March 30, 2012

Tucson, AZ and El Paso, TX

After driving to Tucson, Arizona, on Monday, we settled in for three days at the Rincon County East RV Resort.

Beautiful park with hundreds of palm trees and paved sites.

After setting up the coach, we headed on over to see our long-time friends, Joe and Carole. Since they live in a bit of an isolated area of Tucson, we had to follow the red peppers that Carole keeps along the way so as not to get lost. 

A wooden red pepper guiding our way in this strange land.

Here is a picture of Carole and "the green bowl."  It has a long and tortured history of one fun night that the four of us had partying in Tucson 30-some years ago. Let's just all agree that we are much more mature now!  We laugh a lot when we are with them and always enjoy our get-togethers.

Carole and "the green bowl." 

Daughter Lindsey (expecting a boy soon) and her husband, Robert, little Addison, Carole, Joe and Jerry

On Tuesday, Jerry and I drove through the Saguaro National Park in Tucson. There are a number of walking trails, but it was 90 degrees and we were not up to walking in that heat. We stopped, however, to take pictures.

Road through the National Park

A Saguaro cactus

That evening, Lael and Andrew joined us on the coach for dinner. Jerry babysat Lael over 60 years ago when they were neighbors in the San Fernando Valley, California. Lael brought a DVD of old movie footage showing Jerry and Lael and their families. Jerry also showed Lael his old footage. They enjoyed  reminiscing about the care-free days of the 50s. 

Jerry and Lael

On Wednesday, we went back to Joe and Carole's place. Ellen (their eldest daughter) and her husband and newborn (Kate Marie) were there. Jerry showed them a picture he had of Ellen who was about the same age as Kate Marie. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring along my Nikon and had to take the photos with my cell phone camera.

Ellen and Kate Marie

While we were there, wild pigs (Javelinas) showed up in their backyard.

Javelinas in Joe and Carole's backyard.

And, we were privileged to see her Claret Cup Cactus bloom. It only blooms once a year for three days and closes up each night. Here is where I really wished I would have had my Nikon with me.

Claret Cup Cactus in Bloom

Thursday, we drove about 250 miles to El Paso, Texas. We heard about the Cattleman's Steakhouse from folks we met in Oregon last summer. They told us about this steak house located about 35 miles outside of El Paso where one could get the best steak and also park the RV outside of the restaurant for the night. We found the place which was about 5 miles from the freeway out in no-where country. 

 Parked at the Cattleman's Steakhouse outside of El Paso, Texas

This was some place with peacocks greeting you at the entrance of the restaurant to watching coyotes outside the restaurant window while you ate. Jerry said he had one of the best steaks ever. Choosing something from that menu when you are a new vegan was a challenge. But, I did manage to select from the side dishes.

Peacock outside of front of restaurant.

Coyote outside window of restaurant.

Today, we drove 200 miles to Fort Stockton, Texas. Tomorrow will be a 300 mile trip to San Antonio, Texas, where we will settle in for a few days. These are the most miles we will travel in such a short time. After we get to San Antonio, our trips will not be so long.

Have a great weekend, everyone! 

March 25, 2012

Ehrenberg and Phoenix, Arizona

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were our days of "decompression" as we called them. After running around in LA for a week, we were ready to experience some quiet time. And we did that in Ehrenberg, Arizona at the Colorado River Oasis RV Park on the Colorado River.

We are the ones with the orange cone in front of the coach. 
(The river is further behind us.)

It is definitely in the desert! Hot and dry!

The Colorado River next to the park.

On Thursday, we drove a couple of hours to a place right outside of Phoenix, Arizona, to attend the Good Sam RV Rally.  Jerry was a bit upset that the attendees were required to drive through dust and sand (instead of driving on the pavement) to park their RVs as he had just spent three hours washing our motorhome and Armoralling all of the tires. 

We've attended a number of these Rallies in the past few years, but never in a place where all of the events were either out doors or in tents. Today, Sunday, is the first cool day since we arrived. There were over 3,000 motor homes and 6,000-7,000 people here. Lots of vendors, new RVs to check out, and some interesting seminars.  Hey, Bill -- the Rally took place at the Phoenix International Roadway!

This may not be much of a picture, but it gives you some idea 
of how far we had to walk to get to the various places.

We heard that Monaco (one of the RV manufacturers) took one of its
motor homes on the track for a race around it -- going 85 miles per hour.

We are parked over 2 miles from the center of events. We had planned on biking to and from the place, but when Jerry took out the bikes, he discovered that my bike had a flat tire that would take too long to fix. He used his bike while I attempted to take the tram. But the people waiting for the tram said that they had been waiting for 45 minutes with four or five trams having gone by that were already full of people. At that point, I decided to walk. That's how come I know we were located 2.42 miles from the place as I used my cell phone to track my distance. 

One of the trams taking people back after the evening entertainment.

The entertainment was great - Bill Cosby on Friday night and Martina McBride on Saturday night. Both put on good shows. At one point, Martina McBride said how she liked the country classics and would sing one for us. When she sang "Help Me Make It Through the Night" (a Chris Christoferson song), we looked at each other --- that is an old classic??? We remember when it was popular in the early 70s. I guess that was 40 years ago!

Bill Cosby fit right in with this crowd of old people.

Loved the Arizona sky!

This morning we met up with friends we met at John and Marijean's place for New Years Eve a couple of times. Patti and Greg live in Phoenix and we all met the Black Bear Restaurant for breakfast. It was good catching up with them again.

Greg and Patti

Tomorrow we head on down to Tucson to see another set of old friends, Joe and Carole.

March 18, 2012

Ventura Beach and Anaheim, California

Finally got on the road with our first stop at our favorite place on Ventura Beach. We were able to spend three nights there. Dawn, a classmate of Jerry, drove down from Santa Barbara to have lunch with us on one of the days.

Dawn and Jerry

You just can't beat the sound of the ocean crashing on the shores or the beauty of the Pacific Ocean. So we tried to take as much in as we could as this is our last view of this magnificent place for nearly two years. We are headed to the east coast to see the Atlantic Ocean and study the history of our great country. 

Weather was beautiful!

One of the residents of the place.

Watched graceful pelicans fly by us.

And a lone seagull later in the day.

Drove through Santa Monica on Thursday and were able to join long time friends, Walt and Joan, for lunch at a wonderful restaurant. We sat outdoors and had the best food.

Joan and Walt

We are staying at the Anaheim RV Village which is located right next to Disneyland. The first night we were here, we saw and heard the fireworks set off by the park. Of course, Chanti (our dog) went crazy. The next night I gave her some homeopathic calming drops an hour before the scheduled fireworks display. Guess what! There were none that night. Here are some pictures we took right out of our RV window.

Fireworks at Disneyland

While in Anaheim, I also had lunch with two high school classmates, one my first cousin, who haven't seen each other since we graduated from high school in Cold Spring, Minnesota in 1958. Spent a fun three hours catching up with each other.

Nancy, Mary (my first cousin) and Me

Spent the rest of the weekend with our children and grandchildren. Today, we were all together at (son) Shan's house to celebrate (son) Tom's 46th birthday. Bob and Nancy, long time friends of the family were able to join us. What a fun evening!

Family and friends

Natalie, Tom, James, Susan and Samantha

Erin, Sara and Brenna (granddaughters)

Tomorrow we leave California with a 250 miles ride to the Arizona border. We will see the family next in North Dakota in July.

Have a great week, everyone!

March 11, 2012

Oceano, California

Yes, we are back at Oceano because we have already used up our 70 days free at the Pismo Coast RV Park. Will be here until Tuesday morning when we head on down the coast, stopping off in Ventura for a few days to have a last look at the Pacific Ocean before getting to Anaheim on Thursday.

Today is the first day of daylight savings time. As if we aren't confused enough already, Jerry set all of the clocks one hour back instead of one hour ahead. Good thing our cell phones and one atomic clock adjusts automatically.

So here is what is new for this past week. I decided to finally make the leap to eating only plant-based foods. Been thinking about it for some time, but didn't know how Jerry would react because food and cooking are such an important part of his life. Not to worry (yet, anyway) as he understood and we have even shopped together for the foods I will eat going forward. I never shop for food (Jerry has always done that), but I actually went out on my own earlier this week.

And, this is what I bought.

Why am I doing this? Because cancer is so prevalent in my family that I decided to become proactive about my health.

On Friday, we had to make a trip to Paso Robles and were able to meet up with Wendy for lunch. She was one of the real estate agents who worked for us when we had the office in Cambria. Pat and Bill joined us because (this is when you know that it a small world) Bill and Wendy knew each other when they attended the same junior high school back in the dark ages.

 Pat, Jerry, Wendy and Bill

So much for giving the camera to the waitress. This time, the camera focused on the wall behind us when the waitress took the picture of all five of us -- and all three pictures that he took were out of focus AGAIN!!! Next time I'll use my cell phone camera instead of the Nikon.

Chanti has pancreatitis again (third time) and is on medication. She seems to be okay but has to take the medication for the next 10 days.

Jerry's backup camera went out on the RV and he searched to find a replacement which was FedEx to us. He installed it yesterday and we are set to pull out of here on Tuesday.

That's all, folks. Have a great week!

March 4, 2012

Pismo Beach, California

Another busy week. John and Marijean are camping up here, too, but staying at the Oceano Dunes RV Park, about 5 miles down the road from us. We've been seeing them nearly every day and doing some good eating.

On Thursday, Pat and Bill drove down from Cambria. Pat, Chanti and I took a nice walk on the beach.

 Pat and Chanti on our walk on the beach. It was a bit
windy and cold, so we even put a doggie wrap on Chanti.
That's the Pismo pier in the background.

That evening, we all went out to a nice restaurant called A J Spurs Saloon and Dining Hall, a place with the flavor of the old west. The meal portions were gigantic. I ordered the sautéed scallops. They put a plate of 10-12 large scallops, each over two inches in diameter, together with rice pilaf and garlic bread in front of me. My first thought was "Oh, if only I were younger I could eat all of this." We even had  root beer floats for dessert.

Marijean, John, Jerry, Pat and Bill

Now let me explain why I'm not in the picture. I took the above picture, but we did give my camera to the waitress and asked her to take a picture of all of us. Needless to say, I forgot to tell her to push the shutter button down half way for the camera to focus the picture first. She didn't do that and both pictures that she took are out of focus.

Here are a few more pictures I took with Pat on the beach.

Just in case you were ever wondering how the underside of the Pismo Beach looks.

Pismo Beach pier.

On Friday, we had errands to do in Cambria. At lunch time, we parked the van near Moonstone Beach while we ate our lunch.

Parked on Moonstone Beach in Cambria.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull 

Beautiful Cambria (looking south from Moonstone Beach)

We had a nice dinner with John and Marijean last night and are about to go over to their RV park to join them again for the evening. They leave here on Tuesday. We will move over to the Oceano Dunes RV Park on Thursday to finish up the last few days here in Pismo before we move on down the coast.

Have a great week!