Gathering of Friends: Truckee, CA. Feb. 2017

This past fall, Fosters from Montana along with Carol Patterson and I, from Iowa, came up with the dates of February 20 – 24, 2017 in which we would fly into Reno and be met by our friends the Knapps from northern California.  The Knapps have a second home in Truckee, CA. where we would spend four nights.  Here are the notes I made during the visit which describes our daily activities.

Monday the shuttle arrived at 6:20; the girls had me awake at 4:00 am so I was ready. At the airport, paired up with Carol; we checked in, got thru security, and waited to board. No problem in Cedar Rapids and arrived in Denver about 30 minutes early; during the flight, I was given a congratulatory card from UA for being a mileage plus member for 20 years but it did not work on getting a free Bloody Mary. Arrived at our departure gate in Denver to hear the UA representative tell us the plane was inoperable so moved to another gate where an inbound plane was going to be ours going out. The plane arrived but its crew said there was a problem with wind shear control; Maintenance was called and, after sometime, were able to identify the problem and requested the part from their supply store. The part arrived, installed, and we were in the air approximately two hours after the scheduled departure time. The stewardess gave us a free bottle of wine to celebrate my 20th anniversary; we got into a conversation with the gal in the outer seat of our row. She is Navaho and her father is a great painter using oils and a people as his medium; she had a book of his paintings and they were beautiful. Delightful conversation. Arrived in Reno and were greeted in baggage claim by the Knapps and Fosters who had arrived earlier.  Snow was falling which made it difficult to get to the Knapps home in Truckee. But we did make it; even though there was no electricity because of the storm, we had a wonderful evening of friendship. Barb had made vegetable beef soup so that, along with salad and homemade beer bread, made an excellent meal. We sat by the fire enjoying some wine and conversation but the early morning start caught up with all of us so off the bed we went.

On Tuesday, we had breakfast of fruit salad, toast, yogurt, and coffee. It was still snowing but the power had been restored; Bill, Carol, and Tom went out to shovel lots of snow. Morning was spent talking, checking email, and some putting a puzzle together. In the early afternoon, Bill and Tom went to shovel more snow; Bill was hoping to get the car out of the drive. The guys did get the car out but got it stuck when getting back into the drive. All of us went out and helped dig it out. We had reservations at a place called the Lodge; Barb gave me a beautiful blue top to wear with my jeans for the event. Upon arrival at the place, the power went out. Because of that they could not take any orders. However, Bill and Barb had brought a BIG bottle of wine that they had won at a raffle so our waiter uncorked it for us. And the power came back on; they wanted to wait 30 minutes to make sure the power stayed on. It did not; went out after 10 minutes and the manager decided to close down.

Having coffee with friends

It’s Snowing Outside

More snow

Heading out to clear snow

Working the puzzle

BIG Bottle of Wine

Shoveling out

Let’s Get the Wine Open

Gathering of Friends

So back to the house we went for chili and cornbread muffins. Delicious! After cleaning up, the girls went back to the puzzle they had been working on while the boys and I talked. Off to bed early; I had been fighting a cold so went to bed with my book but fell asleep while reading.

Wednesday was a slow start which was good. By the time we all took showers and had breakfast, it close to 10:30. Again we had to do some shoveling to get out of the drive. The girls were going shopping in Truckee while the boys were going to a local brewery. We met up and went to lunch at Squeeze Inn but, as was our luck, their power went out so they closed for the day. We headed to the Diner after Bill called and found them open. Another meal of good food. By this time it was 3:30 so we decided to head back to the house with a stop at the grocery store on the way. The first time I have shopped in a store without power; they was using the generator to operate the cash registers so lighting in the aisles were minimal. Tom had a light on his phone which came in very handy.

Sun is rising

Blue bird welcoming the morning

Ready to shop

Is there enough snow??

Got back to the house and, after relaxing, headed to the Lodge for our dinner reservation at 6:00. Power was on and the food excellent; I had their special of beet salad and potato leek soup. Returned to the house; after a glass of wine and more conversation, went down to bed for some reading time. Lights out around 10:00.

When everyone was ready on Thursday, we took a drive around the three local ski areas plus Lake Tahoe. It was snowing again but not strong; however, the piles alongside the road made it impossible to see much. Ski areas we saw were Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, and North Star. Lunch was at Gar Woods; expensive but great service, pleasant atmosphere, and tasty food made it worthwhile.

Dog sledding

One of the ski areas

From the deck at Gar Woods

Lunch with friends

Got back to the house around 3:00 and sat around talking the rest of the day. Another puzzle was being worked on by Sarah, Carol, Barb, and Tom; Bill and I warmed up leftovers for our dinner. Went to bed around 10:00 or so.

Friday morning started with a brunch before leaving for the airport around 10:30. Arrived at the airport, got checked in, and Carol/I went through Security. Flights back to Cedar Rapids were uneventful. Landed in Cedar Rapids, retrieved my bag, and took the shuttle home where I arrived around midnight. And the girls came to greet me at the door. Another fun trip; it was great to see old friends and catch up on all that is happening in everyone’s lives. The amazing thing is how we are still friends after 40+ years and how, when we are together, it seems like our conversations pick up as if time and miles have not separated us.