Sunday, May 8, 2011

Saturday, May 7, through Wednesday, May 11, 2011: In Chico:

We made the trip to Chico in fine fashion.  We are staying at the Almond Tree RV Park.  Very nice place.  We came here mainly to spend some time with John and Nancy McCrady, who live in nearby Durham.  John was a fraternity brother of mine at UCLA 50+ years ago.   They live on a 5-acre property with a walnut grove.

We went to their home Saturday afternoon to watch the Kentucky Derby and have a few margaritas (and one mint julep, to stick with tradition).

That evening we went to a very nice restaurant in Chico (Spice Creek Cafe) with the McCradys and some friends of theirs, Jim and Beverly Beeghly.  We had a great time.  Jim and Beverly are fellow 5th wheelers, though not full-timers.   During dinner, a couple walked by on their way to the bar. They looked familiar.   It turned out that they (Garth and Valerie Gregory) were on our trip 2+ years ago when we went to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands.   We had a nice reunion with them.   Garth is a radiologist in Chico.

Sunday afternoon we went to the Chico State campus to see "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" which is a musical version of the film that starred Michael Caine and Steve Martin.  For a student production, it wasn't too bad, but the acoustics did not allow us to hear much of the dialog.  It was also going to be quite long, so we left at the intermission.  That night we had a cookout at the McCradys.  Their son, Michael, and his wife, Libby, were there, along with their two sons, Christopher and Michael. We hadn't seen Michael and Libby since their marriage ten years ago.  They live in Durham, too.

Monday, Becky took Daisy to the doctor for some follow-up blood testing regarding her slight kidney problem.  She is doing better, thank you.  Then we met the McCradys for lunch at the restaurant attached to the Sierra Nevada brewery.   Michael joined us.   Beautiful place; excellent food.

Then we had an early cocktail "hour" at Michael and Libby's home, before going home and crashing for the evening.

On Tuesday, we had a nice breakfast with John and Nancy at Sin Of Cortez, a sort-of-Mexican restaurant just down the street from our RV park, then went to Lassen Volcanic National Park, about a 150-mile round trip.   The park is essentially closed due to a huge buildup of snow,

but the visitor center is open.   So Becky was able to get her National Parks passport stamped and we were able to see a good 20-minute film about the park---mostly about the large number of volcanoes that exist there.

Tuesday night we headed for a local Thai restaurant---something to which we had looked forward for three days, only to discover that it was closed on Tuesdays.  We went to the Papa Murphy's next door and picked up a pizza instead.  Not a bad substitute, all things considered.

On Wednesday, we went to Costco to reload, and Becky went for a walk with the dogs and Nancy at Bidwell Park, a huge local park (the 3rd largest in California).  That night we had a farewell dinner with all the Durham McCradys at John and Nancy's home.   But that wasn't enough.   The next morning, we stopped by their home with the rig, and had breakfast.
Since we did a lot of eating with the McCradys, we probably gained about 25 pounds (collectively) during this brief stay.

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