Elk Grove Weekend

My mom and I, along with Snorty McDoggelsson, went to my brother's place in Elk Grove on Monday and stayed there till Tuesday. Elk Grove is a suburb of Sacramento, which should tell you that there's really no there there because Sacramento itself is nothing to write home about. If it weren't the capital city of California, I bet nobody would even know where it was.

It takes 90 minutes to two hours to get to Elk Grove from San Jose. We took my mom's car. At first, she was driving, but after she missed the freeway interchange to get from 680 to 580, she decided that she wanted me to drive the rest of the way. So we stopped at a gas station, let the dog stretch his legs, and got some drinks for the rest of the trip.

When we reached my brother's place, the first thing we did after taking our bags inside was to take the dogs out for a walk. My brother's dog loves to walk outside, even though she doesn't really play with other dogs at all. We then hung out inside the apartment for a bit to rest and then went to Costco to get some crab.

Yum yum! Yes, I am now a certified crab lover. We got precooked whole dungeness crab, as well as a couple of Alaskan king crab legs. We also got some clam chowder. Browsed a little bit, and I stumbled upon Orogeny pinot noir, 2004, selling for $19.99 a bottle! Yay! We got three bottles... one for me, one for my mom (who wanted to try pinot), and one for me to bring to Bill when I go visit him.

After Costco we stopped at this strip mall that was like little Manila. I checked out the Pinoy bakery while my brother bought pan de sal. Then we walked nextdoor to the Asian (mostly Pinoy) supermarket because we needed to get some butter for the crab. Lemme tell ya, I really felt like I was back in Manila at that moment.

It was very hot outside, and as soon as the supermarket doors slid open we were hit with a blast of cold airconditioned air. Then we heard a cacophony of voices, all speaking in Tagalog. Then we smelled that unmistakeable, vaguely icky smell that one only encounters in Asian supermarkets. LOL. Why is it that every Pinoy market, every "Oriental store", smells? One never smells that smell at western supermarkets, no matter how downmarket. It's weird.

After we went home and pigged out on the crab, we rested for a couple of hours. Oh, by the way... everyone except me liked the dungeness better than the king crab. Which was good for me because it meant that there was less competition for the king's legs! They're weird. I mean, I like dungeness, too, but the king crab was meatier and sweeter. They said that it didn't "taste like the sea" as much as the dungeness. Uh. Whatever.

Later that evening we went to my aunt's house, which was about 5 miles away. My aunt's mother in law had prepared this awesome Filipino dish called pata tim, which is basically ham hocks cooked in a dark sauce until the meat is fork-tender and the tendons are gelatinous and wonderful. It's served with mustard greens. Yum yum yum! If it wasn't heart attack on a plate I could pig out on that all day!

The next day, we walked around the open space preserve behind my brother's apartment complex. Snorty was fixated on a cat that was very friendly towards dogs. My brother let his (small) dog play with the cat, but I didn't let Snorty anywhere near it because he was way too excited. He was tugging on his leash, and no amount of corrections could get him to snap out of his cat-trance! He was tugging hard enough to choke himself. I just don't know what he would have done if he had gotten close enough to the cat to make contact.

Later we saw Superman Returns, which was not as good as I had hoped but still a good movie. Contrary to what my insane friend April said in comment to my previous post, the movie was not an unmitigated disaster. Not in the least. And Brandon Routh as Superman? Hello!!! Be still, my heart. LOL. Such eye candy. Ought to be illegal. Candy that good will rot your teeth!

Drove back home after resting for an hour. Made it home in time to see the fireworks here in downtown San Jose. I just went outside and stood on the sidewalk in front of my building. Got an excellent view of the fireworks. The view wasn't as good as the one from Bill's old apartment, but on the plus side I was closer to Discovery Meadow, so I could actually hear the feel-good patriotic music that accompanied the fireworks show.

Now it's Wednesday evening. Tomorrow I'm on call.

God help me.