Sunday, February 15, 2015

Oh Goodness – We came Home

We have a few favourite things in Yuma – the weather; some very special people; and the open air Jazz Concerts at the Mall.

Oh yes, did I mention the weather? Yuma, undoubtedly, has the best winter weather in the South-Western USA.

We like the Jazz Concerts . . . we can sit in our own comfy chairs . . . gaze at the stars and listen to some good live music.

February 5 - we went to the Jazz Series Concert.

We  left  very early because Fred was not feeling well and was sore - back, sides, everywhere. 

What with all else, we decided that we just wanted to go home - so we pack up and were on the road by Tuesday, the 10th .

Regrettably, we missed a visit from our friends from New Mexico and had to cancel a long awaited visit to Tucson to spend quality face-to-face time with writer friends from Penwheels (Escapees Group) and I will not be able to see my cousin who I haven’t seen since before we left Toronto in 1969.

We went over to a friends for dinner Sunday; lunch with other friends on Monday and our last Yuma supper (Mexican, of course) with Judy and Terry and were on the road by 7:30 the next day.

We left Yuma in good weather and it accompanied us all the way . . . no snow all the way home . . . just a little wind between Shelby and Great Falls, Montana . . . and a record 16 C (60 F) when we arrived in Lethbridge.

Too much to think we may miss WINTER

. . . but then . . .

Who knows?

What next? . . . Who knows that either ?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

My Latest Mantra



The less I do . . . the less I want to do
The less I want to do . . . The more I want to eat
The more I eat . . . the more weight I gain
The more weight I gain . . . the less I do
. . . and so on and so on.
 Last year, I decided that I wasn’t having fun writing.
As soon as I made that decision . . .  RV Lifestyles Magazine finally published and printed the Anza-Borrego Sculptures article; Smashwords let me know that there had been sales of Jacob’s Tail, and RV West had 2 articles printed in the last issue . . who da thunk?
(BTW you can order your own Jacob’s Tails E-Book through Smashwords or Barnes & Noble or Chapters-Indigo)
 Unfortunately, this park seems to be very cliquish and their interests are not really the same as ours . . . you know what I mean?. . . we have no grandchildren . . . the dog died . . . we are not party people . . . What to do? What to do?
Travelling to places we have not been is a given and the ocean has been our destination of choice.
Make Videos
I discovered the movie icon on my camera . . . Uh-huh let’s make videos!
It started on our second trip to the coast and beaches just north of San Diego.
The learning curve is steep and long!! Believe me, you would not like to see the first attempts . . . they are so bad  . . . like the old silent movies . . . jerky, blurry, but very funny.
Oh, no you can’t just shoot a video . . . you need to learn how to edit it . . . but first you need to find software that will let you work your magic.
In the meantime, we managed to find my computer was missing a few things and had others that shouldn’t be there. That kept Fred busy for a while.
Finally, finally, finally . . .
This first video is Swamis Beach after a good storm . . .
Swami's State Beach is an internationally known surfing spot named after Swami Paramahansa Yogananda a swami from the Self-Realization Fellowship ashram that sits on the cliff above the reef. The sand beach extends south from the point to the next beach access point.
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Then we have the mighty surfer . . . 
 
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Swami's is also known as a challenging spot to paddle, requiring a level of fitness above what other breaks demand. This is primarily due to the distance from the beach to the main peak several hundred yards from shore. As the waves become larger this distance increases, and after long rides, the paddle back to the main peak can take several minutes. For this reason, many surfers will choose to end their rides before the wave reaches the beach.
Southern Californians
To Southern Californians, theirs is the ideal life and why would anyone live or even visit anywhere else.
  Here are some of our favourite photos (among the 100’s we took).








Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Eighty and Forty Five

Well, it has taken us more than a few days to get comfortable. The place is very worn and it seems everything we touch falls apart.
Fred has spent much of his time trying to make things safe and liveable:
After three weeks of considering alternatives - vacillating between whether to go or stay - we have decided to stay put and make the best of it. Our best strategy is to take many, many trips away.
January 6th , 2015 – a memorable day – Fred’s 80th birthday and our 45 years being together!
Gads – 45 years, imagine!
We found a funky little Inn north of San Diego on Leucadia Beach in Encinitas, California. With our usual pre-dawn departure, we arrived and were able to check in early in the afternoon.
First stop? The beach, of course!
Four levels on the steep staircase down to our first view of the surf, the birds, the people and the beach.
 














 







 



 














































We spent time on three different beaches: Leucadia, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, and Carlsbad and then we went up to Oceanside to see how the other half live. 

The People!!
Southern California has a culture of its own!
The beautiful people . . . whether it is the fellow running up and down the staircase leading to the beach, or the mother running along the road pushing a double stroller, or the matching Lululemon clad couple running along the beach . . . they do have their own culture. I was pleasantly surprised how friendly they seem to be – they actually talked to us and when asked, gave good directions. Having said that, there is an air of arrogance and rightness.
Many of the beaches charge for parking so the roads up from them are heavily lined with vehicles no matter what time of the day it is.

In Cardiff-by-the-Sea, I found my own old man by the sea and spent time just sitting and learning about his life. (I don’t think he was that old and he probably slept on the beach but he was quite a character and told great stories). 





















In Oceanside, we stopped to talk with the tiny little woman who was polishing her husband’s motorcycle, “He promised to take it out for a long ride if I polished it for him,” she told us. She was standing in front of a parked small Class C motor home that she calls her clothes closet. Their small boat sits in the marina across the road and it’s smaller than the motor home.


 
Plants and Flowers
 Don’t know the names of them, but these are some of the plants and flowers we discovered:






Old Town
Our last excursion was to the Old Town right down in San Diego. We have been there before when I was down training with a group in Escondido but that was years ago. It certainly has become more touristy but still worth the time. 












We wondered around for a few hours and this enthusiastic young gal took Fred under her wing and gave him all kinds of directions on taking good pictures. 


 (Same picture-different perspective)





We’re back and planning our next excursion.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

We Made It

Big questions – what do you need for a three and a half month trip living in someone else’s space? Especially when you are not sure what it looks like or what is there?

I packed, unpacked and packed again.

Do I need a mixer? Do I need a vacuum? What about Fred’s bread maker? How much can we pack into the Journey?

How do we know that the place we just put a deposit on really exist or if it really looks like the pictures we just saw?

Then it became: “nothing more we can do – if we need anything we’ll have to buy it. If it isn’t what we think it is . . . we’ll just deal with it.

Geez, I wish we still had the Motorhome!”

Crying over spilled milk? You betcha!

Did I have a choice?

Yeh, either go with it or stay home!

No choice – get back to work!!!!

We left in a dusting of snow . . . Hm–m-m, not bad. Some snow all the way to Conrad, Montana . . . still not bad.

Good weather and good roads all the rest of the way . . . Hm-m-m great!

Our First Misadventure

Everyone at home who drives down in a car or truck make Pocatello, Idaho their first stop. Okay – sounds good – we can do that.

We used either Booking.com or Best Western to find a reasonable accommodations.

Best Western had three places in Pocatello and we chose the least expensive one. As we passed a road sign, it said 80 miles to Pocatello. We looked at the GPS and it said 30 miles. Opps! The motel that turned out to be in Idaho Falls turned out to be just terrific. Good blunder!

Virgin River Gorge

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Each time we travel through the gorge (that takes us out of Utah, through a small piece of Arizona into Nevada and Mesquite), I am awestruck by the mere overwhelming geological spectacle.

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The next stop was at Mesquite, Nevada. The Virgin River rooms are hardly worth the advertised price of $27.00 but the Champagne Brunch at the Eureka was a plus.

Las Vegas

It’s been almost 15 years since we spent any time touring around Las Vegas. When we were there in 2000, there were complimentary attractions and the customer was royal. Now money is king, there are no real comps and every attraction comes with a substantial fee.

clip_image008Freemont during the day is certainly not the attraction that it is at night but you do see the reality of the place.

 

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People-watching was a consuming activity – all sizes, shapes, colours and languages. We toured the Strip via the double-decker bus. Our seat mates were a nice young Pakistani couple from Pittsburgh and behind was a newly retired couple from Scotland. We managed to sit in the front seats on the upper deck and got above the heads of the crowds to capture some shots.

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My favourite time was at 7 in the morning. It was relatively dark and quiet with fewer people.

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We finally made it to the Desert Holiday Park in Yuma on Sunday after a very slow trip down.

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The place here looks mostly like the pics only a bit more worn and smaller.
It has an overabundance of "stuff" like artificial flowers and plants and cupboards full of kitchen paraphernalia and bedding.
It may take us a few more days, but you know us, it will become comfortable.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

We are not going to make it to January!

We’re ready to take the next step. We better be ready . . . it’s cold; it’s snowing; the wind is blowing . . . of course . . . the Chinooks come; the temperatures go up; the snow goes away; but the winds still blow. Then it gets cold; the snow comes and the wind blows. We’re ready to escape.

Mind you, that too has been a steep learning curve!

Looking For a Places
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After contacting at least a dozen ads on Kijiji, Craigslist, and Vacation Rentals we were totally frustrated.

Finally, we decided to leave December 5th with or without a place. We had such confidence we would find someplace to sleep and cook!

Lo and behold!

Just as we made up our minds not to worry about it we found a place . . . it never fails, does it?

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We will check into Desert Holiday, Yuma on December 15th. Yahoo!

It’s amazing how humans adjust to their conditions! We’re going to be ‘Park People’  . . . who’da thunk it!

Lethbridge actually has some neat stuff!

We have started exploring more around here but you have to see the view from our deck!!

I know . . . just like so many of our friends, we vowed not to take any more Sunset pictures but just couldn’t resist these from our deck.

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That’s it – I gotta go pack!!