It’s Saturday morning and time to leave our home away from home. With the towels in the laundry room, bedsheets stripped, trash tossed and kitchen cleaned we departed at 8:30 a.m. We all had a great time and created some good family memories. This vacation was a good balance of activities and chill time. Our trip to Idaho (from California) provided us the opportunity to see four states; Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.
The first order of business was to fill Shorty’s tank with ⛽ petrol, and dump the black 💩 tank before we hit the road. Once that was done and everyone was settled in we hit the highway; interstate 15 will get us 🏡 home.
Typical Idaho sights; we passed a potato 🥔 museum just beyond Idaho Falls on our way to Blackfoot. We passed corn 🌽 fields just before Pocatello. We saw plenty of silos and bales and bales of hay.
Lunch of leftovers was had in a gas station parking lot in Maiad City, ID. We hit the Utah state line about 1:30 p.m. Craig had been driving since 8:30 this morning, when he gets tired I take over.
I began driving about 3 p.m. I enjoy driving on the open road, it gives me a certain feeling of freedom, kind of like when I used to go jogging or when I ride my bike down a hill with the wind in my face, that kind of feeling.😁
Interstate 15 was a nice drive, until I got to a mountain pass between St. George, UT and Mesquite, NV. Initially it wasn’t too bad, but then it began to get dusky, and then DARK, with windy roads.😳 (I don’t like driving in the dark. Nor do I like driving in the mountains – especially in the dark. My vision is not what it used to be, even with my 🤓glasses.) Once it got dark in that mountain pass I wanted to pull over and let Craig take the wheel, but he was in the back resting his eyes, AND those dang pull outs were few and far between! And, and, (yes, two ‘ands’ on purpose) I had big rigs on my tail, some went around me, (yea, I was driving slow, IT WAS DARK!) ANYWAY, when I did see a pull out it was typically too late to try to get off because I was afraid that the big rig behind me wouldn’t be able to slow down in time and I didn’t want to cause an accident. I guess those big rig drivers know the roads well because they took the hills and turns with such speed and confidence. I slowed quite a bit on the turns because I was unfamiliar with them. It was a white knuckle drive for me, FOR SURE!🥺 I had my playlist 🎶 on, I was singing but in my head I was praying for safe travels. Pardon me, but I grew some balls on that drive!! 🤭 (Figuratively speaking of course.) I definately tested my driving skills, that is for dang sure! My family had no idea how difficult that drive was for me. (I think my co-pilot, Muneca sensed my stress.) I just kept thinking to myself, “you can do this Deb! Focus! You have precious cargo on board.” I felt such relief when we arrived in that Casino parking lot in Mesquite, NV. It was about 8:30 and I was TIRED and fatigued.
We parked our Shorty in the Casino parking lot. After a quick dinner and short walk we hopped in our rig for the night. Even though it was a 🥵 hot night, I slept VERY well in that Casino parking lot. The kids got a hotel room, we will see them in the morning.
SUNDAY: The night before we agreed to be ready to leave by 9 a.m. We hit the road on time.😊
We have a niece Jule (her husband and baby girl) who reside in Las Vegas, NV, so we decided to pay her a quick visit. After our visit everyone was hungry so we stopped at a local restaurant for a bite.
We hit the road in the afternoon. We are about four to five hours from home at this point.
Of course, we hit the Sunday afternoon Vegas traffic on our way home.😔
The drive was LONGER than we anticipated. We got 🏡 home about 9 p.m. We were all tired as we unpacked Shorty. Muneca and the boys packed up their car and drove another 15 minutes to get home. Craig and I finished unpacking Shorty, showered and hit the sack.🥱
Idaho was GOOD family time. We all had fun; breathtaking views, a river float, horseback riding, shooting, ATV riding, exploring Yellowstone, shopping in Wyoming, sitting on the porch swing with coffee enjoying the amazing sights and silence, and we dare not forget about that delicious Huckleberry shake! There was so much we could have done, but with our limited time there, I think it was well spent.
A big THANK YOU to Carle and Joyce for opening your 💗 hearts and 🏡 home to my 👪 family. Betty, a special THANK YOU for trusting and allowing us to retreat at your special ‘hideaway.” We are forever grateful for your kindness. 🥰 May you continue to be blessed for your kindness.😇
FRIDAY: Destination Yellowstone. We left the house this morning at 8 a.m. thru the Teton Pass to Jackson, a route we have driven several times this week. The drive from Driggs, ID to Yellowstone National Park, South entrance is a tad bit over 2 hours. The boys always climb in the back beds and sleep until we arrive at our destination. My two daughters, Muneca and Jessica sit on the couch chit chat and enjoy the views.
We passed several ‘Dude Ranches,’ fields of cattle, horses, and bison and beautiful open fields with tall green or brown grass dancing in the breeze. I noticed that these branch type fences are pretty common in these parts.
We ran into a traffic jam in Yellowsyone almost as soon as we arrived. There were Rangers, an ambulance a line of cars and people in the street. What was going on? An auto accident? Did someone get too close to a bison? Nope! It was the infamous Yellowstone grizzly bear 399! Mama bear and her 4 cubs!!
We had the privilege of seeing mama bear and three of her cubs.
Such amazing views in Yellowstone. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. This post will be mostly pix.😁 Enjoy!!
Tree line road to Yellowstone.
After shopping in the general store we walked around the visitor center and found Old Faithful. BUT, instead of waiting 30 minutes for it to errupt like the many other tourists, we explored the landscape.
Tourists waiting for Old Faithful to do its thing.
Well, the goal today was to see Old Faithful in action. CHECK. Now, time to hit the road. Craig wants to hit the pass BEFORE it gets dark and we still have to stop somewhere for the boys to do a little fishing as promised.
FISHING. We stopped off at a turnout by a bridge somewhere between Yellowstone and Jackson for the boys to fish for a bit.
Well, they didn’t catch any fish, but we sure did enjoy our time there relaxing. On to Driggs!
As we drove through Jackson we decided to stop to pick up some sweatshirts from a particular store that we visited earlier in the week. Can’t leave Jackson without a souvenir, right? We purchased our items and hit the road. We got to the pass at dusk and made it to Driggs about 8:30 p.m. just in time for dinner. If you are ever in Driggs, you have to try to Teton Thai. Delicious!
It was a LONG day and everyone is tired. BUT, now we get to go home and pack up so we could hit the road in the morning. Early.
THURSDAY – We got up early this 🌄 morning to go horseback🐴🐎 riding. Well, Muneca, Jessica and our grandsons Reign and Remil went riding. When we arrived at the location a cute little slender little girl with long blonde hair, about 12 years old, greeted us with a huge welcoming smile. She was wearing blue jeans, boots and a long sleeve button down shirt; Typical ‘ranch hand’ attire that you could tell she was very comfortable wearing. She directed us to another part of their property to park where her grandmother would meet us and review the rules with the riders. When we arrived, just as she said, her grandmother greeted us with a big smile and invited the riders in the little home office by the bus.
After they all took off in the truck with the horses, Craig and I debated on going back to the house or exploring the town. We ended up exploring a neighborhood health food store and grabbing a cup of ☕ coffee for me and tea🍵 for him. Craig and I hung around town until it was time to return to pick up our riders.
It was a two-hour ride with the little blonde girl’s grandfather, Kent, as their guide. During the ride Muneca learned that the Elk and Buffalo horseback riding tours is a small family run business, and has been for five generations. The little blonde girl is the 5th generation to live on that land. They raise cattle, chickens, and take guests out on their horses. They are VERY WARM and FRIENDLY people. Muneca gave them a five star review on Yelp.👍🏽⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
A few pix from their morning adventure.
After we retrieved our morning riders we filled our gas tank, (in preparation for tomorrow’s trip to Yellowstone,) and headed back to the house. We returned to the house about 1 p.m. Everyone headed to the kitchen for a bite to eat. After they ate, they all took a nap.🥱 (I don’t remember horseback riding being so tiring). 🤭 Craig and I sat at the table and dined on tuna sandwiches. Afterwards, we did some chores; he washed Shorty’s face, which was full of 🐛 bugs. I cleaned the grill that cooked our burgers the day before, and then packed it tightly in Shorty’s storage bin.
Then came laundry. Sheets and towels that we used on our journey up here to Idaho were washed, and then our clothes. (What a blessing it is to be here and have access to full house amenities.)
Late afternoon when they all got up from their naps they were itching to do something. The boys wanted to go fishing, but by this time it was getting late, and I had settled in to watch a movie and relax, and Craig was on a Zoom call with a buddy of his. So, Jessica took the boys shooting instead.
The rest of this evening was spent folding laundry, cleaning the kitchen and deciding on what food items to pack for our day long outing tomorrow to Yellowstone. Hopefully we will find a place for the boys to fish🐟 somewhere along the way, at least for a little while.😊
Yellowstone tomorrow! Maybe we’ll see Yogi and Boo-boo Bear? 🤭🐻🐻
MONDAY: After a late breakfast we piled into Shorty to head to Jackson, WY. It is a beautiful and naraly mountain drive from Driggs to Jackson.
We drove down the main street and found some RV parking. We explored the town of Jackson before we had to get Jessica from the airport. Here are some pix.
Well, we had to cut our exploring short and head to the airport to pick up Jessica.
We noticed a bike lane that ran parallel to the highway. Very cool!
We timed it perfectly. Her plane landed as we pulled up. Within 10 minutes we were heading back to Jackson for dinner.
We googled a few places and decided on BBQ at Bubba’s.
We talked laughed and enjoyed the Grubb! We walked around town a bit while the clouds opened up and decided to sprinkle on us. We decided to head home back to Idaho. We got home, let Jessica settle in and we all chilled.
TUESDAY: Jessica’s first full day with us. After some morning coffee and tea, She and Muneca hopped on the ATVs and went to the forrest to explore.
A chill day for us all. While Muneca and Jessica began their day on the ATVs, the boys waited for their turns playing video games and Craig and I read 📚 .
Later in the afternoon Jess, Muneca and I took a drive to the neighboring town of Victor so Jessica could try the famed huckleberry shake from the Victor Emporium. We were too late, they were closed! We forget small towns close early.😬
Craig and boys went shooting while us girls went to town.
On our way back home we saw grey clouds gathering and it started getting really windy. Was it going to rain? Looked like it. We got back and started dinner; hamburgers 🍔, hot dogs 🌭, watermelon 🍉, and French fries. I know, I know, not the healthiest of meals. 😊 Anyway, while I was grilling burgers on the porch it started sprinkling and getting really windy!
It did end up raining for a little bit just as I was finishing the burgers. We were gifted with a beautiful double 🌈 rainbow.
Just as dinner was ready Craig and the boys got back. Talk about timing? They could not have timed it better. 😄 Dinner was tasty. After kitchen duty, we watched a movie and went to bed. Like I said, a chill day.
WEDNESDAY: Today was our float trip. Gotta say, Idaho and Wyoming are two very picturesque states. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Pictures speak louder than words. Have a look at the beauty and enjoy the trip.
While the river float was relaxing with spectacular views, we didn’t see much wildlife. It was still a really cool trip! But, I have to say that this is the first time I have ever seen a bald eagle in the wild. 👍🏽
The only downside, if there is one, was that after about an hour of sitting on the side of the raft, it did make for a sore tush….the float was two and a half hours.
We decided to stop for a bite in Jackson. Reign wanted Pasta. The place we wanted to go to in Moose was closed. We ended up at Miazga’s, (across the street from Bubbas BBQ.) We dined outside and talked about the float. The fettuccine I had lacked flavor, but Craig said his burger was delicious. We all enjoyed our salads.😉🥗
After dinner we headed back thru the pass to Driggs. We got home and watched a little TV together.
Sidebar: It is a little difficult for me to blog with my family here, because I just want to enjoy my time with them and make memories. When it is just Craig and I travelling it is my way to keep them posted on where we are and share our experiences with them. Now that we are together I have to slip away, or just sit in the room with everyone when they watch TV. 😄 Not complaining, just saying.
Tomorrow is another day and chapter in the Idaho vacation. Thursday to Saturday, maybe Sunday. We will see.👀
FRIDAY: So, our Hawaiian family vacation scheduled for June was cancelled due to Covid 19. 😔 That vacation was a combination of our family vacation and bonus, a celebration of our twin grandsons high school culmination. Naturally EVERYONE was 😞 disappointed, so, I came up with Plan B. IDAHO.
My good friend Carle (of 30 years) has access to his extended family’s “vacation home” in Driggs, ID. My brother, youngest daughter and I had vacationed there once before, years ago, with he and his family. He has said for years that “if I ever wanted to use it, I was welcome.” So, I took him up on his offer. Idaho, here come the Green’s!
We attempt to take a family vacation every couple of years with our three grown daughters and grandkids; naturally, we’re all excited about going to explore Idaho. Carle provided us with a nice long list of things to do and we all began talking about what we’d like to do. ATV riding, horseback riding, hiking, fishing and maybe white water rafting or a river float. Our last vacation together was in Costa Rica about 6 years ago. Before that it was Las Vegas, NV some 8 years ago. We were all looking forward to our family vacation; unfortunately, as life would have it, it turns out that three family members can’t make the trip due to work schedules, 😑other responsibilities and 🤢sickness. They will have to catch us on the next trip!
We loaded “Shorty” up this (Friday) morning while it was still a tad bit dark and cool. Clothes, check. Food supplies, check. Coffee pot and coffee, check. Passengers, check. We finally left at 5:30 a.m. Santa Clarita bound to pick up the keys. After a short visit with Carle and Joyce we were given the magical keys that promised lots of quality family time and fun. Well, off we go on the backroads of Santa Clarita to get to Interstate 15. The drive is always nice. I enjoy the long stretches of highway, waiting for the landscape to change, looking for other RVers and wondering where they are headed. We encountered some really hot weather on the road throughout CA, Nevada and Utah, it ranged from 98 to 113 degrees with very hazy brown air, Whew! We learned that the brown haze was from the Northern CA fires. At one point Shorty’s dash displayed 137 degrees! It was only for a short time and then it went down to 130, 122, 116 and stopped at 113 degrees. Yea it was a 🔥 HOT drive.
Some sights along the way.
The drive from Los Angeles, CA to Driggs, Idaho is a little under 15 hours. We drove about 8 hours before we stopped for the night at Camperland RV park in Beaver, Idaho, which is the half way point. The park is located about 5 minutes off the highway, which was great for us! There were deer grazing in the grass areas all over the facility. We could hear horses and donkeys, but didn’t see them. It was a decent park with shade trees and grass, and full hook ups. The pool was drained, (darn it, because we were all ready to take a swim). The showers were clean and large. We snacked, settled in, watched a movie and went to bed. There were five us us. I realized in a pinch we could sleep six in our 2016 Winnebago View; three in the king bed in the rear, two on the pull out couch, (on an air mattress) and one in the overhead bed. It’s tight, but in a pinch will work. Ideally, our rig is perfect for two adults.
SATURDAY: We left Beaver and hit the road about 8 a.m., drove another 7 or so hours before we got to our destination; Driggs Idaho.
After several more hours we finally arrived at our destination!
We were so excited. Everyone piled out of “Shorty” and went to tour the BEAUTIFUL home that would be ours for the next week. Everyone chose their bedroom and staked their claim by bringing their clothes in and putting them in their respective closets. By this time we were all so hungry! Besides the house, we were provided with keys to the Suburban parked in the garage and access to two ATV’s 🏍and a rifle all of which were safely locked away.
Once Shorty was partially unloaded we went into town to grab a bite to eat. Roof top dining at Tatanka Tavern provided ‘al fresco’ dining with a great view. The 🍕 pizza was good too.👍🏽👍🏽
After dining we stopped at Broulims grocery store for some provisions. Once we stocked the fridge and pantry, we were tired. TV, showers and bed called us all.🥱
SUNDAY: Today is the first full day at our “home away from home.” I got up about 8:30 a.m. feeling well rested and brewed a cup of Joe. ☕ UMMM, coffee first thing in the morning just starts the day off right. After my coffee and watching church on line, I prepared breakfast of pancakes, bacon and eggs for everyone. My twin grandsons, our high school graduates, were ready to hit the trails with the ATV’s. After breakfast and kitchen duty they got the helmets and goggles and went outside, Muneca, my middle daughter joined them.
It was a pretty low key day hanging around the house. I blogged a little bit and Craig listened to a podcast. Toward the evening we took a ride to the neighboring town of Victor to try the much recommended Huckleberry shake from the Victor Emporium. (A shake, last time I had one was…..gee, I don’t even remember, it has been at least a year or so?? ) Anyway, why not? That shake was as delicious as I was told it would be. (Thanks Carle! 👍🏽👍🏽) Sipping on that cold creamy berry sweetness was a treat! An occasional berry coming up through the straw was a little sweet burst of berry deliciousness. I have to admit, that there was a little berry💃 dance 🎶 party on my tongue.🎵
We returned home and I started pulling dinner together, everyone else went rifle shooting. So they grabbed the rifle, drove down the road to the designated area and took turns shooting some rounds. While they were shooting, I cranked up my music, danced to a couple of tunes and then proceeded to prepare dinner. Tonight we had hot wings, grilled lemon pepper chicken, baked potatoes and salad. While the potatoes and chicken wings were in the oven I grabbed my laptop and continued to make some notes for this blog while sitting on the porch. I turned my music off so I could take in the sounds of the stream, crickets, birds and an occasional horse. It is SO PEACEFUL. This place is truly a little piece of heaven on earth. 🌎
These are some of their shooting pix
When they got back from shooting, dinner was ready. We sat, ate and talked about our day and watched TV for a bit before retiring for the night.
Tomorrow, Monday we pick up Jessica from Jackson airport.✈
Friday finally arrived! I woke up this morning anticipating adventure and relaxation! With Shorty loaded up and ready to roll I waited for Naomi to arrive.
SIDEBAR: Naomi and I have been friends for 30 years. We met while working together in 1990. While there we met Carle who I have also been friends with since 1990. (He was, in fact, my boss. Yes, I was his secretary.) Through the years the three of us have gotten together a couple of times for dinner to catch up. We have seen each other’s children grow and have children of their own children. These are those rare and special friendships whereby you may not see or be in contact with each other for months at a time, but when you do connect it is as though you haven’t skipped a beat! We are able to pick right back up and enjoy each others company; laugh, share and chill. No matter how long it has been we have a bond; a special admiration and love for each other.🥰 These are two very special people in my life.
OK, for u grammar buffs, I know ‘gurls’ is spelled incorrectly; that is on purpose. Even thought we are in our 50’s and 60’s respectively, ‘Woman’s weekend’ or “Women’s weekend or trip” just doesn’t have the same ring, you know? “Gurl’s Trip” just sounds like more adventure and fun!🙃 This was my second trip driving our RV, “Shorty” without my husband, Craig. AND, my first camping trip without him. This was a “gurl’s weekend.”
Friday, Keough Hot Springs, Bishop, CA
Like I said, My friend Naomi and I have been friends for 30 years. It has been rewarding to watch our children grow up, thrive and develop into kind, caring and productive humans. Now, our children have children. Yes, we are grandmothers. 🤭🤗 Anyway, the timing was perfect for our schedules to get away and just be US. Adult women. Not mom. Not Nana. Not any other name that we are referred to, just Deb and Na.
Carle invited me (and Craig) to go Razor riding with his group of Razor riders. I am always ready to take Shorty out on a trip, so I jumped at the opportunity. My husband, Craig had some business to tend to, so I asked Naomi to join me. Bam! Gurl’s Trip!!
The four and a half hour drive up to Bishop was relaxing. We laughed, talked and listened to music. We stopped for gas and later at a rest stop to dine on peanut butter and jelly sandwichs and talked and laughed some more!🤣😂
We arrived at camp early afternoon and checked in, it was about 100 degrees.😰🔥 We had a dry camp spot with no hook ups, just a picnic bench and fire ring in the gravel covered dirt. It was hot and dry. 🏜 Well, we settled in and decided to take a quick survey of the campground. While our side of the facility was pretty much a dry dessert, the opposite side of the grounds was a green oasis with water sprinklers, green grass, big green trees and a stream!😲 As we surveyed the grounds we saw an empty campsite at the base of a small grass covered hill, a large green weeping willow type tree and a cobblestone parking pad. I thought (and think I said out loud) “what a prime camping spot!” Wow, how nice!
After our quick survey of the grounds we headed back to camp to set up camp and prepare dinner. We opened the awning and moved the picnic table into the shade. I got the little propane grill out and proceeded to prepare dinner of carne asada, corn 🌽on the cobb and watermelon. We were so hungry, and it was so hot that we enjoyed the cool, refreshing watermelon 🍉 while waiting for the meat and corn to cook. As dinner was just about ready Carle came to our camp and announced that one of the couples couldn’t make it and that they had an empty spot in the nice green oasis area, near them. Naomi and I were thrilled! We quickly finished dinner, packed everything up and drove to the oasis side of the camp. The spot he said we could have was the VERY SPOT that we had admired earlier with the cobblestone parking pad and green trees. Hallelujah!! That is what I call GOD’S FAVOR!😁😇 AND, the spot was next to Carle and another couple that I knew, Renee and Robin, who we had razored with before. No longer were we stuck out in the dessert. We were in the Promise Land! Thank you Jesus!! (And Carle😉) We now had electricity and water hook ups. Thank you Jesus! Electricity meant AIR CONDITIONING!🥶 We could sleep comfortably though the night without sweating bullets.😆
Saturday Razor Riding
We woke Saturday morning to the hustle and bussel of the drivers getting their Razors ready for the day.
I believe there were a dozen razors ready to go ride and make dust trails. Everyone geared up and we hit the road. Naomi and I rode in the back seat of Carle’s Razor.
The ride is always bumpy and dusty, but it is fun! This run had alot more rocks than the first time I rode in a Razor. I found myself tensing up my thighs, stomach muscles and butt cheeks!🤭 I almost felt like if I relaxed something in me might shake loose!🤣😂 Well, all that shaking was absolutely worth it! We stopped at a beautiful lake where there were campers with their four wheel drive trucks, tents, chairs and ice chests relaxing.
When we returned back to camp we were sweaty, dusty and dirty; but it was totally worth it!! We hit the camp showers, and then relaxed with a bottle of wine,🍷🧀 cheese and crackers. Later in the evening we grilled some burgers🍔 for dinner. What a great adventure we had today!!🤩 This was my second time and Naomi’s first time Razor riding. We met some nice people and made some more memories.
SUNDAY, POOL DAY
Sunday morning we had a cup of coffee and hit the Hot springs pool to relax and chill. Everyone else had day two of razor riding; not us, we opted for the pool. 😁
Naomi and I lounged at the pool from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The pool is closed from 1 to 2 p.m. to clean and sanitize the tables, chairs and restrooms. It was the perfect time for a lunch break. A tuna sandwich, chips and fruit fit the bill. Since the Razor riders had planned to be gone all day I had previously volunteered to break Louie, the French Bulldog, out for a while. After I consumed my lunch, Louie and I took a walk around the oasis part of the facility on the grass by the steam so he could stretch his little legs and get some fresh air. Of course while we were walking he dropped a tootsie roll 💩 for me to dispose of.😂🤣
After lunch I returned Louie to his air conditioned quarters, and Naomi and I headed back to the pool. We spent time 🏊♂️ swimming, lounging poolside and soaking in the hot mineral pool. We chilled there until about 5:30. We showered and fixed dinner of polska keilbasa, zucinni and potatoes. It was tasty!! By then, the Razor riders had returned. We ate our dinner and hung out with razor folks for a bit and listened to their stories of the day; the flat tire and loss of breaks! Na and I were so happy that we stayed back at camp all day.
Heading home was pretty uneventful except when we stopped by a popular drive thru to get a morning cup of Joe.☕ The establishment didn’t offer walk in service. Since we were in the RV we couldn’t drive thru, so I did the next best thing and asked a couple in the drive thru to purchase two small coffees for us. 😊☕ I gave them the money and met them on the other side. Well, while we were sitting there sipping on our coffee a guy on his bike rode up and placed his order. It stuck us funny.🤣
The rest of our drive home was smooth as silk. We had a great weekend filled with adventure, relaxation, good food and cool people. Until next time.🙋🏽♀️🙋🏽♀️
Happy Friday! It is a little gloomy today and a few rain drops have fallen, but that will not hinder my joy!! We are hitting the road for a quick weekend roadtrip to Sacramento, CA.👏 I LOVE road trips!!
We have been staying pretty close to home for the most part. First, because of this covid,-19 pandemic. Second, because of the city wide curfews and civil unrest as a direct result of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement.
SIDEBAR: Yes, murder, I said it. 🙏 RIP MR. FLOYD. I pray, along with millions across the globe, for justice. I pray that WE, all people, every skin tone, become more united as a result of this tragic, unjust atrocity. People are people, we all bleed red. We do not get to choose the color of our skin when we are born, any more that we get to choose our parents or siblings. I pray that the eyes of the bigoted, prejudice, uneducated people are opened and they gain understanding and compassion. I pray for unity and peace.🙏💞
Heading North is always a nice drive once you get out of L.A.
I love driving down long country roads. The song “County Road” by John Denver will inevitably play in my head as I enjoy the rolling hills, sweeping views and long highway stretches.
We arrived at our destination late in the afternoon; the Higgs’ Family home. 🧑🧑My twin grandsons Reign and Remil have been long time friends with brothers Terry and Allen who moved from AZ to Northern CA about two yeas ago. The Higgs family had been a “second family” for my grandsons. Our boys hold a special brotherly bond. Well, this year my grandsons and Terry graduated from high school. So our visit was a surprise for Terry, 🤭 boy, was he SURPRISED!🥰 The four boys greeted each other with hugs and love that only brothers, who have missed each other, can express.
As I mentioned the four boys have been very close, and our daughter Muneca (Spanish for doll) has been close with the boy’s parents. Craig and I had met them once before in Arizona; they were very warm people. They welcomed us to their home with open arms and allowed us to boondock in their driveway.
Saturday morning as we entered the Higgs’ family home the aroma of coffee immediately accosted my nostrils. We were greeted with warm hugs, from the entire family. It was quite evident that Mr. Terry and Mrs. Joyce Higgs are a very caring, loving, and giving Christian family. There waiting to be consumed was a lovely continental breakfast complete with 🥐🥯pastries, a nice variety of fruit 🍓🍍🍏and a meat and 🧀 cheese platter and of course, COFFEE, ☕ which was the first item in my hands! Awww, coffee!😋
After breakfast and getting to know each other a little better, we all adjourned to the living room to view Terry’s virtual High School graduation. It was very nicely done! The school had assembled instructors, administration and valedictorians who shared words of wisdom and encouragement. One statement I found quite profound and true was, “In high school you get a lesson and then are given a test, but in life you get a test and (hopefully) learn a lesson.” The presentation also included video clips and pix of the graduates. Again, very nicely done.👍👏 Congratulations graduates of 2020!
My brother, Henry
After the virtual graduation Craig and I met up with my brother Henry and his family, who reside about an hour from the Higgs family. We hadn’t seen each other for a couple of years so we had plenty to talk about. We met at the nearby outlets, which offered his family a chance to get out for the day. It was great catching up with him, my sister-in-law, Nancy and nieces, Chase and Mckena. Missing from his clan was my nephew, Tristan. 🧑 Of course one topic discussed was how everyone was handling the Covid-19 situation. We reminisced about some childhood memories, caught each other up on our other siblings, and talked about how he and Nancy are toying with the idea of getting an RV. As the conversation began to wind down, I invited him to our host family’s home to see our RV, since they had not yet seen it. They accepted. They toured our RV, met our host family and hit the road. It was a GREAT visit. (Oh boy!! I can’t wait for them to get an RV so we could plan some camping trips together!)😁
Later that afternoon was the big surprise! 🤫🤐 Mr. Terry and Mrs. Joyce had arranged for a limo to take the graduates out to dinner and riding around.
While the graduates were out celebrating, we went out for pizza🍕 and ice 🍦cream. We wrapped up our evening with a game of Phase 10, my FAVORITE card game.🤩
The adults got up early this morning and went for a hike. As us women folk, (Joyce, Muneca and I) chatted and walked, the men folk, (Craig and Terry) took the lead. Honestly, I think they forgot we were with them because before we knew it, they were out of sight. 🤣 Clearly some male bonding was occurring. 🤭
Here are some of the sights as we walked.
We initially planned to head home, back to Los Angeles, after our hike to allow us time to enjoy a leisurely drive down the Pacific coast. However, we enjoyed each other’s company so much that we decided to continue our conversations over breakfast. Black 🐻Bear diner was the ticket.👍🥚🥓☕ I must add that their coffee ☕ is delicious, as are their sweet cream pancakes! Yum!! What a great time we had with these precious people, and such a yummy, filling breakfast.
After breakfast we made it back to the Higgs’ family residence. Sadly the time had come for us to head home. We got our RV ready for the road and bid our farewells. Our WONDERFUL host family; precious people.
Muneca had not driven on the Pacific coast beyond Santa Barbara, so we decided to head over to the coast. We hit the road about 2:30 p.m. with our GPS set on Monterey.
On our way to the coast we spied a fruit stand that advertised cherries, strawberries, jams, jelly and such. Of course, we stopped. We purchased strawberries 🍓 and cherries. 🍒 They were naturally sweeter than what we get in our grocery stores in Southern CA.
Here are some pix along that beautiful Pacific Coast.
As we came around one particular hair pin turn we saw a VW van with three people waving their arms holding up some jumper cables; surely in need of assistance. Turns out their van needed a jump.
While Craig helped one of the guys with the jumper cables to start their van, Muneca chatted with the other young man and young lady. Since our rig was so close to the street I stood by the side of the road and waved my arms at the drivers coming out of the turn to make sure they slowed and saw us. Surprisingly many waved back.👋👋
Once their battery was charged and their van was running, we bid them farewell, safe travels, and hit the road. Muneca learned that they were visiting from Israel and had just purchase the van.
It was getting dark just as we were approaching the elephant seal rookery, in San Luis Obispo County, where seals are free to rest and breed on the protected beach. There were several up and down this stretch of beach lazily stretched out, enjoying the cool sand, snoozing, somehow knowing that they would not be bothered.
Some of these seals were easily 8 feet long! They were pretty hefty looking too!
Sleep or Drive??
As we continued to drive listening to music it was getting dark and late. The moon was beautiful, so full and bright that it added extra lighting as we drove down those long stretches of road. By this time we had been on the road for several hours and we were tired and hungry.
We toyed with the idea of finding a shopping center to catch a few ZZZs before continuing our drive. We stumbled upon an In ‘n’ Out near a Wal-Mart and decided to get a bite to eat. Sleep or drive, sleep or drive?? That was the question. Those burgers gave us the energy we needed to keep going. It was about midnight and we had another 3 hours to go. Since Craig had done the majority of the driving, I hopped behind the wheel and off we went. Craig took a nap while I drove for about two hours before my eyes got heavy and I was yawning. At that point Craig took the wheel. We got home about 3:30 a.m. ALL very tired. I slept in the RV in front of the house (too sleepy to move), Craig slept in the house, in our bed and Muneca hopped in her car drove another 15 minutes to her house.
That was a LONG drive from the Sacramento to the Los Angeles area. Although driving along the coast is a beautiful drive it does add driving time when it is windy and dark, and in an RV. NOT complaining, just stating a fact. This trip took us 12 hours to get home. It was an adventure shared by Craig, Muneca and I that we will always remember. I have always said that “life is an adventure!”🤩
This trip was particularly memorable. To see our grandsons so happy filled my heart ❤ with joy.🥰 To see them fellowship and further bond with their brother friends was a special blessing. The icing on the cake for us (Craig and I) was reacquainting ourselves with Terry and Joyce. During our time together we bonded, not just as friends, but as family in Christ. We now have more family in Northern California. ❤
These past few years the Lord has placed some very awesome people in our path.🥰 Terry and Joyce, Mark and Roxanne, Donna and Larry, Mike and Linette, among others… OR, is it that I am more mature now and just truly appreciate fellowshipping with like minded hearts? I don’t know. But whatever it is, I thank GOD for placing these awesome hearts and souls in our lives! THANK YOU LORD JESUS!! 🥰
So, one of my younger brothers (I have 5 younger brothers) is waiting for Escrow to close on his home in Kingman, AZ.👏👏 I am SO HAPPY for him!! (And a little tiny bit jealous, to be honest)!! He is ecstatic! He beat me out of California. We have talked about leaving for a few years now, he beat me to the punch.🙃
Out travels began with the need to get our twin grandsons back to their dad in Sahurita, which is South of Tucson, AZ, so they could continue their studies. Their mom, my daughter, Muneca (Spanish for doll, is pronounced “Moon-Ye-ka”), arranged with their father to meet us in Quartsite, which is a good half-way point. We got there first, so we decided to get out to stretch our legs. We walked around exploring the desert landscape. Across the highway was a little storefront shop with piles of various rocks gem stones and minerals for sale. We just peered, but didn’t cross. Before we knew it, their dad pulled up. We exchanged pleasantries while the boys took their items from our RV and loaded them into their dad’s SUV. After bidding our farewells and squeezing hugs, off they went.
Sidebar: Our grandsons are seniors in high school. Remil was voted “Homecoming King” earlier this year. He and his brother Reign are scheduled to graduate next month, in May. However, it looks like they will have to finish their studies at home because of this covid-19 virus. AND, at this point, it doesn’t appear that they will have a prom, grad night or a graduation ceremony. It is not the worst thing in the world but those activities mark a transition in young people’s lives. It is an accomplishment, a passage into “young adulthood” so to speak. To celebrate their graduation and achievements we had scheduled a family vacation to Hawaii (in June), but it appears that we will have to postpone until this pandemic is over. Well, as long as they are healthy and happy, all is well.😁 (LeLahni is their 25 year old sister who joined us for the trip.)
Well, after the boys left with their dad down Highway 40, we headed up Highway 95 to Kingman, AZ. Our goal, to see my brothers soon to be home. 🏡 🏜 While driving up the highway my daughter and granddaughter revealed that they had never been to Lake Havasu. WELL, since it was on our way, we stopped to stretch our legs.
Sidebar: Prior to any of us leaving Bob mentioned having a BBQ. He said he would grill some meat; and we agreed to bring a nice big green salad, and a couple of sides.
When we arrived in Kingman, Bob was grilling some rib eye steaks and country style spare ribs. (YUM-YUM!) After hours on the road, we were hungry! When we hopped out of Shorty, we could smell the fragrant smoke from the meat on the grill! 🥩 Ray, the current owner welcomed us and gave us a tour of the house highlighting some of the latest repairs and upgrades that he and his worker Pi had completed. This single story ranch style home has four bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, two of which are master suites, with their own bathroom. The big fireplace is see through, in that it greets you in the living room as well as the other side of the wall in the family room. There is new carpet throughout. One of my favorite features in this home is the Arizona sunroom; which also has a hot tub. (I would grace this room with ALOT of Plants!) The home sits on just under an acre of land, and is zoned for 🐴horses and 🐔🐣 chickens! It needs some work, but has great bones. The front of the house has a circular gravel drive and plenty of room to park. A portion of the back yard is fenced and has some grass, but beyond the fence it is full on desert, complete with cactus, 🏜 wild bushes and flowers,🍀🌼 cottontail rabbits,🐇 hummingbirds, lizards,🦎 a wide variety of song birds 🐦and quail. The quail are really cute!
After the tour with Ray, while the steaks continued to accost our nostrils, we prepared the salad, a side of corn, beans, and tortillas. Bob had some chips and other snacks available too. We all sat and ate and chatted. All of us; Ray, his wife, Pi, my brother Bob, husband Craig, daughter Muneca and granddaughter LeLahni. We were all hungry; and then we were FULL, happy and tired.
After a GOOD nights sleep I woke up about 7 a.m. brewed some coffee and joined my brother in his yard enjoying our morning brew. He shared some of his home improvement and landscape ideas with me. Besides landscaping, one idea he has is to design a dirt track for his ATV. That will be some great family fun!! He will build a tool shed and an additional garage along with some interior painting and gardening.
My brother Bob is a divorced man, who doesn’t need a four bedroom home; but, he wanted to have plenty of room for family and friends to visit. 😉 He, like my dad was, is very handy with his hands. He loves to build things and is particularly good with wood. He has more tools than ANYONE I personally know. He has a big, trusting, generous heart. He is an overall good guy. I am so proud of him and am very happy for this new phase in his life. I KNOW as soon as he is a little settled, I will be visiting.😍
Well, the time to return to California was upon us. We bid our farewells and left Bob’s about 1 p.m. We stopped for a bite to eat, and pressed forward. Our drive home was relatively uneventful except for some very high🌬 winds. We could feel gusts of wind push Shorty to and fro and I could see Craig holding the steering wheel with both hands; not his usual one hand casually holding the wheel while his other taps his leg to the beat of whatever song is playing. No, he was holding that wheel securely with both hands. Muneca and I had both wanted to drive for a bit sometime during the trip, but Craig decided to stay at the wheel because of the high winds.😍
As we entered California the sky and weather began to change. The winds had died down and in the distance the sky began to get cloudy, we could see big, dark rain clouds forming.
BUT, what really got my attention was the lack of vehicles on the freeway! It was a little eerie. Never ever in my life had I seen so few vehicles on a California freeway.
Like I said, it was eerie. However, the lack of vehicles on the road gave me a sense of peace and calm. I didn’t get the usual “anxious” feeling I get when we are on these over-crowded California freeways. My little silver lining to this pandemic.😉
Well, we arrived home safely and unpacked. I needed this little getaway! Shorty will get cleaned inside and out in the morning. He is my little home away from home. Until next time; stay safe and stay healthy. Peace.✌
The c-virus has interrupted lives worldwide. Travel has become minimal for many reasons; health and safety, first and formost. I understand that anyone can be a carrier of the virus, however according to what I have heard on the news, the very young and older populations are more at risk.
We have a few trips planned, but wisdom dictates that we reconsider. The first trip that we have scheduled is an RV camping trip to Yucaipa with a camping group. However, the majority of the California state parks are closed thru April 3nd, and probably beyond. This particular trip is scheduled for the 2nd-5th of April. BUT, We decided to aire on the side of caution and cancel. I had mixed emotions about this one because the location is only a little over an hour away from home AND we would be in our RV, more that 6 feet away from anyone else. We would technically be sequestered, right? So, why not be in our RV parked somewhere out in nature? Well, wisdom dictates that we stay home, because of the many unknowns. We are healthy, but in the 60’s age bracket. So we nixed this trip, and home we will stay.🙃
Our next trip is scheduled for Las Vegas, Nevada, mid-April, a non camping trip. We are scheduled to stay at the Elara hotel. But, I have seen recent photos of the the Las Vegas strip, and it is a ghost town. I haven’t cancelled this trip yet, but probably will reschedule it for later in the year.
Las Vegas has probably never had its streets so bare. This 24 hour city of glitz and glamour is being hit hard, just like every where else. Las Vegas may just have to wait for us to visit. There really is no point in going since the casinos, buffets, shows and restaurants are closed. After all we have been there SEVERAL times before. Vegas can wait.🙂
We have a family trip scheduled for Hawaii this summer; 🏝 but we will have to wait this out for a couple of months to see if rescheduling will be necessary. Hawaii will be there, so if we have to reschedule, so be it. BUT, I am hopeful that all will be well with our world by the summer and we will begin to return to a state of normalsy.
The last scheduled trip we have this year is for the New Mexico Hot Air Balloon festival in October. I am really excited for that trip and am very hopeful that we will be back to normal by then. Time will tell.
During these uncertain times it has become the norm to see empty shelves as we venture out to the grocery stores to get basic supplies and food items. In my 64 years, I have never experienced anything like this pandemic. These are indeed strange times. It is during times like these that brings out the best and worst in society. Many are hoarding basic supplies such as water, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, paper towels and bleach, and selling them at a premium. We are seeing price gouging at its finest.👎 Shame on them! On the flip side I have seen more cooperation from neighborhood grocery stores than ever. Many grocery stores are accommodating seniors by providing special hours to shop before the hoards of the population come in, storm the aisles and strip the shelves. Some even provide free home delivery! I have seen more neighbors helping each other out in various ways, like checking on each other, volunteering, sharing supplies and bartering. Awe, the best and worst in us always comes out when we are under pressure. That’s when you find out who YOU REALLY ARE.🙃 Are you being helpful or hurtful? Think about it. 🤷♀️
I consider myself 50% optimist and 50% realist, so I like to look for the silver lining (with a hint of reality). If you think about it there is one, or a few silver linings. With people working from home and the schools shut down, families are being forced to spend more time together. Home schooling anyone? Monopoly; learn about real estate. Scrabble; sharpen spelling skills. Jenga; motor skills and gravity. Nature shows and museums can be viewed on line. Get creative with the kiddos. It is a great time to teach life skills; sew on a button, stitch a ripped seam, or hem those jeans. Everyone needs to learn how to cook. Measuring cups equal fractions, equals math. Just saying. Adults, we are probably cooking more and making our own coffee, thereby saving money. With the imposed “stay at home” mandates there are less cars on the road which equates to less accidents and less road rage. Bonus saving 💲 money on gas. I’d like to think that the air is a little cleaner because if it.😁 That makes me happy.
Final thoughts. Check your local news service to see how you can help. Remember to wash your hands. Be kind. Be patient. Check on your friends and family. Now might be a good time to learn something new or read that book. Facetime a loved one. Work in the garden. Eat healthy. Drink water. Take vitamins. Let’s extend grace to each other as we all wait for this to run its course. Most importantly. PRAY. 🙏 BE SAFE. STAY HEALTHY, we have more travelling to do, more experiences to share and stories to tell. Peace.✌
Yesterday morning I got up and took a walk around the facility again to take more pix. My last post talked about some of the amenities. I forgot to mention the cool Yurts they have for rent.
So, if you dont have a motorhome or camper, you could rent a vintage airstream ($$$) or a more cost effective Yurt ($$). But, if u do have a motorhome they allow one tent per camp sight, if u choose to bring campers along. The sites were reasonable considering all of the amenities included. We actually walked into town and spied a few Mexican restaurants, a couple of breakfast places and some fast food joints. So if one didn’t want to cook, there you go!
They have a nice size pool too. I don’t know if you could see them in the picture, but there are 3 ducks at the far end of the pool.🦆🦆🦆
Saturday night we had a group potluck.
The potluck was a great opportunity to meet and chat with other folks in the group. I have found that RVers are some of the FRIENDLIEST folks! And, the food; 🤤a wide variety of dishes were enjoyed. We had many home made dishes; chicken enchiladas, lasagna, pulled pork, little smokies, rice, meatballs, trip tip, bbq chicken wings, beans and desserts. I made a HUGE salad with spring mix, romaine, sweet baby bell peppers, radish, red onion, cucumber, honey crisp apple, cherry tomatoes and avacado. We also had pizza and chili dogs. I was full!🤪
Launch Pointe was kind enough to let us use their hall because of the uncertain weather. Here is a view of the camp ground from the upper level.
Oh, I forgot to mention that there is a little burger joint on the premises called the Bobble. It is right next to their bait and tackle shop.
Sudebar: There are warning signs all over saying NOT to eat the fish or swim in the water. But they have a bait and tackle shop and a beach area. Hum.🤷♀️ You are allowed to boat and water ski; perhaps during the summer? I don’t know.
Oh yea, when you check in everyone in your party is provided with a wrist band that grants you access to the pool, laundry room, showers and restrooms on the facility.
Anyway, It’s Sunday and we are heading home. The group’s next trip is to Yucaipa in a few weeks; if it is not cancelled because of this stupid C-virus… time will tell. Until next time…
We arrived yesterday, late afternoon. It rained the entire way here the 91 to the 15. On a good day the drive would be a little over an hour, but yesterday it took us 3 hours. There were SEVERAL accidents along the way.
We are a part of the Facebook “So CA RV” group, who organized the trip. Of the group at last count about 35 families signed up to participate in the outing.
I woke up early this morning to the sound of rain tapping overhead, it was actually quite soothing. I brewed a cup of coffee and planted myself on the couch enjoying the pitter-patter of the rain, waiting for it to stop so I could take a walk and explore the facility.
I washed my coffee cup, put on my coat and boots, grabbed an umbrella and set out to explore. The air was fresh and the light sprinkles slowly came to a halt. This is a really nice family resort. They have a pool and jacuzzi, of course, but they also have a really cool play ground and splash pad for the kiddos! I have to admit if it was a hot day, I would have enjoyed the splash pad with the kiddos! 😁
The facility also has some really cool, vintage airstreams available for rent. They are strategically set up in a wagon train circle, surrounded by lush landscape and beautiful retro furnishings. A cool 60’s and 70’s throwback. Here are a couple.
I met a couple of other couples that are part of the SO CAL RV group. We chatted a bit before continuing our morning explorations.
I got back to home base and chatted with Craig for a bit, we enjoyed some bacon and eggs, did some reading and then took an afternoon walk by the lake.
While out walking by the lake we saw Sheriff and Park Rangers doing some water safety training. As we continued our walk we met our neighbors in the camp sight next to ours. We chatted for a while getting to know each other. In the middle of our conversation the safety trainer, Ramos, came over and started chatting with us. (It turns out that Ramos is a retired police officer who conducts safety training, rescue diving and other life saving classes to Sheriff and Park Ranger recruits.) We all talked about our children, travel, eateries and sports; the conversation was easy and flowed. We learned that he (Ramos) and I are from the same home town, and that he doesn’t live far from the couple we just met. Small world!! The conversation finally broke up because my legs and hands were freezing.🥶 I think we were all cold, but the conversation was flowing so well that no one really wanted to end it. Darn me!🙃
Craig and I returned to Shorty, waiting for us our camp site, and warmed up with a cup of coffee. ☕ We watched some videos on You tube and laughed sipping our coffee. Our youngest daughter Jessica called. The three of us chatted and laughed for a good hour or so. Unexpected calls from our daughters are always nice.💞 After our chat I prepared some dinner.
Well, my phone is down to 24%, time to recharge. Good night for now.
I told you that Tuesday is date day, right? We have fallen into a routine of either going to the movies and taking a walk at the beach or we will take Shorty (our RV) out for the day.
Today we decided to take Shorty to Royal Palms, a beach in San Pedro, CA, we affectionately call The Palms.
This is one of my favorite childhood places. My dad used to bring us here as kids to walk the beach, explore and search for interesting rocks. We would walk and hop from rock to rock all while listening to him talk. I really don’t remember many of our conversations, but I KNOW without a doubt that I was loved; I could hear it in his voice and see it in his eyes. I always “feel” my dad’s presence when I am here. It is very calming.
Sidebar: My dad was murdered shortly after I graduated from high school. I was 17. 😭😭
Anyway, whenever I need comforting or a place to feel safe and loved, this is my place.😍 It calms me and brings me a kind of peace. If I have things on my mind and need to think, this is my safe place. Warm feelings and very fond memories of my dad come flooding back whenever I sit and listen to the waves. Sometimes when I sit very quietly on a rock and listen to the waves I could almost FEEL him sitting next to me. It is a feeling like no other. 💞
Sidebar: Craig proposed to me here at the Palms one December night in 1983.🥰💘
When here I love to walk among the billions of stones and pick a few interesting ones to take home. I have a round planter container on my porch where I place them all. When we move to Arizona I will bring them with me, a little bit of a California beach, and place them in my yard.
I find I am drawn to rocks with lines and layers in them. They seem show some history of decades gone by with each layer. The largest one is no bigger than a golf ball.
So, today on our way to the Palms, Craig and I grabbed a pastrami sandwich from a popular local deli, BUSY BEE. If you are ever in San Pedro you MUST stop by BUSY BEE. (Oh, and they only take cash.) The sandwiches are so big and hearty we only eat half! One sandwich could actually be shared, but we like our own.😉 I brought some cherry tomatoes, baby carrots and baby bell peppers from home to accompany the sandwiches. YUM.
Anyway, after we got our sandwiches we found a nice spot here at the Palms. We sat and watched a couple of surfers refining their skills and practicing on the smaller waves. I could watch the waves crash against the shore for hours.
The day began cold and rainy, but the sun decided to grace us with its presence this afternoon. It is after 5 and I have long since settled in relaxing and writing and Craig is playing jams, whistling and reading a book. A very chill date day, together with Shorty.
Tomorrow I will begin preparation for our Lake Elsinore trip.
We have come to a point in our lives where the congestion and traffic of a Los Angeles suburb has become too much. We, like many of our friends, are considering relocating; some already have. One friend is thinking about Texas or Louisiana and another is considering Nebraska. Craig and I have talked about moving for a while, which is one of the reasons we bought our RV; so we could travel the country to see where we might want to plant our feet. Arizona caught our attention pretty quickly.🏜
Anyway, I have been searching on Zillow for homes in Prescott and Prescott Valley for a while now. We are drawn to the dry heat in the summer and mild four seasons. So, we began our day scouting neighborhoods and searching for some particular homes that I found on Zillow that that I wanted to see in person and check out the neighborhoods.
This home is in our ideal neighborhood. Each home is on about a quarter of an acre of land with plenty of space between them, and it is an RV friendly neighborhood! They are not cookie cutter homes, have large back yards and LOW HOA fees.👍
We saw a couple of GOOD SIZE lots of land too and are kicking around the idea of purchasing a lot (in our desired neighborhood) and building a home on it. Lots of research would need to be done, but it is a possibility.😁🏡 Not posting a pic of the land on purpose so no one gets any ideas.😁🏜
We contacted the real estate agent listed, Simon Fort, and had the opportunity to look inside of the home (posted) in the Mingus West subdivision. It checked many of my boxes; but sadly, it is no longer available.😔 Simon took us around a few neighborhoods to view some other homes. We shared some of our must haves with him. We agreed to meet Tuesday morning to look at a few more homes and neighborhoods that check our boxes. Tonight I will sit down and write a list of “must haves” and “pluses.” Some must haves: single story, three bedrooms, two bath, master bedroom with walk in closet, a soaking or garden tub, open floor plan, large lot to park shorty, and much more. A few of the pluses would be a landscaped yard, fruit trees and an RV garage. I am looking forward to our meeting tomorrow morning.
SIDEBAR: We will NOT leave Prescott without seeing our friends Mark and Roxanne! We agreed to meet for a late breakfast or lunch after meeting with our agent. As always, we are looking forward to seeing them!😁👍
We met with Simon at his office in Prescott this morning. Their real estate computer system was down. (I forget what he called it.) 😑 Technology. Love it when it works and hate it when it doesn’t. Oh well, such is life. 🤷😁 Anyway, Hopeful that it would come up, we waited and chatted. I provided him with a list of our “must haves” and “pluses.” We reviewed and talked about our list. He assured us that he would put the parameters in the computer to fine tune his search for us, later when the system comes back on line. Meanwhile, we chatted. He shared some of the town history with us, why he liked Prescott, information about different areas, neighborhoods and new builds. After about an hour of chatting about what we liked, our price point, etc. we hopped in his car for some sightseeing.
In chatting with Simon we learned that he has lived in Prescott for 20+ years, has a background in marketing, enjoys his job and is happily married. He is a real “genuine guy,” friendly, easy to talk to, a good listener and easy going. 👍
Simon took us thru several neighborhoods in Prescott and a couple in Williamson. South View, Granite Park Ranch and Pinon Oaks are a few of the areas he showed us. His mother in law’s condo was in an area he was showing us and driving thru. Who happened to be outside? His wife and mother in law! Lovely ladies!😃
Following are some pix of homes from those areas. I love the use of boulders and stones.
The homes were beautiful with creative desert landscaping using boulders and stones. Many homes had RVs or RV parking in the Pinon Oaks subdivision with large lots that caught or eye!👀
After sightseeing with Simon we bid our farewells and then met with Mark and Roxanne for a late lunch. It is always nice catching up with them.😍😍 Such LOVELY folks! I forgot to take a group pic today, so I had to go to my archives.
Some homes had tell tale signs of an earlier snow. The snow in the sun had long since melted, but the snow in the shade was hanging on.❄
This is about as much snow we are willing to deal with.😁❄ The 89, Mountain road leaving Prescott.
A cool sight on highway 71. Lone Indian on a horse, metal sculpture.
Driving down Highway 60 with a little Jazz.
Drove thru Quartzite where the nationwide rally is being held. We saw thousands of RVs, trailers, vans, 5th wheels, and some converted busses. I’m sure they will have a great rally! We have to pass this year.
Homeward bound. It’s been a fun and fruitful trip. For me it is always a little sad when our trips end. Ideally, I would LOVE to travel for 3 months at a time, just think of how much of this country we could see! 👀 One day, one day…😁👍
Another chilly morning. Got up and hopped on the shuttle to go see some hot air ballons. The event began Thursday, but it’s been too windy for the balloons. Well this morning it finally happened. I was told that 25 Balloons launched about 7:30. Carle text me early this morning to say that from his vantage point he could see 20 balloons, and one is a frog!
By the time Craig and I got to the launch site there were only a couple still around. (We slept thru the launch.) One was giving tethered rides and one was being deflated and folded. “Tethered rides” are balloon rides that only hover about 20 feet up in the air because they are secured to the ground with ropes. So for $20 bucks one could say they rode in a hot air balloon for about 10 minutes.😉 Otherwise, one could pay $200/person for a real hot air balloon ride. We didn’t do either.
We grabbed a cup of coffee and walked around for a while. The sun was bright and warm, so walked over to the main stage to watch the entertainment; belly dancers and a band. We were entertained for an hour or so then decided it was time to head back.
We got back to camp and packed up; dumped the black and grey tanks, filled up our fresh water, and hit the road. On or way out of town we stopped at Walmart for a few things. We only had a cup of coffee and it was about 2 in the afternoon. We sat in the parking lot and ate lunch.
We hit the road after lunch, and between Lake Havasu and Kingman on Highway 40 we saw this interesting sight.
Continuing on highway 40 we saw SNOW on the ground. We knew it would be cold, but did not anticipate snow. BRRRR❄ Fortunately it was only off to the side and not on the roads.
Those desert stretches get dark, fast.
Since I am the navigator I had been looking for a place to stay for the night, with hook ups. I favor the app Park Advisor. I found this place.
I didn’t realize it was an Elk’s Lodge. I called and spoke with Dale who said they had some spots available, so we set our sights on Prescott Valley. We arrived and Dale told us to pick a spot and complete the paperwork. $25 bucks a night. Sweet! He called me after we settled in and paid. He asked for my Lodge and member number. What? We are not members. The app, Park Advisor didn’t say it was a “members only” camp sight. Since we had already paid for 2 nights and settled in, all hooked up and warm, he let us stay as his guest. Whew! Grateful. We were WARM.
“Snug as a bug in a rug.” Who came up with that saying? Anyway, that is how I felt this morning! So toasty and warm!warm!! Boy, what a difference shore power (electricity) makes in our rig!!
I climbed out of bed this morning and sat in our dining area and this was my view out of the window. I am so glad we just snagged the first level sight we saw last night and didn’t drive around. We are on a ridge!
Very early this morning as I lay in that half asleep, half awake state I heard a LOT of voices walking past our rig. (It was just before 7 a.m.) I quickly peeked out of the window to see about 15 adults walking in the direction of the stop where the bus picks us up to go to the festival. As I lifted my head the cold slapped me in the face in a way that sent a shiver down my spine and then whispered in my ear “I don’t care that you are nice and warm under your fleece sheets and blankets! It’s mornimg, Wake up!” 😬 Apparently, Sometime during the night our heater shut off. When we looked at the thermostat it read 57 degrees INSIDE of our coach. Outside it was 48 degrees.😳 Man o man, it was COLD!
We got up and immediately heated some water for a hot cup of coffee and tried to figure out why the heat shut off in the middle of the night.
After we had breakfast and straightened up we decided to take the bikes out for a ride. We set the navigation for “London Bridge.” The navigation took us in circles but we finally found it.
I recall reading something about why people place locks on the London Bridge but couldn’t remember, so I googled it. (below)
After we took a few pix at the bridge we went to the little shopping area below the bridge and took a few more pix.
It was getting cold and we could see the sun was beginning to set so we headed back to our rig. It was a COLD ride back, but we made it safe and sound! We settled in and watched a movie before turning in for the night.😴
DAY 4, Saturday
I woke this morning to a chill in the air. Not like yesterday, but it was chilly. Again our heater turned off in the middle of the night. Ugh!! (We REALLY NEED to figure this out!!😑) I needed to move and warm up, so I got up, got dressed and went outside for a quick walk to see how many balloons I could see…
About 7 this morning I got a text from my friend, Carle, saying that he could see Hot air balloons from his friends house.
Sidebar: Carle and I have been friends since 1990! We met working together; I was his secretary. We were an awesome work team and learned so much from each other. From the day we met, we clicked. We have ALWAYS had a great respect and admiration for each other. 👍We each ended up moving on to other jobs, but have kept in touch thru the years. We have encouraged each other, we have seen each other’s kids grow up, we have taken a couple of vacations together, we have cheered our kids successes and shared pix of our grandkids. Carle holds a special place in my heart.💞 We are GOOD friends. (Don’t get it twisted; I am happily married and he has a significant other. Men and women CAN BE FRIENDS.) 🙋♂️🤩🙋✌
Anyway I knew that Carle and Joyce (his significant other) were going to be here at Lake Havasu this weekend with friends to go razor riding. Like I said earlier, Carle text me bright and early this morning at 7 a.m. saying that he could see hot air balloons near his friend’s house. He shared that he wanted to go “chase” a balloon to get a closer look but no one (in the house) was ready so he decided to hop in his truck to go balloon chasing. As he was driving, he happened by the balloon fest, took a chance and decided to drive amongst the RVs.
Meanwhile, I am walking in the parking lot looking for hot air balloons, and who pulls up in a big white truck?! Carle!😃 Boy, was I surprised! So, he told me that he was going balloon chasing and asked me If I wanted to join him. ABSOLUTELY! So, since Craig was still getting ready for the day I decided to go balloon chasing with Carle. I stopped by our RV and told Craig about the plan. Cool, off we go!
So, Carle and I are talking, catching up, exchanging stories about our kids and what’s going on in their lives, our latest vacations; and then he spots a balloon!! We parked to take a closer look.
It was too windy so the balloon pilot landed in a park. His team began the process of deflating and packing the balloon up. Carle and I took pix of the process. It was pretty cool!
Before he brought me back to my RV, we stopped at his friend’s house so I could say hello to some of his crew; Joyce, Tracey, Bambi, Renee, Robin and some other folks. On the way back he shared that they were deciding what to do for the day and would keep me posted; and invited Craig and I to join them. 😁
So, Carle called and told me that they were going to take the ferry to the casino on the island and invited us. We accepted! He picked us up and away we went!
After hanging out at the casino and enjoying the lake views we took the ferry back to AZ. Carle brought us back to our RV and invited us to join him and his crew for dinner. Again, we accepted! Later that day Carle came back and picked us up for dinner. We dined at Shegrue’s. It was a NICE restaurant, with GOOD food. It was a tad pricy, but totally worth it! The ambience was nice, friendly and with a GREAT view of the Colorado River and London Bridge. We talked, laughed had a great time and witnessed a BEAUTIFUL full moon rise from the restaurant!😁👍
The crew today! Carle has some really cool, kind and funny friends! 😁😃 We had previously met Tracey, Bambi, Renee and Robin when we went Razor riding at Bolder Creek with them last year. We also had the pleasure of meeting some new folks; Sue, Ed, Sue, James and Lee, all very kind, friendly people. (Hope I didn’t forget anyone.)
Carle, if you are reading this: We had a really GREAT day today! THANKS Carle and Joyce for including Craig and I in the festivities today. 👍💞 A big thanks to your peeps for being so cool!! Have a safe trip back home. Peace✌ and Love my friend!😍❤
We slept in this morning. We woke up to the sound of children’s laughter. 😁 They were running around playing and riding bikes.
It was about 9 a.m., we took our time getting ready for the day. I started the electric kettle to heat water for our coffee and started breakfast. I decided to make soyrizo ‘n’ egg burritos with cheddar cheese. Soyrizo is like chorizo, a Mexican sausage that is fried and mixed with eggs; it is a little spicy, but very tasty. The soyrizo is soy based and not as fatty and greasy, and a little healthier than regular chorizo. Anyway, we ate our burrito with a cup of coffee and listened to the kiddos playing outside.
While Craig was cleaning up the breakfast dishes a fellow Facebook So CA RV member found me! (I had previously posted on Facebook that we were attending the Balloon Fest and asked if anyone in the group was attending. Pat replied that she and her sister would be attending.) I walked with Pat, along with her little dog Lucky, back to her rig and met her sister Wendy. Pat and Wendy are seasoned travellers and did some nice modifications to their 2018 Navion. Nice sisters! 🙋🙋
SIDEBAR: I cook and Craig cleans.😁 I am a GOOD cook. We agreed years ago that if and when I cooked that he would clean the kitchen. Fair is fair, right!?👍😉
When I returned from my visit with Pat and Wendy Craig was ready to head over to the Balloon Festival. We walked to the bus pick up location and chatted with a few other RVers while we waited. The bus we rode in was a “party bus” complete with a “dancing pole!” We and a few of the other passengers had a good chuckle about the pole. 😂🤣💃
When we arrived there were plenty of people already there. There were also plenty of vendors selling various food items, crafts, thing-a-ma-bobs and what-u-ma-gig-ums.😁
Here are a few pix.
The garlic grater is a little ceramic dish about the size of the palm of my hand. It is good for grating garlic, ginger, chocolate, Parmesan cheese and lemon rind. It came with a garlic peeler too. $20 bucks. The colors were so vibrant. I have plans for this little kitchen tool!
The magnetic bracelets are supposed to help with circulation since our bodies are made up with electric/ magnetic energy. Sounded good to us. We each got one. $20 each.
As we continued exploring we came across these COOL Razors! Some of them had awesome sound systems and head phones. One had helmets with fresh air piped into them. I have never seen such a thing or knew they existed. Very cool! They ranged on price from 15k to 50k.😳
As we continued exploring the salty smell of bacon-wrapped hot dogs had the nerve to sneak up in my nostrils followed by the sweet fragrance of funnel cakes and then the rich smell of coffee got my attention! Oh my! My nostrils were being accosted by delicious yumminess!🙃 We resisted and kept walking to get a closer look at the lake.
After taking a walk by the lake we decided to meander over to the balloon launch area. We were disappointed that no balloons were being prepared for flight. We spoke with a few folks and were told that they would not be launching today because there was too much wind.
Well, we had seen enough for today and it was getting cold. We hopped on the bus for our ride back to our RV. We settled in and I made Craig’s favorite for dinner: tacos.
It was dark outside, and cold, but I could hear kiddos playing and laughing. I peeked outside and saw on the next row over, someone was projecting a movie on the side of their airstream!
As our neighbors had movie night Craig and I had a cup of coffee and chilled for the evening.
The 5-hour drive to Lake Havasu was pretty uneventful, for the most part. We listened to music, talked and took in the desert and mountain views sprinkled with the small towns here and there once we got out of the city.
Why do we push our limits and make ourselves uncomfortable? 🤷 Why? Anyone who knows me knows that I am one of those people who runs to the gas station to fill up when my gas tank is half full. ALWAYS. I am uncomfortable with less than a half tank of gas in my vehicles. If the gauge is down to a quarter tank I start to panic and my heart starts to race. Why? I don’t know. I have NEVER run out of gas; and don’t plan to.
So, it was my turn to drive. I drove for a couple hours on Highway 40. While driving I glanced at the fuel gauge and noticed that we needed fuel. We started looking for a gas station and happed upon one on the California side of the California / Arizona border; but the diesel fuel was $4.89/gallon! WHAT?! $4.89?! Ridiculous! Craig and I weighed our options. We had a quarter of a tank and about 30 more miles before the next gas station. In my head I was calculating; how much fuel does our tank hold? How many miles do we get to a gallon? Do we have enough fuel to get to the next gas station? Inside I was nervous but decided to take a chance and throw caution to the wind, so I kept driving.
About 15-miles after we passed the ridiculously priced gas station this warning light appeared on the dash! 😳 “Reserve fuel, drive to a gas station.”
OH MY GOD! My heart started racing, I felt panic rising up in my being. In my head I kept thinking “I have NEVER run out of gas” I have NEVER run out of gas!” I prayed; “Lord, please get me to a gas station.” Man, I was nervous! Well, we crossed over into Arizona and shortly thereafter we happened upon a Flying J. $2.38 a gallon! Hallelujah! Full tank. I. AM. RELIEVED. HAPPY. CA: $4.89 AZ: $2.38 what a difference!
Well, we continued down the highway and alas, signs for Lake Havasu! We arrived about 5:30 p.m. and were greeted by a nice group of folks ready to sign us in and escort us to our spot.
We settled in, I took a quick walk to stretch my legs and then I made dinner. Polska with sauteed onion, bell pepper and zucchini. YUM!
The evening blessed us with this spectacular view. After dinner Craig watched Netflix while I blogged. I’m tired, it was a stressful afternoon, (for me).😴 Craig was cool as a cucumber; as usual.🙃 Nighty-night.😍
As a kid I remember hearing “old folks” say how quickly time passes, “in the blink of an eye” they would say. Now, as an adult, a senior, I truly understand exactly what they meant. Time passes, ready or not.
On this journey we call life it is what we make of it. We build it. We shape it with our choices and decisions; good and bad. Where we are now is because of our past choices and decisions.
There is a song by Rod Stewart that I love; Young Turks. Some of the lyrics are: “Life is so brief, time is a thief when you’re undecided. Like a fist full of sand it will slip right through your hands. Young Hearts be free, tonight, time is on your side.” Rod summed it up very well! Time passes, ready or not.
Well, 36 years ago on December 10th Craig and I said “I WILL.” We promised to love💞 respect and support each other on this journey called life. Over these years our love, respect and friendship has flourished beyond what I could have ever imagined. We have developed into a very strong “team.” Whatever challenges life tosses our way we deal with; and celebrate our victories and blessings.
This year we celebrated our 36th Wedding Anniversary in Las Vegas, Nevada with friends Skip and Yasmine Davis. We dined, explored, caught a show, visited with family and friends, and laughed, ALOT!
Life is a BLESSING. Family and friends multiply the love and beauty in this world. We all have a time limit on this earth. Use time wisely. Be happy. Be kind. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Take a chance and fall in love. I did.❤💝
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US.💝💌😍 We are looking forward to many, many more happy years together!
For some reason the text from Mortimer Farms didn’t post.🤷♀️
We are members of Harvest Hosts, an organization for RVers. Their annual fee provides an overnight stay at hundreds of locations across the country consisting of farms, wineries, museums and golf courses. There are no hook ups, just a safe place to park and sleep for the night. They only ask that you patronize the host and purchase something from them as a thank you. I joined Harvest Host in December and had yet had the opportunity to use one. Well, I found a Harvest Host in Dewey called Mortimer Farms. It is customery to call the host to let them know you are coming, which I did, but it was after their business hours and they were closed; so I left a voicemail message and we headed to the Farm. When we arrived it was dark. We drove around the gravel lot and found a place for the night under some trees at the edge of the lot. We slept very well.😴 Early in the morning we heard voices, cars and busses. It turned out that a portion of the lot that we parked in was a school bus drop off point, so it was busy bright and early at 7 a.m. We watched and listened to the cars, kids, parents and busses scurrying along. After the morning hub-bub, around 8 a.m. I walked over to the Mortimer Farms store for a fresh brewed cup of coffee while Craig finished getting ready for the day.
Mortimer Farms has a children’s play area, strawberry fields, a corn maze, dance barn and they host social events in their barn. It’s a hoppin’ little place!🕺💃🤠
As I roamed the store with coffee in hand the staff greeted me and provided some history on the farm. It sits on about 300 acres and is a family run business. They can their own veggies and make their own jams and butters. They have a honey farm on premesis too.
By this time Craig had joined me. After surveying the market he decided to purchase some strawberry butter and Sweet Potato butter – not too sweet and perfect for his toast with coffee.
I purchased some body butter and some “bacon” flavored lip balm. Bacon? You say? I am a big bacon fan, so I just had to.😁 🤣😂 The body butters had some interesting names like “Lime in the Coconut” “Cowboy” 🤠and “Beetle-juice Patchouli,” but the funniest names were “Monkey Farts’ and “Lions Breath.” LOL🤣😂🤣😂
Of course they had run out of the funny named body butters so I bought honey almond. I should note that they all smelled good!👍
Traveling is always fun. I love to get out and explore familiar and unfamiliar destinations. Traveling in an RV provides that extra comfort and convenience of being able to stop for a nap, open the fridge for a cool beverage or make a sandwich. It is a blessing and is far more exciting than travelling in a car – for me anyway.
We got home late Wednesday afternoon and unpacked. Packing for the trip is always more exciting that getting back home and unpacking. We typically clean Shorty up inside and out as soon as we get home, but for now he is just getting unloaded. Tomorrow he will get scrubbed inside and out.
“LIVING IN ARIZONA”
I was so excited about our trip to Arizona to explore Prescott, Prescott Valley and some of the surrounding cities. I have been following a Facebook group and You Tube Channel, called “Living in Arizona.” The host, Jeff, is a resident and seems to know all things Arizona. His You Tube channel has a library of various episodes covering almost any and every subject about Arizona. His Facebook group with 2.4K members is also very interactive and informative. Arizona resident members have a wealth of knowledge and are so helpful in responding to those of us, not yet residents. Jeff is pretty cool, knowledgeable and a funny guy. In following “Living in Arizona” Jeff has provided enough information for me that I can weed out cities that I don’t need to explore primarily because of the weather. It seems that central Arizona speaks to my husband and I more so than the Phoenix area (too hot) or the Flagstaff area (too cold). We like the idea of temperate weather; and Prescott and the surrounding cities provide just that – they are just right.
Our adventure to Arizona began last Thursday afternoon. My previous post showed the traffic as we were heading to the Arizona Border. Even though the evening was upon us, we could feel that desert heat as we passed thru the Palm Springs and Palm Desert areas. A trip that typically takes two hours took us three and a half with all of that traffic. Since we had a late start we decided to find a place to spend the night once we hit the Arizona border. We opted for the Rest stop in Ehrenberg, AZ, a border town just before Quartzsite. (We have slept at Rest Stops before. We always feel safe, but they are a little on the noisy side. BUT if you are tired, they will do the trick.) OMG it was so hot! The outside temp was 102 and before we cooled it down, the inside of our rig was 96 degrees! We slept with the generator on all night to keep it cool. Between listening to the generator all night and the big rigs coming and going, it was not a great night’s sleep, but we did get enough rest to continue our adventure. We woke up at the crack of dawn and hit the road.
The sun was shining and it was a beautiful morning. We stopped in Quartzite for coffee with our sites set on exploring the new Dorn Community in Wickenburg. I love the long stretches of desert highway along the 95. It’s dry. No one waters or cares for the land, yet in the distance one can see the blooming cactus, some bearing fruit, the little desert bushes and occasional wildlife. Man can come in and build and shape the land, but once he leaves, nature takes over. Nature finds a way, it always does; nature rules! The desert is sparse, but beautiful in it’s own right. On the 60 between Vicksburg and Wickenburg one can notice the changing terrain and smell the difference in the air. The soil smells richer, almost like compost; don’t know why, but I could smell the soil. Besides the RV parks dispersed here and there, there are a few random homes along the road. Who would choose to live in such a desolate place? and why? I ask myself.
It was at least 100 degrees as we approached Wickenburg. The Dorn model homes were cute, but far too close to each other. There wasn’t much by way of amenities in the town according to the locals.
We stopped in a Denny’s for breakfast and there we met some locals who shared their thoughts. “It is a great retirement town, but if one doesn’t golf or ride horses, there is not much to do.” The gentleman continued stating that they had to drive to the next town for any major shopping. There was one little grocery store, but no Costco, Target or Walmart. He and his wife were happy there because it was a little sleepy town and they had friends there. Turns our Wickenburg was not our cup of tea, plus it was tooo hot.
We arrived in Prescott early afternoon and explored some of the new Dorn home builds and walked through lots of model homes. The model homes are so beautifully decorated; they were quite impressive. Ideally we want to park Shorty on our property but learned that it is not allowed at many of the new builds. There was one home model that would build an RV garage, (Pronghorn Ranch)to the tune of about 60K, which was the only way to keep Shorty at home with us. The others offered off sit RV parking facilities. Well, It looks like we will have to find an established neighborhood with a long driveway or room for Shorty at the side of the house on our land.
The Dorn homes boast “The Organic Home.” They are well built and ventilated. We checked out the following Dorn home builds: Walden Farms, Shadow Ridge at Pronghorn, Talking Rock, and Vistas at the Dells in Prescott. Other Dorn homes we checked out were in Prescott Valley, and Cottonwood. They were all nice, BUT the Pronghorn Ranch is the only community that would build an RV garage.
We arrived at Mark and Roxanne’s home on Friday. They are friends that feel more like family. Roxanne had our room ready; even though we could park on their property and sleep in Shorty….we don’t, they have plenty of room. She and Mark had a tough week and Craig and I were tired. We went out for a bite and caught up. There is always so much to talk about. The next morning Roxanne had breakfast and coffee ready when we got up. During breakfast we discussed our plans of exploring the vicinity. But before we started exploring we hit the Farmer’s market. It was a nice size farmers market with the usual items; fruit, veggies, specialty items and foods to try along with a local beef supplier; Broken Horn D Ranch; http://www.BHDRanch.com. We purchased some ribeye steaks for dinner. While there it started to rain; and then pour. Before you knew it, people were clamoring for the vendor tents to avoid from getting soaked. The rain would stop and then start again, like in Hawaii. It was a hot and rainy, but good day with friendly people.
We did some exploring in the afternoon. Roxanne, being a proud resident for 30+years had much input on the areas we explored. She drove us around and acted as a tour guide offering history and information on the various neighborhoods, housing projects, builders, things to do, and places to shop. She was quite a little gold nugget for us! The information she shared was invaluable. We looked on Zillow and Realtor for homes meeting our specifications and drove around checking out various neighborhoods. It was a busy day. We grilled the steaks for dinner along with some veggies. After dinner we played cards – Phase 10 – and did a lot of laughing.
Sunday we did some more exploring and drove around more neighborhoods looking at homes. Another busy day. The Matthew’s neighbor, 91 year old Kitty is downsizing and selling her home. She was gracious enough to let us take a look at it. The land surrounding her home was great with some nice boulders and plenty of space between her and her neighbors and on a quiet street! The home was cute, but outdated and would require lots of upgrades but it had a really cool detached artist/craft building and a couple of little Zen and fairy gardens. There was plenty of room to park Shorty on the property. Later that evening we had the pleasure of having dinner with Mark and Roxanne’s three beautiful little grandchildren. We could easily see that these kiddos are the “apples of their eyes.”
CAMP VERDE, COTTONWOOD & DEWEY-HUMBOLDT
After breakfast, Monday morning we bid our farewells to the Matthews, with our sights set on Camp Verde, Cottonwood, Dewey-Humboldt, and Payson. First stop, Camp Verde. The mountain drive to Camp Verde was beautiful, and about 45 minutes from Prescott. As we approached the town, I could see the green valley below. I saw a winding river, lots of green pastures, cows, roads and hiking trails. What a picturesque little town, I thought to myself. It was so cute. We drove down the main street and found a little local coffee house called “Thanks Alatte,” they also sold sandwiches, smoothies and pastries. We each got a latte and chatted with a couple of locals who were sitting on a cozy brown couch talking. One of them was the town reporter for the local paper who was very proud to share some of the town history with us. The gentleman who he was speaking with could have easily been Kurt Russell’s TWIN. All he needed was a bigger, handlebar mustache and he could have doubled for him in the movie “Tombstone.” They told us of some expansion projects and how the town is looking for entrepreneurs to help grow the town. Turns out that both gentlemen were from California – 0ne from Riverside and the other from La Jolla. They moved there yearning for a smaller slow paced town. They found it! And are very happy there. The reporter shared that there are land lots for sale for prospective cattle and those wishing to do some farming. They encouraged us to take a ride to visit the towns of Strawberry and Payson, except that we were heading the other way to Cottonwood when we left them.
Sidebar: When we were chatting with these gentlemen, our friends the Carey’s came to mind. They are a very entrepreneurial young couple. He has a desire to raise cattle, chickens and grow their own food. They both bake AMAZING Keto/sugar free desserts and are super healthy. This lifestyle would suite them nicely. In my head I could see them living in this little idealic town with us driving over the mountain to visit and bring them supplies and what not from Prescott. LOL, I have a very vivid imagination!
After leaving Camp Verde we headed over to Cottonwood, just southwest of Sedona. We’d been to Cottonwood before with Mark and Roxanne so it was a little familiar. We drove around a bend and I saw the coolest store called the “Hippie Emporium” I had to go inside and look, so Craig pulled over. I jumped out and took a couple of pix and then went inside. It was like stepping back in time, into the 60’s with tye-dyed t-shirts, incense, lotions, dresses, headbands, hats, scarves, pipes and so much other paraphernalia. Almost anything one could think of from the 60’s hippie era was in this store. It was fascinating! The owner came out from a back room to greet me. As she pushed the tapestry aside I could see that she was a slender woman, with two long braids wearing a head band, tye-dyed dress and flip flops. Such a stereotypical hippie. She must have been in her 70’s. She was the coolest lady and gave me a quick tour and a little history about some of the items. She was especially proud of her hemp and cannabis products. She said that if I needed anything that her grandson, Clay could help me. He was blonde, tall and slender, maybe early 30’s, standing in the background listening to her and waved when she mentioned his name. I must have been in there about 20 minutes – Craig opted to stay in the RV. I thanked her for her time and waved to Clay and headed out of the store back to 2019.
It was early evening and we were hungry, so we opted to stop for dinner at the Colt Grill that boasts delicious BBQ. The staff was friendly and the food was good. We took a little walk through town before we left Cottonwood. I noticed that their City Hall was a little store front building, truly a small town. After our walk we headed to Dewey-Humboldt.
We hopped on the 69, 89, 71, 60 and finally the 10 taking us to the Arizona/California border. Each highway offered different scenery. While on the 89 we stopped at the Granite Mountain Hot Shots Memorial State Park, near Yarnell, where 19 members of an elite fire fighting team died on June 30, 2013, while fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire. The park opened on November 30, 2016, and had over 18,000 visitors in its first year. We stopped to pay homage and say a prayer for the families. There was a picture of the Hot Shots just prior to the fire – most of them were in their 20’s and 30’s.😭
The mountain roads provided beautiful views of the valley below and the desert skies provided beautiful blue skies and white fluffy clouds.
We crossed the border and decided to spend the night at Hidden Beaches RV Resort in Blythe, CA. The resort honored Good Sam; so for one night it was $38.61 for electric and water hook ups. Hidden Beaches RV resort is quite the little gem with RV sights right on the water. It was a very peaceful night’s sleep as the river rolled by. The next morning I took a walk to explore the facility. I spied the bathrooms, showers and a laundry room; all very clean. By the boat launch area there is a little park with cement tables and umbrellas. It seemed like a nice place to hang out on a hot afternoon while sipping a cool libation. There was even a little thatched umbrella with table in the water.
This place was a hidden gem.
We didn’t make it to Payson or Strawberry, AZ this trip; maybe next time. We have our sights on Prescott.
Well, Shorty got washed inside and out today and he is ready for his next adventure.
So, Craig and I have had several conversations on where we’d like to relocate.
We have been traveling with Shorty and have ruled out several states mainly because of the weather. We are both California natives and DO NOT like the snow…yea its ok to visit for a couple of days, but to live in? That is a FIRM “NO” from both of us. We are better with the heat – NOT humidity, but dry heat. Hence our search.
Craig is easy. As far as “location” goes, he doesn’t want extreme heat, extreme cold or snow and the ability to park our RV on our property. Also, we agree that we’d like to experience MILD four seasons. 😉 I agree with his list and would add the following: Nature and hiking trails nearby. LESS congestion, meaning vehicular traffic, less of a concrete jungle, a smaller home town feel, friendly community and some space between my home and my neighbors. Ideally, I would love a quarter to a half acre of land for gardening and some fruit trees. BUT, have the city amenities we are acustom to; Costco, Trader Joe’s, restaurants and a movie theater within a reasonable distance.
Well, we think we found a city we can agree on that holds many of our wants; Prescott, AZ. 🏜😁
So, We are taking Shorty on an expedition to visit Prescott, Prescott Valley and and some surrounding communities to explore various neighborhoods, homes,🏡 etc. Zillow has been a great resource, but now it’s time to actually get into these neighborhoods and do some exploring. I am so excited!😁👏
We plan to take a random week EACH MONTH to visit Arizona and explore neighborhoods AND experience the weather changes. Such an exciting time in our lives.👏👏😁
We are on the 91 East, leaving L.A. THIS PIC HERE IS THE MAIN REASON I WANT OUT OF CALIFORNIA. Traffic here is NO JOKE.😑
Late post. In July we took our 17 year old twin grandsons, (Reign and Remil) to Royal Palms for the day. We had a great day and talked about going camping with “Shorty.” Well, here we are here camping at Silverwood Lake.😊
Sunday I spent the day taking inventory; making a list of what supplies we needed and planning a menu for four. Monday I hit the grocery store and started pulling things together. The boys love spaghetti, so I made a big pot. Toilet tissue, check. Paper towels, check. Towels, sunscreen, water shoes, clothes, toiletries, check.
We got up early Tuesday morning and began the process of loading Shorty up. Craig always remembers to turn the refridgetator on for me the night before, thank goodness!! The refrigerator is the last to be filled. We arrived Tuesday afternoon.
Lots of dragon flies; beautiful florescent blue and a deep red orange. The flies and mosquitos are relentless. I think they have built an immunity to this bug spray. They fly by and land on us as if to say “HA! That doesn’t phase us!” And proceed to biting.
The scenery is beautiful. The lake peaceful. The sun is warm, even hot at times but the breeze flows by like a whisper to cool us. The warm sun kisses my skin and makes it warm to the touch, but it feels good and I welcome it. My skin is getting a little more golden brown with each hour I bask in this sunshine.
We explored the lake and its ameneties. It is a popular place to spend quality family time. Music filled the air as we walked around taking in the sights. Families were grilling, swimming and enjoying the music and conversation. As we explored, we discovered the Silverwood Lake rental office. Fortunately for us, they rent pontons, small fishing boats and jet skis! We inquired about renting a pontoon to take the boys fishing the next day.
We headed back to camp to relax for the evening.
Wednesday morning we were up bright and early and headed to the Silverwood rental office to secure a pontoon. Unfortunately they were all gone, so we had to wait until one was returned. So, we drove to another part of the lake for the boys to do some fishing from the beach. They found a cool sand bar, so we grabbed our chairs and headed over to hang out for a few hours. On one side of the sand bar, one of the boys set up some catfish traps. Afterwards, they set up their fishing poles to try some fishing from the other side of the sand bar. Unfortunately, they were not successful, so they decided to take a swim. About noon we drove to the other side of the lake to get the pontoon. The boys were so excited!
As we approached the rental office the boys chatted about stategies to catch some fish. The excitement was brewing. Once we secured the pontoon and loaded up the boys fishing gear, bait and a bucket for the fish the boys were ready to go!
Craig was our captain; and we cruised around the lake as the boys pointed out places they wanted to drop their lines in hopes of catching some dinner for us.
As Craig headed in the direction that the boys pointed, they got their lines ready with bait, little stinky fish and worm, yuck! They dropped their lines. After a little while they started getting some bites.
While they were waiting patiently, I received a call from my older brother, Rick, who was in the area and stopped by the lake!
We went back to the dock to pick him and his bike up to join us for a ride around the lake. While chatting away with him the boys started to get bites! Well, we were on the lake for about 4 hours. They caught four fish. The time didnt’ matter to them. The fact that they caught fish did! It was getting late so we had to return the pontoon. The boys were eager to get back to camp to prepare the fish for dinner.
Well, we got back to camp and the boys cleaned, gutted, fillet, seasoned and cooked the fish. It was enough for everyone to have a taste.
Fortunately, I brought speghetti for dinner. My brother stayed until dark and then went home. We retired for the evening and left the next morning.
It was blessing spending time with our grandsons. They have grown into some handsome, responsible, caring and funny young men.
Craig and I have a standing date day. When I was working I worked a 4/40 schedule (Monday – Thursday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. – off EVERY Friday.) For several years EVERY Friday was our “date day.” Our date day is simple: walks at the beach, a movie, a meal out, a bike ride, a hike. It’s a day for us to spend together without the interruption of business. Period.
After we got married, we started “dating” again years ago when our girls were younger. 👨👩👧👧 We realized that our relationship could be compromised if we did not “stay in touch” so-to-speak, you know, make time for us – without the kids. With the day-to-day life of working, making a living, raising kids, helping with homework, keeping the house, cooking, laundry, paying the bills, taking classes, etc., it is so easy to lose touch with your spouse. We were determined NOT to lose touch or grow apart. When our girls were younger and we were not financially able to get away for a weekend, or even a night, we would send the girls to their grandmother’s OR allow them to spend the night at a friend’s house. We did this about once a month. This would give Craig and I the alone time that we needed at home to reconnect. On those nights we would pick up some dinner, light the fireplace, throw a blanket on the floor for some romance or pick up some dinner and just watch a movie, or just talk. The point being; we were alone, together. It was important time for us. It has worked quite well for our relationship; we have been married for 35 ½ years. 💑
Well, since I retired in December and we are both considered seniors now, we’ve changed date day to Tuesday. Why? Because we could, AND the theater offers senior discount rates on Tuesdays! A mid-week date day just seemed to make sense. So, today was our date day – we took Shorty to the beach.
I suggested we take Shorty and our bikes to the beach for a ride. We parked at Torrance Beach and rode our bikes to Manhattan Beach on the Strand. The Strand is a paved bike path that runs alongside the beach from Torrance to Santa Monica.
We have ridden our bikes from Torrance to Dockweiler State beach a couple years ago, and years before that have even ridden as far as Santa Monica Beach, but today we opted for a shorter easy ride; round trip was only about 12 miles.
The weather was PERFECT for a beach ride; it was warm with a nice breeze, the sun was shining, but not too hot. We could tell that summer is in full swing. 🌞 There were summer👶 camps galore; beach ⛑safety classes, volleyball🏐 camps, kids day camps, and surf 🏄♂️🏄♀️camps. The beaches were filled with families enjoying the sun, surf and 🏊♂️ sand; little ones were building sand 🤴👸 castles while the older kids were splashing in the waves and body 🧜♀️🧜♂️surfing. The adults sat in their chairs sipping libations 🥤keeping an eye on their little ones. Further down the beach were the teens and young adults playing volleyball🏐 and practicing their serves with their not yet tanned little bodies. Others were laying in the sand chatting on their phones working on their tans.👙 It was a typical day at a Southern California beach with everyone appearing to enjoy themselves.Craig and I rode past and enjoyed these beach scenes. 🌊⛱.
It was about one in the afternoon and neither of us had eaten any breakfast, so we stopped for lunch at the Good Stuff on the Strand; a little beachside eatery that offers healthy fare and vegan options. We chose a table outside to enjoy the sun and people watch. My fish tacos were delish and Craig’s taco salad looked really tasty!
Sidebar: I don’t know about you, but when I ride my bike my butt starts to hurt about a half hour in. We both have a decent sized seats and a “gel seat cover” to boot. 🚲 I give profs to those that can ride their bikes hours on end. Maybe I should buy some of those padded “bike” shorts… hum🤔…. Anyway, that lunch stop was a welcome break from the bike seat. 😂🤣😁
After lunch we continued on the bike path to Manhattan Beach. It was a real nice relaxing ride; we took our time and enjoyed the sights and the sun.
Manhattan Beach Pier.
The “famous” Tony’s on the pier at Redondo Beach, CA
Colorful steps at Redondo Beach
Redondo Beach pier. We rode about 12 leisurely miles total.
We got back to Shorty about 4 p.m. We grabbed our chairs and set them beside Shorty.
Craig grabbed his book, planted himself in his chair and began reading. I hung with Shorty for a while and then decided to join Craig outside and grabbed my stack of magazines that I hadn’t yet read: Costco, Westways and AARP. 😁 It was a nice, warm afternoon. Perfect weather.
Me soaking up some sunshine.
As we relaxed and read a few people approached and asked about Shorty. One lady shared that she and her husband have been talking about getting an RV but were not sure which one to get. She loved Shorty’s sleek style and colors and was so intrigued that I gave her a tour inside. She asked if I’d rent it out, “NO” 😊 with a smile, was my reply. I suggested she google companies that rent RV’s and attend RV shows to help her decide what she might like.
We packed up and left the beach just before 7. It was a great date day. 💑
I have to admit, my butt is still a little sore from that bike seat. 🤭😆🤣😂
My FAVORITE QUOTE: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” Anonymous
The boys, our 17-year old TWIN grandsons are in town, visiting from Arizona. We have three daughters, a granddaughter and “the boys.” Craig was really happy when the boys came along because for years he was the only male in the house; even our two cats Cali and Boots are female.🐱🐱
When the boys are in town we like to make it a point to spend some quality time with them. So, I sent them a text and asked if they would like to hang out with their grandparents and Shorty at the beach. I was happy 😁🥰 to get a big “Yes.” As 17-year old boys who are into basketball, video games and themselves one never knows if they want to hang out with two adults in their 60’s… grandparents or not.
When the boys were much younger we used to take them to Royal Palms in San Pedro, CA; affectionately referred to as “the Rocky Beach.” It is a beach located at the bottom of a paved road, but it is not your typical sandy beach. The south side of Royal Palms has tide pools, a small beach area and a small sand bar. On the North side of the beach there is a large concrete slab at the foothills where a few old weather worn concrete picnic tables sit in a strategic row with a few fire pits here and there. The area was once lined with palm trees of which several are no longer there. The area now is pretty worn and unkept, with a few palms, but it is still a big draw due to it’s proximity to the ocean. It is a very relaxing place to hang out, take a walk or explore. Occasionally the waves get pretty nice and surfers could be seen sitting out in the ocean waiting for that perfect ride. There are seagulls and pigeons a plenty, and occasionally one can see dolphins, whales, seals, sailboats, barges and an occasional cruise ship off in the distance.
Sidebar: When I was a teenager Royal Palms used to be THE place for kids to hang out in the summer and on the weekends during the school year. Girls would watch the boys surf, and would hang around in their bikinis and cheer for the boys when they caught a good wave. It was THE place to hang out; if you were a popular kid. We didn’t have a mall, but we had a couple of beaches! Me; I wasn’t one of those kids. I was the kid who used to hang out at the library, read books, strive for “A’s” and ride my bike to Cabrillo Beach. I used to hear stories in the school hallways by the lockers from the girls bragging about who they “hooked up” with over the summer. I really didn’t care, that much, I always had a good book and a couple of good friends.
I do, however, have very fond memories of hanging out at Royal Palms with my dad and brothers on the weekends as kids. We would search the tide pools for starfish, anenomies, crabs, abalone and hermit crabs. We were never allowed to bother the ocean life or take any living creature home – only an occasional rock or shell. We would walk along the rocks and talk or just sit and watch and listen to the ocean. My dad would drop pearls of wisdom on me like: “Life is not fair, get used to it” and “Rules were made to be broken.” Much of what he shared didn’t make sense until I was much older…especially about breaking the rules. 🤔 My dad was a rebel indeed. I remember asking him why he wouldn’t let us take a starfish or crab home. I could hear his words in my head: he said “Mija (daughter in Spanish) if everyone took one of these creatures home there wouldn’t be any left for your kids to see, and besides they would die in a couple of days because they would be out of their element.” Those were special moments with my dad, memories burned in my head and my heart. He sure was right! The tide pools and rocks have been stripped bare; raped by people wanting to take a bit of the ocean home with them. Now a days, it is a rare sight to see a starfish on the rocks at the tide pools. My dad was right. It’s so sad.😔
My dad and us kids. Brothers Rick (me) and Bob. ANYWAY, Tuesday morning we got Shorty ready and loaded the fridge up with links, hot dogs and brauts to grill along with the fixin’s, some fruit, chips, guacamole, salsa, corn on the cob and some cucumber spears. We picked up the boys and headed out to Royal Palms, AKA “the Rocky Beach.” We arrived and leveled Shorty and settled in on the North side of the beach. The boys each got comfortable one in the bed in the back and the other hopped on the overhead bed each with their phones in hand and began playing a game.
Craig and I looked at each other and took a walk. “This is not why we are here” I said to Craig. I wanted to spend time and talk with them, but didn’t want to force it. When we returned from our walk one of the boys looked at us and said “let’s take a walk.” My heart lept with joy! So we locked Shorty up and began walking on the North side toward the palm trees.
The boys found a trail on the hill to explore.
The four of us walked across the rocks and the boys went closer to the ocean near a little tide pool looking for hermit crabs and other sea life.
I enjoyed watching them enjoy the ocean; it reminded me of when they were little – 8 year olds – searching the rocks for ocean life. Even though I was happy watching them, I was also saddened because they were robbed of the beauty and ocean life I was able to experience as a child. The only way they will get to experience and see a tide pool the way I did as a child, would be at an aquarium.😔
Craig stayed a little closer and snapped pictures of them as they searched the tide pools. I gave them space because, well, sometimes boys just want to talk to a man, so I kept my distance and snapped pix of the three of them.
We mosied on the rocks even further. The boys moved from one tide pool to another. I just watched them.
It started getting windy and colder so Craig went back to hang out with Shorty. I continued watching the boys for a bit and then closed my eyes and listened to the waves reminiscing about my time here as a child with my dad.
I decided to take a seat and look for shells. I didn’t see many so I decided to stack some stones and make some rock art.
The boys saw me building my masterpiece and decided to join me. Mine was complete so I helped them search for flat rocks of all sizes for their three pillar work of art.
Their rock castle had three towers complete with a little flag and some shell decorations.
Remil built another single rock tower. We left behind a total of five rock towers for future visitors to enjoy.
We said very few words but thoroughly enjoyed this moment occasionally looking at each other and just smiling as we stacked the rocks. (It was one of those moments that just took my breath away. Moments. Life is made up of moments.) After they completed their castle we took pix and walked back to Craig and Shorty.
Nature finds a way.
In the dry dirt and salty sea spray a little succulent has taken up residence and even bloomed little pink flowers. Like I always say, nature will find away.
Craig was reading when we returned. Shortly after we settled back in Craig said he was hungry; the boys chimed in that they were hungry too. Craig set the grill up and we grilled some dogs, buns and corn on the cob.
We sat in the comfort and warmth of our RV and enjoyed our meal together. We chit-chatted and laughed.
While we were grilling our food a wedding party arrived and had begun to set up for a reception down the way by the palms. A bride, groom, photographer and family members were talking and laughing heading toward the picnic tables at the north end by the palm trees. They had a 6-foot sandwich, some chicken and some coolers. Toward the end of our meal we could hear and see them leaving as they walked past us and Shorty. We could tell they had been drinking because they were loud and arguing. Seriously, some people just should NOT drink, anywhere. Ever. Anyway they all left without incident.
After we finished our meal, put the food away, and cleaned the kitchen we played our favorite card game, Phase 10. The boys had never played it, but were willing to learn. With the cellular devices down, we played cards. It was some real good, organic quality time. We laugh, teased and laughed some more. During the game one of the boys spied some fins in the ocean off in the distance. We were not sure if they were dolphins or whales; but there was definitely a pod of something out there…. we are inclined to think that they were dolphins. Occasionally we’d see a few fins rising and falling in the ocean every now and again while we played cards. It was a cool sight but they were too far to get a good pic. And, unfortunately, it was overcast so we didn’t get to see the sun set either. Well, as the game progressed I asked the boys if they would be interested in joining their grandparents on a camping trip for a couple of days. I didn’t get a clear response, so we kept playing. Well, we had to cut the game short because the beach was due to close at 8:30 p.m. and it was already 8:15. We packed up, secured everything and off we went. One of the boys suggested we stop for ice cream or smoothies on the way home; we stopped at Yogurtland.
As we said our goodbyes with hugs and kisses, they asked, “So when are we going camping?” I told them that I would look at a couple of lakes where they could fish and get back with them. They like to fish.
On the ride home I reflected on our day. It was a GOOD day with our boys and shorty; we made some memories and I had some moments that took my breath away… isn’t that what life is all about? 🥰
First, I want say Happy Memorial Day. THANK YOU to all of the Veterans and families who sacificed their lives for this country. We appreciate your sacrifice and service. We salute you.
We got home from our 20-day adventure on Friday, 5/24/19. We traveled a total of 4,138.5 miles and visited eight states; California; Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Arizona. It was an interesting and eye- opening journey. We saw the ocean, mountains, forests, prairies, gardens, valleys, plains, deserts, lakes, snow, rain, hail, lots of bridges, volcanos, boiling mud, geysers, hot springs, elk, bison, deer, cows, goats, sheep, chickens, donkey, llama, road runners, squirrels, butterflies, an eagle and more. Very happily we didn’t experience many flies or mosquitos. 😁 YAY!
We saw some of the most amazing sunsets and experienced the most spectacular moon rise ever in MY lifetime! It was AMAZING.
That particular moonrise, in Utah, in the desert, on a plateau was an emotional experience for me. It was so beautiful and an amazingly tranquil moment that the four of us that were talking, just stopped, and watched the moon rise. The sky was so very clear and blue and the moon was full. It was one of those moments in life that takes your breath away because it is so beautiful and tranquil. I will always remember and treasure that moment as a gift that I was able to experience with two other very cool couples; Matthew, Rachel and Chris and Lea, who appreciated the beauty of the moment as much as I did. That was my FAVORITE moment on our entire journey. Unfortunately, we didn’t experience many sunrises; as we typically slept thru them.
We drove on some of the most twisty-turny, narrow mountain roads, and experienced some of the WINDIEST stretches of highway that were reminiscent of our drive across some of the southern states in January. We met some of the kindest, friendliest and helpful people along this journey.
We visited with friends in Penn Valley, CA and Prescott, AZ, and we made new friends; Matthew and Rachel in Utah. These visits and meeting new people have been one of the most rewarding benefits in our travels.
SIDEBAR: We have to admit that before we began traveling, YEARS ago, we both had certain preconceived notions about people in other states, and some people in general. Growing up in Los Angeles, in less than stellar neighborhoods, as minorities, one develops certain defense mechanisms and are suspicious of people different than you. Certain prejudices and sterotypes were developed as we watched the news, TV shows and witnessed injustices in our neighborhoods growing up. One developes defenses and suspicions if someone is nice….”what do they want?” “why are they being nice?” we ask ourselves. I am happy to say that traveling has broken and proven our preconceived notions to be grossly incorrect and in fact, ignorant. We had to “drop our rocks” so to speak and let our defenses down. When we did this we REALIZED that people are genuinely GOOD across this country. In my heart of hearts I have always believed that there are more good and kind people in this world than there are bad. The more I travel, the more I see that we, people, are the same all over. We are more alike than we are different. People just want to be happy, loved and take care of their families. Period.
Traveling has proven to be a growing and learning experience for us, as I’m sure it is for most. Travel is so very beneficial and rewarding and I have loved every minute of it and look forward to many more adventures.
Like I said, we got home Friday and unpacked. Saturday was laundry day, and giving shorty a much needed bath, inside and out. I cleaned the inside and Craig the outside.
Shorty, nice and clean.
Sunday was church and a family gathering. Today, Monday, I organized my maps and highlighted the routes we took on each state map and then highlighted the routes on my US map. (I like to track where we have been). So far we have visited 18 states….we have 32 more to visit.😳😁
Sidebar: the Goodyear blimp resides in Carson , CA
Other than a few day trips here and there I’m not sure yet when we will hit the road for another 3 or 4 week run.
This may be my last post for a while, as our day-to-day life is rather low key, borderline boring. 😉 We are both retired. We take walks, go to the gym, movies, or beach, have an occasional game night with family and friends, and handle the day-to-day chores of a household. We may take a hike or bike ride if it’s sunny. We lead pretty low key happy lives.💗🥰😁
Although, I am looking into volunteering as a summer seasonal worker at a National Park….I’ll keep y’all posted on that!😁👍
We ended up moving last night about 11 p.m. because it was way toooo noisy between the two big rigs. (Don’t know what we were thinking.🤔) Sounded like they had their generators or their engines running, not sure, but we had to move. Turns out, up the street Denny’s and Flying J share RV parking for travellers. Yay!!
My view this morning. Look at that sunshine.😎🌞
I woke up well rested ready to push on. The sun is shining!! Oh how I have missed the sun warming my face!! I have not felt the sun on my face like this since we left Larry and Donna’s house in Penn Valley, CA on May 9th. Oh, WELCOME, WELCOME, WARM SUNSHINE ON MY FACE!😆😎
A tidbit of info for my overseas followers: The city of Barstow serves as a popular midway point for drivers traveling betweenLos Angeles, California and Las Vegas, Nevada (aka Sin City) as well as Bullhead City/Laughlin.
We are heading south bound on the 15 to Los Angeles.
I spied this metal ice chest on the back of this jeep. I have not seen one in YEARS. Just thought it was an interesting sight.😉
California highway views.
Surprisingly the southbound highway is not too busy this morning… yet. Although the closer to the city we get I see the freeway getting busier heading the opposite direction. That stands to reason, it’s a holiday weekend. The weekend warriors will be out and about today.
Since our traveling style thus far consists of “flying by the seat of our pants” we wanted to be home before the warriors hit the road. I’m sure they’ve made reservations to their favorite getaway spots. We want to be off the road before all of that congestion and (possible) road rage hits. 🎭
As we passed through Bullhead City/Laughlin yesterday one could feel the energy and see the preparation in anticipation of the weekend crowds. Shiny, clean jestskis galore we’re lined up on several lots ready and waiting for the warriors arrival. Hotels were flashing their weekend specials, various stores had eye catching dispays in their windows. I spied several new advertising signs, some remodeling and fresh coats of paint. The town is ready for the invasion this holiday weekend.🥾👟🏊♂️🏊♀️🚗🚙
Bullhead City is ready, and waiting…
Nice mountain view as we get closer to the cities.
It’s still early, about 9:30 a.m. and the freeway looks like this.
I DID NOT MISS THIS TRAFFIC. The closer we get to our home town the thicker traffic is becoming.🥺🤪😖 I do not drive in this mess unless I absolutely have to. Craig does the majority of the driving. In fact, typically if we leave Carson, he drives.
This traffic is one of the main reasons I am so ready to leave the L.A. area (and the cost of living)…too many people have moved here.😑 It is far tooo congested.
OBSERVATION: We noticed a vast cost difference in fuel as we traveled. Diesel ranged from $2.99 to $4.99 / gallon and propane was $2.79 to $3.99. / pound. (I think its sold by the pound.) 🤯🤪 Of course, California is on the upper end of those scales.😖
Well, we are close to home.🏡 We stopped in Lakewood, the next town over, for a snack. Yang Chow 2 has the BEST slippery shrimp. The original Yang Chow is in China Town, downtown L.A. this is a mini version of the restaurant with limited menu items. But their most POPULAR menu item is their slippery shrimp. It is a little sweet and spicy. Delish!Alas, they were closed.😫 They don’t open until 11. Oh well, we are going home to unload.
It’s late morning and we unloaded the vital stuff; toiletries, clothes and food items. I will wash the fridge, stove, kitchen and clean the bathroom tomorrow. Shorty will get a good bath and the floors and rugs will be cleaned. Yea, shorty will get a good cleaning inside and out. Tomorrow.
After unloading the vital stuff we headed to lunch. We both wanted BBQ so we headed to Lucille’s BBQ Smokehouse in Torrance, CA. after a good lunch we are back home.
It is warm and sunny today in Carson. Ummm….🌞SUNSHINE. I have missed you.
I found one of our cats basking in sun in our backyard. We have two 14 year old cats; Cali and Boots, sisters. Neither of them came to me right away when I called them. They are a little skiddish around strangers. It took them a few minutes to warm up to me. They can be moody girls.😸😾
I’m here with Shorty finishing this post. This is where I come to write, think or when I just want some quiet or alone time. Shorty is MY LADY CAVE. He is the other guy who gets my time and attention. 🥰
Well, I guess I’ll strip the beds and go in the house and watch a movie with Craig.
We got up this morning to the smell of home made waffles, bacon and eggs, coffee and oj. 🥓🥚Our visit with Mark and Roxanne was great as usual. They are such gracious hosts. We feel more like family than guests. 🥰💝 That is a gift! Such great friends!!Before we left we had to refil our water bottles. Craig hooked up our Kangen Water machine in the laundry room and filled a few containers for the road.We will have this unit installed under the kitchen sink in Shorty so that we will always have our alkalized water available when we travel. But for now we hook it up as needed – at almost any sink.Thank you Mark and Roxanne for showing us around town. We had a GREAT time as always! Let’s work on that Alaskan cruise and that week in Utah at the Natiomal parks! Until next time.😁 🥰So far Arizona is high on our list of places to move to. We both like Prescott.😁👍On our way out of town we drove through the small town of Chino Valley to look at some homes. We stopped at the Chamber of Commerce and spoke with a volunteer about the community. She shared that most of the homes were built on an acre or so, which was nice. But like Roxanne said, the town lacked “charm.”😑Heading West on Highway 40 we see alot of open plains. Tut-tut, it looks like rain.🌧Saw the signs for Historic Route 66.No, we didn’t take Historic Route 66; we’ve driven it before. We opted for Highway 40, it’s a little more direct.Highway as far as we can see.We stopped in Kingman, AZ for dinner. Cracker Barrel has some GOOD fried chicken!Then from From Kingman to Bullhead city.Neither of us had been to these cities and took this route out of curiosity.Observation: In all of the states we visited we saw Dollar General, Family Dollar, & Dollar Tree stores. Hum, might have to look into their stock.🤔From Kingman to Buckeye City, AZ.Some dusk/evening views.Craig being the “destination driver” that he is was determined to get to Barstow, CA. It’s 10 p.m; we made it.We are in the Carle’s Jr. parking lot that provides RV n big rig spaces. We are parked between two big rigs. I didn’t drive but I am tired and a feeling a bit irritated.😫 I need some sleep.😴😴 g’night.😉
I was awakened this morning about 5 a.m. by strong winds rocking Shorty to and fro. It is COLD out. 🥶There is snow on the ground.
The William’s Arizona welcome sign.🖐
Last night we grabbed a bite at a little restaurant in town and walked around for a bit. IT WAS COLD!🥶
This morning I see the hotel parking lot we slept in is a Ramada Inn, shared with a Rodeo Restaurant & Sports Bar. Thank you from two weary travellers.
It’s almost 8 a.m. and the sun is shining bright, but it is still COLD outside.
I spy with my little eye a McDonald’s in the distance and a Latte with my name on it!! ☕😊
Destination today Prescott! 😁 Looking forward to our visit with friends Mark and Roxanne!! Haven’t seen them since January.
Sidebar: when traveling to different states one cannot predict what the weather may be. Sure, I checked the weather in the states and major towns I anticipated we’d visit. I checked annual averages, seasons, etc. but the weather was colder and much wetter than I anticipated. Fortunately we packed everything from coats, scarves and hiking boots, to flip flops, shorts and swimsuits. I guess what I’m saying is that we were ready for whatever Mother Nature threw our way. 😉 Although, I was hoping for a campsite with a jacuzzi or a natural hot spring to take a dip.😁We left Williams and headed to Sedona.
Here are a couple of videos, so you could feel like you are riding along with us. If u listen closly you could hear Craig whistling to the song “It’s working” by William Murphy.
Here is another video for your ride along pleasure.😁 watch this guy in the truck stop in front of us to make a left turn.😳
We entered the beautiful town of Sedona, but we could not find any RV parking so we drove around for a bit, then continued down the highway hunting for fuel.
More highway views.
We considered filling the tank in Williams, but the fuel cost was $3.99 a gallon.😳 At that point we were just above half tank which is my comfort level. Anything below half tank and I begin to feel like this: 😱😫🤯 anxious. We found a town between Sedona and Prescott that had fuel for $3.19 a gallon. By this time we were at a quarter tank. Can we say ANXIOUS? 😱 My wallet was happy we waited tho.😉
We stopped in Prescott Valley to dump our grey and black tanks and fill our propane tank. I spied this fun toy across the street.
This little four-seater beauty reminded me of the time we went Razor riding with our friends Carle and Joyce in Lone Pine.👍And then I saw this georgous red and black beast.
Shorty next to this gorgeous beast.
It is a beauty of a beast, but Shorty suites us just fine!🥰On to Prescott to see our friends!
We arrived at the home of our friends Mark and Roxanne. It was so nice to see them! We sat around the dining room table catching up, talking and laughing. We reminisced about the Panama Canal cruise and talked about taking an Alaskan cruise together. We then went for a ride around town and took a quick walk at Granite Dells Lake it was beautiful! It was cold or we would have stayed out there longer.
We got a tour of the Bucky’s Yavapai Indian Casino and enjoyed some beautiful city views. We sat in the lounge, enjoyed a glass of wine and laughed some more. We dined at a downtown Prescott restaurant and talked and laughed some more. We laugh ALOT when the four of us are together! It was getting late and we were tired. We got back to the house and hit the hay!
We slept in this morning. After a quick breakfast Roxanne and I went to the grocery store and then the 4 of us went for a ride to Jerome’s.
We explored and walked around this quaint little artsy, hippie town and chatted with some of the local artists. We were impressed with the Nelly Bly store. They claim to have the largest collection of kaleidoscopes for sale. They were quite impressive!
Craig peeking in one.
Here is a pic of us in kaleidoscope form. Just look really closely to see our photo. It was really cool!!
A local sculptor was working in the little studio behind Craig.
Map of the tiny town of artists.
Creativity. Cool sculpture.
This was an odd piece of art. An old cigarette machine. The doll heads were a little creepy.🤯
These were the steps heading down to the sculptor studio.
After Jerome we took a ride to the town of Cottonwood. It was a windy mountain ride back to the house.
Later in the evening we had dinner of cajun sausage and shrimp with veggies and cornbread. Delish!
Craig and Mark played a couple of games of pool downstairs.
We wrapped up the evening playing Phase 10, a card game.
Clearly I need more practice taking selfies…Craig was playing too but I accidently cut him off.😳
Our time with Mark and Roxanne is always so enjoyable! When we arrived Roxanne said “You know where your room is, make yourself at home.” And we do!! Such GREAT people. We all get along so well!! They are an added BONUS should we decide to move to Prescott. 😉😁
Well, our trip is winding down. 😫We will look at the map in the morning to see which route we will take back home to So. CA. We want to be back home before the Memorial Day traffic hits the road.
Sidebar: not sure why but the formatting gets a little wonky and runs together at times. I need to figure that out. Maybe because I have been using my phone rather than my laptop? IDK…
We spent the night in Bluff, UT at the Cadillac Ranch RV Park. It rained all night. It stopped about 5 this morning. I’ve gotta say, we have encounterd alot of rain 🌧since we left CA.🤔 However, the one good thing about all of this rain is that it’s washing the majority of the dead bugs off of Shorty’s face! 👍😉
Fixing breakfast of sausage and eggs this morning, this little tear drop was the view from my kitchen window.
To put it in perspective, I am 5’4″ and am as tall as this little guy. Oh, better yet, it’s about the size of a Volkswagen Beetle.🐞😁 It sure is cute!
We took a walk around camp b4 leaving and saw thousands of birds flying around the little marsh/pond in the center of camp. Look closely and listen, they sing so beautifully.
We saw this little bonfire area at the end of camp with a GREAT view.
The highway to Mexican Hat, UT. It was a one gas station town.
Mexican hat Rock.
More in Utah than in any other state have we come over a horizon and both have said “WOW!” with our mouths wide open.😲 Spectacular landscapes!!
The Cadillac Ranch Camp camp host suggested we take highway 163, and noted that between Mexican Hat and Monument Valley to look for a “Forest Gump” sign. He said that this is the portion of highway that Forest Gump ran down in the movie. We didn’t see the sign, but it was a nice stretch of highway.
We ran in to some rain, hail, winds and snow flurries on the highway. It was INTERESTING to drive thru these weather changes as we left Utah and entered Arizona. I took a couple of videos.😳
Snow flurrys in Tonalea, AZ
We saw this natural wind sculptured rock near the border of Utah and Arizona. The landscape is stunning.
As we traveled thru Utah and Arizona I saw many Native American families living in old motorhomes surrounded by plywood. It really hurt my heart and made me angry at the same time to see the Native American people living on THEIR land in such squalor and substandard conditions.😡 😭😫
It took me a few miles to get over this sight. I had to take some time to pray for the people, reflect on my life and thank God for how truly blessed I am. You see, I have about 49% of Native American blood running throughly my veins… I felt a connection. 😪
Moving forward, we spent the afternoon at the Grand Canyon taking in those breathtaking views.Too many pix to post. These were truly postcard views. It was about 36 degrees so we moved thru the sights quickly!On our way to Williams, AZ we saw the most incredible sunset and stunning desert sky.😲We ended up spending the night in a hotel parking lot near the highway along with a couple other RVers and a couple of big rigs. 😉
We arrived at our destination this morning and were met with a line of many other travellers waiting to enter the park. I am grateful that I purchased the Senior Park Pass! Being a senior citizen certainly has its perks!😁🧓👵Once in the park we saw the most AMAZING, BREATHTAKING and PICTURESQUE views!! Postcard worthy; the following pix are a tease and do no justice to what we got to experience.
This place is AMAZING. A must see.
As we were driving down the highway toward Moab there were some beautiful cloud formations. Craig said that some of them reminded him of the opening of the Simpson’s. 😂🤣 Here are a couple he spied. What do you think?🤔
Here is an interesting sight…Further down the highway we saw “A Hole in the Rock.”
Do you see that speck on the top right corner of the rock?
Look closely. A razor was up there! 😳
We drove through Moab and have deduced that Moab is an ATV, jeep and Razor city!! One can rent any of those vehicles, and there are an ABUNDANCE of trails to explore. The views spectacular as well.
It has been EXTREMELY WINDY since we left the Arches. Poor Shorty was being pushed to and fro!😳 It made me a bit nervous.😖 But then I remember that Craig is a retired professional package car driver and I have faith and confidence in his driving ability.😁
Sidebar: Now, I don’t frequent fast food places but I have heard that McDonald’s has good coffee from a few people. So, we stopped to grab a quick cup and I opted for the Vanilla Latte. OMG😳 I am a fan. ☕👍
Snow capped mountains have become a familiar site for almost the duration of our journey. They are quite beautiful. The weather these last several days has been in the 50’s and 40’s but the landscape has been so phenomenal that we can overlook the temperature, providing we are warm, cozy and snung with Shorty.👍
Sidebar: I wave 🙋♀️ at other RVers. 😁 Just sayin’. Craig used to look at me and shake his head.😂🤣 It doesn’t phase him anymore.😚 Most wave back.🖐
We have passed many sleepy little towns on this journey; some coastal, some mountain, some farmland. We have noticed a common thread, “Family Dollar” stores are in many of these little towns. Just an observation.
This is one of my FAVORITE pix from our journey so far, Shorty basking in the moonlight.
We woke up to, yep you guessed it, rain. After it stopped we walked to the Walmart to pick up some eggs and a few provisions.
We have stayed in alot of Walmart parking lots and will typically patronize the establishment and you know what?! I never see “those” interesting Walmart people referenced on Facebook. I always meet the friendliest, most helpful staff and generally friendly, normal looking people.😁 Idk about those Facebook posts… 🤔.
Some pix on our way to Arches National Park.The pix don’t do this landscape justice and I have way too many to share.
SIDEBAR: OH!! I forgot to mention that while we were at Yellowstone I spoke with a seasonal park ranger who told me about summer park ranger and other seasonal positions. He provided me with a website to look for potential seasonal jobs, and he gave me his email. He told me that they are always looking for retired seniors and college kids for seasonal positions. CHECK. ✅ This is something I will DEFINATELY LOOK INTO‼ #EXCITED.👍😁 I have wanted to be a park ranger for years. I have always said that if I had a do-over in life, I’d be a Park Ranger.🐿🐻🐏🦌🦝🦊
Arches National Park
We arrived at Arches National Park late afternoon and popped in the visitor center to take a look around. As we were walking to our rig we noticed a Winnebego View and stopped to take a look at it. Just as we hopped in our rig the owners of the View approached their vehicle and we started chatting and comparing notes. The four of us hit it off; the conversation flowed easily as we toured each others coaches. Matthew shared some knowledge with Craig about our TV and tips on how best to get service.
We learned that Matthew and Rachel are 10 months into their RV journey heading to NY to celebrate their nuptuals with family and friends.
They were on the hunt for a place to park their rig for the night as were we. So, we decided to camp together in Canyonlands National Park. There is plenty of (BLM) Bureau of Land Management land that provides free camping locations. We followed them to an off road location and turned off the paved road to a rocky dirt road and drove for a bit. We settled on a little plateau with a great view.That is Shorty on the left and Matthew and Rachel’s View on the right with the most amazing moon in the center. We each settled in and prepared dinner and dined outside and chatted. Their mellow dog Whiskey joined us.
I had never used the convection oven before so I asked Rachel if she could teach me. I naturally assumed that she knew how because they had been living in their rig for 10 months. Surley she knows how it works, right?! She absolutely did, and graciously taught me.👍 In fact Matthew has actually made bread in their convection oven. 👍🍞🥖😁With this newly acquired knowledge I made cornbread to accompany the Polska and cabbage for dinner. The cornbread came out surprisingly well thanks to Rachel and Matthew!!We met another young couple parked across from us camping in their truck, Chris and Lea (and their dog Holmes.) We chatted at their camp and we saw a bit of the sunset. BUT, we were blessed to see the most AMAZING moon rise. We all ended up staring at it enjoying it in all of it’s glory. 😚 None of us had ever seen such a captivating sight! It was truly a magical, being in the right place at the right time, moment.Earlier Matthew had started a great campfire so we gathered around it to warm up. The six of us chatted and shared stories of our families, travels, health, water and life in general. Oh, and Whiskey and Holmes joined in too! 🐕😁We exchanged social media and contact information and decided to call it a night about 11 p.m.
Craig and I agree that this was the BEST day we had on the road since we left California.👍👍
We woke up this morning to the wind and one amazing view!After making a quick breakfast of soyrizo and egg burritos and coffee I went outside to chat with our new friends.Wiskey, Rachel and Matthew.Rachel, Matthew & their View.Lea, Holmes and Chris.
We chatted for a bit this morning and then everyone went their separate ways. Matthew, Rachel and Whiskey Colorado bound; Craig and I to Arches National Park and Lea, Chris and Holmes homeward (Utah) bound.
Matthew, Rachel, Chris and Lea, THANK YOU. Thank you for being so kind, trasparent and just super cool people! We TRULY enjoyed our time with you four around the campfire under the stars and the moonlight. Blessings and travelling mercies to you all.
Matthew and Rachel, we will see you on Facebook! And YES, If you are ever in Southern California, the Long Beach area PLEASE stop by!! Even if it’s just to take a hot shower, a bath or to do some laundry!😁 You have our numbers!🥰 Peace.✌🌹
Chris and Lea thanks for the invite, if we are ever back in Utah we will look u up!✌
We left cold 🌧 rainy, wet Wyoming for cold 🌧rainy, wet Idaho. 🥶
Beautiful sights though between the showers.
We stopped for lunch today at O’Brady’s family restaurant in Idaho Falls. Friendly server, reasonable prices and good food. Since we’re in Idaho, (land of potatoes) we indulged in some fries. They were crispity-crunchity just the way Craig likes them!😁
Some things you just can’t get away from; laundry. Our clothes got dirty and wet in this weather. We stopped at the local Walmart in Pocatello ID, got some laundry detergent and headed to the local laundromat. JAG’s laundromat caught our eye. (Hum…JAG our youngest daughter’s initials. 👍)
I don’t remember the last time I needed to use the laundromat, but it’s been YEARS. This one was very well kept. 😁
Anyway, while there we met a couple washing sleeping bags from a recent camping trip. Lenny was a paper map guy (like me). So we looked at the Idaho map and he suggested a few places to visit on our next trip. We talked about Yellowstone and shared a couple of stories. Nice people. We finished our laundry and bid them farewell.
It’s about 7pm and I was ready to find us a spot for the night, but Craig wanted to continue driving. So we hit the highway heading toward Brigham City, Utah.
We passed this pretty Idaho Farm Bureau building.
The Speed limit is 80 mph!!😳OH MY!!
Such a dramatic sky!
That skyline. 👀
We just can’t get over these postcard views and dramatic skylines. Wow!