April 16, 2008

Alternate plans

This past weekend we had planned to stay in Barstow and meet Vegas Valley 4-Wheelers for a run on Saturday in Calico, CA. Needless to say, we didn't make it, we hit the road around 5:30 on Friday, all was good until we got outside Vegas, then the Jimmy's engine got real hot. We pulled over, smoke flooded out from under the hood. The water pump went out and we were leaking coolant like a sieve. I called the hotel to cancel our reservation, and then called lodging.com to get a refund. They gave us a terrible time, but eventually they agreed to refund us. It took us almost 4 hours to get home. We had to stop every couple miles and flood the radiator with water. Good thing I brought a lot along with us.

It was 9:30 when we got back to the house I was starved and craving Mexican. We tried a new place that's been open for a year or two. It's called Frank and Fina's Cocina. I'm glad we finally tried it, it was delicious. Frank had a carne asada burrito and I had cochinita pibil. We agreed that we liked it better than Lindo/Bonito's and Viva Mercado's, which were among the best we've had here. I wish we could find something like what we get in San Diego, because Los Panchos is some damn good stuff.

Moving on to Saturday, we dropped off the Jimmy at the shop first thing. Very soon everything under the hood will be new, and we've replaced the exhaust system and got new tires, so repairs have got to be coming to an end soon. I suppose that's what you get with a 23 year old vehicle.

Then, we had breakfast at Hash House a Go Go. I tried the blackberry granola pancake, but it was much too dry. Not my favorite, the other varieties are far better. Frank had the pork tenderloin benedict. That was yummy like usual.

After that, we went to the Las Vegas Springs Preserve We opted to do the trails and gardens for free rather than paying the $20 admission to the exhibits since we were looking to enjoy the weather outside.

It's planted to look like the desert that surrounds us. It's really kind of ironic. Years ago, they had small garden set up for free, I really enjoyed that. This was enjoyable, but luster was lost because everything was fake. I'd rather see the natural desert then the planted desert. Anyway, a few photos of the grounds and gardens are coming up.

Fake wetlands

Beautiful yellow flowers on this tree

flowering penis cacti (of course, that's not the proper name, but it's looks like it, doesn't it?)

I've seen lots of these off-roading

a variety of desert plants

vibrant desert flowers

I love to see cacti flower

And this bloom totally made my day. It was gorgeous!!

Afterwards we returned home and went for a swim. It was the first swim of the year, I cannot express how much I love living here. Although, I will add that it was 38 in Chicago and 77 here on Saturday... Yeah, that helps sum it up.

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