Sunday, October 30, 2016

Catching Up on the Latest

Events in this post occurred in November 2007.

Our RV was located at the Green Caye RV Park in Dickinson, TX the first part of November 2007. We were in town to spend the year-end holidays with family and make our annual required doctor and dental visits to assure we stayed healthy enough to continue our travels.

November 8th was a Thursday and Kathi and I spent the morning at the dentist office for our checkups. Kathi had a couple of spots that needed fillings, we suspect from the lack of calcium when her parathyroid was causing her problems.

After the dentist, we had lunch with Kathi’s mother, Ginny and husband Jim Hathaway.  We ate Mexican food at Gringo’s and caught up on current events. There was not much we did not already know, because Kathi and Ginny talked several times each week. As usual, Jim and I did not talk much, but we enjoyed listening and eating. Kathi and I talked about Ginny’s hearing loss and age related issues after leaving the restaurant. Ginny was 81 at that time and showing her age more and more each time we saw her.

Following lunch Kathi and I visited her brother and sister-in-law, Andrea and Larry Clark. Kathi and Andrea spent some time planning Thanksgiving menus and assignments. Larry and I watched sports news and hard news on TV. It was obvious Kathi was glad to be with her family and excited about the upcoming holiday period.

That same evening, we went back to the RV park to visit with my sister and brother-in-law, Carol and Lloyd Jackson. We still had a lot of travel stories to relate. Lloyd was also very mechanically inclined and curious about how things worked, so we discussed RV maintenance issues, also.

It was a full day for us and I was tired when we returned to our RV. I asked Kathi if she was ready to leave again, since she had seen everyone and I got a blank stare. I decide not to make that joke again for a week or so. We got to bed early and watched news and drama on the TV.

Friday, it was raining, so we stayed inside most of the day. We got out long enough to eat at Luby’s cafeteria on NASA Road 1, across from the Johnson Space Center in Nassau Bay. I had chicken-fried steak, mac and cheese and green beans with a roll. Kathi had a Luanne Platter with fish. We noticed the prices had increased since out last visit. That was lamentable, but it did not spoil our lunches.

Saturday, we drove to Galveston and ate lunch at Joe’s Crab Shack. We sat on the patio and watched the waves, the traffic and the birds that stopped by tables for leftovers. Eating on the patio always seemed to call for a Steampot for two with crab, potatoes, corn and sausage. We opted not to wear our bibs and I left with spots on my shirt, again. It was another great afternoon with my best friend.

View of the Gulf of Mexico from Joe's Crab Shack patio

Birds patiently waiting their turn for lunch

A view of the Gulf across the seawall

Friday, October 28, 2016

Luling to Dickinson

Events in this post occurred in November 2007.

We arrived at the River Bend RV Park in Luling, TX on Thursday, November 1, 2007. We stayed in Luling four days, from Thursday through the weekend, mostly staying inside and reading in the afternoons and TV viewing in the evenings. The days looked great with a lot of sunshine, but the temperature was as little too warm for us to spend a lot of time outside.

We drove 25 miles into San Marcos on Saturday and got haircuts and visited Walmart to stock up on a few things for our next trip. We did manage to get our laundry done and did some housekeeping before leaving the area. We enjoyed seeing the goat and alpacas in the park and some moo cows in the pasture next door. Inside their community building they had a floor to ceiling cage that housed finches. They were many colors of finch. They are small and fast-moving and fun to watch.

Monday, we left Luling for a 170-mile trip to Dickinson so we would be near family for the Thanksgiving holiday. We drove into Houston on I-10, went south over the Loop 610 bridge, then east on Highway 225 past Pasadena and Deer Park. We took TX 146 south through Seabrook and Kemah before arriving n Dickinson.

We moved into the Green Caye RV Park for $350 per month. We had stayed at Green Caye before, so we were familiar with the people and the location. My sister Carol and husband, Lloyd Jackson were already at Green Caye and we went by to visit them after we got the motorhome set up with utilities. As usual we had a great visit catching up on grandchildren and recent travels. We usually met Carol and Lloyd a couple of times per year, most often in Dickinson and somewhere along the Oregon coast. In the evening Kathi talked to our youngest son, Christopher and made arrangement to have lunch with him on Tuesday.

Tuesday, Kathi spent the morning making doctor’s appointments. We enjoyed lunch and listening to Christopher talk about his job. He was working as a truck dispatcher and seemed to love the work. After lunch I took the Jeep in for some repair work and I do not remember what the problem was. It must not have cost much or I would remember.

Wednesday, it was cool enough in the morning that Kathi had a small space heater running. I was comfortable. We left early to see Dr. Pattanaik, our family doctor and got our annual check-ups and blood letting out of the way. He refilled our prescriptions with enough refills to last a whole year. To do that we had to agree to get blood tests done on the road and have the results sent to him. It was an easy decision to make.

We were going to be off the road for a couple of months and changing our routine from touring to just living. It did not matter – we were still having fun.

A wading bird at a ditch by Green Caye RV Park

Small sunflowers in a field near Green Caye

Flowers at one of the RV sites

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Van Horn, Ozona and Luling

This post is about events that occurred in October and November of 2007.

It was on a Monday, October 29, 2007 when we left the Dream Catcher RV Park in Deming, NM and went east on I-10 toward Van Horn, TX. It was about 80 miles from Deming to Anthony which is on the New Mexico – Texas border. Anthony resides in both states. Another twenty miles and we passed through El Paso, TX. We continued east through Socorro, Ft. Hancock and Sierra Blanca before arriving at the El Campo RV Park in Van Horn. Total mileage for the day was about 220 and it took almost five hours. The scenery moved from sandy browns to vibrant greens as we moved east into Texas. It was a pleasant drive with moderate traffic. El Paso had the most traffic for the day, but at least we were in the middle of the day and not when people were getting off work.

We found out the RV park was no longer a member of Passport America, but the rates were good at $15 per night. They only offered 30-amp service, so I made a note so we would not stay there except in cooler months of the year. There were no chain restaurants or large grocery stores, but Kathi stocked up while we were in Tucson, so we would be okay for a few days.

After two nights in Van Horn, we moved further east on I-10 through Fort Stockton and Sheffield before settling in at the Circle Bar RV Park in Ozona, TX. The trip was an uneventful 225 miles. We used our FMCA discount and paid $18 per night. Kathi did not like the look of the park, so she only paid for one night. We marked this one down as one we would not return to in this area. The Economy Inn also had an RV park and we thought we would give that one a try next time we visited Ozona.

We took the RV to Doggett Freightliner of South Texas in Converse to have routine service performed. They were very efficient and we were out and on the road again in about four hours. It was Thursday, November 1st and we moved into the River Bend RV Park in Luling, TX.

We passed through Sonora, Junction, Kerrville, Comfort and Boerne on the way to Converse. Leaving Converse, we went through Seguin on the way to Luling. Seguin is on I-10 and about 15 miles south of New Braunfels. The trip was near 265 miles and much longer than I wanted to drive, but the sun was bright and the air was cool and we both felt good. We stayed in space 25 with no trees to obstruct our satellite dishes at the River Bend RV Park for $13 per night, using our Passport America discount. The park hosts were very pleasant to talk to and they had some animals on site, so Kathi signed us up for four days of sightseeing and pleasure (relaxation).

Next stop: Dickinson

Goat and Alpaca at River Bend

Alpaca posing for pictures

White mule at River Bend

Monday, October 24, 2016

Matt and Kristine's Wedding

This post is in current time and reflects events that occurred on Friday, October 21, 2016.

I have the pleasure to report that our nephew Matthew Clark and Kristine Reed were married on Friday, October 21, 2016 by Justice of the Peace Judge George Risner in Pasadena, Texas. Attending the wedding were their three children, Lindsey, Austin and Cash, Matt’s mother Andrea and Kristine’s mother Laurie. Others attending were Kristine’s grandparents, Kathi and myself. Andrea’s friend Michelle Bergeron attended and photographed the event. A special thanks to Michelle.

Lindsey brought a bouquet of flowers. She and Austin enjoyed handing flowers out to people in attendance. Cash was in someone’s lap most of the time and I am sure he did not recognize the significance of the event.

Matt and Kristine left for a honeymoon in Galveston following the ceremony and a photograph session. After the honeymoon, they will return to their home in La Porte, Texas.

I took the pictures posted below. Click on pictures to enlarge.

Kristine, Matt, Cash, Austin and Lindsey

Judge Risner during the ring ceremony

Matt and Kristine after the ceremony

The Matt Clark Family

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Datastorm Satellite Rally

Saturday, October 20, 2007, Kathi and I were in the Beaudry RV Park in Tucson, AZ. We were there for a Datastorm Satellite rally that was starting the next day. Temperature was in the 90’s and it was warm for us. The sun was shining and after coffee in the morning we took a short drive to look around and found a Walmart store for a little shopping. We returned home and spent the rest of the day watching RV’s come into the complex. More RV owners were moving into the RV Park and Beaudry was bringing in some beautiful RV’s for sale. They must have had 25 sales people on the lot. Sales personnel were following people in and out of the new RV’s all day long. I hope they made some sales.

Sunday, I left Kathi at home feeling poorly and I attended two of the Datastorm sessions to listen to speakers discuss satellite issues and of course they had to put their new satellite paraphernalia on display. The speakers were primarily installers, which I suspect sold most of the satellite set-ups. I got a CD with some utility software to make operating the satellite dish a little easier. Kathi was still not feeling well and she was lying down.

We spent the rest of that week with Kathi at home not feeling good and me attending satellite meetings one or two per day. Tuesday was our 43rd wedding anniversary and we did not feel like celebrating, but we were happy to be sharing our lives together – sickness and health.

The last Datastorm session was on Friday morning. I put our awnings in and unhooked our utilities, so we would be ready to move when we awoke on Saturday. By Saturday we were for sure ready to move along. Kathi was feeling a little better. I was not sure if she was getting over her illness or just glad to be leaving the dust and heat in Tucson. I suspected Arizona would never be one of her favorite places to visit.

We were glad to be on the road again. We spent almost a month in Tucson and it felt like too long to be in one spot. Even though we stayed at three different locations in the area, those did not feel like we were moving. Saturday, October 27th we were on the highway and knew we were moving. We drove east on I-10 through Benson, San Simon and Lordsburg before arriving at the Dream Catcher RV Park in Deming, NM. The trip was an uneventful 215 miles long. We had a lot of traffic, but no traffic issues. We got to see a few mountains and some desert scenes, but few crops. Dream Catcher is an Escapees park and we used our discount and paid $17 per night for two nights. The first thing Kathi noticed was there was still lots of dust, which she was blaming for her allergy problems. I thought she was probably right.

Sunset in Deming, NM

Horse statue at a business in Deming.
Kathi was still not feeling well on Sunday, but we did manage to get some laundry done in the morning and stayed inside in the A/C the rest of the day. We were both looking forward to greener surroundings on our next move.

Next stop: Van Horn, TX.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Beaudry RV in Tucson

Events in this post occurred in October 2007.

Kathi and I were staying at the Valley of the Sun Trailer and RV Park in Marana, AZ the week of October 8, 2007. We were in the Tucson area to attend a Datastorm satellite dish rally at the Beaudry RV dealership later in the month. We had a broken baseplate on our Jeep and I contacted the Blue-Ox people to explain our problem to them. They were very kind and gave me a new baseplate at no cost. We had it shipped to the Beaudry RV Service Center. We arranged to have it installed on October 18th.

There were some new housing additions in the Tucson area that Kathi wanted to explore, but she thought it was too hot to spend a lot of time outside. I did not disagree. We spent a few days inside getting cabin fever. Finally, on Sunday, October 14th we got out and took a drive into the Coronado National forest. Temperature was in the 80’s when we started but dropped to 54 degrees somewhere around 8,000 feet up in the mountains. There were green pine trees galore – a pleasant sight.

We wandered around long enough to find Casino del Sol. The food was terrible, which surprised us. Sunday is usually the best day for casino buffets. The machines were not a lot better, so not as much fun as we would like, but it is gambling.

I left Kathi home on Tuesday morning and took our Jeep for an oil change and tire rotation. Temperature was still in the 80’s and it was nice to be outside in the sunshine. The next day we had lunch at Joe’s Crab Shack. I had fried shrimp and Kathi had a Steampot with crabs. Mine was great, but hers was more fun. After lunch we took advantage of the cooler weather and looked at some of the new houses Kathi wanted to see earlier. It was a great afternoon.

It was finally Thursday the 18th and I got up early to take our Jeep to Beaudry to get the baseplate installed. Kathi stayed home doing housework. I waited in their waiting room for the Jeep repairs to be completed. Around 2:30 pm I checked to find out the status. It had been ready for several hours, but no one bothered to tell me.

Friday morning. we moved into the Beaudry RV Park behind the dealership. The rent was paid as part of the price to attend the Datastorm rally. I had a problem hooking up the Blue-Ox tow bar for the drive over, so I spent a few hours in the afternoon trying to determine the problem. It appeared I had put one of the stainless-steel pistons in a bind at the same time I broke the baseplate. I did a little hammering and a little lubrication and decided we could get by with it for a while. I just need to pay closer attention to it when we started and stopped. We were going to be at Beaudry for a week and Kathi was already in the mood to vacate the area. I convinced her the Datastorm sessions would be beneficial and paying rent for two different places did not make sense. See agreed with me, but I do not think she was thrilled about it. I guess it was her turn to humor me, and I was glad she did. Just another glorious day in the life of RV travelers.

Arizona desert scene

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Tucson and Marana

Events in this post Occurred in October 2007.

We moved into the Prince of Tucson RV Park on Wednesday, October 3rd. The space rental was $27 per night, so we spent Thursday looking for a cheaper place to reside. We were going to be in the area for a while and Kathi was not happy. It was too hot and we had to get the base plate replaced on our Jeep. The only saving grace was the fact that they had a lot of restaurants to choose for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

We were in town to attend a Datastorm Satellite Dish rally at Beaudry RV in Tucson on Sunday, October 21st. Kathi was not looking forward to spending three hot weeks in Tucson and I agreed with her, but we had already paid to attend the rally and I wanted to see if I could learn more about our internet satellite dish. Mostly I wanted to talk with other dish owners and get an idea if they had problems similar to problems we had with dish alignment.

Friday we moved again, this time to the Valley of the Sun Trailer and RV Park in Marana, AZ. Marana was about 25 miles north and west from Tucson right along I-10. The daily rate at the valley was $28, but they had a weekly rate that was only $133 with our Good Sam discount. That was a livable price and we were happy to move into their park. The front part of their park was all trailers and the RV section was at the very back. We had a tree shading part of our motorhome and still got good satellite reception, so we were happy campers.

Saturday we drove through the Saguaro National Park. The park is divided into two sections on the east and west sides of Tucson. The east side is known as the Rincon Mountain District and the highlight is a loop called Cactus Forest Drive. The Saguaro cactus give the park its name. The western portion is known as the Tucson Mountain District and is known for the petroglyphs of the Hohokam people that resided there prior to 1450. We mostly enjoyed the drive through to see the beautiful cactus growing everywhere along the loop.

We awoke Sunday morning to cool temperatures. It was about 60 degrees inside our motorhome. What a pleasant surprise. We drove to Oro Valley which is a community of about 40,000 people just north of Tucson. Kathi loved to look at all the adobe houses and everything looked new. Unfortunately, there was almost no grass. It really was a desert community. We scouted around until we found the Desert Diamond Casino and of course had to go in and try our luck. We were having enough fun to spend the afternoon. Even on bad days Kathi found the slot machines fun, just fun for shorter periods of time.

We spent the next few days around the house. We got our laundry done and moved some dust around inside, but I guess real cleaning would wait until we got to a place that had grass. We were just killing time, but we were together. That was good enough for me.

Click on pictures to enlarge them. These two desert scenes are actually from New Mexico.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

My Time in Congress

Events in this post occurred in September and October 2007.

We awoke to mild temperature and gusting winds on Saturday, September 29th.  We were going to be moving again in a few days and Kathi wanted to go to Walmart to pick up a few groceries, so she could prepare meals ahead of time, making it easier to eat while we traveled. We enjoyed being outside. I love the wind, but all Kathi could think about was dust. I assured her I would help with housework once we got out of Arizona and the wind and that placated her a little bit – but, just a little bit. After grocery shopping we spent most of the rest of the day at home.

Sunday was another mild temperature day with low 80’s and breezy. We spent a few hours doing laundry in the morning. The highlight of the day was Whataburger for lunch on the way home from the laundromat.

Monday was October 1, 2007 and our last day in Kingman, AZ for this time through the area. Kathi spent the morning cooking and I did a few things outside to assure our RV was ready to travel. I enjoyed being outside in the wind. I remember laughing out loud a few times when a big gust of wind came by. I assume people that live in the wind all the time get tired of it and I could understand why a housekeeper would learn to despise it. Not me. I loved it.

We awoke early Tuesday morning and left the Zuni Village RV Park in Kingman, AZ and drove toward the Escapees North Ranch RV Park in Congress, AZ. For the rest of my life I could tell people I used to be in Congress. We started out moving east on I-40 for about 20 miles, then south on US 93 through the small communities of Wikieup and Nothing before leaving US 93 for AZ 71 and into Congress.

Escapees North Ranch is an Escapees park and they only offered 30-amp service. That would only allow us to run only one compressor on our air conditioner, so we decided to stay only one night. We would have probably been okay with the moderate outside temperature, but there was no compelling reason to stay longer. There was almost no town to see and no bigger towns nearby.

We left the RV Park and Congress on Wednesday morning using AZ 89 south. I tried to make a sharp right turn on US 93 and broke the base plate on our Jeep that is used for towing. Another unforced error that I knew would use up some of Kathi’s casino money. I felt stupid and Kathi allowed me to feel stupid for a while. The worst part was I needed to turn left instead of right to begin with.

I guess in RV vernacular, we limped into Tucson with me driving the motorhome and Kathi following me in the Jeep. Since I was driving I did not get to kick myself in the rear on the way there. We moved into the Prince of Tucson RV Park and paid $27 per night – way too much money for rent, but I needed to regroup and assure Kathi and I were still friends. We were, so not much else mattered. Happy times and bad times, we were still RV travelers spending the days with our best friends.

Side view of piece broken off our base plate.

Another view of broken piece of base plate being held by an erratic RV driver.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Kingman and Laughlin

Events in this post occurred in September 2007.

It was Tuesday, September 25th when we left Newberry Springs, CA headed for the Zuni Village RV Park in Kingman, AZ. Kingman is in the Hualapai Mountains. In Mojave that translates to “People of the tall pines.” We used I-40 east for the entire 180-mile trip. There were green mountains to look at the entire trip, but they got more barren as we traveled east. We even saw some dust storms as we got near Arizona.  Space 7 at Zuni allowed both satellites dishes to see the southern sky. We paid $134 for a week’s space rental using our Escapees discount.

Dust was blowing continually in Kingman. Wednesday we got out for grocery shopping. Temperature was in the mid-80’s which was livable. We had everything closed up and used our air conditioner, but could not keep the dirt and grit out of the motorhome. I told Kathi we could open everything up and blow all the dirt out on our next trip down the interstate, but she did not think it was funny, so I didn’t make any more suggestions about the dust.

Thursday we did our laundry in the morning. With all the dirt and dust weighing on Kathi’s mind, I thought she needed a diversion, so we took a drive to Laughlin, NV and slot machines in the afternoon. We took US 93 north for a few miles, then west on AZ 68 through Golden Valley, up and over the mountain to Laughlin and Bullhead City. The trip was about 40 miles each way.

Golden Valley is an unincorporated community in the Sacramento Valley which is in Mojave County Arizona. There is not much in Golden Valley and people normally do their grocery shopping in Kingman. Employment was mostly obtained in Kingman and Bullhead City. CA 68 runs through the center of the community and is their main street.

As we drove down the mountain into Laughlin we saw a couple of RV parks and several RV’s boondocking at the casinos. We filed that information in our minds for future travel adventures.

We spent the afternoon and into the evening in the Golden Nugget Casino having a fun time being together. Instead of playing separate machines we sat together and took turns playing the same penny slot machine. After a few hours of fun and not much luck, we had an early dinner or late lunch at Joe’s Crab Shack which was located inside the Golden Nugget Casino. We both had fried shrimp with French fries. We drove home about nine pm, pretty much broke and tired. Driving over the mountain in the dark made me sleepy, but Kathi poked me and talked to me all the way home and we arrived at Zuni safe and sound. Another good day.

Some roadside pictures. Not sure exactly where.

Stream beside the hgihway

Pretty colors

Nice rock formation beside highway

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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Tulare and Newberry Springs

Thursday, September 20, 2007, we left the Trailer Villa San Mateo in Redwood City and went south on US 101 through Palo Alto and San Jose and into Gilroy. We left Gilroy going east on CA 152 until we reached I-5 south. We left I-5 to take CA 198 east, then CA 99 south to Tulare and space 50 in the Sun and Fun RV Park. With our Good Sam discount, we stayed in the RV park for $26 per night – a little high, but we could live with it for a day or two.

 I-5 goes all the way from Oregon to Los Angeles and is probably the fastest route going north or south. California is a long state and there are a lot of towns and communities along the highways. There are not many roads going east to west, probably because of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The drive was about 220 miles and took us about four hours. They were pleasant hours with lots of sights to see. There were several orchards and many farms with crops we could not identify. We also passed a large sheep and goat farm.

Friday we drove around Tulare to see what the town had to offer. We found lots of stores. They had an outlet mall, a Target, a Walmart and a grocery store. We saw a movie theater and decided to go in and see what was on. We watched the re-make of “3:10 to Yuma.” This was the version with Russell Crow and Christian Bale. It was good entertainment and I liked the popcorn, but I liked the original version better. It starred Glenn ford and Van Heflin.

It was raining when we left the theater and it rained on into the night. It had been a while since we had some rain and we were glad for the farmers and ranchers. Water and irrigation was a constant struggle in California.

It was a pleasant, cool Saturday with a little overcast skies and occasional rain. We found a nice laundromat and did our laundry. Kathi treated me to Taco Bell, then we did a little Walmart shopping before returning home to prepare for moving on Sunday.

We left Tulare Sunday morning and moved to the Twin Lakes RV Park in Newberry, Springs, CA. We started south on CA 99 to Bakersfield, then east on CA 58 to Barstow. A short drive on I-40 took us into Newberry Springs. The drive was about 210 miles with more farms and some mountains to look at on the way. We got to watch the ducks on the lake from inside our RV – a fun afternoon. We were staying two nights at $15 per night – perfect pricing for us. The park was rustic, but the new owners were planning to make some improvements. It was okay with us just like it was. We had no plans to go anywhere in the area, so we did not unhook our Jeep.

More bird watching on Monday and a little reading to while away the hours. We enjoyed having the shades open and basically, just enjoyed being alive.

Next stop: Arizona

All the Duck pictures were taken at Green Caye RV Park in Dickinson, TX. Click on pictures to enlarge.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Golden Gate and Sausalito

This post reflects events that occurred in September 2007.

Kathi and I were in the San Francisco bay area visiting our oldest son, AJ. We picked him up at his apartment in downtown SF the morning of Sunday, September 16th and drove across the Golden Gate Bridge. We drove up a hill just across the bridge into the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. We got on top of a hill and got out of the Jeep to look at the elevated view of Golden Gate Bridge. It was spectacular at any viewing angle. I am not sure why there is such a mystique about this bridge. Maybe the international orange color adds to the allure.

I remember leaving the San Francisco Bay and entering the Pacific Ocean on a troop ship from Oakland going to Korea in June 1963, while the piped in music on the ship was Tony Bennet singing, “I Left My Heat in San Francisco”. That feeling was certainly more melancholy than what we were feeling on this bright September day.

It was windy on top of the hill with gusts about 40 mph. The wind was cold – even with my toughened skin, I had to get back in the car after about ten minutes sightseeing time. Kathi just got the car door opened and that was enough for her. AJ was used to the area and had on layers of clothes, including a sweater and jacket, so the cold wind had little effect on him. The view was more than spectacular.

We went back down the hill and went a little further north on US 101 and got off at the Sausalito exit in Marin County. We found an Outback and had steak for lunch. I have never had a bad meal at Outback, but we sometimes paid more than we wanted to spend. What the heck, we were retired and traveling in our RV visiting our son. Who could complain?

Sausalito is a town of about 8,000 people and it sits on the Richardson Bay. Elevation was 13 feet. We meandered around the town, enjoying the rural views and water related activities. We saw quite a few sailboats, but most were docked. We returned AJ to his apartment and we returned to our RV in Redwood City with new memories of a fun time in the Bay Area.

AJ had classes on Monday, so we stayed home enjoying the weather and reading. Tuesday we picked AJ up at his apartment and ate lunch at Olive Garden again. The Olive Garden was located near San Francisco State and after lunch we dropped him off to go to class. We said our good byes at the campus, since this was the last time we would visit before we left the area. He had school responsibilities and we had things to do, so parting was still a happy time.

Wednesday we found a Lab Corp and got our blood drawn for tests to send to our family doctor in Pasadena, TX Then we started preparing for our move the next day. It was cool enough that I put on a jacket for my outside chores. We really hated to leave this special weather locale, but travelers had to keep moving or change their occupation. We traveled.

View of San Francisco city hall

Hanging baskets of flowers in downtown San Francisco

Cliff along landward side of Pacific beach

Waves hitting rocks on the sea shore

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Fun in the Bay Area

Kathi and I arrived with our Alfa motorhome at Trailer Villa San Mateo in Redwood City, CA on Monday, September 10th, 2007. Our plan was to visit our son, AJ in San Francisco on Tuesday, but he was not feeling well, so we postponed our visit. The weather was great with temperatures in the 60’s in the afternoon and lower in the evening. We drove into the city to visit the San Francisco State campus where AJ was attending school. We took our time and made the drive last most of the afternoon. There was so much to look at in the bay area.

Wednesday we drove into the city via a different route. We left Redwood City going north on US 101, then took CA 92 west to Half Moon Bay. At Half Moon Bay we took CA 1 north. This was part of the Pacific Coast Highway and the sea views and mountain views were spectacular. There were wild flowers in bloom everywhere. We drove through the western side of the city and crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. Kathi had to see it every time we  were in town. I liked it too. It was cool enough that Kathi started the day with a long sleeved shirt – me, I had my pull over shirt and shorts.

We drove back into the city on Thursday to pick up AJ. Kathi thought he looked weak and thin. He tried to explain he had been sick, but that did not allay Kathi’s concerns. We had lunch at Olive Garden. AJ and I had pizza and Kathi had Chicken Spiedini. The meal was great, but AJ was worn out and still in recovery, so we took him back home to rest and recuperate some more. Hopefully he would feel better on Friday.

We drove back into town on Friday so I could work on AJ’s computer. There is always something needing attention. He had a few pictures downloaded and a lot of music scattered amongst several directories. I downloaded a virus scan program and assured everything was working the way it should before I declared the task complete. Whilst I was working on the computer, AJ and Kathi walked to Starbucks for a beverage and a pastry. They had coffee and ate their snacks while they were there. The walk there wore Kathi out and she needed to rest before returning to AJ’s apartment. He was used to walking up and down the hills, so it did not bother him. Kathi was really tired when we got home in the evening.

Click on pictures to enlarge.

Pacific Ocean view

Pacific Ocean

AJ and Kathi on the shore in San Francisco

AJ and a stranger
When they returned home, we drove to Pacifica to see the San Francisco RV Park. It was really close to the city and the ocean views at and near the park were superb. We had no plans to stay there, since their rates would bankrupt us. Still it was nice to know we had options.

AJ had school work to complete over the week end and he was working on it on Saturday. Kathi and I stayed in Redwood City, enjoying the gorgeous weather. We had our Jeep cleaned and lunched at Olive Garden, near where we were staying. Kathi was sore from her walking on Friday and was moving pretty slow in the morning, but got better as the day went on.

It seemed we were driving many miles every day and we were. There is just so much to see and a lot of time to kill between visits to AJ. After all, he had a life of his own to live and we needed a lot of breaks. Fun times in the bay area.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Red Bluff and Redwood City

Thursday, September 6, 2007, Kathi and I were staying at the Red Bluff RV Park in Red Bluff, CA. We signed in for a week, because we did not know how long it would take for our mail to arrive from Escapees mail service in Livingston, TX and I was expecting a new computer. Kathi made arrangements for the computer to arrive this date by FedEx, so we were killing five days in Red Bluff at $30 per night without a good reason. We could have gotten to San Francisco to see AJ five days sooner. Too bad. We were committed.

It was a little warm with temperature in the high 90’s. We were able to get rid of my eight-year-old desktop computer and travel with a lighter, easier to stow laptop. We had lunch at Applebee’s and that was the only time we were out in the afternoon. I spent the rest of the day downloading software I needed and getting the new computer to function for me in the manner which I was accustomed. We went to bed early in the evening to watch TV.

Friday we drove into Redding for lunch at Olive Garden. I had pizza and Kathi had salmon, both had salads. After lunch we made a trip to Walmart to pick up a small fan for Kathi’s bedside table. We were ready for cooler weather in the bay area.

We spent the weekend inside staying cool and reading on Saturday with sandwiches for lunch. Sunday Kathi made spaghetti for lunch and we got the RV ready to move to Redwood City on Monday. Redwood City and the Trailer Villa San Mateo would be our home base again while we visited with AJ. Redwood City was thirty miles South of San Francisco on US 101 and we could make the trip back and forth to his apartment in about forty minutes. It was a good compromise between RV space rental and access to the city.

Kathi talked to her older brother, Carl Clark and her mother, Ginny Hathaway and they both sounded like they were doing fine. She found out her nephew and wife, John and Shanna Clark were leaving the Houston area and moving to San Diego. He was being transferred by Farmers Insurance. We also talked to AJ and he was just as anxious to see us as we were to see him.

Monday, September 10th we had a nice drive from Red Bluff to Redwood City. There were a lot of orchards visible from the highway. We enjoyed seeing the California agriculture right out in plain sight. The trip was a little over two hundred miles. We left town on I-5 to Sacramento and changed to I-505 until we got to Vacaville. We left I-505 in Vacaville and changed to I-80 through Fairfield, Richmond, Berkeley and Emeryville before reaching San Francisco, via the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. We left San Francisco on US 101 and on into Redwood City.

We had a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz from the Bay Bridge. Getting into San Francisco is always exciting for us. AJ was in school all day, so we arranged to meet him on Tuesday. That gave us time to get the RV set up and rest from our drive. Happy days.

Click on pictures to enlarge them.

A hazy picture of Alcatraz as seen looking across the bay from Fisherman's Wharf.
A rainbow looking east across the bay from the Trailer Villa San Mateo Trailer Park.