The Alpha Blonde


This article was written on 09 Mar 2014, and is filled under relationships, travel.

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A weekend away

I don’t know if I’ve blogged about this yet, but Chuck’s son has moved in with us. Nikk is great, he’s 21 (almost 22) so it’s more like having a roommate than anything. He does the dishes and appreciates my borscht, which is all I ask for in a housemate. It has changed the dynamic between Chuck and I, however. The days when Mollie and Cary are at their dad’s were always our couple time to lay on the couch and fart and watch Jeopardy. Having another adult in the house changes that a bit. Jeopardy is still on (Chuck plays couch commando) but it’s less about cuddling and more about chatting and then going to bed early.

When we learned that this weekend the (small) kids would be going to Disneyland with their dad we got really excited about the idea of going out of town on our own. We didn’t know if we’d be camping at Lindy’s Landing or heading for the hills but it was something that we both knew we needed.

It wasn’t until Friday night that we actually had plans set and Saturday morning we took off for Mariposa, one of our favorite places on Earth. We went up through Merced instead of Oakhurst, which was a fun detour from the usual. In downtown Merced we found tofu vietnamese sandwiches and a punk rock record shop that had a small collection of zines and a $2.99 Humble Pie album, one we’ve been looking for for a while!
From there we loved the green grass of Cathey’s Valley and that the 140 dropped us off right at the hotel in Mariposa that we were staying in. What drew us to Mariposa for the night (aside from Mariposa being awesome) was the Storytelling Festival. People come from all over the United States for this 20+ year festival. How could we not be intrigued?

Before that, though we made the most of our time. we dropped in to the Quarter Note music shop, Chuck had met the owners through his show. We were lucky enough to have their company for dinner later in the evening, too.

After the Quarter Note we dropped in at the most unique bar I’ve ever been in- The Hideout. Dark and musty, the stone wall along the length of the bar was actually constructed by Chinese workers in the 1800’s. Think gold rush times. The walls are papered in dollar bills that guests have signed for years and stapled on, the bartender is a former WWE undefeated pro-wrestler who has wrestled on the same ticket as Hulk Hogan and a bunch of other wrestlers from when I was a kid that I had never heard of. You know, because at that age I was all about ponies and fairies, not really wrestling. But it was rad to talk to her and hear her story of how she landed in Mariposa. As we were sitting there, Chuck drinking a local IPA, me sipping a ginger ale Isaac, a local musician, grabbed a guitar and started playing bluegrass renditions of “I’ll Fly Away” and “Folsom Prison Blues”. The thought crossed my mind that the whole town does this- they conspire to charm and enchant the shit out of their visitors, but it can’t be so. This has to be the way it actually is. Just really, ridiculously awesome without any pretense or anything.

Then off to dinner at Bett’s Gold Coin and to chat with our buddy Bob who owns the sports tavern housed in a historic building. Our friends Rebekah and Jacob from The Quarter Note joined us and we had such a good dinner, great conversation and a lot of fun laughing at their sweet little girl as she ran around the patio.

Then off to the Storytelling Festival. Such powerful, moving and captivating performances by the storytellers to a whole auditorium of people just holding on to every single word. It was a perfect ending to a busy day.

The morning found us looking for something to do, so after dropping by the Coin to see Bob we took off on the 140 and drove into Yosemite.

Because, yeah.¬† I’d NEVER BEEN to Yosemite.

We weren’t really dressed for it- I had a maxi dress on, Chuck in a jacket and tie, but we drove slowly, windows down and breathed in the clean air.


We did get out of the car for the obligatory “YOSEMITE, BITCHES” selfie. We’re not amateurs.

All in all it was exactly what we needed as a couple. I missed being alone with my best friend. Chuck has been working a lot of evenings and I’ve been early to bed pretty much every night so even when Nikk is out with friend our time together has been limited. I’m very thankful for this weekend, and for Mariposa. It just gets better every time we visit.

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