Archive for the ‘California’ Category

Adventures to the Great Northeast

Friday, January 12th, 2018

Paul is from way up north in New York and has always told me about life in the winter, the reason he came to California.  We visit often to Old Forge which is where he lived after high school, but only in the summer!  He still has a sister and brother living here.  It is beautiful in the summer, kind of like Lake Tahoe but much smaller.  We have never come in the winter, mostly because the weather is very unpredictable.  The town is big in snowmobiles when they get snow and summer being on the water is perfect (although cold).

We had no plans for this winter other than the usual, go to Arizona and Texas in February so when Paul told me that Niagara Falls had frozen I said “Lets go!)  I have no idea about winter, the coldest I have ever experienced is about 17 degrees  and I hated it.  Yes, this is a stretch and not easily done on a whim but if you want to see the falls you need to hurry because it doesn’t usually happen and if they get a warm snap its all over.

Paul winterized the van and I cancelled and rearranged the calendar and borrowed what I could of winter wear and Monday in the rain we headed east.  We made it to Little America, Wyoming the first night after only 14 hours of driving.  We have to stop more often because since the van is winterized we cannot use the facilities.  That means pee only in emergencies, brushing our teeth with Crystal Geyser, and washing up with wet ones!

Our second day the weather started warming up and we made it to about 50 miles out from Omaha.  Then I start looking at the weather more closely for the New York area and see they are having a warming trend!  By Wednesday I’m figuring we will see the falls just like we saw them in September!  There is no snow anywhere and we do not need these boots, hats, scarves and coats we rustled up to come here.  Oh well, life is an adventure and we will get to see some of Pauls family on this trip so all is not lost.  Maybe we can rent golf clubs and play instead of snowmobile?

Wednesday is more of the same and another 14 hour day.  It’s looking pretty dreary but the forecast for Niagara is good!  It’s going to get snow and the temps are going to drop.  We have been driving for 3 days on the interstate, not interesting at all so all we have is each other and of course Facebook.  Thank god for cell phones and facebook!  Today was probably the hardest day all around!  I’m tired of sitting, Duke is tired of not getting to play fetch and Paul, well Paul is just trying to get us to Niagara Falls.  Nebraska, Illinois, Ohio, they all look alike and if you get on a Toll road even the service areas are the same, same gas, same Tim Hortons, Pizza and McDonalds.  Tonight we sleep on the thruway.  Very exciting as they have Starbucks in Ohio and it is only 50 feet from my door!  Grande Nonfat Latte to go!

Thursday we arrive in Niagara Falls near dark and it is still 50 degrees and raining!  Not good for frozen falls and snow.  By 9 pm it is freezing and we have to climb into bed!  This van is like a tiny metal box, do not dare touch the sides.  We cuddle in the middle of the bed and dose off.  About 11:30 someone has to pee!  That’s exciting in itself but then Paul opens the blinds above the bed and we have solid ice on the inside of the window!  This is like sleeping in a igloo!  We have electricity because we are parked in an RV dealers lot and our little electric heater is trying its best!  Even the furnace is working.  It is so cold but under the down comforter I am actually sweating a bit, off comes the socks and long underwear.  The problem with that is getting up!  The thermostat says 55 inside but my body says no way.  it’s getting cold and snow is predicted.

Friday we wake up to lots of snow and very cold!  Paul works and Duke and I hang out.  Friday night we park the RV because more snow is coming.  We walk the 1/2 mile to a great spot with Fish Fry.  Tomorrow is suppose to be clear and cold.

Bar Harbor

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

One more tent assembly, mattress blow up and we are settled in for 3 nights in the Blackwoods campground in Acadia National Park.  Beautiful park and our site is perfect.  Like true campers we build a big fire and roast sausage for dinner.  That’s another thing about this RV, we are not carrying many luxuries so Paul found a basket contraption at our last site that you can put things into so you can cook over the open fire.  Works beautifully, so beautifully we get Steak for the next night!

Then what else do campers do,  s’mores!

That night was interesting!  We had a huge thunderstorm.  I was sure we were going to have Stephanie inside, drenched!  But her tent held up.  Our biggest problem was Duke,  he is so freaked by thunder.  He was climbing on my head.  Several days later we found some calming treats and so far I think they are really working!

We did lots of hiking in the park.  I’m trying to get up to speed for my Ireland trip where I will be hiking over 100 miles in 8 days.  The hikes here were pretty rugged so we only got one 8 mile one and one 6 mile.  Duke came along for both.  The second one Paul had to carry him for part.  I think it was the gravel roadway because as soon as we took a detour onto a real trail he was climbing better than me!


Stephanie’s first lobster

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

The next morning we pack up the tent and head to Walmart.  The mattress Stephanie borrowed didn’t hold air and Paul loves to go to Walmart.  The biggest problem is we have no room for a lot of stuff so we stick to a list and only plan a couple days meals.


Northeast Bays

Northeast Bays

Then it is off to Browns Lobster Pound for lunch.  At the lobster Pound you tell them how big of a lobster you want and they pull one out and you have to ok it!  Stephanie didn’t enjoy it as much as me. She did not want to look her dinner in the eye before she ate it.  Lobster isn’t as cheap as the last time we were here.  Cost is $13.49 per lb for a 1.25 to 1.5 lb lobster.  Of course the one they pull out is just over 1.5 but even I’m human, I’m not going to have him put back and hope for a smaller one.  We got 2 lobsters for $52.  Still pretty cheap and it’s so fresh.  Paul found a picnic table outside and we enjoyed our lobster overlooking the marsh.

Tonight we stayed at a state park right on the dunes and enjoyed a beautiful fire.

We drive along the coast for most of the day and then Paul found us a spot for another lobster lunch in Maine.  We thought it was cheaper but then when we got it for $10 a Pound we were told we couldn’t eat it there.  It was $15 a Pound to eat it there because it was a meal.  We didn’t want the roll and cole slaw so we took our lobster and drove down the road figuring we could find a nice picnic area. No such luck, we end up eating our $40 lobster on our laps in a parking lot of a closed up business!  Mot exactly the local we were thinking.

Found a bay with a short walk.

Found a bay with a short walk.

This is what Paul loves about the tiny RV.  He can stop anywhere.  I do admit we did get to find some interesting roads and spots. Still is too tiny but we are adjusting.

And so it continues!

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

We bought a Sticks and Bricks house but Paul still needed his RV and I wasn’t ready to stop exploring all the cool corners of the USA so we bought a 19′  Roadtrek!  Yep you read that right! 19 whole feet!  My bedroom in the last RV was bigger than that.  We have a toilet, shower, queen bed, 2 burner stove a refrigerator and a closet!  Everything you need! Or so it seems!  It’s a very nice 1 man RV but pretty cozy for 2 and a dog.

includes: frigerator, bed, closet, pantry, toilet, shower, stove, microwave!

Includes: Refrigerator, bed, closet, pantry, toilet, shower, stove, microwave!

We took our first trip, a two night stay in Yosemite.  Yosemite was beautiful and the RV did its job.

Our next adventure was to Port Orford Oregon.  Paul went a week early and I joined him via our friends here in the compound (that’s what I call Sun City Roseville). That worked out pretty well as we were only sleeping in it as our friends Ed and Peggy have a beautiful home right there to host us.

Paul has been on a couple trips by himself which is the main purpose of it being so small ( I think!). Sometimes I think it is a test!

Our big adventure started the end of July.  Paul left by himself with Duke.  I’m sure after a day or two of endless driving across country Duke was thinking ‘ how come I have to go with him’!  Anyway the plan was for Paul to drive across country working and I would fly and meet him!  After all he is the one that lives to drive.  Stephanie, our youngest daughter and I flew to Boston and had a fabulous time for 5 days before Paul met us in Salem.  Salem, now that’s an interesting story!  Paul picked us up at the ferry and dropped us in town while he visited another customer.  We had lunch and then took a hop on hop off tour!  The plan was to ride it the loop and then go back to the sites we wanted, well we got the guy who usually does the ferry transfers and he loved to talk.  What was suppose to be a 40 minute ride was 2 hours.  Our ears were so tired that we just sat in the park and said” what was that?”  We did make it to see the house that Nathan Hawthorne’s book The House of Seven Gables is written about.  That’s an interesting story.  He never lived there, his friends sister or aunt lived there.

Paul picked us up after our afternoon and we headed north.  The plan was to return to a couple of the spots from our last trip to the northeast and we did.  First stop that evening was The Clam Shack in New Hampshire.  This new RV has only 2 seats so Stephanie co-piloted and Duke and I layed on the bed.

We found the clam shack where last time I had the best scallops I have ever had!  We had them again and they were amazing!  I would move here if I thought I could eat those as much as I wanted.  Not really because…..

So far so good!  We head a bit further north to get near Salisbury where we will have our first lobster.  We find a campground where Paul and Stephanie set up her tent!  And now the real east appears!  The mosquitos are in full force!  Where did I put the bug spray!  And that is where the adventure gets interesting.

The end of the road!

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Yep,  we made our final trip and handing the keys to new owners today in Mesa AZ.  From here we will return to CA.

Our last trip in the Journey.

It’s been a rough month and I was ready to settle down.  Paul found a new home for the RV and I found us a home in a great community in Roseville.  I’ll be only 3 hours from the girls,  close to my Dr.  I can nest.

We hope to travel again once things settle down;  it will just be for shorter stints.

Stay tuned!  I’ll try to update some.

Home Sweet Home

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

We arrived in Morgan Hill just as the fire in Loma Prieta was peaking.  Lots of smoke and grey skies.  The Thousand Trails Park was open so we went for it.  It turned out that the fire was receeding and the smoke actually cleared up quite quickly.

We are home for a couple of weddings but before the weddings we got out and got some exercise.  A 10K run for me and Stephanie was planned for Sunday as well as Amy doing a 1/2 marathon.  We have been training for this since June when I was just starting to recooperate.  I was able to walk about a mile in 25 minutes on June 1.  The Monday before the race I did 5 miles in 1 hour.  The week before Stephanie and I both did a 10k on our own in about 83 minutes.  So I was excited but just as I finished my 5 miles on Monday my body decided it would ache.  I didn’t get to do my 10k on Sunday and neither did Amy as she pulled a groin muscle doing a 12 mile run 2 weeks before.

The good news is Stephanie got to do it and Amy and I showed up for moral support and actually walked about 2 miles (to mile marker 1 and back to the start finish line!)  Paul ran with Stephanie and enjoyed the adventure.

81 minutes!  Great run Paul and Stephanie

81 minutes! Great run Paul and Stephanie

I’ve decided that I will get back up to walk/run 6+ miles but will probably not sign up for an official run because I did it, I just didn’t do it the day of.  I did get the t-shirt and I will wear it proudly.

After the race we all went to dinner at The Cats Restaurant just outside of Los Gatos.  Celebrating Pauls 60th birthday which is Monday Oct. 3.  The Cats has always been something Paul and I have wanted to do but never have.  The food was good.  Not our favorite but sometimes just getting to go somewhere you have always thought about is worth it.

We were coming into San Jose for wedding’s the following weekend.  Not one, but two on the same day for two special girls in our lives so we had to find a way to see both even though they were 50 miles apart!

Audra and Alex Owens

Audra and Alex Owens

Stephanie is Audra’s best friend and was in the wedding.  It was a beautiful wedding at Sanborn Park in Saratoga in a redwood grove.  Paul and I helped Amy & Nick set up all the decorations (besides flowers!) in the am.  The wedding was beautiful and we left at 3 pm right after lunch so that we could be in Livermore by 4:30pm for Cassie’s day.

Cassie and Nick Spran

Cassie and Nick Stran

Another beautiful wedding at BoaVentura Winery in Livermore Valley.  Cassie is our God Daughter and LuAnne (mom) have been friends from way before Husbands and Kids!

It was a long, beautiful day and we relaxed on Sunday because we will be heading to Texas on Monday!

This is what our life is all about

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

We are spending a few days in Port Orford Oregon with our great friends Ed and Peggy who we learned to square dance with 30 years ago!  They moved away to this tiny little place along the Oregon coast and we get to play here.  

Port Orford RV Village is a very nice, quiet park very near to Ed and Peggy with some very interesting art that makes the place special.  

This is next to our picnic table, for some reason it made me smile.  

Today I took a short walk and met Peggy at the quilt shop in town, Quilters Corner which has as much quilting materials and supplies as JoAnns!  Beautiful fabrics and everyone in the shop makes beautiful quilts.  I was inspired. Now I need to get my machine out and sew. 

We were wanting fresh crab, is there any other type???  So Ed takes Paul go down to the dock to see if any of the fishermen will sell them some and next thing Peg and I hear is they are crabbing off the dock for their own!  

Five beautiful crabs in about an hour!  So we boiled them, chopped up a salad and dinner is served.  We figure that was about $80 worth of crab and we got it for an hour of time from two guys that had nothing to do for the afternoon.  

On our way!

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

We left San Jose about 1:30 pm and arrived at Jackson Rancheria Casino RV Park in the early evening.  The park is very well kept and we will spend 3 days here just to re-adjust to traveling again!  I had a little problem with all the noises you hear inside the RV going down the road.  Hwy 680 is awful! While in Jackson we will visit our friends, Pat & Kip.  It was great seeing them and of course even better because they fed us for 2 days!

Sunday morning we packed up the RV and headed east on 88 into Nevada.


Hwy88KirkwoodThis was a beautiful rest stop near Kirkwood Resort area.  I am pretty sure they made the rest stop so large so as people would not just pull over on the road.  It was spectacular and we could not pass it up!  There was snow on most of the mountain peaks and along the road near the summit.  We made it to Camp N Town in Carson City Nevada and will spend a couple days here while Paul visits a couple more dealers!  Yeah,  he gets to work and I get to relax without thinking about doctors for awhile!

The RV slide seems to be working, the weather is perfect and my new camera is challenging!  Life is pretty good.

Getting ready to hit the road

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

While we wait for healing and the ok from the doctors we are exploring more of the area again!  I got a brand new camera that I am going to try to learn how to use. It is a Nikon D3300.  Not a super expensive camera but one with a bunch of knobs and menus to change up the photography.  It is going to be a real challenge for me as I usually use my phone or a point and shoot camera.  This one does have auto so that will be my go to while I learn what all these fancy functions are.


My first Photo! Isn't he a cutie?

My first Photo! Isn’t he a cutie?

One day I took a trip to the beach for one last look at the ocean and I tried out my camera just a bit more




That’s a bee inside.  My next task is going to be to see if I can get a bee, butterfly, or house fly in motion!

Over the weekend we visited with my parents and then with our friends, Luanne and Walt who live in Coloma.  It was very hot so not a lot of outdoor activities.  Our ride home on Wednesday was through the Delta Region as I had Dr. appointments in Redwood City so we took the scenic route.

The only boat we saw on the Delta on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon!

The only boat we saw on the Delta on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon!

Following along on Hwy 160 into Rio Vista

Following along on Hwy 160 into Rio Vista

Well my doctor appointment went excellent and so we leave in the morning!  Yeah!



Riding the rails, again!

Friday, May 27th, 2016

Because Amtrak gave us a credit from our last trip we booked a trip to LA.   Why?  

It was a wonderful, quick trip.  We left from San Jose about 10am and arrived in LA about 8:30 pm. The scenery is amazing of course.  

Sometimes you travel through the real places in lots of small towns.  These guys were taking a break;  some were eating, some were checking their smart phones!

Union Station is a beautiful building that is right in downtown LA.  The inside is amazing reminder of how architecture is timeless .  

How do you get this spot to hang out with your friends?  Outside of Lompoc if you can find it and no one is there you can have paradise all to yourself!

This is my jealousy picture!  We have been here before and as the train was passing by I was thinking!  We should be here.  

California doesn’t just have beautiful landscapes we also produce lots of food!  Coming north from LA you start seeing fields of vegetables within about 20 minutes near Simi Valley.  From both sides of the train you see foods being grown,  but once you get to San Luis Obispo you see lots of wine grapes until you get to the strawberries in Watsonville.    Yummm