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 ‘Cities’ Category

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.

 

 

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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Camping Alone at Luray! Where did all the People Go from Outlanders RV Park?

Let me remind you-double click title line to get on to actual blog when you cannot get the photos up.

Last weekend was a Holiday and our lovely camping spot at Outlander RV near Luray, VG was full of families getting away for the weekend.  Really nice people to visit with.  Gary and Hilary next to us have traveled across the States 4 times-he is in the Navy (?) at Alexandria, VA.  She is a social worker and is from Kentucky and told us where to stay and what to see in Louisville including touring the horse barns at Churchill Downs.  He was at Monterey for some years.

Then the weekend comes to an end and Memorial Day everyone left except two couples.  So I went over to them, old Air Force buddies and wives.  Lots of good stories to share.  Both men had been at Mountain Home, Idaho air base.  That was one of the towns we played basketball against when I was in high school.  Talked about Beale outside of Marysville, CA where I lived as well.  Then one couple and I exchanged stories of meeting our partners.  She was divorced and ended up with her old boyfriend from when she was 12 and that was it-they are together now.  The other couple are both military! Nice people.

And then they left and here we are-with gorgeous nite skies and almost no lighting.  We are on farm land. The grasses and weeds and wildflowers grown high in certain parts, with mowed areas for runners and graveled areas for walkers and bikers.

Vehicle repairs took us the little town of Stanley, and then we finally -after 5 days here, made it to the actual town of Luray.  Another incredibly sweet spot in the Shenandoah Valley.  It is actually just up the hill, hidden, 5 miles away from us.  I bet if we had not gone to a garage for repairs we would never have seen it.  It was the first really hot day here in these mountains and we could not leave Shadow in the car-so I allowed Russ to do the laundry in air conditioning-and I found a park on the river with ducks and kids and people having their lunch break.  Shadow and I walked the path to Main Street and checked out the shops.  These little towns are very interesting.  They manage to keep businesses in the old buildings and even the battered ones draw you in.  Homes are smallish-old and 50’s 60’s old.  People do not appear to have wealth in these small towns.  The shops are not open every day except maybe in the heart of summer and we are just early for that.  I have such wonderful conversations with strangers!

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Chattenooga, Tennessee, Ruby Falls and Rock City

Russ and I are falling in love with Tennessee.  So far there isn’t much to not like.  The forests and Low Coastal Mountains are covered with so many spring green shades that we are in awe.  Countryside has falling down barns and old  homes along side incredible dream homes.  Everyone has grass and many many are on huge lots that everyone mows with tractors.  I guess falling down buildings are more beautiful when everything is green and trees bloom in purple and white.

We acted like real tourists in Chattenooga, riding bikes along the river and tackled a bridge that is just for walkers and bicyclers.  We found a wonderful coffee shop and Shadow got her own egg while we ate ours on croissants.  Then we were told that we must go up on the ridge of mountain above town to see Rock Gardens and Ruby Falls (deep in a cave).  So of course we went up on the Rock Garden when is was raining and into the cave when it was sunny outside.

Our camping spot did not line up for satellite TV so we read some good books those evenings, but you will notice maybe that we did not do blogs so I want to catch up.  We Continue to enjoy the beauty of the country and the many packages that good Americans come in.  Not to say we do not meet foreigners, too.  It seems Chattenooga is an incredible place for wifi and big business on spectacular grids.  All kinds of business around this and we met people from silicon valley as well as India-all involved in this industry and the growth of Chattenooga.

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The rock gardens were on private land and developed by he owners-Rhodadendrums everywhere.

The rock gardens were on private land and developed by he owners-Rhodadendrums everywhere.

Favorite spot for eggs and latte

Favorite spot for eggs and latte

Can cruise

Can cruise

How Do You know What to Do in Nashville? Take the trolley ride.

In most towns or cities, we take the trolley ride first day.  Usually they are hop on and hop off.  But often we just take the whole ride and get a feel for the city and what there is we might want to see and do.  Nashville is not a big downtown.  It has contrasts.  Broadway and the old Honkey Town is just a few blocks with Broadway being the main road where the bars with live country music pull you in off the streets.  Apparently the later in the day bands are the most well known and on their way to making it.  But wow the music is pretty darn good all day long.  The bands just get tips, but they build up their creds and people drink, laugh, dance and sing along.

Behind the old buildings and streets high rises like the AT & T reflect the clouds.  The AT % T is the coolest building ever.  It is supposed to look like a cell phone but everyone just calls it Batman.

The Churches and the Capitol building are all in the area and Nashville has a new Convention Center and Music Museum that is so beautiful and big, it does not seem to fit in downtown.  I would have to be in a helicopter to get views of it.  But I tried.  Then the old industrial streets lend themselves to repurposing.  The Marathon Auto Works buildings have one of the most famous antique shops in America.  Now if you do not watch on the History Channel  “American Pickers” you might want to check it out.  Their shop which has been shot for shows, is spectacular.  Russ said, it is full of stuff that was laying around in my old gas stations!

And then the capitol itself looks down on a gorgeous park and has statues of 3 American Presidents from Tennesee!  Polk, Andrew Johnson and Jackson.  Polk is buried under his memorial.

Finally, there are so many ways to enjoy country –  Johnny Cash museum is new and really interesting with head sets to listen to his music.  Then the cowboy boot, hat and clothes store about wore me out.  Russ was trying on everything.

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Grand Ol’ Opry in Nashville, Tennesee

Feel free to double click the photos in the tile format and then see them as a slide show.

DSC03838We absolutely loved the Grand Ol’ Opry convention center. The entire courtyard is an Atrium with beautiful buildings up two stories, running water, waterfalls, plants everywhere, restaurants and bars and all of the rooms looking on the courtyard with balconies in some cases.  Glass roof over all.  This is family owned and a masterpiece.  This, the Opry House, several other event stadiums and a huge shopping center are all a part of the magnificient complex.

How many of you knew that in 2010, the river flooded up into down town Nashville and out at the Opry it flooded the entire Opry House and took 6 months to repair and rebuild.  Everyone in Nashville talks about it and is so proud they recovered.

Grand Ol' Opry Convention Center

Grand Ol’ Opry Convention Center

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The old time Opry people and the new young ones put on tremendous entertainment.  And if you have forgotten, this is a radio show sent out all over the world every nite and the audience is a part of it.  The stage lighting and large screens around the room let you see everyone’s faces and the bands in the background.  So many famous Opry members live around here, that some evenings they will just call and say they want to come in a play a number.  Even when I thought I did not know the singer-especially the older guys, they would play their #1 tune of some year back, and I could almost sing along.  Did not know how affected I was by country music.

Chris Young

Chris Young

Mandy Barnett

Mandy Barnett

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Riders in the Sky

Riders in the Sky

Del McCoury Band

Del McCoury Band

Love and Theft

Love and Theft

Jim Ed Brown

Jim Ed Brown

John Conlee

John Conlee

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Getting into the Show

Getting into the Show

Shopping Mall next to Opry

Shopping Mall next to Opry

Russ said this was a parking lot when he was here

Russ said this was a parking lot when he was here

Am sitting outside in a lovely trailer park in Chattenooga this evening.  Too many trees for a satellite hook up but the trees are pretty as is the park and I am going to swim at the YMCA here 3 of the 5 days.  Love the Silver Sneakers plan.

Apple Store called Graphicom in Pensacola on Airport Blvd was beyond Helpful

Using my Macbook and I-Mac and now my new I-phone  keeps me on my toes.  But so many issues can also come up and The big Apple Store is not in every city.  So you usually find a Best Buy store.  But they do not work on some of your issues with software and of course then you go online for tutorials.  I just got buried in learning things so when Best Buy told me there was a small Apple Store up the road, we went.  There were definitely Angels there by the name of Chris, Kenny and Shelbey.  They helped me upgrade and repair things and then showed tons that I needed to know to be slightly competent with all.  

I also purchased an incredible tool – apple TV and look forward to movies and slide shows that I will make and share with some of my family on TV.

phone # for Graphicom-  850-466-3337

e-mail    graphicom.net

Next I got hacked, and I learned that Yahoo has lots of holes, whereas Google Mail, gmail, does not.  So I went back in and was shown how to deal with it.  I cannot thank Chris enough for his time and thoughtful explanations and repairs.  In addition I am still having some problems in understanding and remembering and I know I will call him and get a bit more straightened out.

Thank God for Graphicom and these fine experts. I have told many of you that every day I go out of the RV asking the Universe to let me be of service and everyday I start the day with Thanks for all that helps me as well.  I kid you not-every day “Angels” appear to assist me, answer my questions, get me on the right track.  It is the most magnificent way to live life that I have ever experienced.

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Fort Lauderdale Spring Break

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Well this has been two weeks + that we were not expecting to happen.  And they have been a surprisingly delightful time.  We came over here so we could be here when Jenean and Brian, our good good friends, came out.  Unfortunately Jenean could not but Brian did and yesterday we had a wonderful visit and the most perfect afternoon in perfect sun and weather of 77 degrees.  Ate outside on the waterfront and watched the college kids, visited up a storm and then visited with Brian’s wonderful Uncle Gary and his wife Anne.  Also got to know his cousin and her husband.  These are New Yorkers who have their two homes.  It’s a great life.  We were so pleased to have time with them all.

We have had doctor appointments and now have perscriptions for our medications on our new Supplimental insurance plan.  I also got to a podiatrist and am following her instructions and doing much better with my foot.  She was sure I did not have a hairline fracture.  She sent me to her favorite shoe place for the nicest running shoe that does not hurt my foot.  Told us to go next to it for the best croissants south of New York City.  I never eat this stuff   but………….

We bike around the campground and on the streets, even on the A1A along the Atlantic Ocean.  I go to pool exercise classes and enjoy listening to the ladies laughing and  telling stories in French.  Most of them do not or choose not to speak English.  But several help me out.  It has been an interesting cultural experience.  Hope I can go to Quebec City in the future.  Funny observation,  while many of these retired people work at staying in shape, quite a few of the men  have great big bellies, which they push ahead of themselves, spend the entire day and evening shirtless, lie out in the sun and are brown as berries.  In fact most of the northerners that winter here lay out all the time and get dark brown tans every winter.

I got my red hair back!. Yeah.  And a great cut. And it was the cheapest hairdo I got since we started traveling.

The Martinez house goes up for sale the first week in April.  Already there are people interested!!!!

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