HOME

One of my plumeria plants in bloom.

🏑 Home.  I LOVE travelling.  Whenever we head home after being on the road for a while, I always feel “some kind of way.”  It is very bitter-sweet (for me).  A big part of me wants to keep on travelling and exploring. A very small part of me is happy to go home. I have to admit, I am a wanderer at heart, a free-spirited soul.  If I had it my way, we would sell our home and travel the country for a year or two staying here and there along our travels and really exploring this big beautiful country of ours.   Craig on the other hand is always happy to get home, to dive back into his routine. Craig thrives with a routine.  Not me, routine for me is, BORING, stifling in fact.  I need to mix things up. I have to have something to look forward to, so I am always looking for something for us to do or somewhere for us to go. I NEED adventure in my life, I thrive on it. We are so different in this area.

Anyway, we arrived home late Sunday evening and unpacked very little.  Monday morning I got up and unpacked and cleaned Shorty up.  I thoroughly clean the inside of our rig; strip the beds, scrub the toilet, sink, shower, fridge, kitchen sink, stove, sweep and mop the floors, wash the rugs, wipe down the couch, and fabrezze the entire interior.  Craig scrubs the outside, which had thousands of bugs from seven states.  It takes a couple of hours to thoroughly clean him up and get him ready for his next adventure.  We still have to empty his tanks, refill his freshwater tank and fuel him up.😁

SHORTY

Our rig, “Shorty” is a 2016,  24-foot Winnebego Navion built on a Mercedes Chasis. We get an average of 12 to 15 miles per gallon, which is pretty good for an RV. πŸ‘πŸ½ Here are some pix of Shorty’s interior all cleaned up.

Couch/living room/cab
Kitchen.
Bedroom. The center opens to make a king size bed.
Bathroom. 🚻
Shower.

RECAP

This trip was 18 days; we left on October 1st.  We hit seven states; starting with our home state of CA, then Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado. We added three new states to my map on this trip; Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado. The goal is to hit all 50 states within five years. So far we have hit 19 states since we bought  Shorty in January 2019.

Nineteen states so far

This trip we kind of cheated to add Colorado, we just did a drive thru the lower right corner of the state, but I do plan to  visit Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado next year. 

STATS

Some stats: We stopped and fueled up 21 times. We spent a total of $664.40 on fuel and about $22 in tolls. I didn’t add up how much we spent on dining out, but I would venture to estimate about $400. We probably spent about $100 on souvenirs and entrance fees. We spent $83 for RV park fees, we mostly boondocked at Walmarts, Cracker Barrels and friends houses. Grand total for this 18-day road trip was approximately $1,269.40. That is VERY reasonable with fuel and food being our highest expense. I have spent more than that on a week long vacation in Hawaii!!

Future trips

I am working on a two-month road trip next year to the mid-west and east coast. I am thinking that September/October would be good travel months, it will be cooler but not cold and we should be able to  catch some of the fall colors on the East coast.  I am still working on that route and deciding on what to see in each state.  I know for sure I want to visit Niagra Falls and a couple of cities in Canada, along with a good portion of the mid- west and east coast, particularly those smaller states.

Midwest states to visit
Canada and East coast.

Settling Back In

Something that is a little overwhelming when we get back home is the amount of mail to go thru.  Adulting, as I call it. Since this is an election year there is a pile of that mail alone, along with bills and πŸ“¦ packages that were delivered while we were away. Lots of sorting, reading and filing to do.πŸ˜‘

Loads of mailπŸ€ͺπŸ˜–

It usually takes me several days to get back on track at home. Not Craig, he is quick to jump back into his routine; morning walks, zoom calls, following up with clients and working on his various projects. Me? I go through what I call an adjustment period. After I unpack, do laundry and clean Shorty up it takes me days to settle back in after being on the road. It’s a mental thing, I know. I have to mentally prepare for the daily routine of being back at home. I will typically do NOTHING for a day or two but readjust my mind. I may veg out in front of the TV all day, nap, play brain games on my phone or go through my pictures and relive the entire trip in my mind. (That always makes me smile.) I will also highlight our routes on my paper maps and file them away. Don’t get me wrong, I have a nice home life and Craig is a great husband. I just find that I am HAPPIEST when we are on the road. Travel is MY BLISS.πŸ₯°

Home: My Yard

I told Craig that when I retired we would fire the gardener and I would take over. Well we did, and I do. I really enjoy working in my yard, that is my reprieve. There is something about mowing the lawn and the smell of fresh cut grass that is so refreshing and clean! The same with planting and working in the soil; the smell and feel of the soil is life giving. (My grandfather was a gardener at Disneyland for years; gardening is in my blood.πŸ˜‰)

Before: unwanted growth in the gravel.
After: that was about an hours work.
My backyard.

Today, I spend hours in the backyard pruning the fig tree, cutting back the πŸ… tomato vines, clearing out weeds, raking leaves, trimming the parsley and basil, cutting back the Rosemary, spearmint, peppermint and mint plants, turning my compost pile, and watering. I loved every minute of it. Between the backyard, front yard and side yards I stay busy when we are at home. In the yard, every day is different; I plant trim, cut, rake, water, whatever. I enjoy listening to the birds and watching the bees🐝 and butterfliesπŸ¦‹ hanging around and pollinating my flowers and plants. I enjoy turning the soil and seeing the worms.πŸͺ± I even enjoy watching the spiders spin their webs.πŸ•·πŸ•Έ I am a nature gurl.πŸ˜„

We have been home five days now. Craig is thoroughly settled back in. I will be by this weekend. Anyway, until next time.πŸ‘‹πŸΌ Stay safe and well.

KINGMAN, AZ

The crew; Cousin Lorenzo, my Brother Bob and Craig.

I woke up this morning about 7:30 ish because I heard Bob outside moving the vehicles around. I slept really well!! I texted Craig to see if he was awake yet. He slept in my brother Bob’s house, and I slept in Shorty. I LIKE sleeping in Shorty, my bed is super comfy and I already have everything I need in here, you know? Bob has a big four bedroom three bath home, he wanted to make sure to have room for guests. (When travelling, if we have the opportunity, Craig will opt to sleep in someone’s house; I’d rather stay in Shorty.) Anyway, Craig was already up, so I washed up and got ready for the day. The goal: empty the moving truck and pick up truck. We all helped, well me, not so much, I tended to Bob’s plants and was dubbed “door monitor.” My job was to open and close the doors for them as they brought items into the house, and not to let the flies in. πŸ˜‰

The view from my rig, watching the guys get started.
The unloading.
Shorty, my home away from 🏑 home.
Plants at the front of his house 🏠.

Since I am good with plants, in fact most of us Avila’s (my maiden name) are good with plants and have green thumbs.πŸ‘πŸ½πŸŒ±πŸŒ΄ So, since I am good with plants I tended to the plants that he just transported. Many needed broken and dead leaves trimmed. Once he placed them where he wanted them, then I could tend to them.  He has some plumeria plants on the shady side of the house that I tended to as well.

Bob has this cool barrel that he stores wine in. They had to roll it off the truck 🚚.

Bob has been making trips twice a month between his homes in Long Beach, CA and Kingman, AZ for a couple of months now. Bob still has stuff at his Long Beach house, according to my cousin Lorenzo. Kitchen items mostly.  Muneca and I will have to go over and pack the rest of it up for him. He wants to get the house in the market by November 1st.

His cats, getting used to their new surroundings.

Did I mention that he has two cats? Bob’s two cats finally made the trip up. They get to live in the spa room. Bob is going to build them an outdoor enclosure so they could go outside when they want to, and he won’t have to worry about coyotes bothering them. Their names? Hum, I have only ever heard him call them “Little girl” and ” Big boy.”

Once the truck was unloaded he and Lorenzo returned the rental. When they got back the crew helped Bob move the big items in the house 🏠 where he wanted them.

He had called me last night and asked me to marinade some carne asada so we could grill it today. Before I knew it he had the grill going and got sidetracked moving more stuff, so I grilled the meat. Lorenzo is not yet retired and wanted to get home. So after I grilled the meat we put his backpack and cooler in our rig so we could hit the road. Bob offered salad πŸ₯— and beans to accompany the meat, but I just made us some quick meat and tortilla burritos for the road. I know Bob wanted our company, and Craig and I may have stayed a little longer, but Lorenzo has projects going on at home to get back to in Upland. So we bid our farewells and hit the road.

Craig, Lorenzo, Bob and me.

Bob has been in his home for a few months and has been doing ALOT of yard work. He added some yard art!

Purdy burd! 🦀
Southern CA TRAFFIC

Sunday afternoon traffic was RIDICULOUS!! It took us about an hour and a half to get through this traffic…the dreaded El Cajon pass was a 🐻 bear. We crept along in stop and start traffic for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles!! I often wonder what folks do in traffic if they have to use the restroom!!😳 I am grateful that mine travels with me!πŸ˜‰

We finally got Lorenzo home after dark. Craig and I got home about 9 p.m. That traffic made the drive tiring. Craig and I were HUNGRY so we picked up a burger on the way home. We got home, ate, unloaded very little, showered and went to bed.

Home 🏑. We are home after 18 days on the road. It’s bitter sweet (for me.) Tomorrow we unpack, wash all of the bugs off of Shorty’s face, empty his tanks, fill him with fresh water, wash the linens, sweep, mop and clean him up and get him ready for our next outing. Back to reality. Until the next post. Happy Trails!!πŸ˜πŸ‘‹πŸΌ

Prescott, AZ

After Craig’s  Zoom call, we headed over to the church parking lot where Mark and Roxanne attend, where we will leave Shorty for one night.  We packed an overnight bag, secured Shorty, and called Mark and Roxanne; we were ready to be picked up. (It is always so nice to see 😁them!!) Back at their place we talked and laughed for a couple of hours before we turned in the the night; to the guest room, our room, when we visit.πŸ˜‰   (They have moved since the last time we saw them. It’s a cute, single level, cozy, two bedroom place; a big change from their hugh six bedroom, four bath, three level home. They have been ready to downsize for years and finally sold it.πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ˜€

FRIDAY

We woke up this morning to the smell of πŸ₯“ bacon. (BACON! the candy of meat!) Roxanne is a great hostess, although I feel totally comfortable and at home. I sat at the counter to chat, and she poured me a cup of coffee while making πŸ₯“ bacon, eggs🍳 and toast. We talked and laughed while Craig finished getting ready for the day.  Mark was already gone for the day; he had baby sitting duty. (Their son is a fire πŸ”₯ fighter and was sent to CA to help fight the fires and their daughter-in-law had to work. Thank God for gramdparents!!) Mark and Roxanne LOVE their grands and Mark is quite capable of tending to the tottlers while Roxanne spent time with Craig and I.

We didn’t really have any plans for the day other than to catch up and spend time with them. After discussing a few options we decided to go for a hike at Goldstein Lake, after we picked up Shorty and moved him to Jessica’s property for the night. (Since Mark and Roxanne sold their BIG home with acreage we have to make alternate plans for Shorty’s overnight stays.) We got to Jessica’s and parked Shorty on a portion of their driveway by the garage.  Mark and the grands were there.😁

Jessica and Tom

Jessica, (Mark and Roxanne’s daughter) has a BEAUTIFUL home in the hills. The backyard looks like a hotel resort. It has a pool, play area, volleyball court, a trampoline, and a few sitting areas. Absolutely Spectacular! At the side of the house is a chicken coop and vegetable garden. Roxanne showed us that first.😁πŸ₯¬πŸ…πŸ“

The πŸ” chicken coop and vegetable garden; Mark built it.πŸ‘πŸ½
Roxanne tending to the πŸ” chickens.
The pool.
The fire pit sitting area by the pool.

We did see Mark and the two grands, in the back yard. Jessica’s three children came outside too. We all sat in the shaded patio for a bit by the koi pond and visited.

In front of the water feature/koi pond; Roxanne and her lovely daughter Jessica – who is an ER doctor in Prescott.πŸ‘πŸ½Gurl power!
Volleyball court and kids play area.
Roxanne, Jessica and I chatting b4 we left for our hike. That is Jessica’s husband Tom, (he is a surgeon).

Jessica and Tom have a spectacular property and are just the friendliest, unpretentious people. Their three children are sweet, well behaved, well mannered, and well grounded. Truly very kind people. I know Roxanne and Mark are VERY proud of their children and grandchildren.πŸ₯° It was very kind of Jessica and Tom to let Shorty spend the night on their property. Thank you!!πŸ˜‰

GOLDSTEIN LAKE

Goldstein Lake isn’t far from Roxanne or Jessica’s house, we were there in about 15 minutes. (How awesome to live so close to a lake/hiking area!)

Beautiful views, the leaves were golden.
Practicing selfies again.🀭
Thanks Roxanne!
What a view!
See the trees reflection in the water?
Stopped to enjoy the views and take a pic.😁
Still sitting, enjoying the views.😁
Roxanne and I chatting and enjoying the view. Photo: Craig Green
Inflatable kayaks, on my list to get. Photo: Craig Green
Two swans. I love the golden leaves.  Photo: Craig Green

Well, we walked around the lake for about and hour and were getting a little hungry.  Roxanne mentioned a new BBQ place in town and asked if we’d like to try it.  πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ Well, ANYONE who knows me, knows I am a carnivore.πŸ₯©πŸ₯“πŸ— BBQ?? You don’t have to ask me twice!!😁 So late afternoon, after our walk around the lake, we hit Lucy Dees BBQ joint. It was tasty! The establishment was very clean, offered inside and outside patio dining, the staff was friendly and prices reasonable.

We didn’t take pix, but here is a teaser.🀭

After we ate lunch we went back to Roxanne and Mark’s to chill. Craig listened to a podcast and Roxanne and I retreated to our rooms. I felt a headache coming on so I opted to close my eyes for a bit.

After a little rest Roxanne and I got up and talked about what to do for the rest of the evening.  Craig decided to stay at the house and watch some TV, the documentary, The Way I See It by Pete Souza was scheduled to come on.  I opted to join Roxanne to watch her granddaughter Malia play flag football. Her team had a game at the local YMCA field.  Malia, Roxanne’s grandaughter is the ONLY girl on her flag football team. GO MALIA!! 🏈 GURL POWER!!  Malia has a great example!πŸ˜‰ Oh, by the way, their team won too!!! πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½πŸˆ

After Malia’s winning game we congratulated her, chatted briefly with Jessica and went back to Roxanne’s.Β  We waited for Mark to get home from baby sitting duty so we could go have a late dinner.Β  We went to theΒ  the Barley Hound. This establishment offered farm to table, healthier choice fare in the back or front patio. It was a cute place with tasty options such as portobello πŸ„ mushroom sliders, cauliflower nachos and such. We ordered, talked and laughed. We always have some good laughs with Mark amd Roxanne. They are the sweetest, most genuine people. We are blessed to count them as friends.πŸ₯°

We got back to the house, and the documentary, The Way I See It by Pete Souza was playing again! Mr. Souza was the official White House photographer during the Obama era and had captured the day-to-day life of the President. (He served other presidents as well.) This is an excellent documentary. A MUST SEE.πŸ‘€ We stayed up late and watched it. Craig watched it again.πŸ™ƒ

Saturday

I got up this morning and had a cup of coffee with Roxanne. Again, this morning Mark was up early and gone; on baby sitting duty, again. Roxanne fixed Craig breakfast, I opted out as I was not hungry.

Roxanne had a house she wanted to look at in Williamson Valley, I was curious, so we joined her. When we arrived to the address I noticed that the agent showing the house was Simon Fort, the agent that showed us a home last year on Palamino, in Prescott Valley. (We have kept in touch.) He was as surprised to see us as we were to see him😁. Anyway, the home he was showing was a nice 3 bedroom, two bath home with a nice size lot. Not what Roxanne is looking for. It hit a few of my boxes, but was a pass for us all.

After looking at the home, on the way to pick up shorty, Roxanne took us by the Hot Shots memorial in Prescott. These were the 19 young men who perished in the Yarnell, AZ fire some years ago. πŸ˜”

Photo by Craig.

Well, we made it to Jessica’s house and retrieved Shorty. We bid our farewells and hit the Road, via Chino Valley.

Landscape leaving Prescott.
The turnabouts had some nice metal art statues.
Prescott National Forest.
Over yonder is Kingman.

Before we leave Arizona and head home, we are stopping at my brother’s house. (I have a key.πŸ˜‰) He is at the last leg of moving from California to Kingman. My cousin Lorenzo helped him pack up his Long Beach house today and they are in route, they should arrive here in Kingman in the wee hours of the morning. (They are unfortunately stuck in traffic.) We will help them unload the moving truck in the morning and then take my cousin back to California and drop him off at home before we head 🏑 home. It is late, I am tired.πŸ₯± Until tomorrow.

Painted Desert and Petrified Forest, AZ

Petrified Forest

I remember when I was a teenager in Junior High school, late 60’s, I took a cross country roadtrip from Los Angeles, California to Chattanooga, Tennessee with my dad, step mom and young siblings in a green and white VW van, in December. We went to visit my step moms family for Christmas. It was the second time I had been out of California.Β  (My first time out of the state was to Ensenada, Mexico with my mom). It was on that trip that my dad taught me how to read paper maps and made me his designated navigator. I LOVED reading the maps for him and exploring. It was on that trip that I KNEW I would take more road trips, because it was such an awesome adventure and learning experience.Β  It was on that trip in Chattanooga, TN when IΒ  experienced racism for the very first time in my life. (That is another story.)

I said all of that to say, on our way back from Tennessee we drove through the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest.Β  I KNEW I’d go back some day because it was such a beautiful geologic wonder. It was also on this trip that I first saw the Grand Canyon. 😳 Mind blowing.

Painted dessert colors. 😳
This morning, most RVs are gone, but there are still a lot of big rigs.

We left Wal-Mart about 9:30 this morning and many of our fellow travelers are already on the road.

Sidebar: I forgot to mention that when we were at the Four Aces RV Park, for the first time, I saw an armadillo not in captivity!! He was roaming near an RV digging for worms and bugs. The camp host, who was talking with us as we hooked up said, he had been trying to catch it. So, I naively asked, “When you catch him who do you call, animal control?” He looked at me and laughed, “Animal Control? NO, I will shoot him and throw him down by the river.” My expression: 😳πŸ₯Ί He explained that armadillos will sometimes hitch a ride on the big hay rigs from Texas. This is the second one in seven years to hitch a ride and land in his RV Park.Β  They dig a lot of holes and ruin his park… I get it. I don’t agree with him killing it, but I get itπŸ˜”.

Anyway, I have A LOT of pix to share. Enjoy!

NM landscape.
Take a ride with us, oh! A train!🚞
I love the lansdcape.
Lots of road work.
Arizona! We are back….
AZ landscape. I love the textures!
We made it! The Petrified Forest.

We arrived at our destination; the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert this afternoon. As previously stated, I had been here once before with my dad MANY, MANY, MANY years ago. Craig had never been here so I wanted to share this geological wonder with him!😁

Shorty’s relative. Another Navion!!🀭
We stopped in the visitor center. I bought a hat and picked up the four page brochure, below. Good info!!
Page 1 of 4
Page 2 of 4
Page 3 of 4
Page 4 of 4
A glimpse of the landscape and its enormity.
A cool magnet I saw in the visitor’s center. The Historic Route 66 goes from Santa Monica, CA to Chicago, IL. Did u know that?πŸ€”
Me practicing selfies, wearing my new hat.🧒
This pic does not do the landscape justice. It is like a mini Grand Canyon.

After walking around this first lookout point we started walking back to our rig. (By the way, I use rig, RV and Shorty interchangbly. πŸ˜‰) Anyway, as we approached Craig noticed that the bracket holding our exhaust pipe broke! He said, “hum, a wire hanger would be handy right now.” (We don’t use wire hangers, I don’t like them.) But fortunately for us, we had just purchased a dual- pack fly swatter! Wala!! We have wire! So there in the parking lot Craig “Jimmy-rigged” our exhaust pipe! It is a temporary fix, of course. “Ghetto ingenuity” as he called it.πŸ˜‰πŸ‘πŸ½

Craig adjusting the wire to secure the exhaust pipe.
Almost done.
Craig “Jimmy-rigged” our exhaust pipe with the wire from a fly swater!

We hopped in and drove to the next lookout point. It was more beautiful than the first!

This Adobe visitor center was adjacent to the parking lot and was closed due to Covid.

Craig and I both LOVE, Adobe, Spanish style homes, just LOVE them. So I have a few pix of this structure.πŸ€ͺ

Craig getting a closer look.
Love it!
Just lovely!!
Selfie practice.
A video of God’s majestic, creative beauty, the Painted Desert 🏜.
There are some hiking trails;  But be prepared, you have been warned.
A trail head. Nope, I did not explore this trail.
Shorty waiting patiently for our return.πŸ€­πŸ™ƒ

We explored the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest for an hour or so and then we hit the road. Our next stop is Winslow, AZ. The Eagles song, “Take it Easy” put Winslow on the map.  One line is 🎢”Standing on the corner of Winslow, Arizona, seven women on my mind…take it easy.”🎢🎡

There are so many things to see while travelling.  Here are a few sights along the way to Winslow.

We saw these two little guys on the side of the road.😝
METEOR CRATER?!?! I thought about stopping… but we didn’t.
Nice marker.
We stopped at this diner last year, so we thought we’d patronize them again.
Here we are standing on the corner of Winslow, AZ!
Corner in Winslow, AZ on Route 66.

This is our second visit to Winslow, so we only hung out for a half hour or so. There are a couple of souvenir shops and a couple of little diners but not much else to see. Anyway, on to Prescott to see our friends Mark and Roxanne. The following pix were taken between Winslow and Prescott, AZ

Beautiful highway view, So many trees.🌲🌳
Trees changing color. Not a terrific pic, but can u see the orange, yellow and green leaves?
Rolling down the highway, Prescott bound.
Smoke from a πŸ”₯ fire in the distance.

Well, we are here in Prescott Valley parked in a shopping center parking lot so Craig could conduct his 7 p.m. Thursday night Zoom call with his sisters and nieces. While they talk, it provides me time to work on this blog, relaxed in my bed, in the back of our rig.

Well, its almost 8:30 and Craig is wrapping up his call. Time for me to wrap up this blog and get ready to get together with Mark and Roxanne! 😁🀩Until tomorrow.

Albuquerque Bound

Wal-Mart parking lot.

Another good nights sleep in the friendly neighborhood super center Wal-Mart parking lot.Β  We woke up rested and refreshed, got some🍎 apples and 🍌 bananas from Wal-Mart, a quick stop at Mickey Ds for a cup of β˜• coffee and then hit the road. Since the dining room was closed I walked up to the drive thru window. LOL, I got some funny looks from a few folks in cars, but I didn’t care. I got my β˜• coffee.πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ½

Leaving, Dumas, TX heading to Albuquerque, NM

Sidebar: In the movie Shrek, didn’t donkey and Shrek visit the town if Dumas?? It sounds familiar…

These two lane highways get kind of tight when a big rig comes in the opposite direction.😬
Lots of open road.
A one minute ride with us on the open road. 54 West in TX heading to NM.
A big red barn appeared as if from no where.πŸ€ͺ
Down the road, after the big red barn appeared these silos.

The big red barn and the Silos are the ONLY things we have seen for miles and miles and miles and miles on this highway. When we have these long stretches like this I am inclined to sing; 🎡”Home, home on the range where the deer and theΒ  antelope play! Where seldom is heard a discouraging word and the skies are not cloudy all day🎢!! πŸ€­πŸ˜‰

More open road and clear skies!
Getting close.
NM Landscape.

THE BLUE HOLE

I have heard about this Blue Hole. It is a popular diving spot in Santa Rosa, but one can also take a dip! We will stop there and have some lunch and then head to Old Town Albuquerque.

https://www.santarosabluehole.com/scuba-diving/
A geological phenomenon.

BOOOO!!! The Blue Hole was closed due to road construction. We drove around to try to enter from another angle, no luck. There was a little park adjacent to the Blue Hole but it was closed too. We just could not get close to it, even by foot. Darn. I am a little disappointed. πŸ˜” Oh well, on to Albuquerque.

We got to see the sign.πŸ€ͺ And that was as close as we got to the Blue Hole.πŸ˜‘

Back on the highway. Driving in high winds is always challenging. We already get gusts when the big rigs pass us, but now mother nature is throwing in her two cents too! 🌬🀭

Red flag warning. The WIND in NOT our friend.🌬
Two hands on the wheel in this wind!

OLD TOWN ALBUQUERQUE

Well since we didn’t get to see the Blue Hole and I didn’t get to dip my tootsies in the water, we opt for plan B, Old Town Albuquerque. I always have to find us a place to get out explore and stretch our 🦡 legs.πŸšΆπŸ½β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸΏβ€β™‚οΈ

It was a cute little downtown area. We walked around and popped into some of the shops, we were there maybe 90 minutes. Here are a few pix.

Shorty!
Entrance to a little shopping plaza.
Cute little plaza.
Red Chili’s were hung EVERYWHERE.
More chili peppers, and a tall drink of water.πŸ˜‰

When we got back to the RV, we had a quick pow wow about how much farther we were going to drive before hunkering down for the night.Β  We decided to drive another hour and a half to the Wal-Mart in Grants, NM for the night.

A little steel art at the highway entrance.
There was MAJOR road work going on and lots of big rigs on the highway.
Interesting landscape on Highway 40 just before Grants.
I just love the texture and shape of this hill.

Well, we arrived at the Wal-Mart in Grants, NM about 7:30 p.m. After we settled in,Β  we patronized the store and grabbed a πŸ… tomato, πŸ₯‘ avocado and πŸ₯’ cucumber to add to our πŸ₯—Β  salad. I had some grilled chicken in the freezer, so tonight was a grilled chicken salad. DELISH and filling.

This is the Wal-Mart parking lot tonight; they are very popular stop over for many travellers.
There was even a biker behind us sleeping in a sleeping bag on the ground.😴

It was another long driving day on the road.. we have showered and settled in for the night.. On that note…nighty night, until tomorrow. Next stop the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest in Arizona.✌🏽

Wichita, Kansas

We hit several Toll roads in Texas and Oklahoma. Can’t complain though because the roads are so nice and smooth!  We stopped for fuel in Billings, OK. It was a FULL SERVICE station for big rigs and RVs. πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½ This guy, Jim, pumped our fuel AND cleaned our windows with such gusto and cheer!! What a wonderful world this would be if everyone was as happy and friendly as Jim to do their jobs.😁

Jim, a real friendly fellow.
A cotton field over yonder.😳
Welcome to Kansas.
Wichita! Our destination for the day.

I googled things to do in Wichita and saw this historical attraction that caught my eye; Keeper of the Trails monument. However, I noticed that they use Keeper of the Plains and Trail interchangeably. It is a park, lake and monument.

Keeper of the Plains.
The suspension bridge to the Keeper of the Trail monument.
Keeper of the trail.
City view from the suspension bridge.
Some artifacts and history.
Circle of life: water, fire, earth and air.
The Keeper.
Keeper of the Plains.
US.πŸ₯°
Scenic view from the base of the Keeper.
The suspension bridge.

We enjoyed our time exploring the grounds of the Keeper of the Plains. Craig decided to take a drive thru downtown.

Deserted streets.
The Orpheum.
We turned down this side street made of brick. Charming.

We had a good day exploring a small portion of Wichita, Kansas, but it’s time to move on. It is starting to get dark, so I am on the hunt for a place to spend the night.

I found one RV park within 30 minutes from our location, I called and they had space. When we arrived it was dark, desolate, and there was no camp host.   There was one guy at the edge of the  park who appeared to be a resident in a tent trailer, dismantling a car. There was a forest behind the park. The RV sites were unkept and uneven. We got an eerie feeling about that place, so we left. It was a little too far off in the boonies for our comfort. Back on the highway, I found another RV park about 30 minutes from from the creepy one.  We are here at Four Aces RV Park, about 3 hours from the Colorado border.

Took this pic as we were leaving our home for the night.πŸ˜‰

All settled in for the night and hungry.  Dinner tonight is a bowl of cereal. It is late. I am 😴 sleepy. Happy birthday to me. πŸ₯°πŸ§πŸ₯‚Until the morning. 

TUESDAY

It is a brisk πŸŒ„ morning. I woke up about 8:30, got up and checked out the facility in the light of day. It is a nice RV park. The laundry room, showers and restrooms are VERY CLEAN, which isn’t always the case.

Where we slept for the night.
Whimsical Poster in the laundry room.
Whimsical Poster in the laundry room.
Real nice covered gathering place with   hanging swings, benches, grill and sink. Real nice park in the middle if nowhere!

We shared a banana with peanut butter, which has been our go to on this trip. With the beds made, slide in, tanks dumped, we hit the road about 11:30 a.m.

COLORADO BOUND

Colorado bound on highway 50 (still in Kansas) some sights along the way.

A wheat field.
Huge grain silo.
A park with a TANK.
I guess every city has a wind turbines somewhere.πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ
Dodge City. The Earp Brothers spent time here.πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ½
We’ve seen several field with these round bales of hay, or is it wheat??
I would love to see the process on how they roll these up so perfectly.
We saw alot of black cows here in Kansas. More than any other state I have been to.

Besides these sights, there are random homes here and there between the little towns that pepper the highway. Cimarron, the town we just drove thru, for example, has a population of just over 2,000. I counted about 8, maybe 10 blocks long with a Dollar Tree and Sonic on the side of the road among some other mom and pop type stores. Hum, I wonder what it is like growing up in small town America? πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

Random: Along the journey, besides cows πŸ„ we have seen llama, alpaca, sheep, 🐐 goats, and a quail farm. Also, corn and wheat fields, along with other crops we were unable to identify. β›½ GAS. We are LOVING the gas prices outside of CA. Texas had the lowest prices so far at $1.77 for diesel and $1.62 for regular unleaded. The average diesel prices we run into is from $1.90 to $2.25, which is still much better than CA!! More random info. Oklahoma and Kansas have fireworks stores and hugh warehouses along the highway. I wonder how their July 4th celebrations are?

We’re back OK.
We saw ALOT of prairies and hay today.
We’re back TX.

It has been a LONG day driving. We had no particular destination in mind when we left Kansas, except to drive through Colorado, so I could check it off of my map as a state we have been to.πŸ˜‰ I know its cheating, we will really visit Colorado next year. Oh, we lost an hour driving from Colorado mountain time, to Oklahoma, Central time. These tume changes πŸ€ͺ Anyway we left Kansas earlier today, drove through Colorado, back down to Oklahoma, and now are spending the night in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Texas.

Woodfield grill for dinner, Dalmart, Texas. Excellent steak! My favorite meal; Ribeye steak, baked πŸ₯” potato and a nice green salad.πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½
Night highway driving. Nothing to see.
We are the blue dot. Wal-Mart pkg lot for the night πŸŒ™.

We were in FOUR states today. We are tired. Tomorrow, New Mexico. Good night.

Oklahoma Bound

Black Wall Street n Shorty.

Sunday morning. Coffee β˜• and on line church this morning.   Time to go through Jessica’s place and make sure we that are not leaving any of our items behind.

Why Oklahoma? πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈWhy Not?!  OK is directly above Texas and Tulsa is only about four and a half hours away from Arlington. Craig wants to visit the historic area in Tulsa where Black Wall Street once stood. AND, we can check βœ…another state off our list.😁

BLACK WALL STREET. πŸ’πŸ’’ https://www.history.com/news/black-wall-street-tulsa-race-massacre

We departed Arlington a little after 2. We fueld up before we hit the highway.

BUCKY’S!!  This is the EVERYTHING store. AND each store has about 50 gas pumps. I have NEVER seen a line for β›½ fuel, and with the best prices around!
Texas overpass. Their highways sure are clean and green!
Train Bridge, I saw it just before the Oklahoma sign.
Oklahoma, WELCOME!

Oklahoma is Choctaw Nation; Native American land.πŸ¦…πŸͺΆ Alot of open green fields with cows and several Casinos.

The leaves on the trees are changing to fall colors.😊 Such a clean highway.

We hadn’t eaten ALL DAY, and we were hungry.  Between Oklahoma state line and Tulsa on the 75 are loads of fast food places, which wasn’t what we wanted. 🀨 I found a Cracker Barrel in Tulsa about 15 minutes from Black Wall Street, it will have to do.  We stopped for dinner and decided to spent the night in their RV friendly parking lot, because it was already getting dark. We will visit Black Wall Street in the Greenwood District, in the morning.😁

Black Wallstreet, Greenwood District.

MONDAY, 10/12πŸŽπŸŽ‰πŸŽˆ

Last night, about 3 a.m. we were both awaken by some fierce winds.🌬 It felt like someone was pushing our little rig and we were rocking back and forth. I grabbed my phone to check the weather and πŸŽ₯ film the trees 🌳 that were blowing. Winds were 15 to 20 MPH with 50 MPH wind gusts. There was a weather alert for high profile vehicles to use extra caution. The winds subsided this morning about 7 a.m.

The fierce winds at 3 a.m.

Sidebar: TODAY is my birthday, 65 years young. I am officially a senior citizen.🀭 🧁πŸ₯‚πŸŽ We are doing exactly what I wanted to do for my birthday. TRAVELLING!

We woke up to a chilly windy morning; jeans and jacket weather. It was still a bit windy, but nothing like last night!

We got ready for the day and headed to the famed Black Wall Street area about 9 a.m. and walked around town. What was once a thriving self-sufficient communityt is now only about two blocks of memories.πŸ˜”

BWS Mural
Craig and Bobby.

This very friendly gentleman approached us and asked, “visitors? are ya?” We said, yes. His reply “I could tell,” smiled and introduced himself.  Bobby, 85, is a life long resident and historian. He proceeded to share some Black Wall Street history with us and pointed out some markers and signs for us to see.

Tells about the massacre. History worth the read.
Please read.
This mural listed a sampling of the businesses that once occupied Black Wall Street.

The sign listed 164 businesses, yes, I counted them. This was just a SAMPLING of the establishments in this self- sufficient community. They had everything; barber shops, banks, real estate offices, grocery, drug and shopping stores, pet groomers, hardware…EVERY type of store that anyone would need. They had no reason to leave their community; a truly self-sufficient community decimated because of deep seeded hatred.πŸ˜”πŸ˜’

The Greenwood Cultural center was not open due to Covid. However, there were several plaques and memoriums in the area. This picture below is not clear, but it listed all of the businesses lost during the massacre and their financial claims; which, to this day have remained unpaid. 😑

Unpaid financial claims of $2,719,745.61 in 1921 dollars!

This was a good historical visit. πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½ We decided to get a bite to eat and headed to First Watch for some brunch. (Jessica introduced us to this establishment in Arlington.) Craig liked it so much, he found one here in Tulsa!

BLT with an egg and a side of greens for me; Craig opted for soup with his sandwich.

Oklahoma, thank you for your hospitality. On to Wichita, Kansas to see the KEEPER OF THE PLAINS.✌🏽

Arlington, TX

Craig and Jess napping.

Craig LOVES his gurls! But Jessica is “daddy’s BABY gurl.” This pic was taken when Jess was maybe a year old.  She is 31 now, but she is still and will always be “daddy’s BABY gurl.”   

Daddy’s gurls; Jessica, Muneca and Athena.

Sidebar: We have the 🌈 rainbow, as in we are a blended family. Our gurls are caramel, vanilla and mocha.🀭  When Craig and I met we were both single parents with daughters, vanilla and mocha.  We got married and added caramel.πŸ˜‰ There is a large age gap between our three gurls.  Muneca was 12 and Athena 14 when we added  Jessica to the family. And yes, they are all daddy’s gurls and are very close.πŸ₯°πŸ₯° (I KNOW gurls is spelled girls.πŸ€­πŸ˜‰)

Our five days in Arlington.

We arrived in Arlington, Jessica’s place, Tuesday night about 10:45 p.m. We  were tired. We chatted a bit, showered and went to bed.  Jessica gave us her bedroom and she slept on the couch.

WEDNESDAY

Jessica’s place is really cute. It’s a one bedroom, one bath, on the 3rd floor, in a hugh apartment complex that houses a pool, tennis courts, volleyball court, gym and walking trails. It is perfect for her.πŸ‘πŸ½

She is her mother’s child. πŸ₯° She has lots of plants in her living room!🌿πŸͺ΄πŸŒ±
More plants.🌿πŸͺ΄β˜˜

After a good nights 😴 sleep waking refreshed, the three of us went for a walk in the park trails behind her apartment complex.

River Legacy Park.

Pix from our morning walk at River Legacy Park.

Walking and biking path.
There is a river below this bridge.
View from the bridge.
The Trinity River.
The Trinity River.
Off the beaten path.
Jess and I looking at these little berries. We learned that it is an invasive plant.😳
Daddy and his baby gurl chatting it up.
Jessica is happy; her daddy is in town!
Us. πŸ₯°
Jess and I catching up.πŸ₯°

I love Jessica’s neighborhood! These trails and the river are all walking distance from her apartment complex.  It doesn’t even feel like you are in the city when walking the trails. It is cool having them so close.

When we returned from our walk, Jessica fixed a breakfast of tea, πŸ₯“ bacon and hard boiled eggs. πŸ₯š I added a sliced banana with peanut butter.  Craig and I ate and chatted while Jessica got to work. Since covid she has been working from home like many others.

Jessica’s work station in her dining room.
Jessica hard at work. She has ALOT of meetings via zoom calls. She is a very busy young lady with ALOT of responsibility!

While Jessica worked I repotted a plant for her, tended to her little composter and took a shower while Craig read. Having some free time on my hands, I took an afternoon nap.😴 After my nap I did some laundry. Overall it has been a pretty relaxing day.

Jessica’s composter.

While I was on Jessica’s balcony tending to her composter today I heard a LOUD πŸ“’ siren. I didn’t know what the heck it was! I guess Jess saw how puzzled I was and she walked out to the balcony and said, “mom, that is just a tornadoπŸŒͺ warning siren test.” She said they do that test the second Wednesday of every month at 2 p.m. It was a surprise to me! A Tornado warning siren?!😳😳 Texas is out. We won’t consider moving here. Arizona (Prescott, Prescott Valley and Dewey-Humbolt) is still our number one pick.

The view from Jessica’s balcony. There’s Shorty! 🚌 In the distance is the beginning of the walking path that we took this morning, a tennis and volleyball court. It is like a little resort!

About 5 p.m. we decided to get some dinner.  We went to Salada, a salad place, but brought it back 🏑 home to eat.  We paired the salad with the left over ribs from Kreuz that we picked up yesterday.

Jessica had an 8 p.m. zoom meeting, so while she worked Craig and I watched the Vice Presidential debate. πŸ€” πŸ€ͺ After the debate we had to laugh so we watched some Dry Bar humor on You Tube.

Well, like I said, a pretty chill day. I folded the remainder of the laundry and got ready for bed. Until tomorrow.

THURSDAY

We got up and went for a walk again this morning, but instead of the park trails behind Jessica’s apt complex we walked thru a neighborhood down the street. The neighborhood was REALLY nice! I would venture to guess that these homes were in the range of 800k and up. It reminded me of Palos Verdes, CA. The homes appeared to be on about a quarter to a half an acre, nicely landscaped, HUGE yards and some even had🐎🐴 horses roaming on their lots. Most had circular driveways, lots of trees, no sidewalks and huge front yards. It is a really nice neighborhood.

Beautiful.
Huge ranch style home.
The open gates to someone’s home.
Craig and Jess chatting it up.
Some pretty flowers along our walk.  Beautiful landscape in this neighborhood.
Interesting; this tree grew around this fence. Like I always say “Nature finds a way.”

We got back to the house in time for Jessica to get ready for her morning Zoom meeting.   She grabbed a quick cup of tea and I brewed some coffee for Craig and I.

We didn’t have any particular plans today while Jessica worked. We straightened up a bit, and ended up πŸ“š readingΒ  and spending some time on social media.Β  When the time came for Jessica to report out, she introduced us to her work team; they were very friendly.πŸ‘‹πŸΌ She works with some GOOD FOLKS! πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½ Team Rubicon.

Later in the afternoon Craig and I hopped in Jessica’s car, (she was still working) and went to the grocery store for a couple of things and just to get out for a while. We ended up riding around touring the town, stopped and washed her car, and looked for a KOA RV park that was supposed to be close to her place, as a back up. Apparently it went out of business.

The major grocery store around these parts.

When we got back I fixed dinner. We had zucinni with onion, garlic and πŸ§€ cheese served over seasoned ground beef. Simple and Tasty.   After dinner I watched some you tube videos. Jessica had another work zoom meeting, Craig had his Thursday evening Zoom call with his sisters and nieces. I chilled and worked on this blog.

FRIDAY

We got up and went to breakfast this morning at a little local healthy food place called First Watch. It is the kind of place that has farm fresh, cage free, free range, organic eggs, 21 grain 🍞 bread, oatmeal, and organic and fresh ingredients. Good stuff!

Our breakfast spot this morning.
Downtown Dallas

President John F. Kennedy

We opted for some history today and headed to Dallas. After breakfast we went to the Dallas 6th floor museum. This is the famed building where Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy, from the 6th floor of this building.

I remember being in the second grade playing outside during recess. When all of a sudden all of the teachers ran outside of the classrooms crying😭; female and male teachers alike. The principal and office workers flooded the school yard as well, all in tears. Then all of us kids started crying. We didn’t know why, but it had to be something really bad because all of the adults were crying!😭😭 Then some of them started yelling “President Kennedy is dead!!” It was a day I will never forget. The day was filled with chaos and utter sadness. We were all sent home for the day. I don’t even remember going to school the next day. When we did go back to school, it was very somber. Such a sad, sad day in history. There was so much hope for this young president. By the way he was our youngest president in history, he took office at the age of 35. The museum offered loads of well documented information, photos and artifacts. Here is a snippet of what we experienced.

1960 Campaign
Peace Corps = President Kennedy
Wisdom
Security, 1963
Civil Rights
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Patsy.
The room Oswald shot from.
Theories
Photographic and acoustical evidence was used in this case.
Conspiracy? πŸ€” In three years 18 witnesses were dead, HUM….
John and Jackie Kennedy ❀ loved by many.

After all of these years, many still believe it was a government conspiracy because it was believed that President Kennedy was going to make some real changes for the American people. I for one have believed it was a government conspiracy; and after touring this museum, I am more convinced than ever, that it was. πŸ˜‘

I was feeling a bit somber and teary eyed when we left the museum. All of those feelings as a second grader came flooding back.πŸ˜ͺ

The grassy knoll.

We walked across the street to view the grassy knoll and “X” marks in the street indicating the exact spot where the President was shot.

The Old Red Museum was caddy corner from the 6th street museum. It is a beautiful building.

Well, we left Dallas and headed back to Arlington. Jessica took us on a tour of various neighborhoods in her area. There are some REALLY NICE reasonably priced homes! We got back to her place and settled in. Her friend Jackie delivers food via door dash and brought us some chicken for dinner.

BBQ chicken restaurant

This BBQ chicken was DELICIOUS! The locals call it “crack chicken” I see why! OMG! Jess ordered soy sauce/garlic and sweet and spicy wings for us to try. I have to say it was the TASTIEST chicken I have ever eaten. Yes, THE BEST EVER! Perfectly seasoned. Perfectly fried wings. Tender and juicy. If you are ever in Arlington, Texas and like chicken wings, this establishment is a MUST! The sides were basic, we didn’t get any but rather paired the wings with a home made salad. But those wings!!πŸ€ͺπŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½ DELISH!

After dinner we watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix! Wow what an eye opening documentary! AI is already here people. This is a MUST see documentary. In a nutshell, our devices and social media track and influence our daily lives. The former top personnel urge us to stop using social media because we are being manipulated. INTERESTING AND QUITE INFORMATIVE! A MUST SEE!

SATURDAY

We slept in this morning. Jessica had to work today from 10 a.m. to 4 pm. Craig listened to his usual Kangen call. Me? I brewed a pot of coffee and I went through my pix deciding which ones to use for this blog and repaired my main map of the U.S. that I use and mark up when we travel.

I use this US map ALL THE TIME. I’m old school and I just love maps and exploring. I do use navigation when we travel, but I always follow along on a paper map so I can see EXACTLY where we are.πŸ™ƒ

Craig did a couple of “To Dos” for Jessica. One, hanging her chair on the patio and Two putting up a hanging screen door for her.

Getting the chair ready to hang.
Testing it out.
Getting the magnetic screen ready to put up.

That magnetic screen was a bit tricky. It was a little to wide and long, so we had to finagle it a bit to fit just right. It took us a good 45 minutes to get it just right. Now she can open her glass sliding door without 🦟  mosquitos invading her apartment. 😁

We finally went to get some dinner about 5 p.m. Craig wanted to go to Babe’s; a fried chicken place.

Babe’s!
Fried chicken, catfish, green πŸ₯— salad, green beans, corn, mashed potatoes, gravy and biscuits.
Tasty!

Babe’s is known for its fried πŸ—  chicken.  The way this establishment works is you order your meat, fried or baked chicken, fish, or chicken fried steak. The sides are automatic, you don’t order or select them. They will continue to bring side dishes to your table; as much as you want. Good food for a reasonable price.

Sidebar: About two weeks before this roadtrip Craig and I started eating low carb; we stopped eating bread, pasta and sugar, (for the most part.) We always check labels and opt for items with LOW or no sugar. Well, we have slipped a bit on this trip, allowing a little leeway. We will have to get back on track sooner than later.

GOLD POPS  is a Popsicle store that Jessica will visit occasionally; she took us there after dinner. 🀫🀭  This  store is a small family run business that specializes in speciality popsicles; made with fresh fruit and cream. Some flavors include: fudge, banana chocolate, raspberry cantaloupe, coconut pistachio, πŸ‘ peach, πŸ₯‘ avocado, lemon basil, jackfruit, coconutπŸ₯₯ black bean, citrus matcha, sweet and spicy pineapple 🍍 and many other truly unique combinations.  If you are ever in Arlington, TX, Gold Pops is a MUST stop for a tasty sweet treat made with fresh ingredients.  You can purchase them individually or get a box of five for $15. I enjoyed the fudge pop; it took me back to my childhood. It was tastier, richer and more chocolaty than the fudgesicle I ate as a child.  Jessica enjoyed the  sweet and spicy pineapple pop; she let me taste it; it tasted like fresh 🍍 pineapple with spicy Tajin, (a Mexican seasoning.) It was different, but tasty with a little kick; Unique. I highly recommend this little family run business.πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ˜

Unique pops
Yummy specialty popsicles

After we enjoyed our pops, as dusk approached, we took a walk in Legacy Park.

During our visit we have watched and listened to Jessica prepare and conduct her Zoom meetings. She is a dedicated, hard working individual. She has grown into such a beautiful, responsible, caring, productive human being. πŸ₯° We are so proud of her!πŸ€—

We have truly enjoyed our time here with Jessica, “daddy’s BABY gurl.” It will be difficult to say farewell tomorrow, but it is time for us to move on. Next stop is Tulsa, Oklahoma to see Black Wall Street.

✌🏽 Peace and Love πŸ’ž

San Antonio, TX

We arrived Sunday evening. It is really nice to see our friends, Craig and Monica.Β  (The last time we saw them was in January 2019, on our drive home, after we purchased Shorty.)Β  They welcomed us into their home with open arms. After visiting for a while, we ordered some take out, ate dinner, talked and laughed for a couple hours before weΒ  turned in for the night.

Vibrant yellow flowers we saw on our walk.

Sidebar:Β  When Craig and I are at home, every morning, Monday through Thursday, we get up and go for a morning walk. When travelling I will plan various stops during the day to provide us opportunities to get out and stretch our legs.

Today is Monday. This morning, since we will be stationary for a couple of days we got up and took a walk in the neighborhood. We passed this  bush with pretty yellow flowers.🌻🌼    We made a few observations while walking. We saw a lot of glass (not screen doors) called storm doors. According to Monica they are so one can open their door during a rain storm to have the visibility but not allow the cold to come in. We also saw an abundance of wooden fences, rather than block walls, which we learned are subdivision rules.

Today was a very chill dayΒ  catching up and watching TV.Β  As evening approached we decided to get out and have some dinner. We opted for Mexican food at Sausalito’s.Β  (My) Craig loves ground beef, hard shell tacos which this establishment offered. The food was OK, but the company and conversation was excellent.

Sausalito Mexican Restaurant, the two Craig’s, Monica and I.😊

After dinner we stopped at a little park on the way back to the house, for a walk.Β  As soon as we parked and opened the door the sound of cicadas filled the air. These little illusive creatures, I have yet to see but have heard them in different states.

A little garden snake on the walking path.

This little garden snake was about a foot and a half long and at his thickest point was a little thicker than my thumb.Β  He was slithering across the walkingΒ  path, but as we approached he froze, playing dead. We stopped to take a photo and went on our way.

This little rabbit made an appearance from the brush.πŸ‡
Lightening bugs.

After taking the circular walkway twice, Monica and I ventured on a different path. I am so glad we did,Β  because weΒ  saw lightening bugs!Β  Never have I ever seen lightening bugs πŸ› in real life.Β  In the movie, Sweet Home Alabama, is the only time I have ever seen lightning bugs. I was so excited to see them for real!Β  It is the little things that make my day.😁 After all, I am the nature gurl AKA Dora the Explorer.πŸ˜„πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

We returned back to the house to chill and watch some TV for a while before we turned in the the night.

This morning, Tuesday πŸŒ„ we got up early and went for our morning walk. We got back, sat in our rig and had a cup of coffee. I cut an apple, peeled a banana and got the peanut butter out. A quick snack is all we need.

Just before noon we went in the house to visit for a while. We watched the movie ’21 Bridges” with Chadwick Bozeman. (RIP) Excellent movie! We talked and laughed.

Before we left Craig and Monica, we thanked them for their hospitality, held hands and prayed for good health, healing and safe travels.  It is 4:30 p.m. Our next destination is Kreuz BBQ in Lockhart for dinner. I had been there once before in 2016 during a gurls road trip with Sandra and Teresa.  Since we are so close, (about an hour away) why not stop!? After all, it is in the direction of Arlington.😁

We have arrived.Β  Lockhart is said to be the BBQ Capital, (according to the signs we saw.)
Ordering up the meats, sold by the pound, served on butcher paper.
Ordering our side dishes.
Pork n beef ribs, brisket, cole slaw, mac n cheese, pickles and onions, cuz that is how they do it here at Kreuz.
Craig is ready to eat!

Kreuz BBQ was tasty. The meat was seasoned well and those beef ribs were MEATY πŸ„ and lean.

We are back onΒ  the road Arlington bound via Waco.Β  I initially wanted to stop at the Silos in Waco, but they are closed, oh well, next time. I didn’t need that deliciously, chocolatety, moist, rich, decadent, sugar filled 🧁cupcake anyway.πŸ™„πŸ˜”πŸ€­

Sidebar: Anyone a fan if HGTV with Chip and Joanna Gains? Anyway, they have established the Magnolia Market at the Silos. It is a family friendly location that provides shopping, food trucks, a bakery and a hugh relaxing field complete with bean bag chairs for relaxing and stuff for the kids to do; very family friendly. And I have to say, their bakery has the BEST home made 🧁 cupcakes!!  Here is their site: https://magnolia.com/silos/

Arlington bound. We are on the 35N, it is dark now and time to stop and fill the tank…it was just below half way. (Carle, stop laughingπŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚)Β Β  The ride is quiet except for my singing and Craig’s whistling to the music.Β  I must admit that his whistling is far superior than my mediocre singing.Β  πŸ˜† We arrived at Jessica’sΒ  about 10:45 p.m. It is always so nice to see daddy’s baby girl. πŸ˜‰πŸ₯° Until tomorrow.

Sonora & Fredericksburg, TX

A fresh brewed cup of coffee β˜• in the morning is like a warm hug. 😁☺

Good morning from 🀠 Sonora, TX. It is Sunday morning. With our door open and the cool fresh air creeping in, I am enjoying my morning cup of β˜•Β  coffee.Β  I can hear the birds chirping and singingΒ  and an occasional dog bark.Β  Otherwise, it is VERY QUIET.Β  No lawn mowers, sirens, airplanes, helicopters, trains, music, voices, car engines, or toilets flushing: NOTHING. PURE UNADULTERATEDΒ  QUIET.Β  I LOVE IT! I REALLY LOVE IT.Β  I live in Los Angeles County and there is ALWAYSΒ  some type of background NOISE, 24/7; I call it white noise, a constant background hum that you, I cannot turn off. I find it annoying.Β  It often impedesΒ  my thoughts and inner peace. That is one reason I LOVE to travel, to find these little hidden QUIET gems.Β  When I do find these quiet πŸ’Ž gems it gives me such an inner peace and calm. I can TRULY relax and think, uninterrupted. I feel SO MUCH CLOSER to the Lord, MY God. The Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you JESUS that there are still so many little gems out here for me to discover and enjoy! THANK YOU for my future home in one of these little quiet πŸ’Ž gems.πŸ˜‰ What’s that?! πŸ‘‚πŸ½Prescott Valley…I hear you calling…☎️

Unfortunately for us we were unable to tune into our Sunday morning broadcasts with Cottonwood Church or Sanctuary. We listen in EVERY week to get our Sunday morning encouragement and fellowship.😣😞

Oh!! πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚ Wait!! We forgot about the time change, it is a two hour difference.Β  We WERE able to listen to the Sanctuary fellowship.Β  πŸ™πŸ½ Now, time to unhook and get ready to hit the road. While we were preparing to depart Kevin came over and was chatting with us, such a truly friendly man with a BIG❀ heart.Β  He shared that about two years ago there was a heavy rain and the river and water canal overflowed and the town flooded. The water got about three feet deep andΒ about 200 homes were lost.Β  He said that Sonora is a largely based Christian community, so it was no surprise that they all got together and helped everyone, one-by-one rebuild their homes.Β  A GOOD Christian community behaving like Jesus would have them to be. He also shared that once a month ALL of the churches in town get together and have a big cook out. Praise the Lord Sonora, TX.🀠

Sonora RV park sign
There we are! See the pink 🦩flamingos? 😁

On to Fredricksburg for a little sight seeing. Then to San Antonio to visit with Craig and Monica.πŸ˜ƒ

Big sky country.
Big sky country. So clean.
Very clean highway
Speed limit: 80 mph
Lovely
Highway  to heaven (minus the bug splatters.)πŸͺ°πŸ
Roller coaster road in the distance.
Better view of “roller coaster road”
God’s  country.  So fresh and so clean, clean.πŸ˜‰πŸ˜œ
Unfortunate name for a town??πŸ€”

FREDRICKSBURG

Rolling into Fredricksburg.πŸšŒπŸ’¨
Our Grill; A few of God’s creatures who hitched a ride on Shorty’s face.🀭

In Fredericksburg there are butterflies a PLENTY.Β  It was a beautiful sight. Unfortunately, so many cars had butterflies in their grills, but we need not dispare. As we were walking into town we saw the birds dive bombing and dining on the bugs and butterflies who met their fate in the grill of a car.πŸ˜” It is the circle of life, (Simba).β­•βœŒπŸ½

Such a charming little town.
This shirt made me laugh out loud!!🀭

As we explored and walked around this charming town we stumbled upon a Veterans Memorial AND a Japanese Garden. Enjoy the pix.

Veteran’s Memorial garden.
Memorial wall, WWII
Memorial Wall, WWII
Japanese home replica.
Japanese garden
Shhh, 🀫 quiet.
So Zen.. ✌🏽
Namaste βœŒπŸ½πŸ§˜β€β™€οΈ

This is such a charming town in Hill Country whose roots are German based. The store fronts are so unique and cute. A tourist town? Yes. But worth the visit. The town reminds me of Solvang in CA.πŸ˜ŠπŸ€”

Cute, but comfy?πŸ€” IDK…
Cute landscape and metal art in front of a boutique.

After Fredericksburg, on the drive toward San Antonio we spied a fruit stand with a big sign that said FRESH PEACHES. “Craig, pull over!” I shouted. He did. I was initially disappointed because it is no longer peach season.πŸ˜” But I purchased some produce; squash, apples and persimmons. Those Honeycrisp apples 🍎  are the SWEETEST I have ever eater. Sweet, crunchy and delicious! Yum!! Wish I could get theseΒ  back home.

My purchase; Apples, persimmons and squash.
The produce stand stop on our way to Fredricksburg. Craig chatting with the proprietor.
Craig and Donna, proprietor

We arrived at Craig and Monica’s house early evening as the sun was beginning to set. We have a lot of catching up to do. Until tomorrow.πŸ‘‹πŸΌ

San Antonio bound via El Paso

I woke up to my alarm, 8 a.m. It was COLD.Β  It has been so hot during the days that neither of us remembered to turn the thermostat on before we went to bed.

Morning tea, turmeric and ginger with a little bit of honey.

I kicked the generator on and heated some water for a nice hot cup of tea. 🍡 Awww. Warmed and dressed; ready to hit the road.  Thank you Deming Walmart for a safe place to sleep.  It was a bit noisy but good enough for a one nighter.

Craig put on his positive reinforcement podcast, like he does every morning. It is GOOD to hear positivity first thing in the morning. It is encouraging and feeds our souls.Β  Well, we hit the highway headed East bound listening to words of encouragement. First major city we will hit is Las Cruces, N.M.

Lots of wide open space on the 10 East as we head toward Las Cruces, NM.

We stopped at a Walmart in El Paso to pick up some DEF for our rig. Our energy was a little low so, while in the parking lot,Β  I fixed us a little snack. It consisted of a sliced apple 🍎 and banana 🍌with a dab of peanut butter, sprinkled with chia seeds. πŸ‘πŸ½ It hit the spot and will hold us for several hours.😁

It is a long drive from Deming to San Antonio with not much to see besides open highway, changing landscapes and big riggs.

New Mexico
A HUGH steel art road runnerΒ  on a hill in NM. It had to be at least 15 feet tall.
The Texas Star welcomed us.
I like the lines of this over pass in TX. Kind of artsy, ya think?
Border Patrol.
Border Patrol. The agent asked if we were American Citizens.πŸ€”
Nice overpass art.
The highway was chopped through the mountains inΒ TX. I love the different layers, colors and textures of the stone.
Look at those mountain walls.
Look at those layers, textures and colors!
A pecan farm in Texas.
Green landscape, nice change from all of the brown.

We saw lots of cattle and a couple of cotton fields. The ride is LONG with not too much see except the changing landscape. Besides chatting, Craig and I listen to music andΒ we sometimes name the cloud shapes, mountains and other sights. These LONG stretches get a little…redundant.

We dubbed the hill on the right “flat top.”
This mountain reminded Craig of a woman’s breast. So he dubbed it “tittie mountain.”🀭 SMH, only a man would see that.🀣 I couldn’t NOT see it after he said it.☺ I actually was looking at the road on that little hill (in front of tittie mt.) and how it was cut through the mountain.πŸ˜€
We have seen this guy on the highway with us for a couple hundred miles.
I dubbed this one Pyramid Pass. I find it amazing how man decided to just cut through it rather than build the road over it. πŸ€”
Those mountain walls. πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ½
A work of art.

We have been driving ALL DAY and seeing very little civilization. We filled our tank before we hit the road, as usual. It is almost 7 p.m. now and we are down to just below a quarter of a tank. (Anyone who knows me knows I will fill my tank at the half way point. I do not like my fuel tank below half. Carle, I KNOW you are laughing πŸ€£πŸ˜‚at me right now.πŸ˜‰) Thank God for this little town of Ozona; we can fill our fuel tank! Now to find someplace for the night and get some food in our bellies. Besides our little snack this morning and a handful of pecans, we have had nothing to eat. We are hungry. I am actually feeling a little hangry…πŸ€ͺ and tired.

I logged into my favorite travel app, Park Advisor, to help me find a place for the night. Sonora RV park in Sonora, Texas had one spot available. Full hook ups, no frills, for $22. Such a deal. The owner, Mark was leaving for the night, so his assistant Kevin met us at the front entrance and led us to our spot. It had begun to get dark so Kevin help guide Craig and chatted while he hooked us up. I immediately got into the kitchen to fix us some dinner. By now it was 8 p.m. and our stomachs were grumbling.

Craig is ready to eat!
Dinner tonight; teriyaki short ribs, 🍠 yams with cinnamon and honey and steamed veggies with butter, garlic and salt. It took me about 20 minutes to pull this together. It was delicious! Tell me, why does food taste so much better when you are hungry?πŸ€”

After dinner Craig has kitchen duty, so I hopped in the shower. Nothing like a nice hot shower after a long day on the road. We are about two and a half hours from San Antonio. We are so close, why didn’t we just keep on going? Simple, we were just too tired. Anyway, it is almost midnight and I am sleepy. Until tmro…✌🏽😴

Tombstone, AZ, 10/2020

Tombstone, AZ

We are Texas bound to visit our youngest daughter, Jessica in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, and Craig’s friend Craig, in San Antonio.  On our way home we will visit Oklahoma, Kansas and perhaps Colorado. Why? Because we can.😁

We got Shorty ready for this adventure last night.  We filled his tank, loaded our provisions clothing and other necessities so we could depart bright and early. We departed this morning about 5:30 a.m. headed east bound on the 91 freeway. We stopped at McDonald’s for coffee just outside of Indio. (Sidebar: we have not eaten at πŸ”McDonald’s  for about 25 years. However, McDonald’s is our ‘go to’ for coffee β˜• when we are on the road.😁)  So, we stopped at one McDonald’s to grab a cup of Joe, but it was drive thru only, so we pressed forward. We drove about 5 miles and found another McDonald’s so we pulled into the lot. Just as I was getting out,  I saw a gentleman (let’s call him Rafael) walking from McDonald’s who told me that they were drive thru only and he hopped in his pick up truck and proceeded to the drive thru.  I really wanted, needed, a cup of coffee so I got in the line with the cars. (I only got about 4 hours of sleep, so I really needed my coffeeπŸ˜‘πŸ˜„.)  As I was standing there Rafael and I began to chat. He asked me what I wanted to order and offered to get it for me; “Two cups of black coffee,” I said. I offered him  money but he refused.  I thanked him and walked back to Shorty to wait.  A few minutes later Rafael pulled up with our β˜• coffee. Again, I offered to pay him, but he refused the money. We chatted a bit more. I learned that Rafael is from Temecula, CA, on his way back from Georgia. He has a home there that his daughter lives in that was in need of some repairs. Being retired, he drove to Georgia to make the repairs and visit with his daughter. He shared that he has visited all 50 states in his little pick up, and that he has over 400,000 miles on it!😱 I shared that our goal is to visit all 50 states as well, and that we have only been to about 21 so far. He said it was a great experience, one that he will treasure.  Before he departed he said  “life is so short, so, be sure to enjoy it!  Stay safe and be blessed.” Words of wisdom, I say! β˜•.πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘€

RANDOM INFO.  In AZ on the 10 about 90 miles before Phoenix, we passed ‘Sore Finger Road.’ What prompted that name I wonder? Hum..  πŸ€”   Also, on the open road we always see a lot of big rigs… those most common are; Amazon Prime, UPS and Fed Ex trucks along with Pensky, U-haul moving trucks, and Wal-Mart trucks along with a host of other RVers.πŸšŒπŸ’¨

We arrived in Tombstone, AZ about 6 p.m. While on the road I had called ahead and made reservations for the night at the Wells Fargo RV Park. Upon arriving, the gentleman in the office was welcoming and friendly. This small park was located right smack at the end of town which is why I selected it, (and the reviews were good.) It was PERFECT! The park is well maintained, well lit, with hook ups, CLEAN showers, wifi and laundry facilities for $35 for the night.  Well worth the money I’d say. I DO recommend this RV park. πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½

RV park map
Wells Fargo RV Park entrance.

We set up camp and took a walk through town to stretch our legs. (We had been on the road for about 12 hours, so we needed to walk!) The main street, Allen Street, is about 6 or so blocks long. It was dark and the streets were empty. It was nice and quiet and it felt as though we had stepped back in time.πŸ•°

This RV was near ours, ready for πŸŽƒ Halloween.

The first sight we saw on our evening walk. The OK corral.

Birdcage theater.
“Saloon girl”
Us with a “saloon girl” at the Birdcage.
Big Nose Kate was Doc Holiday’s  girl. They say she was an attractive woman, but got that nickname because she was nosey.πŸ‘ƒπŸ€­
Beautiful stained glass window. “Lady of the evening”
Another beautiful stained glass window. “Lady of the evening.”

Sidebar: Why Tombstone? You may ask….  Have you ever seen the movie ‘TOMBSTONE’ with Kurt Russel, Sam Elliot, and Val Kilmer? It is about the famous lawman Wyatt Earp, his brothers Virgil and Morgan, and his pal Doc Holiday.  It is our all time favorite Western movie that we have seen at least a dozen times. AND, since we are heading to Texas to see our daughter, why not stop for a night? After all it is on the way.πŸ˜‰

This morning I got up early to take another walk around town. It was about  8 a.m. and only the breakfast spot was open. I walked the town enjoying the morning quiet and explored a few other side streets that we did not venture down the night before. After exploring for about an hour I went back to the RV to get Craig. After Craig got ready we did some RV housekeeping and hit the town. It was about 10 a.m., the town establishments were opening and the streets began to fill with tourists and locals alike.  Here are some sights around town.

Welcome to Tombstone!
Freemont Street. The main street.
We learned that the legendary gun fight did NOT take place at the OK Corral, but on Freemont Street.
Birdcage theater.
A lawman and outlaw having (pretend) words. 🀭
Big nose Kates saloon…Interesting guest list…
Wyatt Earp’s house. His older brother Virgil lived across the street and  younger brother Morgan lived  around the corner.
A little history. 😱
A notice for “Certain Shady ladies.” They had some interesting names…🀭
We took a guided tour through town in the trolley.
Interesting sign at the Trolley station.πŸ˜‰
Historical marker where the gunfight ACTUALLY happened.

The Trolley tour revealed some facts and myths about Tombstone, the movie.Β  Such as, 1) the original gunfight with the Earp’s and McClaurey’s took only 30 seconds. Three men died, 2 were wounded. 2) The gun fight actually happened on Freemont Street, but Hollywood didn’t like the sound of it, so they changed it to theΒ  “OK Corral” because it sounded more ‘Western.’Β  3) In its heyday, Tombstone had more bars and gambling houses than anything else in town. Of course there were a ridiculous amount of “ladies of the evening” to entertain the travellers. 4) The ladies of the evening had to register AND pay taxes.😱 They were considered working women.Β  5) There was a large population of Chinese that lived in Tombstone. 6) When taking the census, only white men over the age of 18 were counted. People of color, women and children were not counted. There was so much interesting historic information shared that I just can’t remember it all. Oh yea, Tombstone has a population of about 1,500.

More pix.

Craig posing with a “Saloon girl”
Me posing with some “outlaws.”
Birdcage theater. Can u see the bullet holes in the ceiling? We were told there are about 100 total.
An old bath tub.
An old dentist chair.
An old hearse with windows (and Craig).
An old see thru coffin.
Original gambling table and chairs.

Tombstone: We thoroughly enjoyed our time here! We had a great, interesting, informative and fun day with you. 😁 The best tourist town I have been to this far. πŸ‘πŸ½ BONUS, the costumes characters, boutique shops, restaurants and VERY friendly folk added to the charm of this destination. Thank you!

We left Tombstone about 3:30 this afternoon and decided to drive as far as we could before we got tired or it got dark. Well, about 20 minutes outside of Tombstone there is a Border Patrol station.

Approaching border patrol.
Border patrol.
Border patrol agent.

The Border Patrol agent asked us if we had an “illegals” in our RV. πŸ˜‘ “No.” Was Craig’s reply. The agent smiled and waived us on.

We drove for a few hours and ended up in Deming, NM for the night at a Wal-Mart parking lot. We are just about 30 minutes outside of Las Cruces. On our drive we saw this big rig.

We LOVE his sign: “His name is not the man upstairs, His name is JESUS.”
Dinner tonight. Grilled BBQ chicken and salad.

Sidebar: A couple of days before this trip I grilled some chicken with BBQ sauce, some lemon mango chicken, and shortribs. I stowed them in Ziplock bags and tossed them in the freezer. Tonight we had the BBQ chicken πŸ—with our πŸ₯— salad. YUM. It makes dinner so easy; a heat and eat meal.πŸ˜‰

Dinner is done. We are tired. Time for a shower and some rest. We are next to the freeway in the Walmart parking lot with several other RVs and big rigs. It is noisy but safe. Besides the noise from the highway, I hear music off in the distance. Oh well, time for some shut eye. πŸ’€ Tomorrow is another day on the road.πŸšŒπŸ’¨ Next destination, San Antonio via El Paso, TX. ✌🏽

IDAHO Saturday and Sunday

It’s Saturday morning and time to leave our home away from home.Β  With the towels in the laundry room, bedsheets stripped, trash tossed and kitchen cleaned we departed at 8:30 a.m.Β Β  We all had a great time and created some good family memories. This vacation was a good balance of activities and chill time.Β  Our trip to Idaho (from California) provided us the opportunity to see four states; Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.

Saturday morning

The first order of business was to fill Shorty’sΒ  tank with β›½ petrol,Β  and dump the black πŸ’© 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 πŸ₯”Β  museum just beyond Idaho Falls on our way to Blackfoot.Β  We passed corn 🌽 fields just beforeΒ Pocatello. We saw plenty of silos and bales and bales of hay.Β 

Silos, filled with??πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ
Bales of hay.

Lunch of leftovers was had in a gas station parking lot inΒ Maiad City, ID.Β  We hit the Utah state line about 1:30 p.m.Β  Craig had been driving since 8:30 this morning, when he gets tired I take over.

A lighthouse, in Idaho. Forgot what city tho…
Welcome!πŸ‘‹πŸΌ

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.😁

Beautiful open highway
Rain in the distance.
Clouds began to roll in. We got a little rain.

Interstate 15 was a nice drive, until I got to a mountain pass between St. George, UT and Mesquite,Β  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.Β  My vision is not what it used to be, even with my πŸ€“glasses.)Β  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!Β  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!)Β  ANYWAY,Β  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.Β  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 aΒ white knuckle drive for me, FOR SURE!πŸ₯ΊΒ  I had my playlist 🎢 on, I was singing but in my head I was praying for safe travels.Β  Pardon me, butΒ  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.”Β  I felt such relief when we arrived in that Casino parking lot in Mesquite, NV. It was about 8:30 andΒ  I was TIRED and fatigued.

Dusky just before that white knuckle drive.

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 πŸ₯΅ hot night, I slept VERY well in that Casino parking lot. The kids got a hotel room, we will see them in the morning.

The Casino where we spent the night.

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.

Treasure Island Hotel/ Casino, Las Vegas, NV

We hit the road in the afternoon. We are about four to five hours from home at this point.

Penn & Teller at The Rio Hotel/Casino, Las Vegas, NV
New Raiders Staduim

Of course, we hit the Sunday afternoon Vegas traffic on our way home.πŸ˜”

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.πŸ₯±

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 πŸ’— hearts and 🏑 home to my πŸ‘ͺ family. Betty, a special THANK YOU for trusting and allowing us to retreat at your special ‘hideaway.” We are forever grateful for your kindness. πŸ₯° May you continue to be blessed for your kindness.πŸ˜‡

IDAHO – Friday, YELLOWSTONE

Yellowstone.
Looking for Yogi and Boo-BooπŸ˜‰

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.

Muneca and Jessica. (Middle and youngest daughters)

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!!

Screenshot, mama bear 399

We had the privilege of seeing mama bear and three of her cubs.

Mama bear 399 and two of her cubs. (U must look closely to see the cubs, after u see the mama.)
Baby bear number 3 going to catch up with mama 🐻
Throngs of people on the side of the road looking for a glimpse of 399
Rangers and paramedics on scene to keep the bears safe.πŸ˜‰

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.

God’s beauty
God’s beauty
We got a couple of t-shirts from the general store

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.

Chinese Spring
BEAUTIFUL clear blue HOT water
Beautiful color and design when the hot magma water skims the rocks surface.
Beehive geyser
Beautifully landscaped by the hot magma water, with walking trails in the distance.
Hot bubbling pot
A little water way and bubbling hot pot.
Old Faithful teasing us with a little spitting and steam.
Old Faithful.😁
There were AT LEAST a thousand + people sitting and waiting for Old Faithful to perform. Of course, afterwards the parking lot was a zoo.πŸ™ƒ

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.

Discussing the best spot to cast.
The boys fishing while Muneca counts the tiny fish🐟 and tadpoles near her feet.πŸ˜„
Muneca taking a stab at fishing.
My view from the river bank.
A lone fisherman.

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.

IDAHO – Thursday

Elk and Buffalo horseback riding tours

THURSDAY – We got up early this πŸŒ„ morning to go horseback🐴🐎 riding. Well, Muneca, Jessica and our grandsons Reign and Remil went riding. Β  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.Β  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,Β  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 upΒ  exploring a neighborhood health food store and grabbing a cup of β˜• 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.Β  The little blonde girl is the 5th generation to live on that land.Β  They raise cattle, chickens, and take guests out on their horses.Β  They are VERY WARM and FRIENDLY people. Muneca gave them a five star review on Yelp.πŸ‘πŸ½β­β­β­β­β­

A few pix from their morning adventure.

What a view!😁
They had such a good time.

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.πŸ₯±Β (I don’t remember horseback ridingΒ  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 πŸ› bugs.Β  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? 🀭🐻🐻

IDAHO, Monday – Wednesday

Morning β˜• coffee.

MONDAY:Β  After a late breakfast weΒ  piled into Shorty to head to Jackson, WY.Β Β  It is a beautiful and naraly mountain drive from Driggs to Jackson.

Beautiful view
Beautiful view
Steep mountain road, 10% grade πŸ₯Ί
The welcoming sign😁

We drove down the main street and found some RV parking. We explored the town of Jackson before we had to get Jessica fromΒ  the airport. Here are some pix.

Main street
She didn’t want her pic taken, the horses didn’t mind.
Cool door handle, made from a pistol.
Reign, Remil, me, Muneca and Craig b4 we picked Jessica up from the airport.
Typical tourist pic, right?😁
Jackson Hole, WY Antlers.
One of the many rafting companies.

Well, we had to cut our exploring short and head to the airport to pick up Jessica.

It was a beautiful drive to the airport.

We noticed a bike lane that ran parallel to the highway. Very cool!

Jackson Airport. Small and beautiful.

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.

Near Bubba’s. Love the colors.
Reign, Craig, Muneca and Jess

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.

Gearing up.
Craig giving his baby girl a quick review.
Almost ready.
One of Idaho’s many Amazing views!
Mr. ED?
On the way to the forest.

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 πŸ“š .

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.

Reign taking aim.
Remil taking aim.

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 πŸ”, hot dogs 🌭, watermelon πŸ‰, 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!

Grey skys
The wind!

It did end up raining for a little bit just as I was finishing the burgers. We were gifted with a beautiful double 🌈  rainbow.

Double 🌈 Rainbow
Pot of gold?

Just as dinner was ready Craig and the boys got back. Talk about timing? They could not have timed it better. πŸ˜„ 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.

On our way to the float trip in Moose, WY, inside the Grand Teton Park
Our raft.
Snake river
Craig, Jess & me. Our youngestπŸ₯°
Reign and his Papa.
Tetons
An eagle’s nest
Look closely, An eagle on the branch.
Beaver’s had a munching party.
Floating on the river.
Our float guide Sam sharing his river knowledge.

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.Β  πŸ‘πŸ½

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.

Us, with our guide Sam.😊

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.)Β  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.πŸ˜‰πŸ₯—

After dinner we headed back thru the pass to Driggs.Β  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. πŸ˜„ Not complaining, just saying.

Tomorrow is another day and chapter in the Idaho vacation. Thursday to Saturday, maybe Sunday. We will see.πŸ‘€

Idaho vacation, Friday-Sunday

Idaho, here come the Green’s!

FRIDAY: So, our Hawaiian family vacation scheduled for June was cancelled due to Covid 19.Β  πŸ˜” ThatΒ  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, πŸ˜‘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.Β  Clothes, check. Food supplies, check. Coffee pot and coffee, check. Passengers, check.Β  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.Β  Well, off we go on the backroads of Santa Clarita to get to Interstate 15.Β Β  The drive is always nice.Β  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,Β  Whew!Β Β  We learned that the brown haze was from the Northern CA fires.Β  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 πŸ”₯ HOT drive.

Yep, it says 137 degrees!!

Some sights along the way.

The drive from Los Angeles, CA to Driggs, Idaho is a little under 15 hours.Β  We drove about 8 hours before we stopped for the night at Camperland RV park in Beaver, Idaho, which is the half way point.Β  The park is located about 5 minutes off the highway, which was great for us!Β  There were deer grazingΒ  in the grass areas all over the facility. We could hear horses and donkeys, but didn’t see them.Β  It was a decent park with shade trees and grass, and full hook ups.Β  The pool was drained, (darn it, because we were all ready to take a swim).Β  The showers were clean and large. We snacked, settled in, watched a movie and went to bed.Β  There were five us us.Β  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.Β  It’s tight, but in a pinch will work.Β  Ideally, our rig is perfect for two adults.Β 

Camperland RV park in Beaver, UT

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.Β Β Β 

Octopus structure, Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Riverton, UT.

After several more hours we finally arrived at our destination!

Betty’s hideaway, but ours for now!
The AWESOME home we get to call ours for a week.

We were so excited.Β  Everyone piled out of “Shorty”Β  and went to tour the BEAUTIFUL home that would be ours for the next week.Β Β  Everyone chose their bedroom and staked their claim by bringing their clothes in and putting them in their respective closets.Β  By this time we were all so hungry!Β Β Β  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 πŸ• pizza was good too.πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½

View from Tatanka Tavern.

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.πŸ₯±

SUNDAY:Β  Today is the first full day at our “home away from home.”Β  I got up about 8:30 a.m. feeling well rested and brewed a cup of Joe. β˜•Β  UMMM, coffee first thing in the morning just starts the day off right.Β  After my coffee and watchingΒ  church on line, I prepared breakfast of pancakes, bacon and eggs for everyone.Β  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,Β  Muneca, my middle daughter joined them.Β 

Grandsons and graduates, Remil & Reign
Rosen Road
My daughter, Muneca, the twins mom.

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! πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½) 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 berryπŸ’ƒ dance 🎢 party on my tongue.🎡

Huckleberry shake. πŸ˜‹ YUM

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.  🌎

On the front porch making notes for this blog.
The stream in front of the house.

These are some of their shooting pix

Craig, Remil, Muneca and Reign.
Remil, Craig & Reign
Muneca’s turn.
Silly boys!

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.✈

GURL’S TRIP!

All geared up,, Ready to roll!!

Friday finally arrived! I woke up this morning anticipatingΒ Β  adventure and relaxation!Β  With Shorty loaded up and ready to roll I waited for Naomi to arrive.

SIDEBAR:Β  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.) ThroughΒ  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!Β  We are able to pick right back up and enjoy each others company; laugh, share and chill. No matter how long it has beenΒ  we have a bond; a special admiration and love for each other.πŸ₯° These are two very special people in my life.

Circa 2013.Β  My two long time, special friends.πŸ₯°

OK, for u grammarΒ  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!πŸ™ƒΒ  This was my second trip driving our RV, “Shorty” without my husband, Craig. AND, my first camping trip without him.Β  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.Β  Now,Β  our children have children. Yes, we are grandmothers. πŸ€­πŸ€—Β  Anyway, the timing was perfect for our schedules to get away and just be US.Β  Adult women. Not mom. Not Nana.Β  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!Β  Gurl’s Trip!!

The four and a half hour drive up to Bishop wasΒ  relaxing.Β  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!πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

We arrived at camp early afternoon and checked in, it was about 100 degrees.😰πŸ”₯Β  We had a dry camp spot with no hook ups, just a picnic bench and fire ring in the gravel covered dirt.Β  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,Β  the opposite side of the grounds was a green oasis with water sprinklers,Β  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.Β  I thought (and think I said out loud) “what a prime camping spot!” Wow, how nice!

HOT, Dry camp

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.Β  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 πŸ‰Β  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 niceΒ  green oasis area, near them.Β  Naomi and I were thrilled! We quickly finished dinner, packed everything up and drove to the oasis side of the camp.Β  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!πŸ˜πŸ˜‡Β  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 CarleπŸ˜‰) We now had electricity and water hook ups. Thank you Jesus! Electricity meant AIR CONDITIONING!πŸ₯Ά We could sleep comfortably though the night without sweating bullets.πŸ˜†

The Promise Land.πŸ˜‰

Saturday Razor Riding

We woke Saturday morning to the hustle and bussel of the drivers getting their Razors ready for the day.

Renee and Carle’s razors (& RVs)

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.

On the road to the trails.
Caravan
And  they’re off!  Follow the dust trail.πŸ™ƒ

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!πŸ€£πŸ˜‚  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. 

Folks and their 4-wheel drive trucks camping at the lake.
Our crew.
Beautiful View from up on the hill where many of us found trees and bushes to relieve ourselves.🀭
The crystal clear lake is ONLY accessible via a four wheel drive vehicle or helicopter!πŸ˜‰
Little butterflies fluttering around a dirt hole. So cute.
View of the valley below. We had assended 10,000 feet and it was a bit chilly.
Na and I enjoying the vast valley view before us.
Spectacular views as we decended.
There were mud pits.
We bounced over MANY trails of rocks and small boulders.
Caravan back down the trail.
Precarious parking skills. One wheel in the air.
Two wheels on and two wheels off of the ground.  They got skills!!
Me, trying to look cool.😎
A little preview of a smoother road. I could not film bumpier ones for fear of dropping my phone.

When we returned back to camp we were sweaty, dusty and dirty; but it was totally worth it!!Β  We hit the camp showers, and then relaxed with a bottle of wine,πŸ·πŸ§€ cheese and crackers.Β Β Β  Later in the evening we grilled some burgersπŸ” for dinner. What a great adventure we had today!!🀩 This was my second time and Naomi’sΒ  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.  😁

Thermal headed pool.
Our view.

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.Β  A tuna sandwich, chips and fruit fit the bill.Β  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.Β 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.Β  Of course while we were walking he dropped a tootsie roll πŸ’© for me to dispose of.πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Louie chillin’
Louie, Louie!

After lunch I returned Louie to his air conditioned quarters, and Naomi and I headed back to the pool.Β  We spent time πŸŠβ€β™‚οΈΒ  swimming,Β lounging poolside and soaking in the hot mineral pool. We chilled there until about 5:30. We showered and fixed dinner ofΒ 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.

Homeward bound

Heading home was pretty uneventful except when we stopped by a popular drive thru to get a morning cup of Joe.β˜• 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. πŸ˜Šβ˜• 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.πŸ™‹πŸ½β€β™€οΈπŸ™‹πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

Sacramento Bound

Happy Friday!Β  It is a little gloomy today and a few rain drops have fallen, but that will not hinder my joy!!Β  We are hitting the road for a quick weekend roadtrip to Sacramento, CA.πŸ‘ 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. πŸ™ 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.πŸ™πŸ’ž

Heading North is always a nice drive once you get out of L.A.

Tejon Ranch area
Once we drove thru the Grapevine we saw grape vines! πŸ‡

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.

A really cool bridge.

SURPRISE!

We arrived at our destination late in the afternoon; the Higgs’ Family home. πŸ§‘πŸ§‘My twinΒ  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.Β  Well, this year my grandsons and Terry graduated from high school. So our visit was a surprise for Terry, 🀭 boy, was he SURPRISED!πŸ₯° The four boys greeted each other with hugs and love that only brothers, who have missed each other, can express.

A very warm welcome.

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.Β  They welcomed us to their home with open arms and allowed us to boondock in their driveway.

Saturday

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 πŸ₯πŸ₯―pastries, a nice variety of fruit πŸ“πŸπŸand a meat and πŸ§€ cheese platter and of course, COFFEE, β˜• which was the first item in my hands! Awww, coffee!πŸ˜‹

Higgs family; Continental breakfast.

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 schoolΒ  had assembled instructors, administration andΒ  valedictorians who shared words of wisdom and encouragement.Β  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.πŸ‘πŸ‘ 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. πŸ§‘ 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!)😁

Chase, Henry, Nancy and Mckenna

Surprise!

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.

Our silly 2020 graduates
Our proud and happy 2020 graduates
The graduates proud “mamas” Muneca and Joyce

While the graduates were out celebrating, we went out for  pizzaπŸ• and ice 🍦cream. We wrapped up our evening with a game of Phase 10, my FAVORITE card game.🀩

Sunday

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.

Lagoon Valley Reservoir
A beautiful little marsh
There was some firefighter training going on.

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.πŸ‘πŸ₯šπŸ₯“β˜• I must add that their coffee β˜• 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.

Our hike; Craig, Muneca, me, Terry & Joyce.πŸ₯°

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.

The Higgs’ family. Terry Jr., Allen, Joyce, Terry and Indya.
Brotherly love. πŸ₯°
Reigh, Terry, Allen & Remil.

Heading home

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 πŸ“ and cherries. πŸ’ They were naturally sweeter than what we get in our grocery stores in Southern CA.

The fruit store had some interesting seasonings. πŸ™ƒπŸ˜‰

Here are some pix along that beautiful Pacific Coast.

Driving thru that bridge.
There were SEVERAL hair pin turns.😬😳
BEAUTIFUL coastline views!πŸ€—