Raspberry Lemonade

You all know the saying; “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, right?

So, I did my best to make lemonade yesterday. It was leaning towards the tart side, but I managed to sneak in enough sugar towards the end to save the day.

We started out with a fun, simple idea. Jer asked what I would like to do for Mother’s Day. I suggested a nice drive if the weather cooperated, and then dinner at Olive Garden in Anchorage. I love Olive Garden – and besides, we had a gift card!

Our plan started sliding sideways pretty much right away. I called Olive Garden around noon and discovered they were already totally packed for Mother’s Day and we’re not taking any further reservations.

OK. Thinking fast, I asked, “Well, what about take-out?” They assured me that curb-side pick-up that evening would not be a problem.

So, deciding this was possibly even better, I blithely told my husband, “Let’s take the RV today instead of the car. We can have a really nice dinner without the noise and crowds.”

He was not adverse to the plan and even thought a short, scenic drive might be a good way to test out how well his still stiff and achy right leg would handle sitting in the passenger seat of the RV. It doesn’t have a ton of foot room, and we are hoping to try for a 2-3 day camping trip next week.

We decided to take the scenic road to the Eagle River Nature Center; only 17 miles long (once we get to Eagle River, which is about 30 minutes from home) and winding up into the beautiful, still snow-capped mountains of the Chugach National Forest to dead-end at the Nature Center. It should be a lovely drive on a sunny Spring day.

Neither of us has ever been to the Nature Center, so we were looking forward to it.

Our second glitch occurred soon after we exited the Glenn Hwy at Eagle River Loop Rd (one exit beyond where I should’ve exited). Oops. My bad.

So, instead of exiting at Eagle River Road, which would have taken us on a direct route to our destination, we ended up on the Loop. No big deal – it’s not that big of a town.

My mistake was saying out loud, “This doesn’t look right. I wonder if we’re on the right road?” Before I had a chance to say, “Oh, I see what I did. No worries; this will take us back to the road we want”, my dear hubby was peppering me with anxious comments from the passenger seat and back-seat driving for all he was worth, becoming more loud and agitated by the minute. Ack!

I needed to calm his quickly escalating anxiety (it’s a TBI thing, and happens more often than either of us wish, especially when in the RV). An episode can usually be diffused by parking the vehicle, turning it off and getting out of my seat to use the bathroom. Basically … walk away. Bless bathrooms that travel along with you.

In the absence of anyone except Baxter to vent his anxiety-triggered anger at (Ronni followed me to the bathroom), it only took a few minutes for Jer to bring himself under control and realize he’d overreacted. He was also motivated by the need to provide the pleasant Mother’s Day outing he’d promised.

It wasn’t long before our day was back on track and we were on Eagle River Road, heading towards the Nature Center. It was a lovely drive, with the mountains clearly visible against a mostly blue sky. The light, Spring green haze of newly opening leaves on trees and ground cover alike added to the beauty.

We passed by fast-flowing sections of Eagle River itself, stopping a couple of times to watch early fly-fishermen happily plying their craft along the shore and in one case, from mid-stream in a pair of what looked to be chest-high rubber waders. Brrr! That’s glacial water!

Then we reached our destination. The Eagle River Nature Center, which, while open for business and quite busy … had absolutely no accommodations for parking an RV. ☹️ Nope. Nadda. Car parking only. There was even a helpful sign at the entrance to what looked to be a big overflow parking area. “No RVs or Trailers”. I found myself thinking, “That might’ve been a helpful bit of advice to tag onto their website for tourist consumption before they drove 17 miles out of their way”. Oh well.

I turned to Jerry with a smile firmly in place and said, “We’ll, it’s a good thing we mostly drove up here for the view, eh?”

I added that I’d noticed a sign for the North Fork Eagle River Trailhead a few miles back and suggested we go there. We could walk the dogs, enjoy the view and have a snack before heading to Anchorage.

The trailhead had ample parking. Jer and Baxter enjoyed a short walk and conversation with several hikers coming to or departing from the parking lot.

Ronni and I ventured further down the trail to the river, even walking along the sandy gravel beach, which Rhonda thought was excellent. Sadly, after a second encounter within 15 minutes with loose dogs on the trail, we headed back to the RV. Ronni thought the dogs looked like possibly great new playmates, but with no owners in sight, I wasn’t about to make such assumptions.

North Fork of Eagle River

This quiet little trail side area, surrounded by trees and high, snow-capped peaks, easily fulfilled my desire to take a drive and see something beautiful. So, glitches not withstanding, I was happy to continue my Mother’s Day outing and head towards Anchorage and our planned dinner.

Perseverance and a determined happy attitude saved the day. We parked near a small median of grass and bushes at the edge of the Olive Garden parking lot and ordered dinner online for curbside service .

Jerry walked the dogs, poop bags in hand, while I set the table. Jer had barely returned with the dachshunds before I received the text from Olive Garden that our meal was ready for pick up.

YUM! The entrees arrived hot and the salads cold. Jer had his favorite Chicken Parmigiana, while I dove delightedly into their signature Seafood Alfredo Fettuccine. Oh my … shrimp and scallops in an Alfredo sauce to die for.

And their “house” Raspberry Lemonade absolutely made my day!

Published by 2dachsnite

I’m a RV Sometimer (less than full time, but more than a weekend warrior) living in Alaska, with dreams of seeing the country in my RV. I am 70 years old and married, but my husband isn’t a fan of RV travel, so my journeys are mostly solo except for my navigators; dachshunds Baxter & Rhonda. I’m also a spinner of tales - and a spinner of yarn (my other passion). My spinning wheel, along with the dogs, go along on all my travels. I look forward to sharing my stories, including photos and videos, with you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: