Lodi, California: Again, of all the countless times we have traveled up and down I-5, today was the first time we have camped in Lodi. So many of our friends (Mary & Captain Jim) camp here. We didn't travel far today. Our usual "start late and stop early" regime, and I-5 is in terrible condition on this stretch, so slow-going... but we needed to find the fancy glue to reattached our mirror to the bathroom cabinet door... and, I'm embarrassed to say: I forgot the mayo and the Dijon mustard from our home refrigerator. All my careful meal planning for six days/nights on the road gone. I needed a grocer on Day 2.
Me. The Goddess of not only RVing, but the absolute Supreme Empress of lists, and Serene Highness of Organization, forgot to bring the mayonnaise. Me. The woman who believes the only reason to eat a sandwich is for the mayo. Pull my union card.
After checking into Flag City RV Resort, we immediately headed out to see downtown Lodi, and were on a mission for glue, mayo and Dijon.
Before tackling these errands, we drove the Jeep through historic downtown Lodi. So many of the buildings are brick, the downtown streets are lined with pavers, and every other shop is a brewery, pub, gastro pub, art gallery, coffee shop or wine tasting room. The downtown area is very pretty, with so many trees and flowers. After parking, we walked around the downtown hub for an hour or so, snapping photos.
One iconic feature of Lodi is their famous arch, topped with a 24-karat Golden Bear.
When I first saw the statue (above, right), I thought the woman was taking a selfie with her phone!
There are murals throughout the downtown area, created to honor the 100th anniversary of the founding of Lodi. Lodi was once the watermelon capital of America. Who knew?
Lodi is now a bustling wine town - trying to rival Paso Robles. There are now over 85 vineyards in this area, with some vines planted in the 1800s - warning: Lodi wine-growing rabbit hole. Zinfandel is the main game in town.
After our stroll, we headed back towards the campground, stopping at the Lodi Wine Visitor Center, which was sadly just another tasting room (attached to a very fancy hotel and event space). I did find a nice bottle of champagne-pear vinegar, so the local economy was a bit stimulated.
We found mayo and Dijon at the ever-fabulous Raley's, glue at a hardware store, and arrived back to the RV park where I prepared one of our favorite meals - Jamie Oliver's Pasta with Peas and Bacon. I obviously make quite a smaller version for DT and myself. Never use any type of chicken bouillon cube and add a splash of cream instead of crème fraiche, thinned with a bit of the pasta-cooking water. Mint from our garden. I use uncured turkey bacon (think of it as Kosher Canadian bacon, okay?). This recipe is so easy and so delicious. I always use orecchiette when making this dish and orecchiette takes forever to cook, doesn't it?
That is all I can tell you from our three-hour visit to Lodi. Maybe we need to return and taste some wine?
Until my next update, I remain, your Valley Girl correspondent.
RV PARK: Flag City RV Resort - Very nice campground with a great pool and large pull-through sites. Huge dog park. Just off I-5 & Hwy 12 junction, but little traffic noise. Close to large travel center with diesel, etc., and close to a large grocer. Downtown Lodi is about a ten minute drive. We paid $76.50 with a Good Sam discount.