Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend 2007 (Part 1--Friday)

Quite the weekend!

Nikki whisked me away Friday afternoon after work. I got a jump-start on the non-existent Memorial Day traffic. Everyone was going the opposite direction, so I didn't have much trouble on the highway to Nevada City. The ride to Truckee was pretty uneventful--it was the first time I tried bungee-cording my sleeping bag onto the back passenger seat, and it held nice and tight the whole trip. The backpack was a bit heavy, and I can see it being an issue on the trip to Vegas--but it wasn't bad for 100 miles.

I was used to the roads leading to Truckee--I've been around the lake twice already, and rode down to Markleeville, so I'm used to the 40mph and 55mph roads. But between Truckee and the turnoff for Highway 20, I'd be riding on Highway 80, which is the big 70mph highway that spans from San Francisco to Ocean Park, Maryland. There is a sign when you're heading East on 80, just outside of Sacramento that says, "Ocean Park, MD: 3023 miles".

The bike handled great! It marked the first time I hovered around the 10k-11k rpm mark, climbing Donner Pass... and like I've read, the 250cc's run amazingly from 9k up. The first time I got up to 6krpm on the drive home from the dealership, I thought the bike was about to explode, because I just wasn't used to the engine going that fast. 6krpm is red-line on the Explorer! Going 80mph on a bike is quite the windy experience! I have still yet to be too hot on the bike, and going 80mph on 80 made my shirt, sweatshirt, and jacket almost not noticeable--and it couldn't have been much cooler than 75 degrees out.

I rolled into Nevada City around 4:30pm, and Raffle was happy to see me (after a brief barking episode). It had to be over 80 degrees on the other side of the Sierras, so I shed 2/3rd's of my clothing, and Raffle and I tossed the ball, then headed inside to wait for Kristina to get off work for the weekend. I flipped on the tube, and was pleasantly surprised to see a rerun of the Heroes finale I missed last Monday. Two minutes later, I hear Kristina's Yaris rolling down the gravel driveway--no Heroes for me, poop!

It felt great to see Kristina again, and be in Nevada City. Her place is as close to ideal of a place to live as I've experienced--especially in the Spring, when it is sunny and 80 degrees outside. I secretly wished I could come back for the summer, especially with the crazy party-roommates, but I'll survive. We catched up for a bit in her kitchen, which probably keeps cool the best out of anywhere in the house, due to the tiled floor. 80 degrees outside, 65 in the kitchen, and probably 85 or 90 in her Solarium.

We talked a lot about teaching, Tahoe, frisbee, and the Ninja. I hadn't really thought about it until we talked about it on Friday afternoon, but I might spend a few weeks with Kristina on my way up to Seattle, and observe her class in Yuba City. She offered if I still had hours to observe by the end of my time in Tahoe. Her classes end this Friday, so she's very excited for her Summer. I guess her class this year was great, and she's not looking forward to a few of the "trouble" students coming her way next Fall--but it was hard for her to look past the Gin N' Tonic's out on the porch-swing all summer long :) I must say, that summer vacation is a nice little perk to teaching!

Her frisbee had been going so-so. She wasn't too happy about her league team down in Sacramento that had just started up. The chemistry just wasn't there, and I don't think they have won any of their games yet. Both Kristina and I could really care less if our teams win games, as long as we're having a fun time. Sadly, the two usually go hand-in-hand.

She also wasn't too hot about the motorcycle. Don't get me wrong, she thought it was great that I was having fun, but she wouldn't ride a motorcycle if someone paid her to. The fun and thrill isn't worth the greater chance of death and dismemberment (although girls don't even have members, so I'm not sure what she's worried about!). We eventually agreed to disagree, and we also came to the conclusion that we are both pretty stubborn, but she's more stubborn.

As planned, we headed out to Northridge Pizza for their yummy Popeye pizza. I forget exactly what is on it, but it is a Vege pizza that I actually like... I know! My favorite pizza is pepperoni and sausage, so a Vege pizza that I like is pretty rare. The Popeye pizza from Northridge has pine nuts, Feta cheese, and I think maybe spinach? I don't even like spinach, but this pizza is gold. We got some jalapeƱo poppers for appetizers, and washed down the pizza with a pitcher of Newcastle. MMM Newcastle! We made a deal that she'd drive, she'd have all but one popper, and I'd have all but one glass of Newcastle.

I thought the deal was a no-brainer, but the deal quickly went south when she couldn't finish the poppers, and I was hungrily awaiting the pizza. After we polished off half of the pizza, we still had about 2/3rd's of the beer left (I suck), so we switched up that part of the deal too, and she probably ended up having more of the Newcastle than I did. I just couldn't drink it very fast for some reason, and I love my Newcastle!

Since we didn't do well on the "one person stay non-tipsy", we took a long walk to the local video store to grab a movie for the night. It was a really nice walk, which took us from one side of Nevada City to the other, through downtown and over a few bridges. I didn't have my camera at the time, but we would have had some really nice shots as the sun was starting to hide behind the mountains.

We only spent a few minutes at the Video store, as the poster for Will Ferrell's "Stranger than Fiction" leaped out at us as we walked into the store. The guy manning the counter was playing a trumpet along to a recorded tape from presumably his band. He was good! Local video stores rock :) Not only are the prices twice as cheap as Blockbuster, but you get some nice horn accompaniment while you peruse the videos!

We made our way back to the car, much happier about this video purchase than our last one at this store--"War of the Worlds" don't get me started... Kristina was still tipsy 90 minutes after drinking two beers, so I drove us back to her house. She still had the gin in her freezer from three months ago, so I guess the light-weightness made sense.

The movie was pretty good, and it had laughs and kept me guessing. I really like both Will Ferrell and Dustin Hoffman, and the scenes they were in together were some of my favorite. The waif-ish object of Will Ferrell's attention was pretty cute too. The even cooler thing about "Stranger than Fiction" is that it was written by Zach Helm, who grew up in Grass Valley, and was one of Kristina's sister's (I won't say which) first kiss!

I didn't bring my laptop with me for the trip, but we watched the movie on hers, then I showed Kristina all the pictures I'd taken up in Tahoe on this here blog. I hadn't really thought I'd use the blog for that reason, but I'm glad it can double as a slideshow if you skip over all this drabble! And yes, I have a few frisbee pictures to share later.

Even after the movie, which ended around 10pm, we weren't sure what exactly our frisbee plans were for the weekend. Kristina wasn't too hot on the idea of playing both the Nevada City tournament AND the Marin tourney, but we finally decided on playing Saturday, then working it out as the weekend progressed. We called it a night, and seconds after my head hit the pillow, I was off to dreamland, dreaming about skying people the next day :)

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