Monday, January 26, 2009

Sunset in Pismo Beach

Saturday, January 3, 2009

January 3, 2009 - Last Entry

Happy New Year!

Wow -- our 9 month RV trip is coming to an end. What an unforgetable experience it has been for us. Needless to say, we absolutely love this lifestyle and want to continue with it as soon as we can do so again.

But before we get to what is in our future, let us bring you up to speed with the last week, the highlight of which was the Rose Parade. Way before the market tanked, we secured a spot right on Colorado Blvd. with our RV from which to watch the Rose Parade. Thank God we did that when we did because the event was spectacular.

After leaving Long Beach, we went to Burbank to get my laptop which was being repaired. But when we got there, it wasn't finished. (They will now be mailing it to me next week.)

From there we went to Pasadena and arrived there about 4 p.m. We were not allowed to take our designated spot on the parade route until 10 p.m., so we parked about two blocks away on a side street. At 10 p.m., Jerry moved the RV to our spot in a restaurant parking lot. Three other RVers joined us. See the picture Jerry took of the four RVs.

We put out all of our chairs in the first row on the street to reserve the spaces for our family that were arriving in the early morning.

The party goers were out all night long -- there was loud music, laughing, talking, and fireworks going on throughout the night. We probably slept two hours at most.

By 6 a.m., our kids and grandkids arrived. (They had reserved parking spaces behind our RV.) Jerry made breakfast (eggs with cheese, bacon, sausage, lox, bagels and cream cheese, various fruit and othe munchies) for everyone.

I sat outside and got a first hand view of all the float entries, taking picture after picture of the various ones. Jerry stayed in the RV and videotaped the parade from in there. It has been many years since we attended the Rose Parade and to do it in this style is the only way to go. The kids were running in and out of the RV, the bathroom was right there for everyone, and everyone had a front row seat.

To see the float art from so close is something I will always treasure. And, even better, to be able to share it with family makes it priceless. It is something that cannot be explained in words or even pictures. But, I am including some of the pictures I took in this blog for those of you who may have missed watching it on TV.

After the parade was over, we had to exit the parking lot within half an hour. We did that and drove to Ventura where we spent the night along the ocean (parked 25-30 feet from the shore line). The next morning, we drove to Santa Barbara where we joined Dawn (Jerry's classmate from Cleveland High School and her husband, Pat) for a wonderful lunch consisting of homemade squash soup, salad, lasagna, apple pastry and coffee. (Jerry and Dawn are starting the process of planning for their 50 year class reunion to be held in 2011).

We arrived back in Pismo yesterday. Today we all took a long walk/run along the ocean. We have only two more nights here in Pismo before we have to go back home to Cambria. (While on this trip, we met at least one other person who said "you are from Cambria??? What are doing here in this state? Insinuating that Cambria is paradise.) We agree, after having seen so much of the USA these last two years, that Cambria is the best place to live -- that is, if you want to stay in one spot all of the time.

But we are wanderers and intend to keep living this RVing lifestyle in the years to come. In April 2009, we leave for Alaska via New Mexico (going there to attend the largest RV Rally first). We will keep another blog for those of you who have the time and inclination to follow us on our trip. Even if you don't read our blog, we enjoy writing it and posting the pictures -- so we will do it for ourselves in any event.

For those of you who have followed our blog, thank you for sharing that information with us. Until April -- may all of you realize your dreams and live the life you love, as we are doing. We love you all.

Jerry and Mary

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

December 30, 2008

Hi to those who are still following this blog!

We hope you are enjoying a pleasant holiday season even if you have to go back to work for a few days. We had a nice family gathering at Susan (our daughter in Whittier, Ca) and Raul's house over Christmas Eve and the days following. We parked our RV in their driveway and dwarfed their house behind it. Santa came and the little ones were excited to see him.

On Friday night, we took the adults (three of our children and their wives/girl friend) out to Lawry's Prime Rib Place in Beverly Hills. That place seems to be popular these days with certain football players. The place was big, a bit loud and crowded. The prime rib was delicious, but the side dishes were just "so-so" for us. All in all, it was a nice evening get-together.

We are now in Long Beach, CA at our favorite RV spot -- right by the ocean and the convention center. This afternoon we biked over to the Queen Mary.

We even were able to connect with long time business associates in Long Beach -- Judy and Ron from Jerry's film days. Jerry made lunch. (See picture.)

Tomorrow we leave for Pasadena where we will have a spot for our RV right on Colorado Blvd. We will be able to see the Rose Parade from our front RV windows. Our children and grandchildren will be joining us. Jerry will be making breakfast for everyone on the coach.

Our 2008 RV trip is almost over. Like my sister said, we seem to be "dragging our feet" getting back to Cambria. I expect to update this blog one more time before ending this great trip. Until then, we wish everyone a very happy and healthy New Year.

Jerry and Mary

Thursday, December 18, 2008

December 18, 2008

Hi Everyone,

We are still in Pismo Beach, CA. Since we previously purchased an interest in the Pismo Coast Village RV Resort, we get to stay here for up to 70 days free a year. That part is good. But, being right on the beach, within walking distance from Pismo Beach and the pier, and within a mile or two of all the shopping centers (and the Pismo Outlets), makes this a very good place for us to settle in for awhile. Not only that, we are within driving distance from Cambria (45 minutes North of us) and can easily run up there if we have to do so for any reason. And, we are close enough for our Cambrian friends and relatives (Pat and Bill) to drive down here to see us.

That is what happened yesterday. Tom and Lynn (Cambria Coffee Roasting Company) joined us for dinner last night on the RV (with Jerry doing the cooking, of course). Great catching up with them. See picture below.

The other day we found a boardwalk walking/running path along the backside of the golf course and next to the ocean just South of us. Like the boardwalk on Moonstone Beach, the path is wooden and meanders through the dunes and trees. I brought my camera with me today to capture some pictures.

That reminds me of something I've noticed since we have been RVing. Maybe it's because I've been taking pictures of our surroundings for the last eight months, or maybe it is because I'm getting older and "more observant" (though there are those who will dispute that -- namely, Jerry), or maybe it is because we are more "retired" and have the time to appreciate all the beauty this world has to offer, but I am so much more impressed with nature and it's impact on the senses than ever before.

So, let me ask, when was the last time you stepped outside the door of your home to take photographs of the beauty that surrounds your house -- plants in the garden, birds in the trees, dew drops on the grass and the lighting, colors or shadows making for artistic pictorial creations? In this digital age, it is so easy to just shoot without having to spend money getting film developed. And for some reason or other, if you capture the scene on your camera, it is also captured in your mind and will stay with you longer.

On Saturday, Jerry and I will celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary. Who knew?

With that, we will sign off for now. Still have until next Wednesday until we leave Pismo Beach.

If we don't update this blog until after Christmas -- we send your way our happiest of thoughts for a wonderful holiday season to each and everyone of you.

Happy Holidays!

Jerry and Mary

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

December 9, 2008

Happy Holidays to Everyone!

We have settled in the Pismo Coast Village RV Resort for a couple of weeks before heading down to LA to be with the kids and grandkids for the holidays. We plan to stay here until December 24, 2008.

Last Thursday night, our friend John (who is camping next to us here with Marijean) drove us up to Cambria for the Holiday in the Pines evening (or whatever they are calling it this year). We were able to connect with Pat and Bill who have done so much to help us stay traveling this great country for the last eight months, and were able to see some our real estate agents in the office.

We also saw lots of friends that we haven't seen since April. It was a fun evening. We even got to attend the program put on by the Cambria Chorale and the schools. The room was packed and they put on a great program. Really got us into the holiday mood.

Then, we spent our first night in our house after being gone for so long. It was weird -- that's all I will say about it. Someone called us the "modern day gypsies" when we were in Cambria and we are beginning to believe that the term truely applies to us.

Pat and Bill were able to join us on Sunday afternoon in Pismo. Together with John and Marijean, we all went out for a wonderful dinner at Steamers. Jerry and I can't believe that we have lived in Cambria since 1999 and we never heard of Steamers before. Needless to say, we will be going there again in the future. Not only that, John (Marijean went back to Long Beach on Monday for her job), Jerry and I went there again for happy hour tonight to have their steamed clams.

We love it here in Pismo. See the great picture below that Jerry took of the sunset the other night.

This is an open invitation for anyone who is reading this blog and lives in the area to come to see us while we are here. Just call us at 909-0909 to make sure we are here at the time as we have picked up my car and just may be out and about. As we said above, we will be here until December 24th.

We hope everyone starts enjoying this season now as it is a special time of the year.

Will update you again before we leave here.

Jerry and Mary

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

December 2, 2008

Hi Everyone,

We are getting closer to home -- that is, Cambria. Right now we are parked at the ocean (about 25 feet from the waves) in Ventura. We were hoping for a nice sunset, but the day has been foggy.

We spent the last five days at Pechunga in Temucula, CA with our friends, John and Marijean, who also have an RV. Both John and Jerry are gourmet chefs and each took turns preparing the evening meal. Needless to say, we ate well and gained a bit of weight (not something we want to do at the beginning of the holiday season).

Our son, Shannon, with his daughters, Erin (age 12) and Natalie (turning 4 on Dec. 21), drove down from LA to spend Sunday afternoon with us. We really appreciated his visit and a chance to see the grandkids again. We last saw them when we were in Fargo in June. The weather was great and I took my share of Sunday afternoon walks with Natalie who kept wanting to walk Chanti.

Yesterday, we stopped to see a long time friend, Laurie Greene in Thousand Oaks, on our way to Ventura. Although we would have loved to stay longer, it was nice catching up. I think that the size of our RV always shocks people when they first see it.

After we arrived in Ventura last night, we witnessed the Moon, Mars and Venus alligned in a triangular formation, something we understand will not happen again for another 40-plus years. (See photograph below that Jerry took.) We hope to take photos of the next one 40 years from now!

Today, we spend the afternoon with our friends, Bob and Nancy, who drove up to Ventura from Granada Hills, CA to have lunch with us and catch up. Now that we are back in California, we are able to spend time with people we haven't seen since we left Cambria last April. (Hope we aren't boring them with our videos!)

Tomorrow we move up the coast to Pismo Beach where we will be staying for a couple of weeks. John and Marijean will be joining us for the first few days. Oh no, more eating!!!!

Until next time, keep living the life you love,

Jerry and Mary

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

November 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Samantha!

Well, we were in Laughlin, NV for just one night. The last time we were there (back in the 70s), there were only a couple of casinos and a riverboat hotel. Now, it is Las Vegas 30 years ago. Lots of activity and city lights. We stayed in an RV park that had 750 spaces, a shuttle running every 30 minutes to the casino, and we had a beautiful view of the city at night. (Unfortunately, we forgot to take pictures.)

On to Indio -- where we stayed in what is probably the most exclusive, elegant RV park in the world. It's the newest concept in RVing -- where you can purchase your own lot and improve it with an outdoor kitchen, BBQ, jacuzzi, etc. The lots are located either on a golf course or the waterway. This place has the ultimate high-end RVs parked on the lots, many for the winter season. In all of the thousands of miles we traveled in our RV this year and last year, we never saw this caliber of RVs on the road. These people purchase $1-2 million dollar coaches and, basically, just park them on their lot(s) as a winter condo. One guy had two $2 million dollar RVs parked in the place. The lots on the water have boat pads. See pictures below.

One really good thing about being there, we were able to hook up with old friends, Sandy and Larry. I've know Sandy since 1983 when I first started working at Hughes. We had them over for dinner on the RV. They live in Indian Wells, about 25 minutes from where we were staying in Indio. It was a fun evening.

Right now we are in another place close to Temecula, CA where one can also purchase their own lot. This place is great, too -- but doesn't begin to compare to Indio.

Tomorrow, we leave to join John and Marijean in Pechunga for Thanksgiving.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Don't eat too much. (Since we had the traditional thankgiving dinner with our son, Sean, in North Dakota a couple of months ago, we will be having prime rib, full bone cut for each, instead of turkey.)

Love to all,

Jerry and Mary

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November 18, 2008

Hi Everyone,

We are on our way back to California. After leaving Salt Lake City, we spent one night (on our way to Las Vegas) at Fillmore, Utah. We took pictures of the spectacular sunset sky that night. (See pictures below.)

Then, we were on to Las Vegas where we have been since Saturday. The weather is beautiful, in the low 80s and getting into the 50s at night. I've spent a few hours gambling, enough to get it out of my system without losing everything -- but not making anything, either.

We leave tomorrow for Laughlin, NV, and from there we go to Indio and Palm Springs. Then, on to Temecula to spend Thanksgiving with our friends, John and Marijean (also RVers).

Just received our mail today (thanks again, Pat and Bill), and have lots of it to go through. Always brings us back to reality!!!

Keep living the life you love.

Jerry and Mary

Sunday, November 9, 2008

November 9, 2008

Hi Everyone,

Last weekend we drove from Jackson Hole, WY to Salt Lake City, UT in one day. It was a long drive over high mountains. I had fun taking pictures along the way because the scenery was beautiful.

We've spent the week here in Salt Lake City and, on two occasions, walked from the campsite to downtown and back (1.8 mile each way). Then, in the middle of the week, it snowed. Chanti's little paws kept slipping in the snow when she went out. Below are a couple of pictures of our RV in the snow. It was cool and we immediately put on Christmas music.

The last three days were spent at the XanGo 6th Annual Convention at the Salt Palace. There were 10,000 distributors in attendance. What excitement! XanGo, in 6 years, has sold $1.5 billion dollars of the mangosteen juice. It was the first company to bring this super fruit from South East Asia to market and is the category creator.

Now, the company just released its Glimpse skin care line -- and, again, is the first company to create a clean, green skin care product with no toxins or harmful chemicals -- another category creation. The skin care line contains the mangosteen fruit with its high anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. We are proud to be associated with this great company.

Today (Sunday) we experienced what it really means to "take a day of rest" here in Utah. Almost everything was closed -- including our favorite lunch stop, Subway. While parking spots were hard to find around the Convention Center during the week, no problem today!

We expect to leave here on Tuesday and head slowly back to California via Las Vegas. Will tell you more in our next blog update. Until then, have no regrets and continue living the life you love.

Jerry and Mary

Friday, October 31, 2008

October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween! (I say that with tongue in cheek as Halloween is not my favorite day. But for all of you party people out there, have a fun evening. The only thing I like about Halloween is all the chocolate.)

We have spent the better part of the week in the midst of breathtaking wonders of nature -- Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. We tried to capture as much as we could on camera, and so have included more pictures on this blog than usual. (We just couldn't decide what to eliminate.)

And speaking of cameras, for those who want to know, Jerry is using the Digital Nikkon D200 SLR with an 18-135 mm lens. I am using a simple point and shoot that I love. It is the Sony Cybershot DSC-T300 touchscreen with full HD 1080. (And you thought the pictures are great because we know how to take them!!!) Well, Jerry was a professional photographer in a previous life and I feel I have a bit of artistic creativity in me. (After all, my mother was an artist - and so is my sister.) Plus the cameras we are using allow us to compensate for different light settings.

Jenny, the picture of Jenny Lake is for you.

We are writing this from Jackson, WY - a cowboy town. We love it. But tomorrow we leave as we make our way to Salt Lake City.

Until next time, keep living the life you love.

Jerry and Mary