Thursday, September 13

Postcard from Belgium

We are in Brugge today, a charming little Flemish town in Belgium. Here you will find beer, waffles, frites (french fries), chocolate, and handmade lace. The weather started out blustery and choppy and we didn’t know if the ship could dock, but we were able to come onshore after all. The weather turned beautiful. We have been very lucky with the weather.

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Waiting for beer and cheese croquettes at a sidewalk cafe. I am not a beer drinker but I always try the local fare. The beer was very good and did not give me a headache like American beer does.


I’ve been having problems uploading so I am keeping photos to a minimum. We’re having lots of fun wearing out our poor feet on cobblestones. This is a very port-intensive journey… tomorrow is Honfleur, France.

Sunday, September 2

Home Again For a Little While

Gosh, can we believe it is September already? Some of my friends around the blogosphere have commented that Fall is in the air already. DD Michelle, who lives in Connecticut, says the air is starting to get crispy.


Here in the desert I have noticed a bit of cooling as well. We are still getting some monsoon weather, which brings steam-bath humidity and flash-flood warnings, but morning temperatures are slipping back into the high 70s instead of the high 80s. And the clouds cast intriguing shadows on the majestic purple mountains. The sky changes minute by minute.

We rolled the motorhome home and back into storage without incident, despite the fact that we—well, JJ drove, but I was on high alert all the way—had to navigate the tangled mess of truck-heavy freeways and interchanges in the Riverside-San Bernardino area. Fortunately, wind in the Banning Pass was minimal. The next day I took JJ back to Oceanside to fetch his car, 3 hours each way. He followed me home. We stopped in Temecula for lunch, and I had an unusual dish that was grilled chicken breast on top of rice and shredded lettuce, with tomatoes and avocados. It was so good! On route 60 through Moreno Valley we got caught in a monster storm. Lordy, I have never seen it rain so hard!

Here’s a snippet about it:

Heavy monsoonal moisture moved up from Mexico and got caught in a subtropical disturbance along the way. As this air mass moved into the mountains of southern Riverside County it was caught in what is known as the Elsinore Convergence, a point in the Lake Elsinore-Perris-Hemet-Riverside area where onshore winds coming around the Santa Ana Mountains from the south and north join.The winds moved upward, creating a strong storm. Winds of 60 mph as well as lightning and heavy rain are typical of these storms.

The Elsinore Convergence! Who knew!


This was the sunset our last night in Oceanside. The orange sunset definitely spells Fall. At first I thought the land mass was Catalina, but the shape wasn’t right, so I zoomed in on it and it is the coastline way up north. The light in the center is from a fishing boat.

Now we are preparing for our next journey. We leave in 6 days. We will spend a few days in London, then board a cruise ship that will go to the north of France and Spain, around the Iberian Peninsula and through the Strait of Gibraltar, ending in Barcelona. After that we’re going off on our own to explore the Piedmont region of Italy where Barolo is made.

I’ll see you in October!