Last year we hung out in downtown Sacramento. This year we decided to go retro and bought tickets to see 90s diva group, En Vogue, at Cache Creek Casino and Resort. Since it's about an hour's drive away, we also stayed overnight in the hotel.
All dressed up with somewhere to go!
Mr. Ranty Pants' dirty secrets
When Hubby was but a cocky teenager, he and his friend, E, used to drive out to this Indian Gaming Casino in the almost-non-existent town of Brooks, in the middle of the night, play blackjack on green plastic chairs, pick up girls and then drive home in the dead of night. (Of course, this is what he tells me - the edited version - if you want all the sordid details, you'll have to talk to Mr. Ranty Pants personally.)
Needless to say, Cache Creek has come a long way from green plastic chairs. It's now a sprawling resort with 200 rooms and a golf course, facts which just blew Hubby away as we pulled in.
What? No pictures?
It's also located in an extremely pretty, but not very well known, agricultural area of Northern California: the Capay Valley. I'm not sure what I was expecting from Brooks - probably the barren and thoroughly unexciting expanse of land like around the casino closer to home, Thunder Valley - but I was pleasantly surprised by the miles and miles of orchards and gently rolling, green hills. There's just something very soothing about driving through little towns where Saturday evening entertainment revolves around the high school football field or local park, and where long roads that stretch out between vast fields have numbers not names. (At least soothing for a break from the norm; I think I'd shoot myself if I had to live there.)
We arrived on Saturday just as the sun was setting and the golden light across the fields and through the trees was stunning. Needless to say, at every turn I was plotting a return for some sort of photo shoot in the future. I did not bring either my DSLR or my point-and-shoot since I was focusing on couple time not photo practice. (Yes, I deserve a wifely gold star.)
To give you an idea, however, the area around the casino looks somewhat like this: (Photo stolen from www.triplecreekfarming.com)
This is the entrance to the casino. Like I said, fancy for being in the middle of nowhere.
We began our evening by hanging out in the room and ordering two plates of fries with ketchup and ranch from room service. Hubby and I have a long history of enjoying a simple plate of fries when we're "on vacation" and so this was the perfect start to our evening.
Then we moved onto cocktails. I, of course, with my signature martini.
Dinner and the Asian Soup Nazi
We had planned on trying to eat at the Casino's signature steak restaurant, C2 (which is actually C-squared but I can't find the super-script function on blogger) but we left it too late to make a reservation. Kind of made us mad, though, when they told us they were booked out and we walked by to see several empty tables. Whatever.
In fact, getting dinner was surprisingly harder than we expected. We next tried to sit at the bar of their Asian restaurant, Kung Fu Fat's. Unfortunately, there was only one chair available at the bar and the bar tender would not serve us unless we could both be seated. (!!!) Even when we said we just wanted a drink and would wait until two seats became available, he remained, uncharacteristically for a bar tender, unhelpful. So, he lost our very generous tip as we moved on. Unfortunately, there wasn't a lot else out there to be had, so we returned to Fat's for a reservation in the dining room.
Hubster ordered Orange Chicken (or something similar; his usual) and I decided to be a bit different and order a noodle bowl with duck. However, our stern Asian waitress wasn't impressed with my selection.
"You know it's big bowl of soup, right?" Since the description had been very clear on the menu, I nodded and said, yes I did, thank you.
Apparently, it seems that the description of "soup" had been unclear to many of her patrons in the past because the waitress kept pushing. "Just bowl of broth and noodle.Okaaaay?" Yes! Yes! Okay!
Next, Hubby attempted to order some Hot and Sour soup of his own but clearly this was wrong also. "You don't want soup too," she said, shaking her head forcefully. "She has big bowl. You share with her, yes?"
Dumbfounded, Hubby agreed. There's just something about a stern Asian accent which makes you reluctant to argue.
She wasn't wrong about the size of the bowl, however...
Holding on... to our youth (barely)
And then there was the concert itself. Those girls can sure still blow, even if they do look a little older. Hard to believe that "Hold on" (to your love) was, gulp, 20 years ago now. Yes, that's right 30-somethings, it was 20 years ago. Blew my mind too. Should I give you time to throw some cold water on your face before I continue?
The height of luxury: tv in bed, breakfast, and the newspaper in our room
I think this header speaks for itself. BLISS.
We hung out in our room watching a B movie with Chris Rock, ate, read the newspaper, and pretty much took our sweet time to pack up and check out.
Sigh... until next year!