Eastbound & Down

Today we began a new adventure, on our way to Nampa, Idaho to surprise Jim & Donna. We are traveling with Jack & Wynette, in the Buick, so it’s a lively trip, so far. I’m writing this a day ahead of time because I can’t publish this until we revive Donna after the surprise tomorrow afternoon. We’re just going to show up with suitcases, unannounced. Steffani said it was OK, and I believe everything she tells me. She’s trustworthy. I know that’s true because she told me.

Packing started last night and went on into the night, after I went to bed. Everything I needed would fit in the glovebox so it didn’t take me long. Just a few pair of underwear and another pair of socks and I was good to go. Diane made me pack a suitcase anyway. I found a pile of clean T-shirts and a pair of jeans to toss in there to make her happy. I also got my underwear out of the glovebox and put them in the suitcase. Made her happy.

We four are together on this trip because Jack & Wynette had a visit to make in Eastern Oregon, near Vale, to visit an ailing friend so we thought a joint trip to Nampa wasn’t out of the question. So, we’re doing it.

We left our house shortly before 1000 with the intention of arriving to pick J & W up at 1000, the appointed time, agreed on days before. Leading up to this point in time was the following text conversation between Jack & me:

Jack – We are set for a ten o’clock take off. Now, is the ten o’clock when you leave your place, show up at our place, or leave our place?

Me – Diane said we’ll be at your house by 10 so be ready by 10:30 so we can leave by 11.

Jack – Wynette said we will see you at noon.

Then he added, “see you at ten, Jack says.”

Me – OK

Me – Make it 1015

Jack – This morning?

Me – Hopefully.

Jack – No problem. I’ll get Wynette up.

We actually arrived before 1015, so we were right on time and almost left their house by 1015.

First stop was Fred Meyer in Scappoose to fill the tank. Since it was only half empty, Jack opted to pay since it would be cheaper than the next one. That was fine with us. It’s just fun to be traveling together.

Next stop was in Hermiston, somewhere between 2 & 3 for a late lunch. I used SIRI to find places to eat, Jack picked one, and we headed that direction. Before getting there, however, a Shari’s was sited and became the new destination.

We parked, entered the facility, noticing that it wasn’t overly busy, but it was the middle of the afternoon, so probably normal. Brenda took our order and disappeared for over half and hour before Jack went to ask if we should change our order to a dinner choice instead of lunch since it was taking so long. At that point the cooks began fixing our order. Apparently we arrived right at shift change and our order got lost in the shuffle. Still, ya know? Not good customer service. I think the four of us comprised about 20% of the customers, and probably the only ones waiting for food.

The food, once delivered, was very good. Jack and I had chicken fried steak, loaded hash browns (no sour cream for me), two eggs, and two pancakes (for me), fruit for Jack. Wynette had a quiche, and Diane had a bacon cheese omelette.

Full of food, we continued the journey, our destination being the Wild Horse Casino just east of Pendleton. Neither Diane nor I had been there previously, so it was something new for us.

Upon arrival, I went to the desk with Jack to check in, but they couldn’t find a reservation for today, the 5th. They did have one, however, for the 25th. Kim, the clerk, did some investigating and determined that there wouldn’t be a problem getting rooms. To get a discount, however, required a AAA card, or something military. I happened to have both so loaned Jack the AAA card (his was in the Buick), and my VA card for me. It worked out.

We’re now in the room, at 5:21 p.m. I think Jack’s taking a nap, but I’m not sure. I just sent a text asking if he is asleep. It’s too early to go to bed and it’s quite nice outside.

Around 7:30 p.m. we went down to the casino area looking for something to eat, but nothing appealed so we jumped into the Buick and headed back to Pendleton to find sustenance. Using the highway “food” signs revealed a Shari’s, which we voted against, then we wound up in the middle of town at the last Kentucky Fried Chicken joint in Oregon. It was right at 8:00 when we walked in and we learned the place was closed, but they would sell us items from what was already cooked. Luckily, they had just what we wanted so it was bagged up, and we headed back to the hotel.

A topic of discussion while determining what to have for a dinner snack was a associated with Wynette’s missing coat. Jack was sure she left it at Shari’s in Hermiston. It was a source of contention for a bit, then the discussion turned to ‘things that get left in motels and hotels.’ I mentioned that Diane’s lost a few nighties by leaving them on the back of bathroom doors, the part you don’t see when the door is open, after taking her morning shower. Jack said he is in a relationship with someone who loses bras in a similar manner. I was kind of warned to not share that information, but I figured it was OK since I didn’t mention any names. That seems fair and it’s really too cool to not share. I understand because I’ve lost underwear that way.

That remembers the time Jim made a solo trip to Oregon to visit but forgot to bring underwear with him.

3 thoughts on “Eastbound & Down

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