Our lives now include living at one of the nicest senior communities in the USA. Rossmoor in Walnut Creek, CA. We will still travel in the RV but not full time.

Archive for the ‘Traveling America’ Category

Seeing Oregon in 2015 Summer

Just a practice run at my blog after a long break.

Russ and I have had a busy year since last summer’s 3 months of travel.  It’s been a great year working hard and volunteering at my church in Pt. Richmond.  We put on one heck of a Commu nity Thanksgiving Feast for Pt. Richmond. We also had a successful junktique fundraiser in May.

Now we are traveling this month of June in Oregon.  Great visit in Chico with my cousin, Carolyn and then on to Eugene to see her sister and mom,  Clarice and Aunt Martha.  Love Eugene and my family there.  Clarice’s new condo is fantastic and modern-gave me some decorating ideas.

We are in Portland having a great time sightseeing and visiting with our first Pt Richmond Methodist Minister.  It’s only been 20 years!

On our way to Canon Beach and Seaside.  Almost forgot how much I LOVE TRAVELING IN THE RV.

Photos to follow!  Wanted to force myself to start blogging again.  It’s the best way to document my life as a Senior Citizen.

Joys of Living In SF Area

OMG!!  I have not blogged since February.  Not because I have nothing to share but because I have been just that busy.  Being retired can be a busy job.

We have been working on the condo here at Rossmoor.  Now we are getting ready to rent it out for two months so we can travel to Idaho wedding for Kreighton and Lisa (nephew) and Colorado where we will enjoy Denver area and support Kreighton’s big brother, Kristopher, and family during the arrival of their new baby.

The other day we drove to Sausalito, CA as a favor to my nephew, Zak.  Oh, he really had to beg me to do this favor.  When you see the photos you will know what a difficult job it was.  Of course it was absolutely a perfect  SF Bay area day.  We had Georgie Girl so we found a restaurant that would let her eat at their outside table.

We were right on the Bay looking at Tiberon, the Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, SF and the Golden Gate Bridge.  Across the street were two of our favorite restaurants.  If you do not know Scoma”s or Trident restaurants you are really missing something.  The Trident sold some years back and had a new name.  It was thrilling to see the old name back up.  Locals loved sharing our pleasure over it.

Our Methodist Church at Pt. Richmond continues to keep us very busy.  We are a jazz church.  Acoustics are incredible and jazz series run for 8 months and today was “Jazz on Father’s Day”.  We are talking professional concerts.  Our minister brought this to us and publishes jazz CD’s, writes songs for the Methodist Church and is published in the new Methodist Hymnal.  We put on a Junktique Sale and I worked with others getting ready for it.  In past years I only worked the day of.  This year I joined Betty, Diane, Jonathan, Bill, Julio, Fran getting ready for it.  Betty gave me a bad time, cause I practically give stuff away, but we did great and raised more money this year than any other.  These people are a real family to Russ and I and we have been active for over 20 years.

Those of you who do not live here really should come visit us.  The Murphy bed is finally put together in the guest room, office, and we are ready for you.  We will be back in September and as many of you know, fall in SF is the best weather of the year.

The Murphy Bed story:  It came in pieces and Russ planned to put it together himself.  First time it arrived after 3 weeks, the boxes were damaged and so it all went back to Canada.  The second time, another month, it all looked good but when Russ started to work with it, gouges appeared on a key piece so he sent that back.  In the meantime for two months we had huge pieces of the bed out in our entry, living room and office.  Russ kept working on parts, and let me tell you, it was difficult and not easy to follow directions.  His battery operated screw driver, fortunately, puts in screws and then takes them out. However the Murphy Bed  was just a taped on veneer and was not meant to have any mistakes.  When the end was near and before we nailed it to the wall, I painted the office.  I’ll have to send photos later on with the results.  Suddenly we had a place looking like home.

Photos include or Friday Farmer’s Market here in Rossmoor, doe and faun, (you cannot believe all the wildlife walking around our homes-turkeys, deer, geese, predator hawks, etc,)  and the Sausalito day.

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One of our pools

One of our pools

View of Sausalito

View of Sausalito

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Deer in our parking lot.

Deer in our parking lot.

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Our own Farmers Market at Rossmoor

Our own Farmers Market at Rossmoor

Quite a few people have cool cars.

Quite a few people have cool cars.

 

 

January means Traveling South to San Diego

Our new neighbors in Walnut Creek asked us as we took our last load to the motor home if we just bought our condo for a weekend retreat.  We had reservations for San Diego before we bought, so decided to go ahead and come down here to Mission Bay RV.  OMG!  It is a wonderful place to camp and take walks and bike rides.  We are so close to Balboa Park and it’s wonderful museums, Old Town and everything we could want.  Drove back up Highway 1 to La Jolla and just enjoyed the views and the incredibly beautiful homes.

Today we decided to tackle a bike ride up some hills where Starbucks is-just under 2 miles.  We have sat here for two hours and I have enjoyed perfect weather, latte and then lunch.  Russ has read his book and nice young people are sitting nearby with one year and 5 month olds, entertaining us.  Does it sound like a perfect retired day?

Before we left northern CA I had my hair recut and colored the reddest color ever.  When I stopped by to see a long time friend, she said it was the preferred color of middle European women.  Does that make me more interesting?

On the way down we had a lovely stop at Russ’s sister’s RV spot in her back yard with plug ins and everything.  Since it is so close to Carmel we will probably spend many weekends there!  They live on a Strawberry farm in Watsonville close to Salinas.  Just beautiful.

My nice sister in law

My nice sister in law

Just done by Kay's hairdresser Martiza

Just done by Kay’s hairdresser Martiza

Freaked me out-color that dyed my hair

Freaked me out-color that dyed my hair

Georgie still loves bike rides and walks-I let her chase the ducks and stuff along the water.

Georgie still loves bike rides and walks-I let her chase the ducks and stuff along the water.

Stayed above the ocean at Ventura RV place that had heated pool

Stayed above the ocean at Ventura RV place that had heated pool

Georgie Travels and Big City Life

Georgie is so much fun.  She has all that youth and just owns us.  We take walks and the tail just goes, everything fascinates her but at the same time she is overwhelmed by the Callifornia scene.  Last evening we went to a doggie park in Concord with Norma’s new puppy.  It was very busy at sunset and as the moon came up over Mt. Diablo lots of people were out.  Perfect fall weather of 70 degrees.  Well she pulled that tail down between her legs and did not move an inch.  Finally I just sat and held her.  We will move a step back and just play with Norma’s, Truffles.

Getting used to Karole's dogs in Idaho.

Getting used to Karole’s dogs in Idaho.

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Rainy in beautiful camping ground in Sisters, Oregon.

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Loves her chews and then sets them down for us to throw.  She is teaching us how to play.

DSC06305Motor home with a few changes made in Idaho while we were there.

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Georgie loves pillows and wants them set up just so.

DSC06367She has claimed the passenger seat.  Now she likes to have her bed up there.

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We loved taking her everywhere with us.  She just stops people who want to know her story.

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We shopped in Walnut Creek, CA then went to Stanfords, where they let us walk onto the patio and have dinner with us.  The waitresses shared their doggie photos with us and made a fuss.

We feel so lucky that she has come into our life!

The Lost River Valleys and Mountains near Mackay, Idaho

What an incredible weekend high up above 8000 feet.  Above Mackay the White Knob Mountains have old mines and ghost towns and great trails for ATVs.  For those of you who want all wilderness to be only for hikers, etc. let me tell you, those of us who can no longer climb the mountains and never could have gotten deep into the wilderness, this is a heavenly way to enjoy nature.  There are so many miles of wilderness in Idaho that most Idahoans have never seen, you cannot believe it when you finally have the experiences.

My sister Karole and her husband Ken, bought a toy hauler and it can sleep at least 6 comfortably.  Ken’s brother and his wife Sue, have a cabin they maintain for some Utah family, so there is a cabin for them and the trailer for us on beautiful farmland and under trees.  Karole and I joined the guys Saturday AM as she is the news anchor for Local News 8 in Idaho Falls and worked late Friday night.

Karole and Ken bought a Polaris Razor which is so much easier to drive on the mountain trails as it is narrow and can get onto trails with narrow gates.  Also you are not sitting astride with windburns on your face.  Two seats and room to put dogs and food on the back. A friend of Karole’s loaned us his razor and we were set.

We saw incredible country and views.  Russ, not one to avoid heightening the adventure was driving when we hit a ground up slate trail up the side of same mountain.  He really did not realize how loose the “gravel” was and we stopped in time not to slide and roll down a mountain.  However, there was no way to get back onto the trail, cause the gravel just rolled away under us.  Out comes the coil of steel wires on the wench, Russ climbs up the mountain and ties us to a huge pine tree, Kenny drives and after some moments we are on the trail.  Meanwhile Sue on the 4wheeler ahead goes to the top, turns around and comes back to tell us the trail is not a good idea for us, so we have to figure how to back down.  I drive with Russ and Sue yelling directions so that I do not slide off the mountain or ride up on the other side.  Anyway Russ and I learned a lot, saw a lot and really had fun.

Weather cooler up high, but the half hour drive coming down and home at the bottom was 95 degrees of hot.

Looking for some exciting place to go-check out this website and go where very few people go.  http://www.mackayidaho.com/linked%20docs/LostRiverValleyBrochure.pdf

 

Lava Hot Springs Near Wyoming, Idaho Border Rises to Its Potential

The land around Lava Hot Springs

Montpelier, Soda Springs and Lava Hot Springs usually mean you have arrived from Wyoming into South Eastern Idaho. It is actually beautiful to me. High rolling sagebrush and grassland-much of it farmed wheat. Harsh winters, and hot summers. Grandpa Gilbert used to take us to the hot springs to swim in the 1950’s cause it is close to Pocatello. Then when my sister Karole was raising her three sons, we took them to Lava to swim too.

 

Well this time it was just Russ and I with three nights to spare so we stopped at the Lava Hot Springs KOA Campground now owned by a local couple who are burning their candles at both ends, fixing up and making an old campground on the river, be beautiful, serviceable and a great place for travelers to stop. Not only that, but it seems Southern Utah has fallen in love with it for their family weekends. Good fishing-the old hot tubs fixed up, the garden paths around the historic resort are lava rock specific and very cool. The stores now attract visitors and are open on Sunday. Also coffee and would you old time Idahoans believe that there is a latte stand on the corner. OMG!

Water slides for families and tubing and rafting down the river. We loved it and will return.

 

Must mention stopping at Montpelier at the Oregon Trail Memorial. Great paintings that I believe Simplot had done. They depicted all my favorite southern Idaho spots as they were in the days of the Oregon Trail Expeditions. Nice people and lots of tourists stop there, too. I recommend it.

 

Stopped here with 200 bicyclists who had done 100 mile rides in the mountains

Stopped here with 200 bicyclists who had done 100 mile rides in the mountains

Painting of Thousand Springs where I went swimming in my teens, Hagerman Valley.

Painting of Thousand Springs where I went swimming in my teens, Hagerman Valley.

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Garden walk above hot springs

Garden walk above hot springs

lava rock-garden carved out of it

lava rock-garden carved out of it

great old building with holly hocks

great old building with holly hocks

High dive scares everyone, had a ball watching the 10 minute before diving and then the 45 minute!

High dive scares everyone, had a ball watching the 10 minute before diving and then the 45 minute!

Young kids walking the strap.

Young kids walking the strap.

KOA we loved in Lava

KOA we loved in Lava

New chairs for the motor home

New chairs for the motor home

A Few More Photo’s from Kansas City Visit

DSC05354So lucky to get to know my cousin and see how she lives in the Kansas City area.

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So much of the westward movement as a result of the Louisiana Purchase.

The cousins go orange!

The cousins go orange!

Louisiana Purchase explorers including Sakajewia

Louisiana Purchase explorers including Sakajewia

Steamboat Arabia on of hundreds that sunk on the Mississippi River

Steamboat Arabia on of hundreds that sunk on the Mississippi River

The museum dedicated to the recovery of the sunken steamboat Arabia from a farm away from the current Mississippi River’s path was one of the best stories we have seen.  Back in the 80’s friends and families decided to find it and raise it not knowing that everything on the ship-as much sellable pieces of everything as a “Walmarts Store” was intact and would be salvaged and cleaned into useable items that we could wear, eat off, or build with today.  If this story raises your interest go to the museum’s lovely website and see the really good photos and the story-of modern day adventurers. http://www.1856.com

The Stern and rudder of the Arabia

The Stern and rudder of the Arabia

The boots are so beautiful I would love to wear them

The boots are so beautiful I would love to wear them

I would love a pair of the earrings

I would love a pair of the earrings

Imagine all this buried in the mud on a farm

Imagine all this buried in the mud on a farm

One of the guides and also restorer of objects from the riverboat

One of the guides and also restorer of objects from the riverboat

keggs of nails as they look after being dug up-then cleaned and perfectly usable today.

keggs of nails as they look after being dug up-then cleaned and perfectly usable today.

Four of us being silly.

Four of us being silly.

Actual menu off the steam boat

Actual menu off the steam boat

check the prices

check the prices

The floating snag in the Mississippi that sunk the boat in minutes.

The floating snag in the Mississippi that sunk the boat in minutes.

True adventurer-in the pit, finds this felt hat.

True adventurer-in the pit, finds this felt hat.

Russ and Kal

Russ and Kal

Flea Market Killer

Flea Market Killer

Westlake Killer was big news and I remember the horror of the story of the pediphile who tortured young boys from off the streets.  This wagon sits in the Westlake district, which is actually a cool area, but people recognize it because of the weirdo.

My great great Greenawalt Aunt and Uncle's home.

My great great Greenawalt Aunt and Uncle’s home.

In our family we know a bit of the story that my Grandad Greenawalt was kicked out of his home in his 6th grade year, hooked rides to Kansas City and found this Aunt and Uncle and asked if he could pay for a room in their house.  When I was a child I met Abe and Versa once, lovely people, and they said Grandad paid for himself from that age on.

Oldest building in Kansas city.

Oldest building in Kansas city.

Kal and Cindy (Greenawalt) Kerns in Kansas City, Kansas INCREDIBLE KERNS SPA

When we traveled to Kansas City we had a real surprise, Missouri and Kansas are not flat until one gets close to Colorado.  Rolling land all green, very pretty.  We drove to Cabelas in KC and met my cousin Cindy who led us over hill and dale to their home in the country.  They took an old country home and went crazy turning it closer and closer into their dream home.  Just like me in my house in Martinez, they still can’t see it as done.  But to us they have an incredible place and it has all kinds of surprises.  Kal has hooked up watering systems that get water from the well and he has propane gas on his land which he uses too.  I can’t describe how smart he is and how creative.  That does not even say enough about his eye for landscaping.  I am having a terrible time uploading my photos here in Fort Collins, CO, but he has used antique farm equipment in the front landscapes.

Russ and I feel so blessed to stay on their farm in the RV-me using their beautiful guest room as heat and humidity demanded.  I immediately named it Cindy’s Spa.  The guest bathroom is not only pretty but functional with the best shower ever.  Cindy and Kal eat huge vegetarian salads and dishes much like us, though they do enjoy some meat.  We shared ideas back and forth and the two of us had at it in the kitchen putting together meals for our selves and lovely guests invited to meet us.  What fun!

My cousin Cindy is one smart shopper too.  She taught me a few things and she had her hair dresser scheduled for me and then for Russ too.  I have got to get a picture of the new Russ and post it.  At any rate Cindy and I have seen each other at family events and even at the Pt. Richmond Condo, but this time we really became lifetime friends.  I am so fortunate and Russ can’t stop talking about how much fun we had.  My jaw still hurts from talking and laughing.

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Love Raleigh

Love Raleigh

From lower rock garden to back of house

From lower rock garden to back of house

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Newest rock garden I believe

Newest rock garden I believe

All layers of back deck

All layers of back deck

Property is about 7 acres.

Property is about 7 acres.

From upper deck of Kerns' house to lower decks

From upper deck of Kerns’ house to lower decks

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Exhausted in Louisville Kentucky (Russ eats the best beef ever-Hardrock Cafe’s World famous Hambuger)

Well, the drive from Monticello to Louisville, Kentucky was over 8 hours over the Appalachians-up hill and down hill-and then as we often do trying to find the campground we missed a direction and had to bicker our way to a little old KOA, which was across the river from Kentucky in Indiana.  Tight spaces right next to the railroad tracks, but only minutes to historical downtown Louisville.

We did go into downtown to explore the very next day.  We tend to just drive around the historic areas and get a feel for it. We knew that people go to Makers Mark for tours and tasting.  We learned that Louisville Slugger has a great tour and you see how they make the bats. Then we heard that the Mohamid Ali museum is incredible.  4th Street has several closed off blocks where music is played and we were hungry so we stopped and ate at the Hard Rock.  Russ had heard the beef is extraordinary so he asked the waiter and they had a blue cheese hamburger that was crazy.  Well he had it and was uncomfortably full all day long.  I had two bites and have got to say it was one of the best burgers I have ever tasted.  Then I went back to my Portabello burger and ate my greens and was very comfortable!

Walking back to the car, we had a real treat!!  Two gentlemen valets at the Seelback Hilton saw me taking photos of the wonderful building and said, “Do you know about us?”  They handed over a 4 page history story and said, “Come in and look around”

It was spectacular.  I have never seen marble so beautiful.  Some of it is from Italy, Vermont and Switzerland.  F. Scott Fitgerald used it for the hotel in the “Great Gatsby” where Tom and Daisy were married.  The Rathskeller is pure art.  It is all ceramic tiles from a famous Rookwood Pottery.  The hotel has been bought and renovated thru the years and has historic murals all around the lobby.  We spent an hour and made ourselves at home. Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, JFK, Jimmy Carter and other presidents have stayed there.  One of our many surprise treats we fall into as we travel.

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AM IN FRONT ROYAL TODAY WORKING ON BLOGS. AS USUAL MET SOME GREAT PEOPLE

A few days ago, we drove up 340 thru Front Royal and then went sight seeing in other areas too.  Today I needed a Starbucks to blog as I could not get fast enough internet to upload the photos.  It was a beautiful drive again up here through the farms, forests and on curvy roads going up and down over the rolling valley.  So I Googled Front Royal and here is the possible reason for the name.

The entire Shenandoah Valley including the area to become Front Royal was annexed and claimed for hunting by the Iroquois Confederation during the later Beaver Wars, by 1672. Some bands of the Shawnee settled in the area as client groups to the Iroquois and alternately to the Cherokee after 1721. The Iroquois formally sold their entire claim east of the Alleghenies to theVirginia Colony at the Treaty of Lancaster in 1744.[6] Front Royal, originally settled in 1754 under the name LeHewtown, had been known to European explorers as early as the 1670s, and the nearby settlement of Chester’s Ferry was in existence by 1736. The town also had a well-known nickname by the 1790s, “Helltown,” due to the many livestock wranglers and boatmen on the Shenandoah coming through the area, who came into town looking for alcohol. It was incorporated as “Front Royal” in 1788.

The origin of the name “Front Royal” remains uncertain. One version holds that, in early decades of European settlement, the area was referred to in French as “le front royal,” meaning the British frontier.

At any rate Russ and I loved this Historical downtown and then moved on t0 see Belle Grove Plantation just south of Middletown.  It is a 1797 plantation.  Major Hite married President James Madison’s sister Nelly.  Thomas Jefferson gave them suggestions for the fancier home they built later and you could really see his input.  But the original footprint is lined by rock foundation-and it was a very small two story house.  It seems Dolly and James Madison honey mooned with the Hites in the little house which included the 3 children.  Anyway the Major got slaves from his wife’s dowry and really did well.  The mansion only has one floor and the below ground floor that the slaves worked and cooked in.  It was a sensational tour especially when you stepped on the front veranda and visualized the Union Army camped all across the acres in front.  Union lost to Stonewall Jackson who pushed them north, but pushed back and took over again.  This was part of the fight over this great bread basket that the South needed to hold onto.  Sheridan then burned almost everything so that the south could not eat out of this beautiful area.  Loved this history.  Had tingles standing on the veranda and visualizing the troops, tents and fires that were going when the Confederates surprised the Union in the middle of the night-Cedar Creek Battle.

Only had a couple of hours for the city of Winchester-so we went to the historic down town blocks that has been set up nicely as a pedestrian mall.  Found a bistro for lunch and sat out in perfect weather (today is 93) but that day was in the 80’s.  Will say that Winchester was the first English speaking town west of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the County was the military and political training ground for George Washington.  During the Civil War the town changed hands 72 times.  Puts the war in perspective here in Virginia.

I know, too much information, but I do not want to forget what we have seen and this is my best way to remember.  Love you all and will get to the west despite tornados.

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