Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Wild-Life at Lassen Park | Personal

Our family trips are always centered around food. I'm always gonna remember last year's Cabo trip for the booze, tacos, and never-ending guacamole bar. How do you follow up a trip to Taiwan that included at least 10 unforgettable meals a day for a week? Well this summer our plans of going to the Dominican Republic or Spain got reduced to a weekend getaway to Lassen Volcanic National Park. Oh well. We wanted to make the best of it and searched hard for hidden food treasure troves. We kept searching....and searching. Nada. Okay, hey- the consolation here is that we'll see some awesome landscapes.

there were a ton of billboards along I-5N for Rolling Hills Casino. We were hungry but not dying for a casino buffet and had to check it out anyways. Amy yelp'd and continued the search for our Friday night dinner spot.

Amy found the Taco Barn in Anderson, CA where we were staying for the weekend. I don't think I've ever had a California Burrito with french fries in it.

What was the verdict? Enh. the fries were soggy and the burrito was SUPER salty. I was so hungry that I failed to take a picture of it.

The Gaia Hotel where we were staying claimed to be a very 'green' establishment. They are in fact gold LEED certified- at least per my web search. I couldn't find a plaque in the lobby that should proudly showcase this achievement.

"Hey, those beef steak nuggets look precariously close to being free..."

"In Australia - Reportedly 2 people die every year from altercations with a vending machine." I managed to escape the face of death that evening.

Nat's a bit of an escape artist herself.

hangin' out as we decide on where we plan to go on Saturday morning

check out james' new turbo wagon - that's one hot Swede...

The Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay

The designer of the bridge, world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, has said that, to him, the bridge resembles a bird in flight, and symbolizes the overcoming of adversity.

Nat enjoying some shade at McConnell Arboretum. It was probably around 100 degrees here.

the interiors of the tree house

I don't think I have patience for fly fishing.

Here at Oak Bottom Marina in Whiskeytown - Patrick found A) kayak rental info; B) food options; C) 3G or EDGE connection on his iPhone; or D) None of the above. Answer: D

It was so hot at the Oak Bottom Marina that I was able to heat up some Taco Barn leftovers on the asphalt.

Nat figured out how to change channels.

The pond at our hotel was home to 4 swan and a plethora of fish. Nat thoroughly enjoyed the domestic wildlife.

Nat enjoyed her 32oz porterhouse from Cattlemen's

food coma

heading east to Lassen Park

Nat and Grandma Wen enjoying the ride to Lassen

On our drive through Lassen National Park we came across Sulphur pools spewing pretty foul-smelling gas.

Patrick strenuously climbs Lassen Peak. Nobody would be able to tell that he's in the parking lot of the Lassen Park Visitor Center. This is probably the closest thing to hiking that we did in our Lassen Park experience.

On our way home Amy found what we've been looking for our entire trip - a local favorite. Nancy's Airport Cafe served pretty healthy-sized portions and they were getting a steady stream of customers that afternoon. You could tell Nancy's has been around a while with all the memorabilia hanging from the walls. If we're ever driving through Willows, CA again we'd probably stop here.

Nat was trying to decide what to get off their huge menu.

I've been on quite a burger binge lately after reading the latest issue of Saveur Magazine. It was definitely as good as it looked.

We pretty much sat in a car for 10 hours on the last day of our trip- probably a little too much for Nat and Grandma Wen. Thankfully Nat had Elmo's World on the iPhone which tucked nicely on the back of the headrest for handsfree viewing pleasure. As for Shasta, Butte, and Lassen County - I'm not so sure Anthony Bourdain would even be able to find enough to do a show in these neck of the woods. In any case, sharing good times with family always redresses lackluster latitudes.