Tuesday, July 25, 2006

North Coast Travelogue: 7/23- 7/24

I had to go to the Bay Area again this last weekend, actually Sunday thru Monday. I was worried about the soaring temperatures. Not so much about how uncomfortable it might be- as well as any accompanying power outages- but whether my truck would weather (no pun intended) the heat.

I've had a constant paranoia about vehicles overheating as it seems that most of the cars I've had in my life have overheated on me at least once. Or maybe I just remember it that way? Regardless, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean something bad won't happen.

My truck handled the heat like a champ. On the way back, we didn't use the air conditioner at all, getting along just fine with the floor and panel vents open. What I don't get is why, if the vents are letting outside air in, the air is much cooler than the outside air? I didn't think it was going through the air conditioner.

When I got home, I took the time to read the owners manual and it said that the vents did, indeed, only take in outside air. That's odd. Then why was the air so cool? Seems to me taking 106 degree air and running through an even hotter engine and then venting it into the cab would give you very hot air. Hmmm???

Anyone have any idea?

Stayed at the Day's Inn in Novato Sunday night, for the second time. Since meals at anything but fast food restaraunts are expensive, by our standards, we wanted to cut costs. We decided to try what we discussed last time: Cooking our own meals in our room's microwave oven.

Connie brought along some inexpensive microwaveable meals she bought at Grocery Outlet in Eureka- total cost was less than $4.00 for all three boxes. She kept them in one of those bags that can keep things cold for a while. They made it, although I think they might not have been totally frozen by the time we got to the motel.

We'd also brought some paper plates and a couple forks and knives. We had a nice eggplant parmesan and vegetables for less than four dollars in Novato. Not bad. I like eating out but this was ok. Beggars can't be choosy.

I keep hearing about web sites that can give you good deals on lodging. I've yet to find one. All the ones I've tried just give me the same price we've already been paying.

The Day's Inn had a link on their web site to this Trip Rewards site. I thought there was some reference to getting a free night after so many stays. I can't find it now and the Trip Rewards site doesn't mention it anywhere.

The lady at Day's Inn recognized it and wrote down my number. I forgot to ask her how many nights I needed for a free stay. I think it was something like eight nights. I'll have to ask her next time.

You have to wonder about sites like Trip Rewards that are so vague in the details. Is this some scam?

Speaking of the weather, I was surprised to see the Weather Channel on basic cable in Novato doesn't have local weather segments like we do up here. I wanted to check to see what the temperatures in the area were when we got there. No luck

The laptop came in handy for that. I just went online and checked Weather.com. That's the Weather Channel web site. They have a My Cities thing were you type in the zip code of the cities you want to track and they keep them there for you to check whenever you want to know.

Worked pretty good except, when I checked it on my desktop this morning, My Cities didn't have Ukiah, Novato and San Francisco on it. Maybe it's one of those cookie things and didn't recongnize this computer? But, it took me to the Eureka stats so it must have known it's me.

Oh, it was like really hot down there and the room was really hot. I turned the air conditioner on as soon as I got in the room but the room never seemed to really cool down. It felt like slightly cool air was coming out of the conditioner but it never really cooled the room.

We tried everything, adjusted all the settings, used exhaust and no exhaust. Nothing seemed to help. As night fell it was cooler outside than inside.

We'd noticed last time the air conditioners there didn't have a lot of ooomph, compared to other places. We figured maybe it was just a lame air conditioner.

Before we left the next morning I turned the air conditioner off and I found the problem: I turned the round knob one click to the left and the air conditioner turned off. I should have had to turn it all the way to the left. I guess at some point, when Connie was playing with it, she must have turned the heater on instead of air conditioning. We had the thing set to as cool as it could get but that doesn't do any good if you have it set on Heater. That corner of the room was dark and the marked side of the adjustment knob was too hard to see so we didn't notice we had it set wrong.

No wonder it never got any cooler in there. Oh well. Maybe next time?


At 11:10 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

I'd take eggplant parmesan over fast food any day of the week!

If you have a refrigerator in the room and it's hot you might consider my old standby - impromptu gazpacho. Just buy some V8 or tomato juice and some vegetables, maybe bring some Worcestor sauce and a little salt and pepper and refrigerate for an hour or so. Not as good as the Moosewood recipe, but it hits the spot in this kind of heat.

At 11:51 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Nice idea, especially as I happen to be one of those rare V8 juice fans.

Day's Inn has the biggest refrigerator I believe I've ever seen in a motel room. Not all that much bigger than the ones normally supplied, but big.

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