanned with all kinds of additional warning signs peppering the windows. We paused there, looking ahead into the pitch-black forest ahead, the glow of the blinking warning sign the only light besides our headlights. We were...nervous. But Hell, it was 65 degrees out. Chains? What the hell? But Sandy and Stella were nervous and Stella got a little weepy, so I turned back to this hotel (RIGHT THERE by the entrance) to get an expert opinion. The place was dead...no guests. The lady there waved off the warnings but then quickly recanted but then assured me if we had 4 wheel drive we'd be okay...should be okay. So, head held high and mustering up my most confident brave face I told the girls we were okay and went headlong into the park!
65 degrees out and yet when you're up 5000 feet you get snow...a lot of snow...and the roads ain't plowed so much up there apparently. And what is plowed leaves 6-8 fot carved walls of snow on either side of you with areas that have caved down on the road! Then there's the areas that don't have these walls (which were actually nice because if you did slide off the road you were, at least, not going over the side) that when you look to the right you see the blackness...the abyss!!!the cliffs that fall into certain death! Kind of frightening. Kind of makes you ease off the accelerator and grip the steering wheel just a bit tighter (if that's even possible anymore). OH! and then you pass the semi tanker truck with not one but TWO fuel tankers fish-tailed off the side of the road and the rangers shoveling it out by hand. Nice. Stella was traumatized, the poor kid. But we're from Wisconsin for god's sake!...it was nuthin'!!! Woulda been nuthin' anyway, if not for the "plummeting to your death" factor. That certainly added a little stress element.
I was scared, I admit it.
Didn't help that when we finally hit the lodge--our salvation, our hope, the tears of relief running down my mental cheeks--they informed me they were fully booked and that the next place was another 1/2 hour drive ahead. Talk about feeling completely hopeless and hapless.
But we survived and the next day (in the daylight) at Yosemite was wonderful. Beautiful place. We saw deer, coyotes, a fox, a bobcat and some spectacular scenery of course.
Then we went on to Santa Cruz which is now, quite possibly, my favorite California city. Beautiful place. And my BB Wolf partner, Johnnie Arnold and his lovely wife Katie live there and run Comicopolis! with Johnnie's partner Troy. Great shop located right in the downtown area. Had a great time there and even had time for a poker game at Johnnie's house with his pal Jon "bean" Hastings and his wife Terry. Lost 25 bucks to those bastards but had alot of fun nonetheless.
Then onto LA where I met with my management company, Content House. Options still available on my properties people! Give 'em a call and pony up some dough and we're in bizness together. Let's make it happen.
Then onto sunny San Diego for the last three days of our trip where we wined and dined with friends, Gary "G" Sassaman and Batton Lash and Jackie Estrada. Also went to Sea World while there and loved it because the park was about 25% full...no lines at a major theme park! By the gods it was glorious!!!!
So now we're back in craptastic Wisconsin. Already had to friggin' shovel my sidewalk today.
Yep, "California here we come!"