Northern Cal Trip North Cal Trip, May 2012

Our Northern California Trip, September 2012

Marguerite was offered an opportunity to speak at an APIC Conference in Monterey, California. George thought this would be a good time to check out the new Prius on a road trip to Lake Tahoe, Reno, Sacramento, San Jose, and Monterey. So we took a mini-vacation to explore the sights and visit friends.

Beautiful Tahoe

The first destination of the trip was South Lake Tahoe where we took a paddle boat ride on the MS Dixie II along the southern shore. It was a very sunny day with beautiful views and we both got sun burned. George worse than Marguerite since he has thinning hair and had no hat.

Mono Lake

Our first stop on the way to Lake Tahoe was Mono Lake. This is a inland sea and thus is very salty. It has many formations of salt deposits along its shore.

Prius at South Tahoe Hotel

We arrived at Tahoe about 6 PM on 9/11/12. Exactly 508 miles from our front door in Escondido, CA. Our Hotel was "Inn By The Lake" in downtown South Tahoe. The Prius did well on our trip.

Basic Hybrid Prius Facts (2012 Prius Hatchback Model 4) from the trip are:

  • Trip was 1541 miles with average gas mileage of 42.8 MPG at average speed of 75-80 MPH. MJ gets 46 MPG here with speed around 65 MPH. I got out of an 87 MPH speeding ticket by explaining to the CHP that I was seeing how long I could keep the engine from turning on. First ticket I ever got out of........ I was really going 87 with the engine off (the engine provides no backpressure when going downhill to get better mileage).
  • On I-5 Grapevine going south, Prius got 18 MPG going up, with speed over 75, and over 99.9 MPG (highest possible it will register) going down (engine was off for over 5 minutes at 75 MPH).
  • At 134 HP Prius meet all needs with power to spare. Considering how much MJ paid for it ($34K plus tax), it should.

Boat Ride

We took a 2.5 hour boat ride the next day and got very sun burned. We saw the Heavenly Ski runs and Emerald Bay with its clean waters. Modern technology is wonderful. Marguerite got a phone call from the East Coast and we texted our dog in Point Loma while we were in the middle of the lake having a beer (too hot for wine).

Virginia City

On the way to Reno, NV we stopped off in Virginia City, on old wild west mining town. We had lunch, did city tour on horse and buggy, and toured an old school. George was first here in 1958 also.

Mine Tour

While in Virginia City we did a mine tour. The city is full of mine shafts and can be thought of as a city built on top of Swiss cheese. Being a miner in the old days was not fun, but thanks to the union, they made $4 per day as opposed to 50 cents a day in Europe. Many of the miners were from Germany.


Jersey Nights

Marguerite insisted we go see a show that night so we went to the El Dorado to see Jersey Nights, an off-shoot of the award winning Jersey Boys which we saw twice in San Diego when it was being developed for Broadway. This show had a few dancers, a six piece band, and 4 guys that did a good job as the Four Seasons. The lead guy was good enough to play the Frankie Valli part on Broadway.

Sara Bonaccorso

On the way to San Jose we stopped near Sacramento to visit George's cousin Sara Bonaccorso. Sara is a retired Prison Captain from the California Prison system. She loves the outdoors of the Sacramento area and showed us her scars from recreational crashes she has had camping and 4-wheeling in the Sierras.

Hong Van

We then went to Stanford University where we met Hong Van, a young woman Marguerite mentored when she was a Senior at the UCSD Preuss School. Hong Van is now a senior at Stanford! She took us for a personal tour of the campus and then we had a lovely Thai dinner with her and her boyfriend, Simon, a recent Stanford graduate.

John and Babara Warner

Finally we ended up in San Jose at John and Barb's house for two nights. After a good night's sleep the four of us went to San Francisco and rode the Trolley, saw the sights, and had dinner at Fisherman's Warf.


This is Marguerite eating her sea food at a famous San Francisco restaurant, Castagnolas.


We then went to Monterey, CA and the Asilomar Conference Center that is part of the California State Parks system. George was not happy. This resort is for weed and twig people for it has no room TVs, no phones in the rooms, no selection of food and is miles from anyplace. It does have a nice beach and trails and pool. It was designed as a retreat and for those who don't like the twenty-first century, not a good place to stay. Marguerite did her presentation, Tidbits and Tantalizing Tales from a Long Career, to the California Association for Professionals in Infection Control (APIC) conference participants (about 50 new Infection Professionals).

Tonga Resort

While we were on our trip Dreyfus stayed at the Tonga Resort. The Tonga Resort is the home of Tonga and her parents Meg and Brian O'Hearn and their daughter Breegan. Tonga stays with us when they go on vacation. Dreyfus over did it and got an infection because he was swimming every day in their pool.

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