October 23, 2011

Cambria, CA

Before we left the beach at Ventura, Shan (son) and his two daughters came by to spend a Sunday afternoon with us.

 Natalie (front) with Chanti, Erin and Shan

Erin, Chanti and Shan had fun chasing a ball on the beach.

While Natalie had fun in the sand.

We had a nice leisurely drive to Cambria on Monday. Didn't get to the house until 6 p.m. It was foggy all around.

Parked next to our house in Cambria.

We have a list of all the things we have to do to get the house ready for the new renters who will be renting it starting November 1st. On Wednesday, we did a "walk through" with them. We will be leaving some furniture for them and moving other pieces out. Nice people.

Took at break today to go to our favorite Sunday brunch place, 
the Moonstone Beach Bar and Grill, with Pat and Bill.

Afterwards, we took a stroll along the Moonstone Beach walkway.

It was a bit foggy along the beach today.

Ground squirrels greeted us along the way.

Had to add a scenery picture -- Cambria cliffs in the fog.

Later, Jerry and I drove around Cambria to view the scarecrows all over town. Cambria started this Scarecrow Festival about three years ago. Now, there are a couple of hundred or more scarecrows all over town. Nearly every business has its own creation out front. You see people everywhere taking pictures of the various works of art. Cambria is an artist community -- so this event fits right in.

This is one of the faces of the Cambria Scarecrow Festival.

Here is the rest of her.

Priest and nuns in front of the Catholic Church.

In front of the Veterans Administration building.

In front of the mobile home park.

9/11 Memorial in front of the Fire Department.

Along Main Street in Cambria.

In front of the Pelican Inn -- whale watching.

Fisherman catches a mermaid.

This is part of the fun that the community of Cambria, California, our home base, enjoys.

October 15, 2011

Ventura Beach, California

This is one of our favorite spots in the whole world. We haven't been back here for over a year. In the meantime, the place has been discovered. We were lucky to find a spot -- on a Thursday no less.

Parked at Ventura Beach

We are parked adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, about 20 t0 25 feet from the shoreline. We hear the waves as they crash against the sand and rocks all day and all night long. When the tide comes in, the water reaches the rocks that are right next to the motorhome, about 15 feet below us.

There are 126 spots for motorhomes and RVs along this stretch of the beach, and most are taken. It cost $27 a night to be here. We figured out that Ventura County collects over a million dollars a month when all spaces are filled. And, there is nothing for them to do but to collect the money and empty the trash and a couple of porta-potties.

Besides the pleasant noise of the ocean, we have to put up with the trains that pass by day and night behind us. We are used to them, and even Chanti doesn't care.

Amtrak's Surfliner making its way up the coast.

Coastline with motorhomes

Waves were 10 feet high on Thursday 

That brought out the surfers on Friday

There is something magical about a beach.

Sunset on Thursday night -- solitude!

Then, on Friday, the fog moved in. Good thing I took my pictures when I did. We've taken walks on the beach during the day and Chanti absolutely loves running free on the sand.

We plan to stay here until Monday. On Monday, we will head back to Cambria for a couple of weeks. After 18 months on the market with not one offer on our house, we've decided to lease it out for a few years until the market cooperates. Thus, our return to Cambria is so that we can move the few items we still have in the house into storage, unless the new renters want to use them. Then, on November 1st, we will be on the move again in our motorhome. While we are in Cambria, I'm not sure how much updating of this blog I will get done. Maybe nothing. But, stay tuned, as we will continue living the life we love and blogging about it.

Sunset taken on Thursday. 

This picture was taken this evening.

As you can tell, I love taking pictures of this wonderful world.

October 8, 2011

Lyttle Creeks, California

I'm back!  Had a great trip to Minnesota.  More about that later.  Jerry has been in the San Bernardino mountains at the Mountain Lakes RV Resort since September 29.  We've been to this Resort before and like it.  Jerry said that it was very quiet for the whole week that I was gone. But, this is a holiday weekend (Columbus Day on Monday), and the park is fairly full with campers right now.

There are a few of these ponds in this park.

I was able to spend quality time with my brothers and sisters in Cold Spring, Minnesota, for a whole week.  On Saturday (October 1), I accompanied my brother, Dan, and his wife, Kasi, to the Hidden Valley Apple Orchard.

Red and yellow apples everywhere.

The University of Minnesota Agriculture Department experiments with breeding apples for flavor and crispness.  I ate the Honeycrisp apple, which was very flavorful, but did not get to taste its follow-up breed, the SweeTango.  At the orchard farm, I saw that the SweeTango were selling for $45 for 3 pounds.

Horse and buggy rides were provided around the orchard.

Kasi and Dan enjoying the apple treats served at the orchard.  Would you believe Dan had stem cell replacement in July for multiple myeloma?  He looked good and his spirits were up.

Later, we took a drive out to St. John's University area to check out the changing colors of the trees.

Stopped at the St. John's Cemetery for deceased priests.  
We found my uncle's grave site (Father Benjamin).

The road we traveled.

A lake near St. John's.  Loved the fall golden leaves against the blue water.

Then, on Sunday, my sister, Dorothy, my brother, Tim and his wife, Janet, and I took a tour of the Quarry Park & Nature Preserve in Waite Park, Minnesota.  We walked two miles by the time it was over, but there was more to see.

 Entrance sign to the Quarry Park.

Granite, water and colorful trees.

Lots of water pools all over the place.  A good breeding ground for 
gnats -- and there were lots of them.

The scenery was beautiful.

We climbed to the top of the lookout patio -- Me, Dorothy, Jan and Tim.

The other reason I flew to Minnesota was to attend my 50-year class reunion from the Sisters of St. Joseph's School of Nursing.  The reunion was held at the Mystic Lake Casino near Minneapolis.  Over half of the 50 graduates attended the reunion.

Let me give you just a little back ground, first.  After high school, I entered this nursing program in Grand Forks, North Dakota.  I lived, ate, slept, studied, worked and had fun with my fellow nursing students for three years (no summers off).  I look back on those years with fond memories of fun, fun and more fun.  That was a time before we were married, had children or any obligations other than learning how to become a nurse.  For me especially, it was a time of freedom before I had to get serious about life.

I've reconnected with many of my former friends and will be calling on them as we travel with our motorhome to their places all over the USA.  Here are some pictures of the attendees.

The group.

My new prime camera lens was not able to capture the ones standing on each side.  So, here are a few more pictures:

Jeannie and Sharie

Mary Jane and Marlene

Judy, Alice and Mary Ann at breakfast in the hotel.

Now, I just have to do this.  Here are a few pictures from back then that I was able to take with my camera from Mary Ann's photos that she brought to the reunion.

A bit blurry -- but the mood comes through.

What can I say?  We were young.

And, just so you can see the uniforms we wore, here is one more.

Myrna, Alice and Mary Ann

Jerry and I (and Chanti) will be here at Lyttle Creek until Thursday, when we will slowly make our way back to Cambria.