Friday, February 27, 2015

Sleepy The Bear?

If you grew up in the same era as I did, you will probably remember Sleepy the Bear. He was a chubby individual, with a blue night shirt and cap, his arms outstretched as though sleep walking and had half-lidded eyes.

I will return to sleepy in a moment, but first. We awoke to the alarm at 5:00 am. and were loaded with fresh coffee to check out at 05:50. The breakfast does note even merit a picture, so I will leave it to your imagination. Don't imagine much.
We were on the road by 06:15

By 8:30 we had stopped at a Rest Area that we have used before both in the Westward and Eastward direction. I take pictures of the rocks we are passing.

On more than one occasion we have called them "dinosaur poo." Those must have been some honkin' big dinosaurs.

The rocks are pretty impressive and even moreso close up, where you can get a better idea of the scale. They rise about 300 feet directly behind the Rest Area.

Here is my beloved, taking more pictures for her report. Ho nice it is to be able to see the same events, measured through a different set of eyes.

We continued to roll without delay, save to pick up a can of coldness to recharge the A/C. When we stopped in Blythe CA. it had risen from about 25F this a.m. to 76F. or so. Break out the shorts sez I!

We stopped at a restaurant for dinner in Loma Linda CA. The name of the place was BJ's Brewhouse. We informed our server Caleb when he observed us taking pictures that we would be blogging about our  meal and expected his cooperation to make it a good report. He said he would do his best.

The decor is Artisinal Working folk, involved in the production of various carbonated amber liquids.

A popular quote which has been incorrectly attributed to Benjamin Franklin is "Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy?" These folks believe that with a passion.

The joint was jumping when we arrived, and there was a line out the door when we departed about an hour later.

I ordered Avocado Spring Rolls, which were served with a Chipotle Honey Sauce. Everything goes better with Chipotle. They were delicious, and swiftly dispatched.

I also ordered Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl. It was chock full of clams and not overpoweringly creamy. Very nice. I couldn't finish the bowl.

ScooterChick decided on  Pot Stickers and Artichoke Puffs. The Potstickers were yummy, the Puffs crisp bu the Artichoke Hearts were pickled. My baby does not care for pickled anything, so I helped her a little with those. They also had a scrummy Garlic aoioli to go with.

Oh and by the way, good job Caleb.

To return to my first sentence, we checked into the Travelodge in Culver City.
Sleepy has morphed from a lovable cub to a smarmy looking teen with attitude.
I miss the old Sleepy, but won't miss any sleep.

Chat with you anon.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

On The Road Again

The time has to come to head west, so we loaded the car and left out at ODark30. Actually it was about 3 minutes to 6 a.m. which is our typical time to roll. Poor ScooterChick has been suffering with a cold so she napped while I drove. This accounts for the lack of pictures.

The temperature was about 28 when we left Lawton but got progressively colder as we headed west. Our first stop was Memphis TX. about 130 miles later.
As we headed further into the Panhandle the temperature dropped and the road iced up. We dropped the speed from 75 or 80 down to about 60, even 50 in heavy spots. I had no desire to spend time in the ditch and I know ScooterChick would have been likewise unappreciative.

Our next stop was Clovis N.M. We topped off the tank, and I got some truly horrid gas station coffee. Yes, I guzzled it down anyway. You can see the accretion of slush frozen on the side of the car.

The wheel wells are developing come interesting clingons. You can see where one small slab of frozen slush dropped off when the door closed.

For some reason the slush froze and then was added to while we drove. It looks as though it has been combed toward the front of the car. Weird eh?

This is another picture of the carefully coiffed slush ice. Unusual no?

Westward we rolled from Clovis towards Roswell N.M. We failed to see any aliens, although we speculated about their whereabouts or even if they exist. The road is long, with nary a winding curve. (With apologies to the Hollies - He Ain't Heavy / He's My Brother)

By the time we stopped at Roswell the slush ice had thickened and changed shape. God does have a sense of humor doesn't he?

The decor of the wheel arches had become quite pronounced by now.

The rear wheel wells looked as though someone had attached fender flares on the trailing edges.

We continued on past Ruidoso then across Apache Summit, 7,590ft. and down into Tularosa. We had stopped here before. You may recall a previous post with the world's largest Pistachio Nut. We would pass it soon as we approached Alamogordo.

As we pressed on westward we made a quick stop at White Sands National Monument. For details refer again to the previous post.

The Architectural style is  Pueblo Southwest. I really like this style, Patsy not so much.

As we rolled past White Sands, we approached the Organ Mountains. These are very abrupt and stark, and the interplay of light and shadow was very appealing.

A little closer, a little lighter

Closer yet. The shafts of light through the holes in the clouds. Breathtaking.

Over the summit of San Augustin Pass (5,901 ft.) and downhill into Las Cruces, we still had time and decided to push on to Deming. We picked up a discount hotel flyer and found a Best Western with breakfast of uncertain quality for $62.99 including tax.....score!!

The car, dirty and careworn after a long day. 651 miles today, and we earned every one of them. We will also have to find a Car Wash to sluice off the dreck.

ScooterChick stretches her legs. After sitting in the car for close to 12 hours a leg stretch is very much in order. Tomorrow we will  push on to L.A.

A bite to eat, a hot shower and I feel rejuvenated. Now for a hard fast sleep. Talk with you later.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Is It Soup Yet?

Many of you may remember the advertisement for Campbell's Soup where the young protagonist asked his Mom "Is it soup yet?" I remembered that as the sun started to sink in the western sky.

It was time to fire up the Barbecue. Now when I say barbecue, I am not talking about turning on the gas and clicking an ignitor. Oh no my friends, I am talking Old School smoke in your face coals and tongs. Caveman Style!!

Many of the people I grew up with in the middle 60's will recall their Mom returning from Woodward's in Park Royal and unveiling the latest and greatest in cooking technology. I refer to none other than the Cast Iron Hibachi.

Although the original Hibachi probably cost $4 back in the 60's the latest iteration, quite a few pounds lighter and now selling for a little over $40.
We ended up ordering this one from the local Home Hardware. It turns ou that help is indeed close to home.

The nickel plating on the grates is a little lighter than it used to be and one of the grates developed a crack first time out.

The last time I fired up this gorgeous little unit was in John Lawson Park in late summer. Everyone of our vintage who was strolling past pointed and smiled, they remember when their parents came home with the same hibachi back in the day. This was a reminder of their youth, just as it was of mine. We used to picnic often at JL when I was wee, swimming in the chuck and swelling our bellies with Chicken , Green and Potato Salad and Cake or Jello. We were itching to get back in the water (the longest one hour wait in any child's life.)

First the Marinated Chicken individually cossetted in Tin Foil went on, after about 8 minutes to be shuffled. Then after the first rearrangement, they were turned over for another 6-8 minutes or so.

Finally at about the 25 minute mark "the reveal." The Chicken by now is mostly done, requiring only a minute or 2 on each side to finish.

Here is a close up of the delectable result, juicy and crying out to be devoured with gusto and panache! (Food Porn.)

While I was tending the coals, vegetables were being prepared. Roast Potatoes with Carrots and Onions. They required nothing other that a little Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper to be perfect.

And here is the end result, preparing to be inhaled. Let me tell you Bub. This is the Real McCoy. No phony food here.

This is what happens to your taste buds and your overall sensory perception when you enjoy the heck out of a meal like this.

I leave you now, satisfied as only a man cooking meat over hot coals can be. See you next time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Where you been so long?

I know, I know I haven't been that diligent at keeping you filled in with my whereabouts, or my whatabouts.

Is that even a is now! 

We have been busy planning our return to the Great NorthWet, and will be leaving here at the end of the month. I hope to have something of interest to report along the way.

But first some food. We happened to be out the other day and went to a place we enjoy, Johnny Carino's.

We started with some Calamari. If it were just squid, we might feel otherwise. This however is Calamari. It was okay, I've had better but usually closer to the ocean. This was clearly frozen then fried.

We had some Caesar Salad which was predictably crisp and savory. They always offer fresh coarse ground pepper for your salad and I usually load it up!

I followed it up with a Gorgonzola Chicken with Angel Hair Pasta. It was exquisite. Creamy Cheesy and hot.

My beloved opted for Jalapeno Garlic Tilapia. She usually orders this dish and it is always yummy. They also serve you Fresh Hot Bread with Crispy Fried Garlic in Olive Oil.

After leaving Johnny Carino's we traveled East to take a look at Lake Thunderbird. There is a well maintained State Park and a boat launch. It is much clearer than the lakes downstate (in our area). This one almost looks swimmable. We should come back later in the year.  info here.  I was looking around for shorts as the temperature was 78F.

Here is a shot of the inimitable ScooterChick. We love traveling together to see new places, meet new folks and try interesting new foods.

The sign at the entrance to the park.

It was late in the afternoon and we started heading back to Lawton. The sun was sinking low in the sky as we ventured south.

I really enjoy flatland sunsets. It is so dramatically different from our place in Squampton and there's the added side benefit of traveling everywhere at 120km/h. The distances get eaten up pretty quickly.

I thought I should include a scooter picture. Soon we ride!!!