San Jose to Lake Tahoe
Principles of the Stock Market

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Have You Seen This?

Have You Seen This?

Just got back from vacation and before jumping back headlong into the stock market again, thought I'd relive and relate the highlights of my trip.  My best, Richard



Before my memory fades, let me recap Lucy and my just completed vacation to California and Nevada, to San Jose and Lake Tahoe.  This retelling may help others who have similar interests and/or vacation plans.


No big problem with Continental Air out Newark airport.  Lucy and I have been going there recently instead of LaGuardia or Kennedy, whenever we can.  Just an easier drive in and out starting 90 miles up the Hudson River from NYC.  I would recommend using the Park ‘N Go’s surrounding Newark airport on the perimeter road.  Worked well for us three times now.  Our flight was late taking off, nothing new, but we made up the time with a tailwind.  The highlight was upon landing.  When the tech gadgets went on in the still darkened cabin.  All the cell phones glittering colorfully in the dark made me want to get one, to move into the modern world.  “Whoa Richard, just another bill!”


Our good friends, whom we went to visit, drove us to Lake Tahoe from San Jose in their SUV.  The drive was edifying, eye-opening and awe-inspiring.  Driving south past Sacramento on the highway, there were miles and miles of gorgeous white and pink bushes.  I didn’t get their names but they were ubiquitous near the capital and I saw them elsewhere too.  Past Sacramento and beautiful but bankrupt Vallejo we got into  farm country.  Fields and fields of foodstuff growing in a massive flat valley or basin between mountain ranges.  It looked like wheat as I saw big combines working.  When we got out of the car for a pit stop, it actually spelled like farm country.  I remember that smell as I used to visit my grandmother’s big farm for a week in the summer in Canandaigua, NY, just south of my hometown of Rochester.  Then we started driving up into the mountains.  Funny how we couldn’t really see them coming or going; maybe it was because of the lingering smoke from all those California brush fires in the air.  We did see firemen putting out a fire on the way back to San Jose, actually no fire but charred bushes.  Happily we didn’t run into any big fires anywhere while driving although even 6252 feet up in Lake Tahoe the air had a tint of smoke to it.


The drive through the Sierra Nevada’s, a small part of it anyway, not part of the Rockies I understand, was a big highlight of the trip for me.  All the magnificent views and vistas as we saw signs saying 4000, 5000, 6000, 7000 feet.  Holding on tight with the back seat of the SUV swinging slightly and looking out of (just) the side windows was awesome.  I saw giant mountain ranges up really close, ranges which went up and up and up, finally kinking my neck.   I saw valleys which were gigantic and if the car had driven off the road, we would have floated seemingly for miles before we hit.  Trees looking like they went up forever actually growing well on steep ridges making the view even more awe-inspiring.  The huge, straight up tree trunks looked black when in the shadows but many were reddish brown close up; I’d guess redwoods.  These trees grew straight up forever and the boulder-filled trout streams looked like Lake Placid’s famous and powerful West Branch of the Ausable but were much wider, larger, longer, steeper and all encompassing.  Wow!  They must be something to fish.  Maybe in my later years but then I’ll be too old.


Lake Tahoe itself, again, looked like a Lake Placid, NY, just much larger all round.  One afternoon we went to the beach and I went swimming twice.  The water was cool but not anywhere near as cold as when the outdoor pools first opened up here around New Paltz.  Then there was a gondola a block from Harvey’s, one of the four major casino/hotel resorts all together lying just over the Nevada stateline which runs straight through Lake Tahoe, the town and lake.  So the winter, if one can get to Lake Tahoe, must be great for skiers.  Myself, I loved swimming laps in Harvey’s heated outdoor pool in the early morning (before the kids took over) while seeing snow on the surrounding mountains and western blue jays (darker coloration than our powder blue jays) before sharing a light breakfast with Luce and getting ready for the opening of Belmont at the Sports Book.  A Sports Book is just a big room with TV’s everywhere showing horse race tracks everywhere and legalized gambling.  There was a cavernous Sports Book in Las Vegas last year but I liked the one at Harvey’s after finding the golden mean chair to sit in.  Pretty waitresses served us whatever we wanted, complimentary as long as we kept betting.  I found I really liked betting in the morning while my mind was still fresh, just like writing this column in the early mornings.  Reading the racing form is a commitment best done fresh.  I held my own, cashing a few tickets including a $100 exacta with two horses laid off for six months, topped by Missinglisalewis now trained by Lisa Lewis.  Wonder what the story behind the story behind the story behind the story is about that one.  I also played golf although not at the expensive course near Harvey’s being used for this week’s 19th Annual American Century Championship (think it’s on TV this Saturday at 4 pm EST).  The ball did seem to fly further while it also seemed easier to swim, easier to lift my arms out of the water, with much less gravity pressing down up that high in the mountains.  We were as much as 4000 feet higher than Lake Placid here in New York.


Too soon we had to leave Tahoe but again the drive --  thanks so much Leslie for driving! --  was awesome.  I was still into the grander of the massive trees and am still thinking about them days later.  But Leslie then showed us San Jose.  What an up and coming technology city, actually already the 3rd largest metro area in California.  Modern, multicultural, uplifting and the home of San Jose State, a 30,000 plus school with a gorgeous campus.  One day we stumbled on a Hawaiian Fest with great music and vendors on campus.  Other times we just sat on a bench and read since the weather was so good, and again no humidity at all.  Bob and Leslie said it hasn’t rained for months.  After eating chicken and sushi (not me) at great places, we even topped it off with refreshing drinks at a Japanese place which didn’t have or know about Pepsi.  Then 4th of July fireworks!  And finally we topped the whole great trip off downtown at the San Jose Technology Museum.  Hey, San Jose being the heart of Silicon Valley, we couldn’t miss seeing the history of the semiconductor chip, etc., now could we?  All in all, a great trip!  Thanks to our very hospitable friends and Lucy’s sounding board, confident and best friend!


Have a wonderful day!


Posted 07-08-2008 8:42 AM by Richard Schwartz