I love to travel. Travel days are so exciting to me, I always have my bags packed and by the door the night before. I have unchecked items on my packing list that are for the morning. And I always budget enough time to make tea. This travel day was no different. 🙂
I am in Reno for Christina and my annual MLK weekend getaway to Tahoe. We got snowed out of Tahoe so here we are. Well, here I am. Christina doesn’t arrive until late tonight. So I spent the day writing, I took myself to a nice brunch, I napped, went to the gym, picked up groceries, and napped some more before I picked Christina up at the airport.
Upon her arrival, we caught up over wine and went into a deep sleep, making sure we had closed the black out curtains really well.
Day 2, we sat and admired the snowy mountains outside our window over coffee and tea. We don’t need to speak when we’re together, we can just be. Eventually we settled on a plan for the day and headed out to find a cafe before driving to Tahoe for the day.
We drove to “House of Bread” on the other side of town. We needed bread for our picnic and the lady at the bakery, Susan, immediately opened up to us about the abusive relationship she had escaped. This is not unusual (that people open up to us). We had a really nice conversation, bought some sourdough and went on our way.
We made it to our destination, Alibi Ale Works in Incline Village. We have been coming here for as long as we’ve been doing this annual trip (3 years) and the place has only been opened for 3 years…super cool! One of the ladies behind the bar, Christie, recognized us and said, you come up every year, don’t you? That was really special. We had a few beers and talked about life. We booked some accommodations for future travel together (yay! nothing makes me happier than traveling with Christina).
We bid our farewell (Christie called out, “See you next year!”) and we headed on our way to our next destination, the Ritz-Carlton where we park down at Northstar and take the gondola up to the hotel where there is a lovely lobby with a huge vaulted, wooden beamed ceiling and an octagonal center stone pillar with 4 fireplaces, on every other surface. On the ride up, we sat in a gondola with 3 other people who we learned were from San Diego. After the door was closed by the attendant, one of them pulled out a flask, took a sip, and offered me a swig of his whiskey. It was Johnnie Walker double black. Quite good, a bit smokey. It made me think of my uncles back in Syria who used to always drink Johnnie Walker and sneak it in my coke as a kid. I love how taste can trigger memory.
We found a seat in the lobby and ordered wild boar nachos and drinks (I got a pear gin fizz, delicious!) There was a pianist (keyboardist?) playing beautiful covers in front of the fireplace. Four middle-aged ladies sat across from us and we struck up a conversation. One of them was planning her trip on the Camino de Santiago and was really excited to hear that I knew about it and had lived near by, we talked and she had lots of questions. Eventually they asked us what we both did and a bit about our lives. We shared with them and they were impressed by our desire to and actual travel. On the gondola ride down I asked Christina, “do you think it’s a generational thing or just us?” She concluded that it was just us, or that people don’t have the means or don’t prioritize travel. I disagree, I think travelers have existed forever, think of explorers and writers…people have been curious about the other and what’s out there since the dawn of man, I say.
I don’t know, all I know is I love to travel, whether it’s getting on an airplane and changing four flights to get to some far off destination or hopping in my car and driving up to the Russian River. Exploring, getting out of your routine, breaking your schedule, and seeing new things is vital for growth and expanding one’s horizon. I say.