Archive for January, 2012

It is a slow journey

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

We are still in CA!  Paul is seeing dealers in Southern CA so we spent 3 nights in Simi Valley at the Elks which is a very nice setting for the RV.  Thursday night we enjoyed a $3 cheese burger with beer!  You can’t beat that and they were cooked to order.

Thursday night a big wind storm started.  We have now experienced the Santa Ana winds.  Wow!  We were scheduled to leave Simi Valley Friday about 1 pm.  The winds were so strong and we needed to head into the mountains to get through LA!  Not excited about this but the winds were not suppose to stop until Saturday afternoon.  We are pretty flexible so we planned to wait and then I get the bright idea to look at the map!  Yep, we could backtrack about 20 miles and miss the core of the winds.

By the time we got ourselves on the road it was 2:15 pm Friday afternoon and we are heading right into Los Angeles!  Ouch!  118 miles to Riverside and we arrived at 7pm.  The good news is we have Saturday and Sunday to enjoy the park we chose for this stop and relax.

Rancho Jurupa Park is located near Riverside CA and a very nice, very busy county park.  They have lots of family activities like pond fishing, horseshoes, miniture golf, several playgrounds and disk golf.

Saturday we took a trip to Newport Beach for lunch with a friend of Paul’s.  It was such a beautiful day and there were so many people out enjoying the sunshine and fresh air.  After lunch we drove north a bit and stopped at Balboa Island.  This place is crazy!  Such a cute community with lots of homes nestled together and then around the island is watersports of every type.  I would love to spend a few weeks here someday.

Saturday night I was in bed early and woken up by the neighbors about 11 pm who definitely had been drinking for way too long!  And then there was the fighting, throwing “F” bombs, screaming, etc.  It was actually scary for a little while.  Finally, Paul decided someone was going to get hurt so he got up and called the Sheriff!  The operator says “are they hurting anyone?  we have had calls that they are causing physical harm to each other!”  Paul tells the person he has no idea, it is loud and really out of control.  About 5 minutes later 2 sheriff cars show up!  More screaming and about 15 minutes later Paul watches a girl that just would not shut up no matter what the sheriff said to her get handcuffed and put in the back seat!  Her boyfriend (we presume that is who he was based on the conversation we were invited to listen to!) also was handcuffed and taken away!

Just another day in Paul & Denise’s life!!!!  Love my neighborhood!

Extra Passengers

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Avila Beach is the most awesome place along the California coast, set inside a small bay that is protected from the elements of the sea.  We arrived here yesterday about 2, right after the skies dropped a huge load of wet stuff!  The sky turned blue and it has been beautiful since.  I even put on shorts today!

Avila Beach

The view from our windows is amazing and there is such an abundance of wildlife here to enjoy.  I watch the sea lions fish along with sea gulls.  I watched hummingbirds sucking from the new flowers along the shore today.  Duke loves the beach and all its new smells!

Yesterday we took a walk on the beach and I spotted 3 vultures guarding a carcass.  I steered Duke in the other direction however I forgot about the carcass on the walk back!  Duke ran ahead of me and had at least 2 minutes of rolling himself in the sand surrounding the carcass before I could reach him and stop him!!! Gross!  We had to bath him in our shower.  The bad news is we are dry camping which means we cannot get more water or dump the water we have until we move.  This just means Paul will be short a shower while we are here!!!

Sleeping here is very peaceful; all you hear is the waves crashing.  However,  we may sleep a little too soundly!  Paul opened the compartments today to put the supplies we picked up in town away and was staring into the eyes of a very large raccoon!!! He yelled, I grabbed my camera but he disturbed it before I could get a shot.  The raccoon ran out of the compartment and headed across the street; Paul started to put his stick away and here comes another one!  Yeks!  We are pretty sure they got in overnight because this am he locked the compartments before we left for town and we are pretty sure we didn’t bring them from our last stop because when the exited they headed right across the road and into a hole.  Duke isn’t much of a guard dog!  he didn’t even move from the car when they went running out.

A boat?

This is in the harbor right in front of our RV.  We have been looking at it for 2 days and still not sure what it is!  I guess it is a pontoon boat!

Smiling down the road

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Cold it is!  Today our water hose froze.  For those that live in a “regular” home if your water hose freezes you wouldn’t even know but for us it is our source of water unless Paul remembers to fill our tanks.  Inside the rig was about 40 degrees when I woke up!  Yep it is time to head to warmer weather.

We are on our way south with a stop in King City California for a great square dance weekend.  Today I worked in the check in booth which is as much fun as working in the RV parks checking people in.  I got to see lots of faces that I haven’t seen in a really long time.  We will dance with friends tomorrow and enjoy some great calling and lots of laughs.

Paul drives Duke greets!

Paul has the job of escorting rigs to places where they can park and hopefully get to some electricity and water.  It is going to be a cold weekend so electricity is important!

3 Years ago Today!

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Wow!  That is all I can say.  We loaded up all our belongings and hit the road 3 years ago today.  So much has happened in the last 3 years and we have had such a journey.  Best of all the 3 of us are still together and everyone is smiling!

Life is Sweet!

Before we started on this journey I thought of it more as a vacation from life that would end in awhile and we would come back home and return to everyday life.  I was tired of living in San Jose while Paul commuted and lived in Stockton during the week.  Both girls seemed to be on their way to making their own way and I was all  alone in that really big house!  So when Paul said lets take off and enjoy life I was all for it.

Over the past 3 years, our girls both graduated from College and to my surprise they both returned to San Jose ( Campbell & Willow Glen).  That is a really good thing because San Jose is still one of my favorite places and when I come to visit my girls I can still see my friends, shop my favorite stores and just feel at home.  We miss home but we also miss the road when we are home.  I think that means we are settling into our new lifestyle.

I really can’t see us stopping this anytime soon as we have so much we haven’t seen or done yet.  This year we are going to be traveling back to North Carolina in April and hope to spend more time in the deep south before it gets too warm.  From there we will be traveling to the Northeast where we will attend the Oshkosh Fly In, in Oshkosh, WI.  We will be adding several more states to states visited on our little map.  And then who knows where we will be heading – stay tuned!

And, if you are traveling on the road make sure to stay in touch because even though Paul and Duke are great travel companions, I really need to see other familiar faces from time to time!

Life is a Dream and living it in my RV is Awesome!  Thank you Paul for pushing us into this dream.  And, thank you Amy & Stephanie who have had to make big family adjustments because we sold the home and ran away!

Preparing for our migration south

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

I’m cleaning the cupboards, ridding our home of the clutter and getting us ready to head south in about 2 weeks.  Yesterday I painted my bicycle to cover up some of the rust it suffered in Westport, WA and today we gave the RV a bath.  Tomorrow will be some wax on the rig and washing the windows.  That will just about cover our early spring cleaning and then we are off!

Looks brand new!

It’s a New Year!

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Wow, 65 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.  Is it really January 1, 2012?  New Years Day seems like a bonus day to me; all the celebrating is done, the house is usually cleaned up from the holiday and no one has to work!  This January 1 we decided that the weather could not be more spectacular so we headed to the ocean.  My favorite place of anywhere.

We headed west from Calistoga towards Bodega Bay with a stop in Sebast0pol on the way.  Paul was told we needed to go to Sebastopol and see the public art display on Florence Avenue.  It was a really cool display just in the yards of about 2 blocks of this street.   A local artist, Patrick Amiot created all these sculptures.

And Pauls personal favorite…

Surfin' Babe

And of course we loved this one…

The Dream!!!

Bodega Bay was beautiful.  The wind was blowing as usual but that just makes the waves even more spectacular.

Northern California Coastline

The wind was whipping the waves, beautiful site

And of course you can’t have the coast without…


And then there is the unique photo of the day…

A Christmas Tree on the shack on the pier!

complete with lights!

Well we are off to a great start to the New Year.  I can’t wait to see where we will go in 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Our 3rd Christmas on the road and it was great.  We moved our home to San Jose for the Christmas Weekend and had a great time with the girls and friends.  Christmas Day was just our family in our Mini Home, complete with plenty of gifts and Santa even stopped by to fill our stockings!  And yes you can cook an amazing holiday dinner in the small space!  We had Prime Rib (reminder to self!  3 ribs is enough for 5 adults!)  I got a 4 rib Prime Rib and we barely ate 1/2 of it!  It is awesome for sandwiches after but I could have saved $20 or more!

Christmas Tree 2011

On Monday after Christmas Paul headed back to Calistoga with our home and I headed to Hanford for a visit with my mom & dad and of course my brother and some of his kids.  I think they had an awesome Christmas also because there were plenty of treats and leftovers that we didn’t have to cook dinner either night I was there!!!

New Years we spent at the RV Park which seemed quite lonely however there was a great group from Vacaville that invited us to their New Years Eve Potluck and Texas Hold’em Tournament.  There were 15 of us all investing $5 where the top 3 took home the prizes.  I was out pretty early, in the second round.  Paul lasted to the final 5 and as he often does, he got bored and bet to go out!  He was the final elimination and the next guy won $10!  So we start 2012 $10 short in the gaming budget line item.

The tournament ended about 11:30 and as we find a lot everyone wanted to just go home.  Being the party animals we are we decided to head downtown where there were having a giant bonfire.  We arrived just before midnight and there was no one around and no fire.  A nice big stack of really big lumber but nothing resembling a bonfire.  So we enjoyed the noises of downtown and headed back to the Park.

The clock struck 12 and this is where we were! No champagne anywhere:(