Friday, February 18, 2011

Stuck in Lodi again

Sometimes you have to drive through a blizzard.

I don't know if you've heard, but there is a major snowstorm hitting the Sierra right now. Last night I drove through it with my friend Katie.

We had plans to go to Santa Barbara for the long weekend, and, come hell or high water, we were going to make it to Santa Barbara.

We had originally planned that I would go down on Friday, and meet Katie in Lodi, where she had a meeting. However, Wednesday and Thursday we got about three feet of snow, and, according to the weather report, it was only going to snow more and more over Thursday night and into Friday. So we both got permission to leave work early on Thursday, and we headed out of town yesterday afternoon.

It. Was. Crazy!

Definitely the hardest snow I've ever driven through. Luckily, my car, Strawberry, has all wheel drive, and the nice men at Les Schwab put my chains on for me. We took off at a speedy 25 miles an hour, and we were on our way.

When we left, there were chain controls from Meyers, Ca to Kyburz, Ca. That's about 22 miles and pretty much the extent of the high mountain roads. We passed Kyburz. There were still chain controls. We got to Pollock Pines (40-ish miles). Still chain controls. We got to Camino. There was CalTrans trucks forcing us off Highway 50, so we took about a 20 minute detour through that bustling metropolis. We got to Placerville- 52 miles later, the chain controls were finally off. 52 miles is a really long ways to drive 25 miles an hour.

But we made it. I was glad I wasn't going the other direction (into Tahoe) because the traffic was insane going that direction. We also saw several accidents, probably people going too fast for conditions. Seriously people! Just because you drive a hummer, that doesn't mean you can drive 45 through a blizzard.

Eventually, we made it to Lodi and checked into the extremely upscale Lodi Best Western. After all the adrenaline from driving through the snow storm (and the difficulties of actually getting our chains off!) wore off, we realized we hadn't eaten all day.

As vegetarians, we decided against the hotel desk clerk's recommendation of a steak house, and instead tried out Lodi Beer Company. It was in a really adorable part of town, in a cool old building with high molded ceilings and exposed brickwork. All the food on the menu looked super good, but there were definitely more veggie options in the online menu than there were when we got to the restaurant, which was a little disappointing. I tried the Plowshear Porter, which was good, but not the best porter I've ever had. I've been going through a porter/stout phase lately so I had a lot to compare. Katie really like the Southern English Brown that she tried.

Like I mentioned, we hadn't eaten all day and were very hungry. We ordered the blue cheese fries (garlic fries with fresh blue cheese and a little blue cheese dressing for dipping) and a greek salad (no chicken) to split. We also each got an entree; Katie got pizza and I ordered baked macaroni and cheese, with jalapenos and pepper jack cheese.

All of the food was SO GOOD. I think even looking past the hunger that would have made pretty much anything taste good, our food was delicious. It was pretty hilarious when we had all of the plates of all of our food on the table. I wish we had taken a picture.

We managed to eat most of the fries, the whole salad, most of the pizza, and all of the macaroni and the side steamed veggies. I think our waitress was pretty impressed.

I've been trying to eat vegan when I'm cooking for myself this month, and have managed to be about 90% vegan for the last few weeks. I think all of the cheese in my meal last night was kind of a shock to my system, and we both fell into "cheese comas" by 10:30.

I'm not usually a morning work out person at all (I need enough sleep and food in my system), but the combination of the early bed time, still feeling full from the night before, and an early morning text from my boss, I was wide awake at 6:30 am. After laying there for another half an hour, I decided to just give up on sleep and bust out a quick run in the workout room just a couple doors down.

It felt great to start my morning off with a three miler while watching My Super Sweet 16 interspersed with weather reports of the snow storm I am no longer experiencing. I don't think I stretched enough after the run, which I'll probably regret during the 6 hours we still have left to drive.

All I can say is that it better stop raining in SB so I can go for a bike ride.

We also drove through Folsom.

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