Bakersfield, California: You may have (or may have not) wondered where we were camped for the past few days in Los Angeles.

We have been camped here:

DT and I stayed at the Renaissance in Hollywood over the weekend. We like this hotel quite a bit – it is close to The Lovely Lisa, and had easy freeway access to the Conan O’Brien show last night. The Renaissance Hollywood Hotel also has a great fitness center and is quite reasonable… for a hotel in Hollywood. We were on an upper floor and had the benefit of a HOLLYWOOD sign view from our window.

After a leisurely morning, waiting for LA traffic to clear a bit, we headed north on I-5 in our Honda and back to the Magna Peregrinus which we had left at the Bakersfield RV Resort. The drive this afternoon took just over 90 minutes!

The hills along The Grapevine (the section where the weaving lanes of I-5 cross the Tejon Pass) are simply ablaze with wildflowers. Mostly poppies and lupines. I am sorry, but my photos (snapped at 75 mph through the passenger window) just cannot begin to show the beauty.

By the way, I am popping Zyrtec like it is candy.

Just kidding.

Mostly.

After we arrived back to our RV in Bakersfield, I ran out to the post office to ship weekend Camping Journal orders and set out in search of a supermarket. I was happy to come across a just-opened Fresh & Easy, and visited this new fun chain for the first time.

I really need to get out more.

The store was not very crowded and there were many clerks to offer assistance and free samples! I think the premise behind this store is to provide entrees ready-to-heat-and-eat with vegetables and fruits already sliced, diced and plate-ready. Every item prepared to-go has the expiration date prominently displayed on the price label. Three days and out it goes! On the third day, the items are moved to a deeply-discounted (I bought a ready-to-bake baguette for 25 cents) display.

Nearly every produce item was pre-packaged. Even the green onions were already in a zip-top bag. The store reminds me very much of their parent company – the Tesco chain in England – perfect for the busy working person who wants to cook dinner, but isn’t too excited about whisking together a sauce or slicing piles of veggies. I can only assume this grocery chain would be very popular for RV travelers, because even though we are on the road, we want our meals Fresh & Easy.

After two days of over-eating and go-go-going in Los Angeles, The Birthday Boy had a relaxing afternoon. Mariners and Trailblazers on the television and a light vegetarian meal.

I prepared a pesto-like vinaigrette. The vinaigrette included fresh basil leaves, extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt, a little white wine vinegar and walnuts. It was spooned over sliced tomatoes. Pretty and delicious.

Let’s face reality.

We have eaten too much over the past few days in Los Angeles. We enjoyed too much wine. Had too much fun. But, you only get a birthday once a year!

Tonight I prepared one of DT’s favorite simple pasta’s – spaghetti with pepper. I will post this one-pot recipe one day soon… but it is spaghetti tossed with olive oil and a very generous helping of freshly-cracked black pepper… topped with freshly-grated pecorino.

It was perfect.

Sadly, Mariners and Trailblazers lost tonight. Honestly, the scores were a bit of a downer on an other-wise really nice evening.

WE HAVE A WINNER! Our NFL… Timmy Tebow… Lovely Lisa birthplace contest brought in a record-number of entrants. Every single answer was correct too. My Readers are most excellent googlers! I am SO PROUD! Tim Tebow was born in Manila, Philippines in 1987. The Lovely Lisa was born in Manila in… a few years prior. I learned this week Tim & Lisa were born in the same hospital.

Gee, I hope the other Mrs. T didn’t get situated in a hospital room next to a dude with tuberculosis.

Not that I would have experience with anything like that, of course.

Sadly, because I am cheap there can only be one winner, which means we will be sending Nancy C., of Bellingham, Washington a nice platter of medjool dates stuffed with walnuts from Oasis Date Gardens! DT chose her name “out of the hat” this morning. 

I hope Nancy isn’t a Husky fan.

Until my next update, I remain, your Bakersfield correspondent.

RV Park: Bakersfield RV Resort – We stay here quite often. Bakersfield RV Resort is a fabulous, full service resort. Most sites are pull-through and they are Big Rig Friendly. 30 and 50 amp service on paved sites, water, sewer, cable, free wifi. Great pool, hot tub, bath house, laundry and fitness center. The on-site bar and restaurant is really fun. Happy Hour is very popular. Great rally facilities. Close to supermarkets, restaurants, Highway 99 access and there is a Camping World across the street.

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