July 6, 2010 - Phil Hodgen

Back from vacation

Radio silence on the blog — I’ve been gone a week.  Vacation.  We went to Mammoth Lakes, CA with a bunch of other families.  Probably 50 of us in all.

Highlights recommended, if you’re headed up Highway 395:

  • Mono Cone in Lee Vining.  Really yummy.  One of our group spent 5 years of his childhood living in Lee Vining.  He had a friend who lived in the little yellow house next door to the Mono Cone.  Hint:  Kevin ordered an Ovaltine malt.  Another hint:  Tina’s friend (also a former Lee Vining native) said the lemon milk shake (yeah, I know–weird combination of flavors) is to die for.  I didn’t have either of these, so clearly I must make a return trip in the name of science to experiment with these two items.  🙂
  • Half a block from the Mono Cone in Lee Vining is a small museum, some old rusting equipment, and an upside down house.  The kids in our group spent a happy half-hour here, after being fueled with hamburgers, ice cream, and root beer.  There is a playground for the kids.  And a spectacular and unobstructed view of Mono Lake and landscape straight out of a western movie.
  • Further up the road from Lee Vining is the real-life ghost town of Bodie, California.

The Fourth of July Parade in Mammoth is a small town classic.  One of the local fish hatcheries had a truck rolling through with live trout.  My 11 year-old son chased the truck for three blocks and was rewarded with a very large and very alive trout indeed.  One of the men in our group is a chef; John gutted and cleaned the trout and grilled it for dinner.  He also gave my wife step by step instructions on making fabulous bruschetta.  (The secret seems to be “no onions! ever!” and about four times as much olive oil as you think you should put in.)