Friday, August 26

The Beautiful California Central Coast

This is my favorite stretch of Hwy 101—near Santa Ynez and Buellton. It personifies the golden, rolling hills of California, studded with Coastal Oaks. Am I sorry I left and moved to the desert? No.

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Of course the first thing we did was have a beach party with our dear friends Ron and Kay. Jim is digging a hole where we will build a campfire. Because it’s cold here.

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You’d never know it’s August—the beach is nearly deserted. Debby Mc, this one’s for you. The snowy plover is alive and well.

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The fog is gathering and bringing even colder air with it.

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But we have the fire to keep us warm. Ahhhh, a campfire—nothing better. NOW we’re camping! It turned out to be a beautiful evening.

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Of course you KNOW I’d play golf with my good friend Carolyn! I hit some great shots, and I hit some stinkers. WHY did I leave my windbreaker home…

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It’s so nice to see old friends, and golf is so much fun. Life is good. I think we need to spend every summer here.

Wednesday, August 24

Ventura, California

We are parked for the night on the north side of Ventura. Can you see the traffic whizzing by on Highway 101? It’s deafening, even inside with all the windows closed.

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Because we’d be navigating the freeways of Los Angeles we decided we’d break the drive up into two days. We could do it in one, but it would have been too much stress. Fortunately we know the LA freeways like the back of our hand and we understand the traffic patterns—I can’t imagine how people navigate those roads if they don’t have experience. Driving them in an RV was pretty white-knuckle in some spots! Especially the Camarillo Grade between Thousand Oaks and Oxnard. 7%. 

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Here we are, in space 52. Rover is second from left, with the black front. This is what camping in an RV lot is like. It’s okay for one night. Yes, it’s gray—it’s early morning—you’re seeing the marine layer that rolls in every evening. As the sun gets higher in the sky the marine layer will burn off and it will warm up (warm being a relative term) and be sunny.

We brought a frozen lasagna and garlic bread from home and watched the news streaming on the laptop (no cable TV) while we ate dinner—inside, because we’re freezing. Then we played some games and curled up for the night, under blankets. It’s cold here! Cold and damp. It’s in the 50s, and we’re used to waking up in temps almost twice that. I am very glad I brought several “sweats” outfits and my fuzzy slippers, which I don’t think I’ve worn once since we moved to the desert. It amazes me how different the climate is, only 225 miles away.

People are walking around outside in shorts and t-shirts. I’m wearing a hoodie jacket inside. I guess my blood has thinned out.

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We are parked just west of Oxnard. Big Ventura doesn’t show on the map, but tiny El Rio does, which I’ve never even heard of. Today we’ll finish the drive up the 101, to our final destination in Pismo Beach, just south of San Luis Obispo—me old’ stompin grounds.

Monday, August 22

Palm Trees

It is a beautiful morning in the desert today. Let’s look at some palm trees in my neighborhood.

We got small ones. That’s my house, by the way.  Looks like every other house, just the colors are different.
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We got tall ones.
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Short, fat ones.
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And some that look like pineapples on sticks.
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Some have sparklers. Still others have dates that hang down in huge clusters, but I didn’t see any of those today. These are all right around my house.
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Some have fronds that look like this.
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While others have fronds that look like this.
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Some provide lots of shade.
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Some don’t. Some are smooth.
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And others are rough and thatched. These are all well-maintained trees, they prune them twice a year with a cherry picker. Otherwise they’d have dead fronds hanging all the way down their trunks.
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They have one thing in common, though. They can really withstand the wind.


We saddle up the pony today and tomorrow we roll north. We’re going to Pismo Beach, where we lived for a while, to feel some cool weather and see old friends. Although it’s beautiful here today!

I love it when you step outside in the early morning and it’s like 75 degrees (instead of 90) and you go, “Wow! It’s cool!” It’s like a gift. To remind you of  how wonderful it will be when the summer heat is gone.

Have a great week!

Thursday, August 18

Not Much to Blog About

We brought Rover home today--we had dropped it off for repairs. All done. The door deadbolts easily and doesn't fly open anymore, the kitchen drawer stays latched shut even on left-hand turns, and the oven door front panel no longer falls off. JJ is getting very good at driving it and maneuvering it around.

We have been doing things like going to the doctor and dentist, pedicures, haircuts, buying a new garbage disposal, blah blah blah. Boring. But I've managed to do a little in the studio finishing Sax Man.

We're busy, but as you can see there isn't a whole lot worth writing about. We're pretty much just between trips, and that's where our heads are at. We're looking forward to seeing old friends on the central coast next week.

The desert is breathtakingly beautiful--even in summer. Oh sure, it's hot, 110 today, but I'm getting used to it and the nights are incredible.

Tuesday, August 16

Rollin’ Home

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Well, our month in San Diego County has come to an end and we are rolling Rover home. Jim is driving the rig and I am following in our car because we haven’t graduated to towing yet. This picture was taken on northbound I-15 near Temecula.

We dropped Rover off at the dealer to have a few new-coach things fixed. Like the door sticks and is hard to open, but sometimes comes open by itself. We woke up twice to find the door wide open even though it was locked and we were sure we shut it. That’s not good. 

We had a great time in San Diego, we enjoyed my old hometown a lot, and if we don’t take Rover up the coast to Oregon next summer we’ll go back. I like Rover, but I have to say this, four weeks at a stretch was one week too many. I started getting antsy and missing my house. And whoever said I’d marvel at how big my house was when I got home was right.

After we take care of some things here—laundry, doctor, haircuts, etc., we roll to the central coast to visit friends and neighbors, have a few beach parties, go to favorite restaurants, taste some central coast wines, PLAY SOME GOLF, and enjoy the cool beach weather.

Happy trails!

Friday, August 12

Cruisin’ Grand

Every Friday night in Escondido, a bunch—like hundreds—of people bring their classic cars and show them off or just cruise up and down Grand Avenue.

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I don’t know about you, but I LOVE classic cars. They’re so sleek and sexy.

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Talk about street art. Very California.

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The purple one is an “axle dragger.” I think it’s a Buick, but it has been chopped down so its running board is practically touching the ground. This one comes with a babe who has a tree growing out of her head.

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Everyone loves the Corvette. What a great car. We used to have a Vette—a little newer than this, but it was black.

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All kinds of people and vehicles cruise Grand. Check out the dog. His name is Pepe. I know this because it is written on his tiny helmet.

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This Plymouth has Power Glide buttons instead of a gearshift. Does this take you back? Did you fiddle with the radio buttons on a car like this? I did.  But then I’m old.

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Sunday, August 7

Hola, Tamale Guy

We're in Rosarito Beach, Baja California, about 20 minutes south of the US border.
This is the Tamale Man. He has a loudspeaker on his car and comes around every afternoon to peddle his tamales out of the trunk of his car--made fresh, every day. He sees me with the camera and waves. JJ buys me a tamale for one dollar. It was excellent.


This is Susan, our host. she went to Croatia with us. We're trying to talk her into going to Europe with us next summer. 

A squadron of California Brown Pelicans glide by. 

The house looks out on the Pacific. Those are the Coronado Islands in the distance.  

Now we are back in our little motorhome. Monday begins our fourth and final week in San Diego County. It's been a gas!

Thursday, August 4

Beautiful San Diego

We went to Balboa Park yesterday. It’s a lovely park.

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We went to a couple museums and a botanical garden. Below is the botanical garden.

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It’s built out of wood and is nearly 100 years old. Let’s get up close and personal with some orchids. All photos clickable.

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This one you’ll recognize as Georgia O’Keeffe. We saw it in the art museum. So lovely in its simplicity.

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Last but not least, we hit Rosie’s. It’s legendary in these parts. They have a whole ROOM full of batiks. Yes, I bought some.

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Monday, August 1

Quilt Shop Hop

Our RV sits in an area with four big quilt shops. I opted to not go to IQF Long Beach yesterday because it's such a long drive and I really only cared about the vendors booths. I can see many of those quilts online anyway.

Well, I hit one of the shops yesterday. They had a good selection of batiks. This is my loot.

I laid in some sky, water, leaf, and border fabrics. That third one from the bottom is planned for the music that will come out of Sax Man's sax.What color is music?! I tried to find the loudest fabric I could. I may go back for that screaming lime green one...

This shop is having a fabric painting class next week and I may go to that. I've been wanting to do fabric painting for while.

We are going golfing tomorrow, then Wednesday we will go to the Botanical Gardens in San Diego and I'll stop by Beverly's and Rosie's.

JJ is going to play golf--keep your fingers crossed--this is a big deal; a milestone. I am taking him to an executive course with a 117 slope rating. Hoping for a slam-dunk.