Corning, California: Sorry to say we are really pointed north. Heading towards home. We will be in Oregon tomorrow. Even the sunshine is gone – the sky is covered with clouds. Every mile takes us farther from Little Leo. Leo is 9 months old today and is sprouting two new teeth.

Because one of us had dozens of emails to answer and several conference calls, our departure from Napa was after noon. No exercise either. Work. Work. Work. The only running I did was to the grocer to pick up a few things we will need for our few nights on the road.

Lunch was sandwiches. Gourmet sandwiches, whipped-up from all the left-over boxes in the fridge from all the fabulous restaurants we tried over the past few days. Bread from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, and veal from Michael Chiarello’s Bottega. Not bad.

With My Driver at the wheel, I was free to play Words With Friends on my phone, and read the latest Bon Appetit magazine. As usual, the magazine was filled with gorgeous photos of all sorts of gorgeous foods and articles on where to travel and eat around the world. I was interested to read about a new way to travel – travel to cook: rent/swap a house with a fantastically-equipped kitchen and shop at farmers markets and cook your meals at your preferred vacation spot. The idea sounds great for most people, but don’t we RVer’s already have a fantastically-equipped kitchen that we can drive to our preferred vacation spots? Having a RV lets you cook when you wish, what you wish. Having a RV lets you drive to places like Napa and eat in restaurants and you have a fridge to keep the leftovers safely chilled. Traveling in a RV allows you to stock-up on fabulous olive oils, wines – and all sorts of other things that would be nearly impossible to bring on an airline. I’m going to send Bon Appetit a letter and tell them how to really travel to cook.

So, we had a late start and then didn’t drive very far. By four o’clock we had refueled ($400 smackers) and set up camp at the RV park at the Rolling Hills Casino. I am sorry to report, the RV park is no longer self-service. I have no idea why, because we just loved that you could stick your credit card into a parking-meter-type machine and a parking permit good until noon the next day popped-out. Now campers have to register at the “Travel Center” next door. I am happy to report the fee is still a very reasonable $25, and 99% of the RVs are here as an over-night stop – and nearly all of them go to the casino for gambling/dinner.

Not us. 

The casino is very smoky and I had most of that massive beef short rib from Bottega in the fridge. I sauteed onions, garlic, basil and mushrooms…

…then I made a sauce with a little beef stock and wine, added the shredded beef and served it all over mashed potatoes. Try to do that in a hotel room!

One order of beef short ribs ended up as three servings. Does this make you think possibly restaurants serve too much food?

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

RV PARK:  I-5 RV Park at Rolling Hills Casino seems to be the new name for this great over-night stop over. Long pull-through sites, full hookups. Quiet. There is a casino with restaurants and a nearby Travel Center for showers and laundry. We paid $25.

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