Friday, July 12, 2013

Day 5. Redding

Breakfast after check out.

This time there was mixed fruit jelly at the table which made my whole day.
Lassen volcanic national park is between Susanville and Redding with a road through the middle so we decided to make that our next stop.
Lots and lots of trees.

Stopped at the visitors center. The parking lot was full of hippies driving Prius'. Ugh.

Inside more dead stuff not for sale :(. We waited for an annoyingly long time for iced mochas from a server with scarily puffy eyes.
The road through the park was 22 miles of pretty much straight up a mountain driving. I nearly peaced out and started panic breathing at about 4000 feet with a cliff on my side with no guard rail. Luckily Henry only seemed interested in taking photos from the car while he was driving.

Snow still.

More trees, but crispy.
Managed to make it through the park without being eaten by bears or having a complete meltdown.
On the drive to redding we stopped at a million road side junk stores in towns I don't remember the names of. Henry was most excited about scoring another pair of side button track pants. Don't ask.
In one of the towns we happened upon these majestic lawn ornament peacocks.

I wanted one SO badly, but the store was closed. A note on the door suggested that anything with a price tag could be purchased at the gift store down the driveway. Not one peacock with a price tag! We went to the gift store anyway. The ancient old man talked us into buying salt water taffy. He said the peacocks were $60, but the BIG peacocks were $75. So of course we bought the big one and spent 20 minutes rearranging crap in the car to get it to fit. So fantastic.
Made it to redding but it was already pretty late in the day. Somehow the temp outside had jumped to 104. Wtf Redding?!?Checked into a skeevy motel. Henry was all about the zebra striped comforters shown in the pictures. Even a smoking room! Bought a coke from a machine with spider webs over the dispenser.
Watched the toddlers and tiaras marathon.
I really had been wanting pizza and there was a local place with great reviews on yelp. Drive around in circles a few times before Henry made me get out and walk. In the heat! Finally found the place, or at least the storefront where it used to be :(
Decided to have Mexican at the place where we parked the car instead.
Went back to the room to watch more pageantry and have some drinks. It was about 11:30 when Henry saw a cockroach in the bathroom. Operating on the assumption that if there's one there's a million, he checked the whole room, but nothing. We decided to stay anyway since neither one of us was safe to drive at that point. We decided to leave at the crack of dawn with no showers. He stuffed a towel under the bathroom door for an extra measure of safety.
In the morning we headed for Eureka
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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Day Four. Susanville

Much easier to find a morning place to drink coffee and smoke. Sat outside on a picnic bench and was completely left alone. Nice.
Had breakfast at the hotel and headed out to check the town.
Still trying to find dead stuff. Went to a few antique/thrift/junk stores.

Who gives cigarettes to babies?

None of this shit was for sale.

We had a good cupcake and a whoopie pie at a local cupcakery. But other than that, I don't have a single good thing to report about the town. I guess I'm so used to people treating me normally, that I forget that I'm a freak in other places. A few hours of disapproving stares and a particularly cunty checker at Walmart later, I was totally over it.
So we went back to the hotel. Got an icee and hung out in the hot tub. Went to dinner and had a $3 cheeseburger and more Champagne. It was nice to have a day to not drive.
Heading for Redding in the morning.
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Day 3. Carson City and Susanville

I was annoyed at how far away I had to walk just to smoke and drink my coffee in the shade.
Afterwards, we loaded up the car and headed back inside the casino for breakfast. I had the 2.99 special (which was delightful) and Henry had chicken fried steak (which was mediocre)
I wanted to check out a few antique stores in town. It seemed like a good place to buy dead stuff. They were all closed. Instead we headed over to the Lone Mountain Cemetery where it was hot as hell.
The graveyard was old and really cool looking with little patches of oasis type graves. I was busy taking pictures when Henry started yelling at me.
"Come over here. Very slowly."
He was only about 3 feet from me, so I figured I was about to tumble into a pit of vipers.
Henry: now look at me
Me: why? Wtf?
Henry: now look over there
Me: what am I looking at?
Henry: that fucking deer right there!
Sure enough there was a fucking deer. A deer lawn ornament. But a big nice looking one on one of the grassy graves.
Me: that's fake!
And then it blinked at me wtf?! Short of people in Carson city setting up animatronics at grave sites, I had to accept that this was a real deer less than 5 feet away just staring at us like we were dicks.

It was not at all concerned about us assholes and just casually started walking away to eat from another tree.

How effing cool.
But by then I was pretty much dying from heat stroke and I hadn't put on my hat as Henry had directed, so we headed back to the car. Saw a thrift store across the street and went to check it out. Not much there so we headed out of town.
On the way, we saw a junk/gift store. Inside it was packed with old useless toys, sweet ass furniture from the 60's, costumes, and all kinds of other dusty crap.
I found an awesome 50's dress with a matching jacket and Henry found this to die for cat painting. The guy gave us a deal on both because he wanted us "to like him"

We had decided to head to Susanville. From there maybe Oregon if we had the time. Our hotel options seemed limited,but the cheapest option was another casino called Diamond mountain.
On the way we passed a shoe tree that I wasn't fast enough to get a picture of.

Checked in at the casino and walked around a bit. No smoking rooms of course. There was a smoke shop and a mini mart on the property as well. In the parking lot, another deer lurked and stared at us.

Got an icee and headed back to the room. Took a nap and then headed down to the casino. Henry won more money (of course) while I lost ( of course)
Went to the restaurant for dinner. In each booth was a tv with its own remote. Henry's assessment : disgusting but really cool. He insisted I give him his hand sanitizer out of "our purse" ( which is what he's been referring to MY purse as, since he started storing all his crap in there) after he changed the channel. Also you could smoke in there! Also they had a red stag dispenser! And splits of Champagne for $3! This was the greatest place on earth!!

I had chicken fried steak ( mediocre) and Henry had a bleu cheese bacon burger (delightful).
I went up to our room to get my sweater and found a note slipped under our door inviting us to stay another night for $10 off. We decided to stay and check out the town and maybe the volcanic park that was close. Fell asleep about 11.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Day two. Ione and Carson City

Woke up at 7 ish. There was no coffee maker or microwave in our room so I had to make my instant coffee with hot tap water. This is as terrible as its sounds. My auto correct just changed "hot" to HIV which is much worse.
Went out to the porch over looking the street to smoke. From there you had a perfect view of all the town's exciting goings on. Pretty much nothing. The post office however was a hot bed of activity all night long.
Wrote up my first blog post. Henry finally came out and yelled at me for sitting in the sun. Chuck and Amanda staggered out eventually too after a hard night of playing pool and getting eyeballed by the locals.
We decided to have breakfast.
The coffee shop across the street had a breakfast buffet. I can never pass up breakfast buffet. Everyone was amazed that I liked the jalapeño quiche. Because I hate everything.
Amanda pointed out the faygo display.

I texted this picture to Erin and she said her Henry SMILED when she showed it to him. Everything I do makes her Henry say "Andrea!" Like pee wee says "Francis!!" So this was a highlight of my day.
After breakfast we said our goodbyes to Chuck and Amanda.
Packed up all our crap for the drive to Carson City.
Our intent for the road trip was to maybe get to Roswell. Henry wanted to avoid Arizona because apparently they hate Mexicans there. After staring at Utah on the map for hours, we realized there was no way to make it to Roswell and back home without a few days of hard driving. So that plan was tossed and we decided to take a whatever approach to where we ended up.
Just barely out of Ione, I saw this supermarket in a town called pokerville.

I made Henry stop because surely they would have some sort of weirdness there.
Boringly normal as evidenced but this average amount of mayonnaise display.

Not much to see or do enroute according to my road side attractions app. We did stop at a mini golf that was allegedly designed by the same people who did the one in guerneville. It even had some of the same holes.

I made Henry win me this cow from the claw machine. He was disappointed that he couldn't get the cat.

Made it to Carson City with minimal arguing.
We stayed at the Gold Dust West casino. No smoking room second night in a row. :(. The casino was mostly empty of people,but completely full of penny machines. I hate penny machines. They lull you into this false sense of "hey it's only a penny!" But in reality you're spending $3-$4 per spin at max bet. Boo!
We finally found a bank of 3 25 cent machines hidden in the back. We lost $40.
The hotel also had a bowling alley.
Henry: let's go bowl and fuck up our arms even more!
So add bowling to the list of Things You Can't Do When You Test Pee For A Living.
It's a long list.

Had to wait until 4:00 to eat in the Mexican restaurant there. Our waitress grilled me about how painful my tattoos were and stared for way too long at my id while making a squinty face.
Henry had some kind of fancy Yay America drink.

We both had these jalapeño poppers wrapped in bacon. They were so good, but so painful. I thought I might die. Henry made fun of how white I am (again).

Meanwhile at home, my mom was having a birthday party for Dr. Pickles.

After dinner, we lounged by the pool. Decided to try the casino again and Henry won $220.
Had a few drinks in the room and fell asleep watching Duck Dynasty.
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Monday, July 8, 2013

Day one part two Ione and Jackson

After lunch Henry and I argued over what sno cone flavors to get from the guy in the truck out back. Decided on black cherry and cola. He didn't like which ever one was in his hand at the time so we kept trading.
There was a thrift store that was finally open, so we decided to go there.
Inside it seemed as if every piece of crap knick knack and secretary dress from the 80's had been stuffed with wild abandon. I didn't want to touch anything. Chuck on the other hand got his hair felt up by the white trash mom and daughter combo on their way out the door. This happens a lot. The lady that owned the place insisted Henry should buy his t shirts at "Rosses" instead of the Internet.
Amanda bought a set of dog uggs and threw one away because their dog only has 3 legs.
Afterwards, we walked back to the hotel to see if we could check in. Imagine my delight when Henry and I were given room #13. It was also the giraffe room which only intensified my glee.

I wanted to steal this so badly. It still had a 99 cent sticker on the back.
Our plan was to drive to Jackson to hang out in the casino. We decided to have some drinks on the balcony first. Broke out my birthday Dom which we drank out if styrofoam cups.

Chuck and Amanda got me a ton of cool crap for my birthday including this sweet articulated mole skeleton.

Chuck drove to the casino. He slammed on the breaks and did a u turn so we could visit this sculpture place.

This giant chicken was actually in my road side attractions app so one more thing to check off the list.
We got to the casino and parked. I was already regretting my decision to wear my sweet new wedges. Inside it was packed with degenerate gamblers. Not a single slot machine didn't have an old hag with cigarette dangling posted in front of it. Then we found out you couldn't drink on the casino floor. Also that you couldn't smoke in the bar that was upstairs. Wtf kind of casino is this?!?
I was hungry so I ordered a steak at the restaurant that was too spicy for me to eat. Chuck told the waiter that it was my birthday, but luckily nothing happened.
Amanda wanted to put 10 bucks in a slot machine so we stood around while Henry won $80 and chuck kept saying "cash out" every time she pressed the button.
Finally left.
Back at the room. Henry and I were really missing Dr. Pickles so I kept hounding my mom (who was babysitting) to send us pictures. I passed out at 9 pm because I'm really old.
A pretty successful birthday.
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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Day one: Preston Castle

The morning of my birthday started at 3am when Henry woke me up by screaming about something that happened on Deadliest Catch. He got me a bad ass new lap top (my old one runs on Vista) so all was forgiven.

We had plans to leave the house by 6am. Preston castle was almost 4 hours away and we wanted to arrive in time for the 10 am tour.
At 6:10 I waited in the car while Henry made his 3rd trip into the house for something he forgot. I wanted to bring Dr. Pickles with us. I miss her so much already.

Either google maps was wrong, or Henry drove like a demon released from hell. We arrived at the castle in the town of Ione around 9 am.

Not much to do here. Tried checking in early at the lone hotel in town. Even overcame my anxiety enough to ring the bell at the front desk, but no one appeared.

Decided to walk around a bit. We were meeting our friends Chuck and Amanda at the castle, but they had over slept and would be late.

So we walked over to the strip mall in town which consisted of an ace hardware, a grocery store, a subway, and a manicure place. The grocery store smelled weird to me, like Whole Foods weird. That creepy health store smell that's like garlic to a vampire to me. I had a fit when I saw this end cap of mayonnaise.

Seriously, wtf? Chuck later said that the town residents must use it for sun screen.

Went to ace hardware so Henry could use the bathroom. I lingered by the chainsaws trying not to look suspicious.

It was getting closer to ten so we headed back up to the castle. Henry took the "visitors" road instead of the road to the castle, which I needled him about endlessly until I noticed that the gravel road ended at a closed youth authority building. He almost ran over a squirrel and there were 4 vultures posted in the fence like they were waiting for us to die.

You could see the castle from the parking lot.

We headed back up that way and waited for Chuck and Amanda. Mostly I hated everyone that was parking behind us, but Henry hated the car in front of us that belonged to some hipsters that we had seen ogling us in town.

Finally Chuck and Amanda arrived. And we headed in to start the tour.

Preston Castle was a "school of industry" built in the 1890's to house youthful offenders who had previously been kept at San Quentin or Folsom prison.

Our guide was an ancient old man who had actually done some time there in the 50's. I was dismayed to learn that the tiny faced girl in short shorts and her husband that I hated as soon as they parked behind us would be in our tour group. They were amateur ghost hunters and had already seen some show about the castle. I spent most of the time being annoyed at them and their constant photography of anything "creepy"
Which probably included us.

I didn't really notice anything scary or creepy about the place. Except for the potential to fall through the floor at any moment.

Lots of empty rooms with single chairs.

The infirmary was the most interesting. The only room that had been freshly painted. And it had 3 wheelchairs.

According to our guide this was where ghost hunters picked up on ghostly vibes. Me, not so much. I did feel slightly dizzy like the floor was moving in one of the apartments, but it probably really was.
In the kitchen area, a murder of a kitchen worker had taken place in the pantry and a little shrine was set up.

After the tour we walked really far away to smoke like delinquents.

Everyone was hungry so we headed back to town to eat the diner where everyone's food was terrible. Much to my dismay, tiny face and her husband from the tour were already at the restaurant. Henry managed to get a picture of them surreptitiously.

God I hated them so much!!!

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Saturday, July 6, 2013


I'm going to miss Dr.Pickles sooo much!!

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