Monday, March 31, 2003

Yuck! Nasty Smogless Air!

So our little trip to Bass Lake was very nice. We rented a cute little Mitsubishi Lancer from Enterprise, and drove up on a beautiful Friday morning. Actually, we got started around eleven, so by noon we were still technically in the Bay Area, and then we didn't really enjoy the scenery until we got out of the dreary Central Valley and started the mountainward climb from Merced. Once into the foothills, we enjoyed it immensely, and even stopped at a particularly romantic-looking place with a rickety barn and a blasted tree:

Actually, we stopped quite a bit on the way up... first in Modesto where we had lunch at the In-n-Out (the only reason I can think of to stop in Modesto is to eat... and even then one would have to be terribly hungry, as I was), and then at the abovementioned grazery, then at Mariposa where we did a bit of antiquing and Caroline bought a new dress, and then again at Oakhurst so I could stop at the bank to get some cash and then wander into the local Gottschalks for the sales (I bought an Izod bathrobe, a t-shirt, and a gold mesh handbag for just under $40).

Well, it was getting on towards dusk, so we stopped stopping and finally arrived at The Pines Resort, and were shown to our lovely suite:

I pose baronially by the fireplace...

...while Caroline fills out the breakfast room-service order.

Our sunset view... what you don't see is the rather shocking number of ducks wandering around and pooping everywhere.

After changing and refreshing ourselves, we went over to Ducey's, the restaurant in the Resort, the home of the fabled rack of lamb that Caroline has been obsessing over and fantasizing about since she was there two years and uncountable boyfriends ago. When the food came, she had the waitress take a picture of her with it. I didn't bring my camera to the restaurant, so I don't have a copy of that one yet. As I predicted, the lamb failed to live up to the ambrosial ecstasy promised by Caroline's fantasy obsession, but it was pretty damned good nonetheless. I had the prime rib of pork, which was immense and slathered in the most yumiriffic baked apple chutney. I even ate the rest of Caroline's lamb (she was saving room for dessert), which was exquisitely delicious.

After dinner we went for a walk around the resort, but it was rather dark and not terribly interesting, so as soon as we felt our dinners had settled we went back to the room. Caroline repaired immediately to the gigantic Jacuzzi tub, which was the other thing she'd been obsessing about. She was in that tub for about four hours, and ended up using just about every towel in the room. Though I'd brought books and magazines to read, there were actually entertaining shows on cable, so I busied myself with the television instead before falling asleep around midnight.

I didn't sleep very well, though. I seldom do, in strange beds, and I really do find clean air rather irritating and harsh. And then, I was in the same bed with Caroline and was very conscious of having to share the covers... I normally sleep with my blankets sort of wrapped around me like a cocoon so I can spin and turn in any old direction my body feels like, but being conscious of the covers meant that every time I turned over I had to wake up. But it wasn't too bad... I managed enough sleep that I wasn't a total zombie or anything.

Morning eventually came, and our lucullan breakfast tray showed up; although the breakfast-tray lady had to explain to Caroline that there were actually limits to the number of object she could place on the complimentary trays... Caroline had ordered enough food to feed a fairly large family, checking off four or five of everything on the menu. But even under these limitations, the breakfast was quite a spread:

It took a while for me to wake up, and then we had to check out at 11. After that we went around taking pictures of stuff around the hotel:

... I won't use up more load-time with more pictures, but here are links to the rest of them.

Then we went shopping in The Pines Village, a string of little shops along the main drag. After making a dent in the antiques shop and the souvenir shop, we headed back downhill, lunched in Oakhurst, and finally got sick of the whole "rural thing" and headed straight back for civilization, not even slowing down anywhere along the way. I was supposed to be in San Francisco at 7 for a production-number rehearsal, but I wrote down 6 in my calendar, so we were driving hell-for-leather to get to the City on time and ended up arriving an hour early and interrupting our rehearsal-hosts' dinner.

Then the others arrived and we got to work... and I started exerting myself quietly, taking a very simple and elegant production number and making it endlessly complicated with each "tiny little suggestion." I'm sure the other girls are ready to kill me, but I just can't abide standing still on a stage.

After we broke up from that, Caroline and I went moseying around the Castro, since it was such a lovely warm night and we were still reluctant to get back into the car after our lengthy drive. But eventually our feet started hurting and we were getting terribly tired, so home we went. The next day I had to go back out to the City for my Musical rehearsal, which for some reason was rather more exhausting than usual, on top of my exhaustion from the production-number rehearsal and the long driving and the poor sleep.

Come Sunday afternoon I was a mess, and I continue messy unto this very moment (you wouldn't believe how long it's taken me to write this post). But at least I enjoyed myself the entire time. The only thing worse than being tired is being tired from doing something tedious or boring. But being tired after doing something fun and entertaining is rather satisfying, all told. Still, I'd rather not be tired at all, and so I need to scale back on the activities for a while until I recover my equilibrium.

So off I go home, to fix my toilet (still haven't gotten around to that), maybe do some laundry, and then watch the second part of Daniel Deronda on PBS (Hugh Dancy is such a hottie!) And I can't do any of these things if I'm sitting here in my office, typing.


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