I try to be upbeat in this blog, but anybody who knows me knows that I don’t pull any punches either, and I give you the good with the bad. Not to be a downer, but today I have a couple of the bad to share.
Even though I am married to the best cook in the world, I enjoy dining out, and we do it a lot. It just seems to be a basic part of the RV lifestyle. Put the fulltiming occupants of any two or more RVs together for the first time in a campground, and once they discuss where they just came from and where they are headed next, the very next question is “Where are we going for dinner?’
When we are in a new area, I frequently refer to the Yelp website for reviews of local restaurants. Overall, I have found that if you disregard the obvious cranks with an ax to grind, and the guys who sign in to pump up their own or a friend’s place, when you average the rest of the reviews out, you get a pretty accurate idea of what to expect.
We have been wanting to find a good Chinese buffet ever since we left Apache Junction, Arizona, and the Yelp review showed a place called Best Empire Buffet in Gilroy, about ten miles away. So once we got settled in at the Thousand Trails campground in Morgan Hill on Monday, we drove back to Gilroy to try it out. The reviews were very positive, but as it turned out, they were wrong in this case. We’re still looking for a good Chinese buffet.
At this restaurant, I accomplished two “firsts.” I had the very worst Chinese buffet meal of my life (and we eat at a LOT of Chinese buffets coast to coast), and I paid the most I ever have at a Chinese buffet. The selection was huge, but everything was cold, and a lot of it was stale. I complained to a young lady monitoring the service line, and she just nodded and stood there.
If it wasn’t late in the day, and if we had not been tired and very hungry, we would have left. Once we got our bill, we wished we had. For two people, with me having a Coke and Terry having tea, the tab was $32.91. When Terry told the girl at the cash register that we were unhappy with the meal, she just said “Okay, thank you for coming!” Hey, life is a crapshoot, right? Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose.
Then yesterday, I had another unpleasant experience. Terry needed to make a WalMart run to stock up on some things, so while she did her shopping, I sat out in the van cruising the internet on my iPad. It was in the upper 80s, and Terry’s shopping took longer then expected, so when it got too hot in the van, I started the engine to let the air conditioning cool things down.
So there I am, reading the Escapees RV forum, when somebody knocks on my window. I look out and there stands a pissed off policeman. Did you know it is illegal to let a car idle in California? I sure didn’t, until he explained it to me in great and forceful detail. Apparently it’s a crime that ranks right up there with armed robbery and peeing in public.
He sternly told me that I was wasting precious fuel and adding to the state’s pollution level, among other things. Did you know that if all of the millions of drivers in California did the same thing, nobody could breathe? I didn’t, but I do now. I’m not sure, but I may also be responsible for the current budget crisis, and for the fact that French poodles are such ugly dogs, too.
Okay, I get it. I was wrong. I was wasting fuel, and I was properly chastised. But that wasn’t enough, he ran my license plates and drivers license, apparently to see if I was recently featured on America’s Most Wanted, or in any way affiliated with terrorist cells Then he told me I was very, very lucky he didn’t give me a ticket, or arrest me.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am a strong supporter of law enforcement. The men and woman who take on that job deserve all of our respect for everything they do to keep us all safe. And again, yes, I was wrong. I should have gone inside the store to cool off. But gee, a simple “turn the engine off” would have worked just fine.
I don’t think I like California.
Thought For The Day – Life is not always fair – get used to it!