Today finds us once again, reporting live from Sacramento. Paige and I have decided to extend our stay here by one more night so we could spend time with Meredith when she returns from her business trip.
Interestingly enough, this in turn gives Emma one more night to capture one of the cats, Izzy and Potsticker (affectionately called Dumpy because of the extra weight she carries). This may be just enough time, considering Emma's getting closer and closer. Only this morning she had her closest call yet. Due to gross negligence on the part of someone who shall remain nameless (their name starts with a "P" and it rhymes with "rage"), Emma escaped our bedroom before the cats had been put away. Unfortunately for Emma, her fast food breakfast was just a tad too fast and narrowly managed to elude her. This morning Emma went after Izzy, the more agile of the two cats. If slow and pudgy Dumpy gets chased next time, Dumpy might find herself in a world of hurt! Despite the sheer Glee Alex gets from seeing the cats scramble, we'll be keeping Emma on a short leash for the rest of the trip. We'd really like to make it to Christmas without any feline casualties.
After the big cat hunt, Alex took Paige and I up and down the Napa Valley to taste some wine. We stopped in at about a half dozen wineries or so. I don't know much about wine, but I'd say that most of them were at least as good or better than Franzia or Carlo Rossi. We had fun and the area was gorgeous. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. The highlight of the adventure however was when we stopped for lunch at KFC/A&W. With Alex's help, I finally managed to out-vote Paige and get some fast food! Where else would you stop to eat in Napa?!?!
We rounded out the evening with the finest pizza Digiorno had to offer and played a couple of games of Settlers. True to form, Alex snatched victory from the hands of defeat right at the end of the first game. I demanded a rematch. While I continued to use about as much strategy as one uses when playing Candyland, Paige unseated the champion and dealt Alex his first ever defeat. And since what's mine is Paige's and what's Paige's is mine (thats how marriage works, right?), really, it was ME who dealt him his first defeat! I don't care that Paige did all the hard work or that I made mistakes after mistake. I don't even care that it wasn't really Alex's first defeat! All that matters is that I won... and that feels damn good.
And since I beat Alex, that means I am free to go home for Christmas! Woo Hoo! It doesn't look like anyone is going to be able to get time off to meet us in Vegas, so here is a revised rough itinerary for anyone who cares and/or lives along the way and/or still wants to meet us somewhere:
12/8 Happy 20th birthday for my little sister Mackenzie (if you are reading this call and wish her a happy birthday. I don't care if you don't know her. Her number is 214-532-1475.)
12/9 Leaving Sacramento in the morning, spending the day in Tahoe
12/10-11 Climbing in Bishop, CA
12/12 Death Valley National Park
12/13-14 Climbing Red Rocks/Going out in Las Vegas
12/15 -19 Climbing Arizona/Camping Arizona/Staying with Summer in Phoenix
12/19 Drive Phoenix-El Paso
12/20 Drive El Paso-Austin/San Antonio
12/21 Arrive in Houston
Remember, if you want to meet us, our travel plans are flexible. We'd love to see any of you.