Cross Country Road Trip, Day 4:
We had a long drive on day four, from Amarillo to Kingman, AZ, which feels endless after dark, but the good news is that, believe it or not, driving through the desert is interesting. We stopped for lunch in Albuquerque, at another Roadfood recommendation, a local chain called Sadie's. This proved to be a great suggestion for several reasons. The food was good and cheap, we were both ready for a margarita and they were right next to a Target, so we could do some badly needed shopping while the tequila wore off. And they were both right off the highway, so it worked out perfectly! When in Albuquerque, go to Sadie's!
Paul's birthday! We woke up in Kingman and hit the road after breakfast, stopping for lunch at the Coco's in Barstow. Paul got a birthday steak. It turned out to be a good thing we'd fortified ourselves, since the traffic between Barstow and San Diego was quite heavy in certain places. We did make one stop in Victorville, which distinguished itself by having the worst restroom we encountered on the entire trip.
Happily, we pulled into San Diego and Tiki Oasis while it was still light. They seemed apologetic that our room was located FAR off the beaten path, but it turned out to be perfect for us. Unlike most of the rooms, there was parking right outside our door, so unpacking the carload of stuff we'd brought for our symposium was a breeze. This sign was also right outside our door:
Thursday evening's Tiki Oasis festivities happen at the Bali Hai, San Diego's classic tiki restaurant with exquisite water views. We went over and were delighted to see friends and that our fellow New Yorker, Phast Phreddie, was DJing. There were bands. The weather was perfect. What more could you want?
Friday we spent the morning rehearsing for our symposium and making sure everything was in place for our presentation on Saturday. We also attended our friend Karen's symposium about the book "Off The Road," by Carolyn Cassady. The theme was beatnik, after all! HIGHLY entertaining and educational. After that was all done we did some shopping, hit the hot tub (always my favorite spot) and the Sip and Shop, where we sampled rums and shopped, two activities that go great together. After that we ventured out to Wang's North Park for dinner. Wang's has a custom tiki mug I was thrilled to lay my hands on and was unexpectedly pretty, with great food.
A few Friday shots:
Saturday was our symposium! Not only did we have a custom cocktail that I created and that our sponsor, Tiki Club Liquors, made for the attendees, but we also had snack mix that I'd made at home and carried in airtight containers across the country. We also created an entire set of frugal party set-ups, including a dinner table set for four, a homemade "aluminum Christmas tree" with a video fireplace, several custom lamps and more! We served cider from a crock pot and had a tasting of liquors we'd infused in the prior weeks. Many attendees stayed to chat with us later, which was wonderful. I had a great time!
Saturday after the symposium was mainly a blur of lunch, shopping, dinner and watching bands from the balcony of our friends' room. Paul and I were both so tired we nodded off!
By Sunday we'd fully recovered from our exhaustion and were ready for some serious shopping, pool time and brunch. We'd made reservations at the Bali Hai, since we'd heard the brunch there was amazing and it did not disappoint. All you can eat, with endless champagne, for a fraction of what it would have cost in New York. We spent a good couple of hours there, then wandered around the waterfront afterwards. It was heaven.
As you enter Shelter Island, where Bali Hai is located, you pass Trader Mort's, which combines two of our favorites, tiki and liquor!
As I said, it's pretty much heaven! After that we got back to the hotel, shopped, got in the pool and hot tub and later Paul went out for In-N-Out burger for us while I wrote our Las Vegas episode, which we'd shoot the following day. There were bands Sunday night and we caught up with a couple of friends. Then, suddenly, it was Monday. Off to Vegas!