Saturday; we're now caught up as far as Saturday, when Melvin and I drove all over the Inland Empire, sightseeing, and ending up at a Rancho Cucamonga Quakes baseball game.
Our first stop was the Molly Brown's Country Kitchen in Hesperia, one of four restaurants in the local chain. The food was fine but it occurs to me that when yelpsters and chowhounds champion breakfast places, they're often praising some combination of food, service and perhaps most of all ambiance, not just the eatin'.
We continued east on Route 138 through the San Bernardino National Forest to Crestline, where we picked up Route 18. Them roads are some fun driving and a look at a map will show you why. Once we had descended into San Bernardino, we searched out the statute in front of the Western Region headquarters of Little League.
Ignore the expression on his face and check out the size of his glove! Also in San Bernardino is the site of Dick and Mac McDonald's first McDonald's Restaurant, opened in December 1948. Not much to look at and the inside is now a Route 66 museum, which we passed up.
Our next stop was Tio's Tacos, where owner Martin Sanchez has created a folk art environment in the back yard and on the neighboring property. Melvin and I have now seen many such assemblages, but this is the first in a place with a practical purpose. Melvin wondered if people went there for the food, the funk or both. A guy maintaining the artwork admired my Brooklyn Museum of Art t-shirt, so I gave him the shirt off my back.
From Tio's we circled back to downtown Riverside and walked around the pedestrian mall. Smaller than the mall in Fresno; also newer, more upscale and boring. The homeless people were trying so hard to be unobtrusive that Melvin thought one threesome might be a picnic party.
|This particular statue is in Albuquerque,|
but we did not see it on last year's trip.
We checked into our hotel in Rancho Cucamonga, then drove over to Upland to see the Madonna of the Trail statue. The sculpture isn't particularly interesting as a work of art but I am intrigued by the concept of 12 identical statues—feminist statues at that, not that the Daughters of the American Revolution probably thought of them that way—stretching from Bethesda, Maryland to here.
Dinner was a frisee salad, mussels and pommes frites at The Back Abbey, in Claremont. Melvin had a bottle of the Etienne Dupont organic cider. I had a couple of beers, Saison Dupont and Blanche de Bruxelles, that I don't often see on tap.
We got to the game late, taking our seats in time to see Austin Gallagher hit a grand slam to make it 9-1, Quakes. Two batters later, Chris Jacobs hit his second home run of the game, a solo shot, in as many innings.
The visiting Visalia Rawhide fought halfway back but the Quakes tacked on three more runs, putting the game out of reach. Gallagher, the first baseman, finished the night with five RBI, as did rightfielder Nick Akins. The final score was 13-6.
Our late arrival can be attributed to a couple things. For one, we tried to squeeze too much into the day, including a delicious dinner that shouldn't have been rushed. We were also delayed by the fact that I never ordered tickets for the game.
That didn't stop me from getting a little terse, a bit sarcastic, as I insisted I should have tickets waiting for me. I take some solace in the fact that I have in the past behaved much worse, but that is only a little comfort. The day started with a different kind of stupid: neither Melvin nor I could figure out how to operate the shower.