Monday, July 31, 2006

Catching Up

After my conference ended on Friday I had some free time to explore South Lake Tahoe, drive around the lake and visit Virginia City (photo above) before returning to Reno to fly home.

Back in Los Angeles I had a busy weekend without the time to blog about it until now -- so here goes.....

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After rejecting a ride on the Heavenly Valley gondola as too expensive on Wednesday, I found myself with some spare time on Friday and changed my mind. Now that I've been to the top of the mountain, I'm glad I did. Posted by Picasa

Approaching the mountainside. Posted by Picasa

Heading up. Posted by Picasa

Even at the end of July there's still some snow at the top of the mountains. Posted by Picasa

A view of Lake Tahoe from the observation deck (9,123 ft.) at the top of the gondola ride. The lake is so blue because it is so deep. Posted by Picasa

Pretty steep coming down the mountainside. Posted by Picasa

After leaving South Lake Tahoe I drove about three-quarters of the way around the lake. The weather was gorgeous Friday. This is a photo of Emerald Bay, the southwest corner of Lake Tahoe. This is the only island in the entire lake. It's a little hard to see but around the turn of the century a rich lady who owned land on the shore built a teahouse at the very top of the island. Posted by Picasa

My friend Pam Taylor, who lives in Lexington, KY, was kind enough to suggest some places for lunch on the north side of Lake Tahoe. When I asked the hotel staff for directions to one of her suggestions -- the Sunnyside Resort -- they insisted I instead go to a place across the street, The Fire Sign Cafe.

I'm sure Pam's suggestions were great, but I'm really happy I went to the Fire Sign. It's a great, casual place with really good food. I had the excellent tostada. Posted by Picasa

A beautiful old church in Virginia City. I stopped by Virginia City, about 25 miles from Reno, on my way back to the airport Friday afternoon. The last (and only) time I was in Virginia City was when my Father and I visited when I was around 8 or 9 years old. I don't remember for sure, but I imagine we had been to a dog show in RenoPosted by Picasa

The Mackay Mansion was built by George Hearst, William Randolph Hearst's father. George Hearst was one of the four Silver Kings who made a fortune off of the silver found in the Comstock Lode. That was the start of the Hearst family fortune. Posted by Picasa

About the only thing I remember from visiting Virginia City with my Dad some 35 years ago was being simultaneously both terrified and fascinated with this bar and it's ominous name. Posted by Picasa

This time I faced down my fears and went into the Bucket of Blood Saloon and had a G&T. Posted by Picasa

An old globe in the Delta SaloonPosted by Picasa

The Suicide Table inside the Delta Saloon -- so-called because three owners of this gambling table committed suicide after various customers had huge winnings. Posted by Picasa

Virginia City School House. Posted by Picasa

Saturday night I went to the Hollywood Bowl to see their presentation of "The Sound of Music." They used the score from the original 1959 Broadway production.

This photo is the stage during the playing of the National AnthemPosted by Picasa

Crazy Hostess Lady has seats one aisle over from me. She always brings a big spread and lays it out. The problem is her seats are two rows back. So she's constantly climbing over the people in the front row. So rude! (And don't get me started on that outfit.) Posted by Picasa

The beautifully performed "So Long, Farwell" number that begins the Von Trapp Family's escape from the Nazis really choked me up. Posted by Picasa

The cast takes a well deserved bow at the end of the show. Posted by Picasa

Some folks really got into the spirit of a show set in AustriaPosted by Picasa

Sunday night I went to see the new Kander and Ebb musical, "Curtains" at the Ahmanson Theater. It's excellent and I suspect will be a big hit.

It marks the final collaboration of John Kander and the late Fred Ebb -- and spent nearly two decades in development.

At first blush it's a musical comedy about a theatrical production plagued by a series of murders of members of the cast and the Boston police detective (played by David Hyde Pierce) who comes to investigate -- and reveals his own fascination with community theater. But, really, the show is a love-letter to the truly American art form: musical theater.

Edward Hibbert, fresh off the hit smash "The Drowsy Chaperone," plays an over-the-top director of the show within a show.

I know it's early in the season, but I smell Tony. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 28, 2006

Pie Rats of the Caribbean

Had a chance to catch Pirates of the Caribbean last night at the Heavenly Village Cinemas. What a disappointment! It was boring and I was checking my watch for the last hour.

Johnny Depp is funny as the fey Captain Jack Swallow -- but that alone does not an entertaining movie make.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

There's a Lake Here?

Spent yesterday almost entirely indoors in Lake Tahoe.

Inside a convention hall, playing blackjack, eating dinner at a restaurant -- typically activities for a Lake Tahoe convention attendee.

So far more of the same today.

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I considered taking a sightseeing trip on a ski gondola -- you can see the path it takes up the mountainside. But the $24 ticket price just seemed out of control. Posted by Picasa