Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Filed under: — stan @ 7:54 pm

Today we celebrated Lucinda’s ‘half-birthday’. We took her roller skating in the morning. The Moonlight Roller Center in Glendale has a beginner’s skating lesson for kids on Saturday mornings. Lucinda did the lesson, and then we stayed for the morning skate afterwards. She did pretty well for her first time. Pictures at

In the evening, we got some little individual-sized chocolate mousse cakes for dessert as Lucinda’s ‘half-birthday cake’.


Filed under: — stan @ 8:35 pm

Lucinda and Mommy rode the new Metro Gold Line today. They took the train to Union Station in Downtown L.A. Then they walked over to Olvera Street and spent the afternoon there.


Filed under: — stan @ 8:39 pm

Cathy’s birthday is today, so we all went to dinner at Cafe Bizou.


Filed under: — stan @ 5:38 pm

Today we rode the Metro Gold Line. It was a pleasant ride into downtown, and then we took the Red Line subway to Hollywood. Below are a few pictures from the ride.


Filed under: — stan @ 11:05 pm

Lucinda is really quite au courant for a four-year-old. When we told her we were going to a gay wedding, she didn’t bat an eye. But she did ask, “Is it two boys or two girls?


Our vacation report from Lake Tahoe

Filed under: — stan @ 6:55 pm

Vacation Diary – July 30

Here’s our trip report for our vacation at Lake Tahoe.

First off, we went to LAX to fly to Reno. After waiting a bit, we were on our way. This was Lucinda’s first airplane trip.

After the short flight to Reno, we stopped for lunch before driving over the mountains to South Lake Tahoe.

When we got to Grandpa Schwarz’s house there, Lucinda wanted to sniff the tree that smells like vanilla.

That afternoon, Lucinda and Cathy went to the pool. After that, we all went to dinner at the Sage Room at Harvey’s Casino. This is their ‘big meat’ steakhouse restaurant. Lots of dark wood and dim light. But it was good.

Vacation Diary – July 31

On Thursday morning, Lucinda spent some time playing on the spiral staircase. After this, we headed out for our first hike, which was a short trip to Cascade Falls. At first, Lucinda wanted to smell all the trees, but after a while she got tired and wanted to be carried. But all that changed when the trail got rocky. This was more fun, and Lucinda climbed all over the rocks.

When we got to the falls, Lucinda tried to make friends with the chipmunks. She also played around the falls. While we were there, we noticed that our cell phones still had a good signal, so Cathy called her friend. And Lucinda finally did manage to make friends with a chipmunk.

That evening, we had dinner at the Christiania Inn. The food was good, and there was another family there with a little boy. Lucinda spent some time showing him around and telling him how to behave in a restaurant. She liked being the ‘older kid’ for a change.

Vacation Diary – August 1

Friday was a quiet day. Lucinda couldn’t go hiking today because of the blister she got on Thursday.

Lucinda went to the Heavenly Pre-school on Friday afternoon, so Mommy and Daddy could have a rest. We were going to ride the gondola up the mountain and hike the trails on top, but there were thunderstorms in the area, so the top of the mountain was closed.

At the end of the day, we all went to dinner at Chevy’s. It was a bit downscale compared to the rest of our vacation dinners out, but it was still good. And we had the Coconut Cajeta for dessert, which was quite good. Also, this dinner was somewhat remarkable in that it was the first time we had ever had a handicapped waitress. She was quite good. She scooted around the restaurant in her wheelchair with a tray balanced on her knees, and she did a very good job.

Vacation Diary – August 2

On Saturday, we went to Virginia City, NV. This is an old gold and silver mining town that has reinvented itself as a tourist trap.

Our first stop was to climb the hill to the main street. From there, we wandered around a bit. We stopped in at ‘pan for gold’ stand, but Lucinda was too small do try it. Still, the man there gave her a little vial with a tiny gold nugget in it. After that, we had lunch at the Delta Saloon, and then headed over the the Virginia and Truckee depot for the train ride.

The train was not pulled by a steam engine this time, as the steam engine was out for repair. So they had a ‘vintage diesel’ for the ride. We got on the train and took the ride to Gold Hill, passing through one of the old V&T tunnels. At this time, is had gotten quite cold, and started to rain a bit. But by the end of the ride, it had cleared up. Here’s a picture of Stan and Lucinda next to the train.

The town is located on the east side of a horst in the Basin and Range terrain of Nevada. The Comstock Fault accumulated a great vein of gold and silver, which was the reason for the town. Our next stop was the Chollar Mine. They have a short tour that goes back into the main tunnel into the ore body. Here are a couple of pictures of Cathy and Lucinda outside the mine, and then inside the tunnel.

When we got back to Lake Tahoe, we tried to have dinner at Josh’s at the Horizon Casino, but they were booked solid. So we settled for the Four Seasons, which turned out to be really quite good, even if not in the ‘fine dining’ category.

That evening, Lucinda posed with her loot from the trip. And Stan was pleased to have collected to new additions to his collection of ‘animal crossing’ signs. There was a quail crossing and a momma bear and cub crossing.

Finally, Stan did some work on a project in the house. The houses at Tahoe Tyrol were all built in the ’70s, and were all-electric, which was the style at the time. After a while, the owners saw their electric bills for heating, and they all said, “Holy Shit!!!”. When a gas line was put in to the neighborhood, they had gas heat installed. Grandpa Schwarz’s house has a gas furnace, but the electric heaters had never been taken out. The electrics no longer worked, but the thermostats were still there in each room. We noticed that all the thermostats had been turned up by previous guests, and that there were numerous ‘the heat doesn’t work here’ comments in the guest books. So Stan went around the house on Saturday evening and removed all the old electric thermostats and replaced them with blank face plates.

Vacation Diary – August 3

Sunday was our trip to Emerald Bay and Vikingsholm. This turned out to be something of an ordeal. The parking lot at the start of the trail was jammed. So Cathy had to take the car and park nearly a mile down the road. But we finally managed to get underway. Lucinda was hamming it up on the trail. When we got down to the shore at Emerald Bay, we spent some time on the beach before doing the tour of Vikingsholm.

Inside, the house was pretty grand. Lucinda had fun looking in all the rooms.

After the tour, we climbed back up to the road and the big rock overlooking Emerald Bay. Cathy and Lucinda posed on the rock. Lucinda made a new friend there, and she also did some more climbing. Before we left, we got a picture of Stan and Lucinda over Emerald Bay.

After all this, we went back to the Horizon and had dinner at Josh’s. It was quite good. And for dessert, Cathy had a tiramisu, and Stan and Lucinda shared a chocolate mousse.

Vacation Diary – August 4

Monday is trash day at Tahoe Tyrol, and everyone had put their trash out the night before. Apparently, the animals know about this, and a lot of trash cans were knocked over. Our can has a lot of tooth marks to show that it has been attacked many times.

Today, Lucinda went to the Heavenly Pre-school again, and we took the gondola ride up the mountain. Here’s a picture of Cathy in the gondola.

At the top, we took the hiking tour of the trails. Here’s Cathy at a trail junction, and both of us at an overlook with the lake behind us. Here’s Cathy at the top and Stan at the top. Finally, here’s Cathy back at the gondola terminal.

After the hike, we took the gondola back down and picked Lucinda up. Then we went to dinner at Evans. Lucinda liked the pate’. She also liked getting a Shirley Temple, complete with extra cherries.
Evans is perhaps the best of the bunch of all the nice restaurants we went to on this trip. And for dessert, we had the Chocolate Obesssion and the Frozen White Chocolate Mousse. Yum.

Vacation Diary – August 5

On Tuesday morning it was time to go home. We packed up all our stuff, and we headed back to Reno. We stopped for lunch before dropping off the rental car. Then we took the shuttle bus back to the airport.

We had a little extra time after we got to the airport, and Lucinda tried mightily to get us to buy her every toy she saw in the airport gift shops. She was also very intrigued by the billboards for the female impersonator show at the Horizon. We had seen one of the performers from the show when we had dinner at Evans on Monday night, but he was dressed normally then.

On the plane, Lucinda wanted to see what the bathroom looked like.

Finally, we were back in L.A. and we had to just ride one more bus to get back to our car. Then we went home.

Overall, it was a fun trip.

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