Heading West: Part I

Hello from beautiful Primm, NV! Today we are sitting poolside at Buffalo Bills Resort and Casino, relaxing after a whirlwind two-week adventure. We are half-way through a month-long excursion. We apologize for our lull in blog activity over the past few weeks, but promise great photos and videos in the near future!

Two weeks ago we left Peoria, IL to head out to Lake Tahoe, CA for Jeff’s aunt and uncles’s 50th Anniversary party. We decided to add a few extra days on our drive out West and make some stops along the way. Our first destination was Lincoln, NE to check out the Haymarket area, along with the Workspace Gallery, where I had an exhibition this past spring. After a quick lunch at the local vegan café, we were on our way to stop number two – Rocky Mountain National Park. We made a pit stop in Estes, CO for dinner at the local Cantina and then headed up to the park. When we arrived we found that all of the campgrounds on the East side of the park were full and that trekking across the top would add a couple hours round trip to our drive. So instead we headed up to Fort Collins for the night. But not before we spotted an elk grazing in a beautiful meadow on our way out!

The next morning, after a quick breakfast courtesy of LaQuinta, we got on the road early and headed to Salt Lake City to visit family and friends. It was a lovely drive through Wyoming and northern Utah, past Park City and through the Wasatch Mountains. We met up with two of Jeff’s friends for dinner at Bayou – the bar with possibly the best selection of beers in SLC. After a few cocktails and discussion of a Bahamian charter and diving this winter, we headed over to Piper Down to meet up with my brother and a few long lost friends for a serious game of trivia. The next day we got to play “the cool aunt and uncle” and take my nephew Cassius out to lunch at Mazza’s. This Mediterranean restaurant in the 9th and 9th area has outdoor seating, perfect for a leisurely meal and people watching on a warm summer day. After a quick trip to the Gateway outdoor mall for a romp in the water fountain, we dropped off Cassius and spent the rest of the evening restaurant hopping. If you make it to SLC, I highly recommend all three of the places on our tour. The first was Café Madrid, an upscale dining experience with unique Spanish tapas and entrees and a superb Spanish wine list. Our favorite dish was a slab of grilled cheese topped with caramelized onions on one half and olive tapenade on the other. Next, we hit up The Tin Angel which is located downtown, in a converted garage, near Pioneer Park. Here we devoured brussel sprouts, a cheese plate, flourless chocolate cake, and a lovely ruby port. Our last stop was at Squatter’s Brew Pub. We indulged in a nightcap (or two) of SLC’s finest brews from Squatters and Wasatch brewing. Half of the fun of drinking these microbrews comes in the ordering– i.e. I’ll take a St. Provo Girl Pilsner, a Polygamy Porter, an Evolutionary Ale, First Amendment Lager, Chasing Tail Golden Ale….you get the idea!

 

White Kings Casino, Elko, NV

White Kings Casino, Elko, NV

Cassius playing in the water fountain at the Gateway Mall

Cassius playing in the water fountain at the Gateway Mall

 

Next time on Return to Seasons – Parasailing on South Lake Tahoe!

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