January 26, 2012

Pismo Beach, California

Today we are going to learn about the Monarch butterfly because Pismo Beach has the honor of hosting these beautiful creatures for 5-6 months each year. Would you believe that they leave the Rocky Mountains and Canada in late August or early September, traveling at speeds of 100 miles per day and flying as high as 10,000 feet, to reach Pismo Beach, California, by October? That is a trip of over 2,000 miles that they instinctively make each year.

Did you know that they have four wings and six legs?

They come to Pismo Beach for the grove of Eucalyptus and Cyprus trees that provide them with just the proper humidity, light, shade, temperature and protection from the elements while they feed on the necter in the flowers. That's why we keep coming back to Pismo Beach, too.

The park rangers conduct classes twice a day for the public and schools.

We watched and listened to this instructor while he asked the children, "and then what does the caterpillar turn into?" One quick child yelled out "an airplane?" At least he knew it would be something that can fly.  

There were thousands of Monarch butterflies everywhere!

As often as we have come to see the butterflies, we have never seen so many of them just flying around and not clumped together in large packs. They "cluster" in large groups to stay warm and keep from being blown away during high winds. Come to think of it, every time we went to check on them prior to today, the weather was cold and often times rainy. Today, the temperature is 68 degrees and sunny.

As they are on vacation here, they also take time to mate. They mate on the ground, not in the trees. One little boy asked his dad what those two butterflies were doing. The dad answered, "they're wrestling."

Leave it to Jerry to capture this one.

And, that's the end of today's lesson.

Have a wonderful weekend!

January 16, 2012

Pismo Beach, California

We are back at what we consider our "home park." We call it that because we spend two month each year at this park -- the Pismo Coast Village RV Resort. It is also our time to "get things done" so that we can spend the rest of the year "on the road."

Sun setting in Pismo (taken with cell phone)

This past week, for example, we spent some time "organizing" our storage bin in Paso Robles. When we left last time, we hauled all the stuff we needed to remove from the house to the storage bin. Let's just say, when we were finished, we couldn't find anything that we wanted or needed. It was so packed in that we couldn't even walk into it without removing tons of stuff.
Not any more. We bought sturdy shelving from Lowes and spend Friday putting the place in order. Now, all of my photos are in one spot -- as are all the dishes and kitchen items, papers we are required to keep, my yarns and knitting books, Jerry's books and business things, etc. You get the picture. We felt good afterwards.
We also have our doctors' appointments scheduled and are in the process of scheduling the maintenance items on the RV.
Didn't take any pictures yet, except with my cell phone while on walks on the beach.

Taken with HTC Rezound cell phone. (Don't know the girl in the picture.)

January 6, 2012

Ventura Beach, California

Arrived here on Wednesday for four days on the beach before heading up to Pismo Beach for two months. Weather is great, in the low 70s during the daytime and 40s at night. Best part about the stay this time is that the surf has been high nearly all of the time. We leave our bedroom window which faces the ocean open at night. We love hearing and seeing the crashing waves on the shore as we go to sleep and awake in the morning.

  Captured the sun setting on the first night we were here.

And, the sky turning orange-red!

We discussed whether the streak in the sky was a North Korean nuclear missile, but decided that it was just the vapor trail from an airplane flying east. It eventually passed right over our heads.

Thursday morning was our only calm day before the high tides set in.

Thursday evening -- still a bit calm

By Friday, the surf was 10 -15 feet tall and came to nearly a 
third of the way up the rocks next to the coach.

Pretty exciting, and LOUD, too!

For those who want to see the ocean in action, watch this VIDEO taken this morning.

January 2, 2012


Happy New Year - 2012

This is one more posting of people before we leave Temecula tomorrow, and thus ending the round of enjoying family and friends for this holiday season.

John and Marijean graciously opened their house to their long-time friends for a most fun New Year's Eve get-together. Since they have a four bedroom house, everyone stayed at their place except Jerry and me. We are at the Pechanga RV Resort, a short distance from their place. 

Before I show pictures of the group, let me tell you about the FOOD. John and Jerry (both chefs in their own right) made the bulk of the dishes. Others contributed, too. We ate and munched for five hours. We had (not in any particular order): caramelized onion tarts, deviled eggs, marinated mushrooms, various cheeses, french onion soup, cornish game hens with Minnesota wild rice (made with bacon), smoked pork on the grill, potatoes, cream style corn, raspberry cheese cake (took Dee three days to make), and pinot noir chocolate port cake with whipping cream -- and then a little champagne! 

Bob, John and Jerry

Patti and Linda

Marijean and Dee

Nancy and Bob

Greg, John and Bruce

Nancy, Dee and Bruce (something shocks Dee)

The Group taken with my cell phone panorama

The Group taken with Nikon timer so that we all could get into the photo

The next day, we went to the Chinese Restaurant in the Pechanga for our traditional New Year's Day Chinese food. Eating Chinese food on New Year's Day is suppose to bring you good luck for the year. Jerry's family has been faithful to this tradition for years. 

Everyone has now left Temecula. We plan on joining John and Marijean for dinner yet tonight. And then, Jerry has plans to get the air conditioner checked on the RV here in Temecula tomorrow before we head out of here. Going back to the beach in Ventura.

We sincerely wish nothing but the best for everyone in this new year. It is the year of the Dragon in Asia which denotes power and success. May everyone experience a successful 2012.