It was a busy week. Monday was my last official day of work and I needed to drive to Reno to drop off my computer, phone, etc to the office there. Since Jo and Ben are in Reno we made arrangements to eat dinner with them after they finished work. That left Lee and I with some time to kill. Luckily, I got an eye appointment at the Lenscrafters in town so we were able to fill the day. We dropped off the work stuff around 11:30 (which was surreal) and then headed over to the Atlantis Casino for lunch. They have a Manhattan style deli that Jo and Ben gave high marks and I felt the need to treat myself. Lee got a HUGE Reuben (not as good as Katz Deli but very good) and I got egg salad (a go-to comfort food for me) and some yummy cheesecake. The lunch was on the pricey side at $40, but you don’t leave your job every day. The service was outstanding, though, and afterwards we both played $5 worth of slots each which culminated in Lee winning $17.25, so at least my cheesecake was paid for! I will say that although I liked the interior of the casino, the slots were disappointing (I like the old style where the wheels turns not the new computer ones) and it was very smoky.
Afterwards Lee dropped me off at Lenscrafters and I had a good time picking out a new pair of sunglasses for my prescription. Five years ago I had a PRK eye surgery (like Lasik but more intense) and my vision has been amazingly wonderful every since. But I have noticed some distance fuzziness so decided it was time to get an eye exam. The entire experience was terrific. The doctor was great and people who worked in the glasses area very helpful. Plus the prices were reasonable ($125 for Ray Ban frames) and best of all they were able to complete the glasses the same day so no return trip required!! After I was done, we went to meet Jo and Ben for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. I love Mexican, but Lee is not a huge fan, but on this occasion I got my pick. And they had raspberry margaritas my favorite which were totally yummy. It was so nice celebrating the start of my new life with RV friends and I really appreciated their being with us.
Unfortunately Tuesday and Wednesday were not so great. It rained both days and Lee and I were both a little cooped up, plus the enormity of the change was really hitting home with me and there still was no definitive word on the truck. It turns out our claims agent went out on a sick leave and the claim wasn’t transferred properly. Lee got it back on track by Wednesday, but we lost several days to that. We were also hearing some things from the dealer about used engines that didn’t sound right to Lee. Thankfully he took the bull by the horns and called Ford (who said absolutely our warranty would be voided by a used engine) and the dealer we bought the truck from (who stated there were 12 new engines in stock in Memphis. Lee, armed with this information, took control of the situation and stopped us from being pushed in a direction that could have had disastrous consequences. The old adage “trust but verify” really came into play here. I don’t think the service manager was deliberately misleading us (he said a used engine would be fine with the extended warranty), but it doesn’t really matter. We knew we might have to pay some money in the difference, “betterment” the insurance agent called it, but we didn’t want to lose the money we had spent on the warranty. So, it was a frustrating couple of days for a variety of reasons so I decided to cook a couple of new recipes. Thankfully they were both home runs (which rarely happens) and Lee loved them both. Plus he was hovering while I was trying to make spring rolls for the first time, so I put him to work. He did an excellent job wrapping them and they tasted delicious, plus he said the Spicy Korean BBQ was “restaurant quality” so I will definitely be making both again. See the end of the post for full recipes if you are interested. The yummy Spicy Korean BBQ was incredibly easy, relatively inexpensive, and heated up well later. That’s the trifecta for us!
Thankfully the sun came out on Thursday and we could finally make our trip to Tahoe. We have been wanting to go since we got here, but one thing or another kept getting in the way. Lee worked there years ago and has always wanted to show me and I of course wanted to see it. We were just getting ready to leave when Lee got a phone call from the claims adjuster. It turns out a brand new engine is actually cheaper than a used one so amazingly we are getting a new engine and only have to pay our $1,000 deductible. I have never been so happy to pay $1,000 in my life. And, wow, did I feel a weight lifted from me. Feelings about the job have been all mixed up with worry about the truck, and I had no idea how much that was getting to me until we got the good news. So feeling 100 times lighter we jumped in the rental and headed to Tahoe.
The drive was beautiful and although we hit some pretty ominous clouds when going over the mountains between Reno and Tahoe, Tahoe itself was beautifully clear. We drove the loop and I absolutely loved the area. Seriously, I could spend an entire summer here there is so much to do and the drive just whetted our appetites for more. The very best parts were Inspiration Point (the quintessential Tahoe view you have probably seen), Squaw Valley (where Lee worked and stayed many years ago, and Sand Harbor. That being said there was a lot more that we didn’t have time to explore including numerous hiking trails. Definitely putting it on our list of work kamping places, but as usual let’s let the pictures tell the story.
Although the lake was very low I actually liked it because you could see so many rocks. We spent the most time at Sand Harbor which was practically deserted walking around on the rocks. You know how much I love my rocks!!
After Sand Harbor we kept driving, stopping at several beautiful scenic spots along the way. Part of the lake is in California and the other part is in Nevada and whole sections of it are National Park. What I particularly loved was that it was beautiful on both the lake side and the hills side. It was the kind of place where you couldn’t take a bad picture and everywhere you looked was just beautiful. When we hit Inspiration Point though that was something special. As a general rule, you always know when something is worth seeing when there are lots of people speaking in foreign languages. My only complaint was the bathrooms were an absolute mess. As someone who has been responsible for public land bathrooms I was a bit horrified, but besides that the view was spectacular. Plus, the lone paddleboat on the water came into view right when we were there and I was thrilled to get a shot with the boat.
At this point we were starving and stopped at a local BBQ place for lunch. The price was reasonable, the view was of the water, and I got to put my new drink plan in action. Paying $3 plus for drinks has been driving me crazy, so I bought a box of Country Time Lemonade On The Go packets and stuck a couple in my purse. One packet worked beautifully with a glass of ice water, it was really really good and cost about 10 cents per pack. I didn’t feel embarrassed at all mixing my lemonade. As far as I am concerned restaurants should be embarrassed about the 90% markup on their beverages. Anyway, it was yummy and the little bit of a sugar kick I sometimes want when we are out exploring. After lunch we drove to Squaw Valley, where the Olympics were held and many famous people ski in the winter, and Lee showed me the resort where he worked and stayed many years ago. Absolutely beautiful, I can totally see why people like to stay there.
It was an absolutely perfect day and exactly what I needed.
Spicy Korean Pork
- 2 lbs country-style boneless pork ribs; cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 TBL chili garlic sauce (if you would like less spice use 1 TBL)
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 tsp ginger
- 2 TBL sesame oil
- 3 TBL brown sugar
- Brown Rice (P.F. Chang brand was yummy)
- Add all ingredients except pork and whisk into a blended marinade
- Add cubed pork to the mix and let sit for at least 20 minutes
- Grilled marinated pork (you can place on skewers if that is easier), uncovered for 10 minutes turning every 2-3 minutes
- Service on brown rice
Baked Chicken Spring Rolls
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1-1/2 cups boneless, shredded chicken or pork
- 1-16oz bag coleslaw mix with carrots
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 TBL soy sauce
- 20 spring roll wrappers (16oz package)
- Dipping sauce of your choice
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Brush baking sheet with 1 TBL vegetable oil
- Combine meat, coleslaw mix, scallions, ginger, sesame oil, and soy sauce in large bowl
- Place water in a small bowl
- Place one spring roll wrappers in front of you and keep others covered with a damp cloth
- Brush edges of wrapper with water
- Place a TBL of mixture on top of wrapper then roll towards you
- Tuck in sides and complete roll
- Place on baking sheet seam side down
- Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers
- Brush tops of rolls with remaining vegetable oil
- Bake for 15 minutes; turn over and bake for 10 more minutes
- Serve with dipping sauce
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