I'm off with my family to our annual relaxation: a week at the Gray Eagle Lodge, which is nestled in the Sierra Mountains, about two hours northwest of Truckee, California. We do this with about five other families every year, most of us driving up from Orange County to meet the family who lives in the Sacramento area. Coming from southern California, this is a lengthy trip for us, so we usually take two days up and two days back, unless someone has to blast there/home due to (damned, cursed) work.
We were introduced to this area by our friends, the Russells, who've been going there for, like, ever. I think we started going in 2003, but I could be mistaken. The earliest pictures I can find are from 2004, when we started bringing Mikey the dog. Although he's a couch potato and an inside dog, he's learned to like it up there. Truth be told, I am the center of his universe, so he likes to be with me, where ever that is. Yes, it's good to be the Queen.
I've watched, in pictures, my son go from this (he's the one on the right):
It has been one of the pleasures of this trip to watch these kids grow, and see their interests, as well as their relationships, change.
The other pleasure of this trip is that I met this guy:
His name is Mark Tieslau, and if you've read Freezer Burn and paid a lick of attention to the acknowledgements, Mark is the bartender extraordinaire who introduced me to the Grey Goose dirty martini. It became Peri's signature drink, the one she saves her money to have. It was also the perfect drink for a housecleaner.
So I'm off for a week with no WiFi, no TV, no cell phone reception. Incommunicado is the word, I believe. Trust me, I'll have plenty to say when I return.
In the meantime, please check out Mr. Dino Martin Peters' blog, whether you're a Dean Martin fan or no. I am truly falling in love with his Dino-speak, and when he posts anything I've done or said about Dean Martin, he refers to me as "Miss Gayle Carline", a moniker I find so endearing, I'd probably loan this man my car keys if he asked. Which would sound a lot better if I didn't drive a 12-year old minivan with 185,000 miles on it (but don't tell DMP).
By the way, I do love my life-sized cardboard Dean Martin. When I get home, I'm putting him in my guest room, just so I can say hello to him every morning. Until then...