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West

32 days.  Vegas, Thousand Oaks, Montecito, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe and Ely.  Mandi, Rabbi Gelman, Rob and Nancy, Cole and Gabriella and Bob and Becky.  Holy batman was I looked after……

It all started in Vegas……  My 4th time, and AGAIN, I was being well behaved, no intention of partying or things getting out of hand.  After a 12 hour drive, I jumped in the pool then settled in for a few hours of work.

I figured I was being a little boring, I’m a computer nerd this is something I have to work on.  So I thought I’d go to my favourite watering hole, the Founders Room on the roof of the Mandalay Bay.

For one drink.

Lord have mercy…. Next thing I know, housekeeping is smacking me around the head with a pillow kicking me out of my hotel room.

What is done in Vegas….. who the heck is Sarah?

The whole idea of the trip was to hang out in California.  My old mate Mandi is the coolest, and one of the smartest chicks I know and she was silly enough to put me up.

No photos from this part of my trip…. it was amazing, super generous of Mandi to host me.  After Mandi headed to Colorado it was the only real part of the trip where I had a chance to do some big work days.

While in Thousand Oaks I drove Mullholland Drive out to Malibu a couple of times, swam every morning, played golf every 2nd day, went for a surf (I’m still shit) and I worked on my g-string tan.  One Thursday I went for a wee run…. unbelievably gorgeous.  8 miles through a canyon down to the beach.  I kid you not, this was bananas gorgeous.

It was hot as balls and there were fire hydrants every mile which was brilliant.  It said ‘water not potable’, I didn’t want to put it in a pot….  I was thirsty, and this isn’t Mexico…. not since the year 1848 anyway.

Half way down to the beach, I was just loving life.  I live at 9,280 feet, I was running at sea level and the air felt like soup it was so thick.  Then, I was half a stride from stepping on a bloody snake!!!  I grew up with this but I hadn’t even thought about it.  I was dancing around like I had just had an epileptic seizure.

I gained some composure, I found a stick and got all St. Patrick on that snake.

Turns out, it was a rattle snake.

I’ve since been told I should have kept the rattle on the tail – darn that would have been cool.

A few miles more and I made it to the beach…. I went for a swim, nobody else was swimming because the water was a little cool (nippilus erectus).  I’m out in the ocean and a bloody seal jumps up next to me…… that was the 2nd time I pooped my pants that day.

From Mandi’s place, I moved 30 minutes up the coast to Rob and Nancy’s.

My claim to fame is that I’ve had 99 days of guests in a row one winter.  Rob and Nancy are my role models when it comes to having guests, I’m a peanut compared to them.

It was amazing to hang out with their local mates and Rob and I played some golf.  We have now golfed in Queenstown, Crested Butte, and California.

A few days in San Fran with Cole and Gabriella….. never fails to be just awesome.  It really does feel like home (a home I need to make a lot more money to even pay the property taxes on).

My San Fran office…..

And a little exploring over the bridge before lunch at Cavillo Point – Cavillo Point and I have some history.

From Cali I was headed home.  I had some work to catch up on, I wanted to check on the house and all that kind of business.  I did promise my ski buddies Bob and Becky that I’d drop in and say g’day on my way through Tahoe/Nevada.

Catching up, letting them show off their gorgeous piece of the planet and maybe a round of golf was the plan.  We got some golf in…..this is Becky (that is Heavenly Ski Resort top right).

Becky was off the next day and Bob was like a little kid who just got the house to himself.  So we spent the next 2 days playing golf…..

After 3 days of golf Bob thought we should change it up….. so we went skiing. At Mammoth….  This was my 10th ski resort in 3 states this winter (officially day 114 I think).

I thought it would just be a shits and giggles ski day, but as things warmed up…. the mountain opened up for Bob and I to have our way with her.

Our legs were tired after all that spring skiing, so Bob and I played golf the next 2 days.

I wanted to just stay for ever but that whole running a business thing is such a drag.  So I thought I’d take 2 days to drive home, I thought I’d overnight in Ely since it had a fun old hotel.  Ely is a town in Nevada, I can’t believe you haven’t heard of it.  It is world famous for….. nothing.

Rocking up in Ely (pronounced Eeeeee Lie).  I didn’t know anyone, so I thought I’d grab some golf.  The course was closed for a Rotary event that was just finishing up, but the club President liked Jameson’s whiskey.  I happened to have a spare bottle from COSTCO and he let me on the course.  I had this course all to myself.  How often does anyone ever have a golf course all to themselves?

After wandering and wacking around this 7,000 yard course, I headed back to the historic Nevada Hotel….. only 3 Presidents have stayed here so I figured it would be good enough for me – and at $60 a night…. it is no Belagio.

After doing some work I thought I’d go down stairs and be a little bit social…. remember that trying not to be a nerd thing I spoke about earlier.

I sat down at the poker table and threw down my $10.  I was told that wasn’t enuf.  What is enuf?  Like $100?  Welcome to the table sir……….

I didn’t want to bet $100 – I love my cards, I love chess and love playing golf for money, but it is usually for quarters (that is 25c for my Australian mates).

One thing leads to another….. I couldn’t get out of there fast enuf. That is $1,800 ($1,700 if you take out my original $100).  I couldn’t flee the scene of the crime fast enough!!!

I left out the front door, then climbed up the fire escape back to my room – hahaha.  As you can see, there were lots of bikers.

Surprisingly, the next morning I was up early and feeling good.  A little research and I found this natural spring just down the street.  I arrived 15 minutes before opening and the check in chick made me promise not to swim until the lifeguard was there – I’ve swum from Alcatraz…. but I promise.

All day, maybe 4 other people were here.  I had this place all to myself.  I drained the battery on my laptop, my kindle and my phone.

After a wonderful day at the springs, I went back the Hotel Nevada, had a quiet one and made my 8am tee time the next morning. The President of the Golf Club invited me to play with him and his son who was some college scholarship kid who kicked my arse. After 36 holes of being out driven by 100 yards on every tee shot, el Presidente and I took care of that bottle of Jamesons I had donated a few days ago back at the club house – his boy drove my car back to the hotel which was pretty cool.

3 days in Ely (Eeee Lie)….. one might say 2 days too many but turned out to be 2 fantastic days.

This whole trip was only going to be 10 days or so, 32 days….. thank you Mandi, Rob & Nancy, Cole & G, Bob & Becky.  Winter is coming and it will be my turn.  Thanks guys.

Day 1…..

Day 32