Monday, January 2, 2012

New Years Trip: Days 6 & 7: Family Visit and Return Home

There isn't too much to say about our sixth day of travel as most of the traveling was from the sofa to the goody tray, occasionally to the restroom, and back to the sofa. It was a family day, spent enjoying each other's company. We ate a bunch of delicious holiday goodies, and drank warming brandy drinks.

Embarrassing losses: Rummikub twice to my sister, Apples to Apples once to David. The pictionary game was a forfeit on all sides. Notable accomplishments include: consumed three glasses of wine, a huge slab of delicious prime rib, six slices of two kinds of fruitcake, four pieces of fudge, and two Irish coffees and a Tom & Jerry.

We just talked, and chatted, and gabbed, and gossiped, and caught up, chewed the fat, shot the breeze, talked some smack, and made kindling from the throw pillows (pretty sure that last one is a Native American term). There was no drama, just laughter and fun. It is interesting to consider family dynamics and how they have developed over the years. My nieces and nephew are grown (they are at very least adult-like and/or close enough), and this is the first holiday season without my grandpa, who died at the end of August. That also means that Patsy was able to travel as she often stayed in Elko so grandpa wasn't alone. It was just good for everyone to be together.

Day 7 began with a quick breakfast at my sisters (bagels and smoked salmon (the salmon caught by Ron, smoked by Jill--delicious!), whereafter we packed up some xmas gifts and departed exactly on time.

There wasn't anything particularly notable about the return trip with the exception of our route. We took the 395 back to Los Angeles which is a lovely drive, but not one you would want to make in the winter, without chains or snow tires, anyway. This year, however, there was no snow at all. There were a few small skiffs near Mammoth, but the remaining landscape was barren and wintry sans a blanket of snow. Good for driving, but bad for picturesque wintry landscapes. Regardless of this, there were many vista points and we took advantage of them all.

We stopped in Bishop at the world-famous Eric Schat's Bakkery. And apparently someone mentioned this to the world since most of the regional population was here including passers-by and most of Phoenix. The sandwiches were okay. The bread is good, but it doesn't play a huge part. Uniformly thin-sliced and very light, it is easily over powered by the sandwich contents. The clam chowder was just awful. We all agreed the memory of fisherman's wharf and the clam chowder sampling had stomped this thin, flavorless, generally "not good" clam chowder back into its shell.

This bakkery, or as we say in America, bakery, is full of various breads, plain, savory, and sweet. Buy the bread and just get a to-go sandwich. If you want to stand in the line, which is probably not that bad on a non-holiday weekend, there are many sandwiches, hot and cold, to choose from. They have a deal on half a sandwich and soup, but only certain sandwiches qualify, so be read carefully or you will end up like me, saddled with 16 ounces of boring clam chowder, and paying for it ala carte. Options are limited in Bishop, since the other option was KFC. Choose the Bakkery.

We drove along the sierras as the light faded, and all details of the foothills became a mountainy silhouette against a purply bluish sky. The sunset was lovely, reinforced the promised 84 degree January day tomorrow. We returned safe and sound to our homes and cars which were thankfully not burned by the mentally ill angry German tourist.

It was a wonderful trip and we had a lot of fun with David, Beth, and our new and old friends, as well as getting to share some great food and delicious wines and yummy holiday treats. Here's to new and delicious adventures in 2012.

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