The gyms are open. The gyms are open. Oh, fiddlesticks. Now what excuse can I use? I got one. I am traveling again.
No, I am not going back to Alaska. I know, it’s so beautiful and rugged. Bah. If you have only seen Alaska from the deck of a cruise ship, listen up. Alaska is gritty and filled with marauding animals, unpredictable weather, mosquitoes that can suck enough blood for Count Dracula and, lastly, the cost of living equals the U.K.
Yet. It has one thing going for it. With proof of residency, you can buy a gun and take it with you. Which, to me, would be the only reason to live in America’s last frontier.
By the way, if you don’t have wealthy friends, you might consider cultivating a few because when you are really, really nice, they just might invite you.
That’s how I wrangled a three-day lakefront stay on Lake Tahoe’s shore. This is the same house used for Whitney Houston’s entourage during the making of the “The Bodyguard.” What’s a little name dropping amongst friends? We girls are playing bridge, gabbing and sucking down lemon drops. And I don’t mean the candy kind.
The only downside is my hostess likes to walk her dog miles and miles through the woods. As my exercise, I, too, will be wandering over hill and dale with them.
On the third of July, I’ll pick up Vincent at the Reno airport, and we’ll begin our road trip down Highway 395 back to Fallbrook.
Our journey starts with a two-day detour through Virginia City for fireworks. Then back onto Highway 395 to Bridgeport. The Hunewill Ranch is just east of town where we’ll join the other dudes for a few days living on the range. Ye-ha!
Yes, the Tony Lamas are polished, and my black Bailey straw is dusted. I’ve also ordered two fancy new snap front, embroidered shirts. This gal will be ready to saddle up. Unlike Vincent who is keeping both feet on the ground while practicing “My Rifle, My Pony and Me” on his ukulele. Not quite the version sung by Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson in “Rio Bravo,” but it’s a cute little ditty.
In case we haven’t met, I’ve always had more guts than brains. Therefore, I am hoping the riding lessons from seven years ago are still in muscle memory. Regardless, I am bringing the Bengay.
Wading through horse dung at the ranch isn’t much different from listening to CNN. The way I see it, all of the grown-ups who put on uniforms to protect this country in two world wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the more recently the Middle East deserve to have representatives in Congress willing to let this aimless generation know that free stuff comes after 50 years of hard work. And anyone who shoots a gun should be immediately drafted into the Army and sent to the front lines.
It is time to be brave. I am not going to live fearfully. That’s why I am rebooking my trip on the Orient Express for next year.
But even before that, I am developing a TV pilot for God-fearing grown-ups and like-minded folks called “Church Ladies’ Potluck.” The program will include prayer. The plan is to tape at 13 different churches and upload the edited segments to YouTube by September.
As of now one of the early programs will be taped at Christ the King Lutheran Church’s kitchen in Fallbrook. Coordinating with Mary Fry, the director for Curtain Call, along with the pastor’s wife, we hope to put together an episode featuring heirloom recipes from their cookbook.
The churches don’t even have to be open for services to participate in the taping, although they must have a kitchen. Social distancing can easily be maintained because the crew is small, and the show only features four recipes by four cooks. Plus, the featured pastor will pray before each meal. You know, not everyone has to be there at the same time.
Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached by email at [email protected].