November 9, 2013

Pismo Beach, California

 We made it! We are back at the Pismo Coast RV Resort after our 20-month, 20,000-mile trip covering 42 states. So now, we have been to all 49 states with our motorhome. And, we will be the first to go to Hawaii when they build the bridge to that place. 

Because we will be settling in for months at a time here in California, we will not be updating this blog on a regular basis until we travel again. From time to time, however, we will continue to post pictures because that is what we love to do.

This posting will vary slightly from our other ones because we want to briefly relay our thoughts and feelings about where we went and what we saw in those 20 months. 

First of all, there is a palpable difference between the East Coast and the West Coast. The high energy on the East Coast far surpasses that of the West Coast. California people say “hi” or “have a nice day.” Eastern folks study you when you say those things. In the South, we were “Mr. Jerry” and “Miss Mary.”

In California, road kill consists of raccoons, squirrels, and deer. In Florida, it is alligators. East Coast and the Central State rest areas are first class, with food courts, shops, and fuel. In California, you hope the next one isn’t closed when you get to it.
If you are ever looking for places to visit (by RVing or otherwise), we would recommend these places for their beauty and historical significance: the Florida Keys, Baton Rouge, LA, Charlotte, NC, Charlestown, SC, St. Louis, MO, Lexington, KY, Savannah, GA, Yorktown, Jamestown and Williamsburg, VA, and the States of Pennsylvania, Vermont and Maine – to name a few.

We spent time watching small town television newscasters in the various areas that we visited. Let’s just say – we knew that we were in small town USA when the big news story was a bicycle missing from the local library.

Since we have been back to Pismo Beach, we have seen our friends, Marlene and Paul, a couple of times, first in Cambria on Tuesday and then for an early dinner at Steamers in Pismo Beach on Thursday.

 We had a stranger take this picture of us.
Sorry that it isn't more clear.

Marlene and Paul

Sun going down in Shell Beach, California

Shell Beach, California coastline as sun was going down

Pismo Beach Pier

Sun going down at the Pismo Coast RV Resort
earlier in the week.

Cambria, California coastline (picture
taken at the bottom of our hill)

We are glad we took the time to see America. It was a great trip and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Now we are going to enjoy our time in California in the coming months. We will post more entries and photos sporadically going forward.

Continue to enjoy the life you love;
and love the life you live!

November 2, 2013

Ventura, California

Driving back into California from Las Vegas, we couldn't believe what we saw. Smog -- like we haven't seen in many years! At least it was white smog instead of yellow smog. The closer we got to the beach cities, however, the less smog we saw until it seemed to disappear.

Driving into Los Angeles and seeing smog.

We spent a week in Long Beach, California, at the Golden Shore RV Resort. We like that place, partly because it is within reasonable driving distance to our kids and grandchildren. Yes -- the week entailed seeing everyone (family) whom we haven't seen in 15 months (saw the group last time when we were in Fargo, North Dakota, in July 2012 and saw Tom when I recently went to Georgia with him for Stu's memorial).

Fun times together again. We are not posting family pictures on this blog, except on occasion, and the one below. Actually, we didn't take that many family pictures this time around for some reason. Suffice it to say, we missed all of them and were happy to see them again.

 Samantha (granddaughter on left) and friend
talking to each other.

Then, on Tuesday (October 29), we traveled to our favorite RVing spot yet. Having traveled to every state and seen a lot, we still feel that parking 25 feet from the Pacific Ocean on Rincon Beach near Ventura, California, is our favorite place. We are ocean people, and we love hearing the waves crash against the shore all night and all day long. Of course, we have to dry camp, which is doable. But, if one needs more water or the tanks dumped, they provide that service on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays ($40 to dump, $20 for water).  Since we have been coming here over the last 7 years, we have seen the daily fees raised from $15 a night to currently $28 a night. Plus, they now have added a new fee of $1 a night for a pet. Needless to say, it is worth it.

While here, we have taken excursions into Santa Barbara for a day and yesterday to Ojai where we enjoyed a delicious sushi lunch.

We leave here on Monday and head back up the coast to what we consider our RV home, the Pismo Coast RV Resort, where we will stay until the holidays in December.

Here are just a few pictures we have taken this time at this beach.

Parked on Rincon Beach near Ventura, California

 That is our coach up there behind the rocks.

Chanti loves running loose on the sand.

 We watch the sun go down over the
ocean every night.

On Monday we will travel the rest of the way to Pismo Beach. On Tuesday, we will drive with the car to Cambria to get our mail, check out our house, have mochas from the Cambria Coffee Company, the business we used to own and run, and spend time with Marlene and Paul, friends from Charlotte, North Carolina, who are out here. Looking forward to seeing them again. 

While in Pismo Beach, we will summarize our trip with statistics for anyone interested in that information and for ourselves.

Continue to enjoy the life you love!

October 20, 2013

Las Vegas, Nevada

Just kicking back here in Las Vegas. Weather has been great since we arrived last Wednesday -- in the 70s during the day and the 50s at night. We are staying at Sam's Town where we have stayed a number of times in the last seven years. John and Marijean are parked right next to us. We love traveling with friends and relatives where each couple does their own thing, yet we get together enough to enjoy each others' company, share food and good stories.

Last night, the four of us saw Jersey Boys at the Paris Hotel. What a production and show! Very creative, great music and engaging from beginning to end.

John and Marijean are leaving tomorrow and driving back to Temecula, California. Jerry and I will leave on Tuesday and make the long trek to Long Beach, California. With that, we will have traveled to 42 states in the last 20 months, having left California in March 2012. It will feel good to be back and see the family and grandkids again.

Did not take any pictures while in Las Vegas, but I did take some out of the front window of our coach while traveling from Williams to here on Wednesday. So, here is one picture of John and Marijean's coach traveling in front of us along the highway.

John and Marijean traveling in front of
us on our way to Las Vegas.

Just a heads up -- once we are back in California, we will probably not be updating this blog as frequently.  When we get back to Pismo Beach, however, we will post a recap of our 2012-2013 trip. And, we will continue to post pictures from time to time -- though not on any regular basis.

Enjoy the life you love and love life!

October 15, 2013

Williams, AZ (Grand Canyon)

First of all -- thank you Arizona for opening up the Grand Canyon to visitors during the US Government shutdown. Today, Marijean and I rode the Grand Canyon Railway 65 miles to the Grand Canyon. Both Jerry and John decided not to make the trip. We had such a fun day! It took 2 hours and 15 minutes each way, and we had a good four hours to walk along the rim of the Grand Canyon, eat and take pictures before we had to be back on the train.

 The Grand Canyon Railway train that we rode.

Marijean enjoying the scenery on the 
way to the Grand Canyon.

It was a beautiful day for taking pictures. 
Temperature was 57 degrees.

There were walking paths all along the rim
of the Grand Canyon when we left the train.
But, some people chose not to stay
on the path. A bit scary if you ask us, 
especially considering that we were 
at an altitude of 7,120 feet where anyone
could get a bit light-headed.

We ate lunch at a wonderful restaurant, walked a bit more, and were back on the train when it left the station at 3:30 p.m. However, train robbers accosted the train, stopped it and came aboard on our way back. Must say, the Grand Canyon Railway goes all out to make the whole experience for the passengers enjoyable. On both the morning ride and the afternoon ride back, a cowboy vocalist with a guitar entertained the passengers with memorable songs.

Fake train robbers (picture taken out
of my window of the train).

It will get down to 24 degrees tonight. We are leaving tomorrow and traveling 210 miles to Las Vegas where we will spend the next week.

Enjoy the life you love!

October 13, 2013

Albuquerque, NM

After leaving Monument, Colorado, we spent one night at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico. It is basically a shooting range out in no-where.

Parked at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, NM

Then, on Sunday, John and Marijean and Jerry and I arrived at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Couldn't tell you how many RVs were there, but we were located near the front of the park, and the park extended back behind us for over one-half mile. And that was just one of the parks. We dry-camped for the week for $30 a night. However, if you wanted water and electricity (no sewer), you could have parked in the elite section for $165 a night.

Arriving after the first weekend of the festival was over was a good move because we were able to enjoy the balloons and activities without too many people. But, by the last weekend, of the festival, the place was packed. 

The first morning, Jerry and I got up early (still dark outside) to see the Dawn Patrol Show (helps pilots determine wind conditions).  Here are the pictures we took early in the morning.

 Dawn Patrol blowing up the balloons early in the morning.

Some of the venders selling hot coffee etc. as
the sun is coming up.

One of the balloons on the ground ready to
be set up. Sun still not up.

Fanning air into the balloon.

Another balloon being prepared while some others
are further along in the process.

The larger balloons take longer to get up.

Darth Vader lifting off of the ground.

Still waiting for this guy to get up.


This was the 42nd Annual Albuquerque Balloon Festival
with over 500 balloons participating.

The balloon floated towards the RV park.

Flying right over John and Marijean's and
our coaches.

Some came awfully close to the coaches.

Others ended up landing between the coaches.

This one is on its way down.

Another landing in the RV park
(John actually helped the crew guide one down.)

And this is how they pack them up again.

There were a lot fewer balloons later in the week
because the winds came up. In fact, none of the
balloons could go up on Thursday because of the
high winds and a few rain showers.

Then on Friday night, we attended the balloon
glow. There were lots of balloons on the ground
and lots of people for this second weekend of the festival.

Afterwards we were treated to the most spectacular
fireworks display. New York -- we saw your fireworks
display over Niagara Falls on the 4th of July. You need
to learn from New Mexico on how to put on a fantastic 
fireworks display.

Also spent one afternoon in Old Town Albuquerque.
Here, Marijean, John and Jerry are
enjoying their Margaritas.

Saw this in Old Town.

Yesterday (Saturday), we left Albuquerque a day early to beat the rush of RVers all trying to leave at once today. We drove to Winslow, Arizona, and are staying at the Meteor Crater RV Park. This is a really nice little park. Our mission here: to see the world's largest crater caused by a meteor over 50,000 years ago. It is 550 feet deep and could accommodate 20 football games being played simultaneously with two million fans. I used my wide angle lens to try to capture the whole meteor site and couldn't do get the job done. 

World's largest meteor crater (see the people
on the walkway to the right of the photo.)

A closer view.
Tomorrow, we all are leaving here and going to Williams, Arizona -- where we will spend a little time at the Grand Canyon.

Until next time, enjoy the life you love!