Arizona – September (continued)

For some reason the text from Mortimer Farms didn’t post.๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

Water wheel

Dewey-Humboldt

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.๐Ÿ˜ด 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.

The store

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!๐Ÿ•บ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿค 

Horse swings made from tires

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.

Honey and bee pollen
Various Body butters

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.๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚ The body butters had some interesting names like “Lime in the Coconut” “Cowboy” ๐Ÿค and “Beetle-juice Patchouli,” but the funniest names were “Monkey Farts’ and “Lions Breath.” LOL๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚

This fart was sold out, this was a sample

Bacon balm!

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!๐Ÿ‘

Exploring Arizona-September

Balcony with a view

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.

It’s sugar free root beer.๐Ÿ˜

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.

Exploring AZ

THE DESERT

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.

Desert Art

WICKENBURG

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.

You know it’s hot when the door handle is covered with fabric.
Breakfast in Wickenburg

PRESCOTT

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.

Beautiful water features

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.

Beautifully decorated Dorn homes

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!

COTTONWOOD

Main street.

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.

Cool Hippie Emporium

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.

Dinner time๐Ÿ˜
City Hall

DEWEY-HUMBOLDT

Tire swings that look like ponies.
Bacon lip balm.๐Ÿ–

ARIZONA HIGHWAYS

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.๐Ÿ˜ญ

Hot Shot Memorial

The mountain roads provided beautiful views of the valley below and the desert skies provided beautiful blue skies and white fluffy clouds.

BLYTHE, CA

Hidden Beaches RV Resort on the Colorado River

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.

Shorty.

Arizona bound.

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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. ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿ˜

So, We are taking Shorty on an expedition to visit Prescott, Prescott Valley and and some surrounding communities to explore various neighborhoods, homes,๐Ÿก 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!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘

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.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜

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.๐Ÿ˜‘

L.A.TRAFFIC ๐Ÿคฌ

Until later.๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธ

Silverwood Lake, CA – 7/16-18/19

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.๐Ÿ˜Š

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.

Chillin’ at the sand bar.

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.

TUESDAY, 6/11/19 โ€“ BEACH DAY

Dating

Craig and I have a standing date day. When I was working I worked a 4/40 schedule (Monday โ€“ Thursday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. โ€“ off EVERY Friday.) For several years EVERY Friday was our โ€œdate day.โ€ Our date day is simple: walks at the beach, a movie, a meal out, a bike ride, a hike. Itโ€™s a day for us to spend together without the interruption of business. Period.

After we got married, we started โ€œdatingโ€ again years ago when our girls were younger. ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ง We realized that our relationship could be compromised if we did not โ€œstay in touchโ€ so-to-speak, you know, make time for us โ€“ 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 grandmotherโ€™s OR allow them to spend the night at a friendโ€™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 ยฝ years. ๐Ÿ’‘

Well, since I retired in December and we are both considered seniors now, weโ€™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 โ€“ we took Shorty to the beach.

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. ๐ŸŒž There were summer๐Ÿ‘ถ camps galore; beach โ›‘safety classes, volleyball๐Ÿ camps, kids day camps, and surf ๐Ÿ„โ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ„โ€โ™€๏ธcamps. The beaches were filled with families enjoying the sun, surf and ๐ŸŠโ€โ™‚๏ธ sand; little ones were building sand ๐Ÿคด๐Ÿ‘ธ castles while the older kids were splashing in the waves and body ๐Ÿงœโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿงœโ€โ™‚๏ธsurfing. The adults sat in their chairs sipping libations ๐Ÿฅคkeeping an eye on their little ones. Further down the beach were the teens and young adults playing volleyball๐Ÿ 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.๐Ÿ‘™ 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. ๐ŸŒŠโ›ฑ.

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 Craigโ€™s taco salad looked really tasty!

Sidebar: I donโ€™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 โ€œgel seat coverโ€ to boot. ๐Ÿšฒ I give profs to those that can ride their bikes hours on end. Maybe I should buy some of those padded โ€œbikeโ€ shortsโ€ฆ hum๐Ÿค”โ€ฆ. Anyway, that lunch stop was a welcome break from the bike seat. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜

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 hadnโ€™t yet read: Costco, Westways and AARP. ๐Ÿ˜ 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 Shortyโ€™s sleek style and colors and was so intrigued that I gave her a tour inside. She asked if Iโ€™d rent it out, โ€œNOโ€ ๐Ÿ˜Š with a smile, was my reply. I suggested she google companies that rent RVโ€™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. ๐Ÿ’‘

I have to admit, my butt is still a little sore from that bike seat. ๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚

Until next time. ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธ

Shorty, the boys and the beach, 6.4.19

My FAVORITE QUOTE: โ€œLife is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.โ€ 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.๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿฑ

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 ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿฅฐ 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. ๐Ÿค” 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.๐Ÿ˜”

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.๐Ÿ˜”

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? ๐Ÿฅฐ

HOME. Memorial Day, 5.27.19

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.

Travel RECAP

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. ๐Ÿ˜ YAY!

We saw some of the most amazing sunsets and experienced the most spectacular moon rise ever in MY lifetime! It was AMAZING.

Moonrise

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.

Sunset

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.๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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.๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜

Although, I am looking into volunteering as a summer seasonal worker at a National Park….I’ll keep y’all posted on that!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘

Until next time.๐Ÿ‘