Valentine’s Day: Finding Love in all the Wrong Places

So Valentine’s Day, a day of love…I wasn’t feeling it in the morning.  After a late night at the casinos, Dan and I walked back to the timeshare early on Valentine’s Day morning.  We parted ways at my building as Dan continued on to his own and that’s when my troubles started.  Using the key Shannon had given me I tried to open the door to the building, but kept getting the red light of denied access.  Fortunately, I was able to wait around and slide in behind some other guests.  Then I got to the door to the room and continued to receive the red light of denial…very symbolic.  I tried everything, calling Shannon 20 times, John 2 times, pounding on the door, but no love!  Hurt and rejected, I finally decided to just sleep in the back of the doghouse/Volvo.  I was in the midst of a beautiful dream of a warm hotel room with friends and hot chocolate when I was awoken by the search party, Shannon, John, and Dan, who at 4:30 AM had finally taken notice of my absence.  Stubbornly, I intended to finish the night out in the car, but after a continued insistence I finally caved and headed up to the room.  As I talked through a blog entry that would have them all thrown ruthlessly under the bus, John replied “don’t blog angry!”

After a cold and lonely night in the car, I passed out in the room until lunch.  That’s when I sold my anger and pride out for the largest turkey club sandwich and bavarian cream turnover I have ever seen.  It was just like my dream!  The anger dissipated with each bite, but the harassment continued all day.

Our plan for the evening was to drive out to Death Valley such that we could see the scenery on our way in, hang out in the park through the sunset and observe the dark starry night; a romantic gesture.  The sunset came a little earlier than expected as we got mixed up on the directions, which made for a beautiful sunset ride through the mountainous desert on the motorcycles, but a pitch dark ride into Death Valley.  Once the sun set, the ride on the bikes became too cold, so we pulled off the highway at the nearest exit.  We soon found ourselves on the wrong side of the sign below.  We speculated that we must have ironically stumbled onto the Yucca Mountain nuclear fuel storage site, but forgot the fuel back at Ginna.  By the way, Debbie, thanks for the great shirt, I love it.  It kept me warmer than Shannon on this day (joking).

Unfortunately, it was too dark in Death Valley to get any good pictures, but what I did come away with is a great story.  Brendon, Lysa, Dan, Lynn, John, Shannon, and I arrived in Death Valley National park in the late evening when nobody else was around except for the rare passing car.  We pulled off at a rest stop and made ourselves comfortable…lawn chairs, a cooler full of adult beverages, and snacks.  As we unloaded our gear, we came across cousin Jeff’s fireworks from way back in Louisiana.  Where would be more appropriate to display them than Death Valley?  Never mind the fire risk level posted at the entrance to all of the parks.  John and Brendon lit a number of them off before we started to get concerned about the barrage of sparks landing on the dry vegetation.  Apparently we weren’t the only ones concerned.  A Hummer soon came barreling down the road, pulled in to the rest area and parked with his beams blinding us.  Silence except for Dan, “boys we’re in some trouble.”  Not sure what kind of officer gets to drive a hummer and carry a badge and gun, but I’m jealous.  As he combed through the trailer and car, it seemed that this was going to be an expensive firework display.  How much, $1,000, $2,000, a night in Death Valley jail?  Finally some love on Valentine’s Day, he let us off under the agreement that we pay the park admission for each vehicle at the self pay booth and get out of the park.  California…tough on fireworks, lax with the devil’s cabbage?  We beelined back to Vegas where they seem to be lax on everything!

In all seriousness, John, Brendon, Lysa, Dan, Lynn, Scott, and Laurie, it’s great sharing this Valentine’s Day/week with you guys.  We’re honored that you would come out here to join us and have had so much fun.  Happy Valentine’s Day!


About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
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8 Responses to Valentine’s Day: Finding Love in all the Wrong Places

  1. Aaron says:

    You are hilarious Bret! Lax on the Devil’s Cabbage, huh? I don’t get it! 🙂 By the way, nice haircut finally!

  2. Johnny Z says:

    Ok now for the truth. When the gang was returning to the hotel Shan and I insisted that Bret return to the hotel for some much needed rest. Bret of course wanted to go gambling and drinking, we have created a monster. Apparently all the EMFs from hugging the slot machines made the magnetic card key inoperable. Then after hours of drinking and gambling he finally returns to the condo to find that he can’t get in the hotel. So then he attempts to call the 2 people he knows are sleeping like they should be and neglecting to call Brendon, or Lysa or Dan or even checking at the front desk to get let in the room. In my defense my phone was on vibrate and shan’s iphone battery was dead(most likely another iphone defect). So he makes the decision to rough it by sleeping in the back the luxurious Volvo (that of course was designed for just that purpose) POOR BRET. So at around 4:30 Shan runs out of the room crying that Bret hasn’t returned yet and so the search begins. We finally found him in the back of the Volvo sleeping like a baby and refusing to return to the room. I finally had to drag him out of the car by his scruffy beard. Well so much for what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Bret, the gloves are off. Bring it!!! P.S. Having the time of my life yet again. I love hanging out with all of you.

  3. Cousin Jeff says:

    Great Valentine’s Day adventures guys! So glad that the fireworks came in handy and didn’t get you arrested! Close one!!

    I saw some zydeco and cajun music last weekend and thought of you guys! There was no elderly professional dance cru though, so it wasn’t the same.

    Keep up the great experiences and continue to seize every day!

    Cousin Jeff

  4. Elisa says:

    Great post Bret. Glad to know you are having a great time. Keep the stories coming. I agree with Aaron….. Nice haircut. 😉

  5. Dawn DeBadts says:

    Johnny Z –you tell Brett “we feel him”! But I smell a martyr there with you . You tell that Brett to get off the cross we need the wood. Give Shannon a hug. LOL

  6. jean loughran says:

    This is from Wickipedia, so it must be true; Regarding Johnny Cash starting a wild fire in Los Padres National Forest:

    In June 1965, his truck caught fire due to an overheated wheel bearing, triggering a forest fire that burned several hundred acres in Los Padres National Forest in California. When the judge asked Cash why he did it, Cash said, “I didn’t do it, my truck did, and it’s dead, so you can’t question it.” The fire destroyed 508 acres (2.06 km2), burning the foliage off three mountains and killing 49 of the refuge’s 53 endangered condors. Cash was unrepentant: “I don’t care about your damn yellow buzzards.” The federal government sued him and was awarded $125,172 ($871,303 in current dollar terms). Cash eventually settled the case and paid $82,001. He said he was the only person ever sued by the government for starting a forest fire.

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