Surrogate Parents

Trip Start Dec 28, 2006
Trip End Mar 01, 2007

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Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I apologize for the time that has passed since my last entry (to those of you who have been glued to your computer), but access to the internet has been limited, or should I say nonexistent.  Pete and I visited Gary and Sue Glaze, parents of Grant and Kristen Glaze, in the small forested town of Nevada City, CA.  Actually, Gary and Sue live in a dream house they built deep in the forest surrounding the down-to-earth Nevada City and neighboring Grass Valley (the name isn't a coincidence, Gary informed us about the townspeoples' realization of the word 'grass').  The Glazes bought the property two years ago and, utilizing much of the native trees on the property, built upon it a house only an anesthesiologist could afford.  Forest surrounds it on all sides, except for a clearing Gary has made where he will seed a private vineyard (the guy is crazy for good wine...and apple computers).  They welcomed us with open arms and good food, a warm bed (and heated floors), and a hospitality fit for royalty.  Though we didn't smell like royalty, and definitely didn't look it, we were happy to oblige.  Smoke fired filets, pan fried asparagus spears, and bacon-laced steamed potatos presented before us, Pete and I assumed we had crashed the silver bullet head-on with a cement truck or careened off the road into a stand of redwoods where we sat fading away in a blissful coma.  Our attempt at homelessness had brought us to a five-star hotel and restaurant surrounded by breathtaking northern California forest. 

While Gary and Sue were away for the day, we took it upon ourselves to explore.  Dense forest covers a hill to the east where Rock Creek cuts a vein on its northern slope.  We found the creek and followed it upriver, abandoning it to pioneer a route that would take us to a group of redwoods at least 7 or 8 feet in diameter.  Our improvised path led us through winding trees and tangles of vine and fallen logs until Pete saw a dark form standing in place but moving enough to see it was living.  He was convinced it was a bear and insisted with a tone of sheer terror that I take a small stick to defend myself should the ferrocious bear attack us.  I continued on without the weapon, not explaining to Peter that a small stick would be more of a garnish for us than a deterrent to the bear.  As I closed the gap between myself and the bear I noticed it was eating grass, and behind him there were several other bears eating grass and mooing.  We came into a clearing where it appeared the Glazes' neighbors were operating an entire farm of mooing cow-like bears.  Peter quickly threw down his weapon; these bears weren't the man-eating type. 

Our excursion into Gary's backyard left us in need of carbohydrates and wine, among other things.  Gary, having returned from work a few hours later, invited us out to dinner at a quaint Chilean restaurant in downtown Grass Valley.  The atmosphere reflected that of the Green Ant, a down-to-earth bar I visited during a trip to Cairns, Australia.  Shortly on my plate was a panqueca filled with fresh seared vegetables and beef, then topped with spicy green chile.  Gary chose a bottle of red wine to fit the meal, and we discussed more destinations for our trip, Pete and Brett's California Dreamin'.  Gary advised me on choosing the right grad school, expressing that I evaluate each school's ability to accept new ideas (especially since I could be studying with people that have been researching the same thing for >40 years).  Dessert for me was a shot of "chilled fudge", which on most days I would rather have than sex. 

Our next stop was San Jose, home to Grant Glaze.  I should be uploading pictures and adding more entries as soon as possible. 
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