Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day Seven: The Honor System

Time to leave Colusa. But it wasn't easy saying good-bye to Jaki and Robert. They had treated us like royalty. Some day I will have to tell them I was kidding when I said we were related to the Queen.

They did all sorts of wonderfully generous things for us. Robert detached one of the elements in his toaster so I could have one-side-soft-toast (TM). He even helped Linda out by confirming it when she said the balding on the back of my head looked like a little laneway ending in a cul-de-sac.

But it was time to go and start the road trip. And even there these generous people didn't stop, loading up an ice chest with water and cokes, and a bag with whatever scotch and vodka we hadn't killed in the first six days. Funny, there was a lot less of my vodka than LK's scotch.

Robert and Jaki drove us to Sacramento Airport to pick up our rental car. Along the way, they were able to tell us all about the various crops and processing plants we were passing in this agricultural part of the state. I told them I can't wait till they get to Oz so I can drive them around and tell them I haven't got a clue what we're looking at.

Once in the car, we popped in our Tomtom 930 that I bought a couple of months ago planning for this trip. The GPS works brilliantly and really does get you from one place to another. The voice I chose from the options is a British woman's, sounding very much like Honor Blackman. I suggested we call our GPS Miss Galore; Linda suggested Honor.

The nice thing about Honor is that she is so reasonable when you make a mistake. As we were leaving the airport, she told me to take a left in 600 yards. I turned too soon, and we were heading north instead of south on the highway. LK told me I was going the wrong way. Honor told me in the calmest and nicest tones, "Take the next exit." She then guided me down three country roads until we ended up at the freeway entrance going south. She told me to get on the freeway.

I think we call could learn from how nicely Honor corrects our mistakes. Never makes us feel dumb. Never says why didn't you listen to me? Never says I am the one with the map, so why do you feel you know a better way in an area you've never been in? As I said, many of us could learn from Honor, and you know who you are.

We had all day to make the fairly short trip to Reno, so we drove around Lake Tahoe. Talk about extremes. We left Colusa (elevation 56 feet/16 m) in the morning and by the middle of the afternoon we had climbed to a peak more than 9000 feet (2.7 km) on our way to Reno. Lake Tahoe is spectacularly beautiful. We left the camera in the car, so I will add some pictures later on today once we retrieve it.

At about 6pm, Honor told us we had reached our destination. We checked in, munched on some of the snacks Jaki and Robert had loaded for us. OK, munched on them while having some of the drinks they had loaded for us. Then went down to the casino to try our luck.

As for our luck on the night, I am reminded of that wonderful scene in Albert Brooks' movie "Lost in America". You may recall, he has quit his job in anger and with his wife played by Julie Hegarty, they sell everything they have, buy a mobile home and head off to explore America.

First stop is Las Vegas, where they have a bit of fun until Albert goes to bed and Julie decides that a little more roulette will be great fun. Well, the scene ends with one of the classic lines as Hegarty eventually confesses to him, "Honey, I've lost the nest egg."

We haven't lost the nest egg, but some of the straw seems quite loose.

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