Sunday, September 18, 2011

Wine traveler’s Travels Vol. 15 (From the archives)


            The mist, that is called rain in these parts, is falling just enough to make the roads shiny, the temperature at five AM is 36f according to the onboard computer in my Chrysler Town and Country.  One of the coldest mornings we’ve had in a while.  The Highway already has heavy traffic and a few areas of stop and go between home and the airport.  This is why I prefer the earlier flights to avoid the traffic; today’s flight is seven twenty. 
            I make in plenty of time for my flight on Alaska Airlines today, the one hour and twenty minute flight, on a Boeing 737-700, offers beverages only.  At least it will be Seattle’s Best coffee.  I am a bit disappointed that the coffee has been made very weak tastes like hot water; this is probably in response to the non-Seattleites who don’t drink their coffee strong. 
            Hertz pleasantly surprised me with a Mustang convertible.  But of course it is just my luck it is still cold.
            Today’s destination is Carson City, NV, Ill be landing in Reno then driving a short distance to Carson City.  This is a Hospital I visited just before Christmas and stayed in a Best Western hotel, which I have booked again, it has a casino, a bowling alley and two restaurants.  My last visit I brought home $200 more than I arrived with.  The last time here the rate was $50 this time it is $45 for a very nice room.  This visit is to support the Go-live with our software so I won’t be holding regular classes but making nice with the nurses and answering their questions as they use the software in the real world and not just practicing. 
            Carson City is nestled in a valley with majestic views of mountains all around, not as tall as the mountains surrounding Seattle, but the snow on them makes them look so inviting.  There is evidence of the past, an old building here and there.  Mixed in with new modern buildings.  Reading the literature in my hotel room I learn that the city is named after the Carson River, which was named after the noted “old west” guide Kit Carson.
            I check into the hotel at 10 AM and I am given a nice room with two queen size beds.  I check my phone mail and email then head to the restaurant for lunch.  Today’s special is roast leg of lamb.  It was very tasty and served with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies, this price is $5.95.  Then I head off to the hospital to makes sure everything is set up for tomorrow’s go-live.  The nurses were happy to see me and anxiously excited about the go-live.  I leave about 6 PM and head back to the hotel, and dinner in the Margarita Saloon.  They offer 40 different flavors of margaritas and serve food from the restaurant.  The margaritas are $3.50 for a 16-ounce drink, and if you are dropping quarters into the slot machines built into the counter top they are free.  My favorite flavor so far is the Horni Rita; this one is made with Hornitos Tequila.  The special tonight is Tequila Lime Chicken, this is a grilled chicken breast with Tequila and lime sauce served with rice and steamed veggies.  The chicken was a bit over cooked and tough but otherwise tasty.  I lost about $7 in the machines, which equaled the two margaritas I had so, no real loss. 
            Go-Live day went very well, I brought in a couple of dozen of donuts, which made me quite popular.  For lunch I went back to the hotel and had the bratwurst and sauerkraut special, which came with some of the best German potato salad I’ve ever had.  Then returned to work with the nurses some more.  I stayed over a couple of hours for the night shift; they work twelve-hour shifts here.  This evening I got to the margarita saloon too late for dinner so I just ordered nachos which for $3.95 would have fed four people.  I lost another $7 in the machines; I lasted a little longer though.  There was a musician in the lounge that played some awesome music with quite a range of styles, from rock to soft jazz to reggae.  I don’t have to be back to the hospital till noon the next day, as I will stay till midnight for the night shift. 
             I got up around 9 AM and worked on some paper work and such then went to lunch at the restaurant, today’s special was chicken and dumplings; big chunks of tender white meat with sweet onion and carrots in a rich sauce with two large dumplings on the side, served with green beans.  I went to work with a full belly.  The drive from the hotel to the hospital is only about a mile and a half but the view of the mountains behind the hospital is spectacular.  We had a little snow this week but it didn’t stay on the ground.  I called home this afternoon and the boys were outside having a snowball fight, the first snowfall of the season. 

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