I lived in Sacramento, California for a brief period in the 2002-2003 time frame. While I lived there, I worked at a great company called BloodSource that was the local blood bank. I loved it. I worked with some great people and it was a pretty great company to work for. Sometimes I wish I could have survived on my own out there and still worked there. I could have been on my own, but that would have mean living in a scary part of town and I am/was a naive white girl. AND that would have meant dealing with my crazy boyfriend sooner rather than later, but that is a completely different story.
We would do blood drives a little further out than just Sacramento and the outlying cities sometimes and get to spend the night since it was a long enough drive out there and back that it went against some law about the time worked and traveling. I was able to experience a lot of fun things on some of these trips. Like once, we were in a courthouse and the room they wanted us to do the blood drive had a HUGE table that took up the whole room and was too heavy to lift or move, so we did the drive around the table and one of the beds was actually in the fireplace. During the blood drive, a pitbull came running into the building and sniffed around and I calmly went to it, petted it, and led it back outside. All while the rest of the staff were freaking out because it was a pitbull. Seriously.
I ate at a Chinese restaurant that was inside of an old Victorian house in Modesto. It was amazing. I didn't know though that upon ordering the garlic crab dish, I would be getting a WHOLE crab covered in garlic sauce. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to crack the shell and eat a crab while it is covered in a delicious but slimy garlic sauce?? Well, I'll tell you, it's hard. I was covered in garlic sauce from my eyebrows to my toes. But it was good. I met Laci Peterson and her mother at a blood drive while in Modesto. Laci didn't donate because she was pregnant and not too long after, she went missing.
I would beg and beg my fellow staff to stop at IN and Out burger to eat since it was everywhere out there. And usually, they would, with a rolling of eyes, reluctantly stop for me. I can be pretty persuasive. "pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease" :)
Anyway, my favorite experience out there, was going to Tahoe. There was North Tahoe and South Tahoe. North was ok. Not much to do, a few casinos, but during the day, there were more beach and water activities. Not so fun when you are working all day. South Tahoe was like a mini-Vegas. The casinos were fun, good restaurants, and dancing. I always enjoyed going to South Tahoe. AND it was in the forest with a beautiful lake to look at. I want to live there. Ski resorts for the winter and lake for the summer.
I got a chance to go up during the winter. We heard rumor of there being a winter storm watch coming, but the company felt the need for blood was more important that a rumor of snow. So, up we went. You ever driven from Tahoe to Sacramento or vice versa? It's a beautiful drive but there is a part that is a little scary. It's a two lane road on the side of a mountain. For those of us from Utah, no biggie. A mountain. But this is a rock wall. Straight up for hundreds of feet and straight down for hundreds of feet and this random road winding along the side of this rock wall. It's a little terrifying for those of us afraid of heights.
We stayed in a casino hotel... and I can't for the life of me remember the name of it, but it was across the street from Ceasar's Palace. That night, it snowed 4-6 FEET. I grew up in, and again live in, Utah. We get snow here. Sometimes a lot. I have never EVER seen snow like this at one time. Not only was the blood drive cancelled, but we couldn't leave. We were snowed in!
This was probably the best work think that had ever happened to me. I hated the guy I was living with at the time and couldn't move out for reasons I won't go into. I had no money to go buy dinner, or go the movies, or gamble, but it didn't matter. We were each given $50 or so a day to eat on the company card so I didn't starve. I had a book I had been having a hard time getting started and was able to get going on it AND LOVED IT! I had a whole week to lounge, read, and get to know my co-workers better. They were all very cool toward me for a long time when I started working and made very great friends after this trip. We had a snowball fight and if I had a working scanner, I'd scan the picture taken of the group.
Oh, and the best-est part.... we got paid our 40 hour/week wage.