Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On the way home

We left Petaluma at 5:30 AM and were on the Golden Gate Bridge at 6:15. Going through San Francisco at this time was no problem.
At 12:30 PM we arrived in San Luis Obispo. After lunch we drove over to Pismo Beach.
There we were surprised by fog and chilly air. After walking a few minutes around town we went back to sunny San Luis Obispo. 18 Miles made the difference.

We arrived in Santa Barbara at about 11:00 AM and an hour later we were on our way to Los Olivos.
Highway 154 goes over the Ynez Mountains.
In Santa Barbara it was cloudy and the temperatures were low. When we came across the mountains there was blue sky and we had to remove our sweat shirts.
We stopped at Lake Cachuma and inspected the camp ground. They have nice facilities.

Our next stop was in Los Olivos, a beautiful town with Victorian homes and a lot of little stores for tourists.
It is Doreen’s kind of place.

On our way home we drove through Santa Ynez and Solvang. We did not stop at either place because we have been there many times.

We left Santa Barbara at 9:00 AM and it was still foggy and misty. When we arrived at the Moose Lodge in Ventura we noticed that they do not have camping facilities anymore. The camping sites are used for storing trailers and motorhomes.
The lodge administrator told me that the city shut them down. Campground owners in the area are usually putting pressure on city officials.
He let us stay though. I found an electric outlet box on a wall. This helps, the solar panels do not get much sun right now.
After setting up the motorhome we drove to Santa Paula. We went to Old Town and were really surprised. Almost all stores have Mexican names and there was very little writing in English on the signs. It looked like a Mexican town, even though Santa Paula is not near the border.
The lady in the Mexican bakery did not speak English. But the bakery goods were tasty.
On our way home we stopped at the Harbor Village in Ventura. It is similar to Seaport Village in San Diego. There are a lot of restaurants and small shops.

Today we checked out the camping facilities at the Elks and Moose Lodges in Oxnard. The Elks still have places for RVs, the Moose Lodge does not.
Our next stop was the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard. It was kind of disappointing. A lot of the stores and restaurants are closed.
So we went to the harbor in Ventura and had lunch, at a restaurant, on the boardwalk.

Today we had blue skies and sun.
We also stopped at the Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center and picked up information about Oxnard and Ventura and the islands. When we got back to the motorhome I studied the brochures and found out what we missed while being here.
Next time, when we come through this area,I am certainly better prepared.

Now we are at the Elks Lodge in Garden Grove. We arrived here at 9:00 AM.
When we came by the Long Beach airport old memories popped up. The buildings were I worked are gone.
Frank Muzzy is still working in one of the buildings which survived the shut down.
Since it is Sunday and we were early, going through Los Angeles was easy.
The weather is back to normal for Southern California, blue sky and in the low seventies.
We drove to Los Alamitos and visited Elisabeth, our landlady when we lived here. It is always nice to see her. We loved the neighborhood and had a good time.
After our visit with Elisabeth we went down to Seal Beach and followed the Pacific Coast Highway to Huntington Beach. We used to ride our bicycles on the trail along the ocean.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sonoma County 2009

We left Eureka at 7:00 AM under blue sky, no cloud in sight. It never misses.
When we arrived in Santa Rosa it was very warm.
After setting up the motorhome we went to the Charles M. Schulz Museum. We saw Snoopy and all the other Peanuts characters, of course not live.
We are staying at the Sonoma County Fairground using Passport America. The book lists the first three days for half price. We were informed that only the first day is half price. We will be moving tomorrow.
I checked out the Moose Lodge. When we arrived at the address, the building is now a store. I called the lodge and was informed that they sold the building and at the new lodge they have no spaces for RVs.

It took us only an hour to go from Santa Rosa to Petaluma. We arrived at the Elks in Petaluma at 9:00 AM and after setting up the motorhome were on the road to Bodega Bay by 10:00 AM.
Alfred Hitchcock used this location for his film "The Birds".
It is a very beautiful place. We took highway 1 North , the road follows the Pacific Ocean. The Sonoma Coast is spectacular and the weather helps too. We have still blue skies.
We found a picnic bench and had lunch on a high cliff.

At Jenner we took highway 116 East and followed the Russian River. In Sebastopol we stopped for a few minutes. It had gotten too hot for walking the streets, so we returned to Petaluma.

Today we left at 8:00 AM and headed back to highway 1.
First we went to the Pt. Reyes National Seashore and visited the Light House.
The flowers along the road are so beautiful. Several deer were feeding on the grass and flowers.

Then we drove South on highway 1 to Stinson Beach. There we had our lunch at the Beach Park.

Yesterday the temperatures broke all records for April. It was 93 degrees F in Petaluma. Today it is a few degrees cooler.
There were a lot of people on the beach.
Our next stop was the Muir Woods National Monument. We walked the main trail, along the Redwood Creek. Walking under those giant trees gave me a strange feeling. Those trees are giants.
Most of this tour was actually in Marin County.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Southern Oregon 2009

Today we left for Bandon, Oregon. Claudia and the grandchildren are with us. Scott has to stay home and work and pay into the Social Security System so that we retired people get our monthly check.
We stopped at the beach in Crescent City and had lunch and let Nicolette and Jacob run on the beach.

They brought back shells and small pieces of drift wood.
Bullards Beach State Park was our place to stay for the night. This is a beautiful park with full hook ups.
The weather is not the best, from time to time we have light rain.

At 9:00 AM we left for the West Coast Game Park in Bandon. They have baby animals people can pet.

Lunch we had at the Bandon Fish Market. Their fish and chips were the best I ever had, even better than we had in England.
The view over the harbor is not bad either.

Claudia and Doreen went back to Old Town to shop, while the kids and I went for a long walk in the park.

Today we went east on highway 42 to Winston, near Roseburg. There we went to the Wildlife Safari Park.
In this park the visitors stay in their cars. Some of the animals come to the car and investigate. A giraffe came to our car. The children enjoyed it.
From Winston we went south on I-5 to Grants Pass. There we visited Emmi and Burt, old friends of Claudia and mine. We knew them in Des Plaines Illinois and later in San Diego. Emmi and Burt’s daughters are about the same age as Claudia.
We stayed at the Elks Lodge in Grants Pass.

We left Grants Pass at 8:00 AM and arrived at about 1:00 PM in Eureka. The inside of the motorhome survived Nicolette and Jacob. They are seven and five years old respectivly. Only the table required minor repairs. They behaved rather well for their age and considering being cooped up inside the motorhome for hours at a time.

At Les Schwab they put another new tire on the motorhome. Now all the tires are new. I had them also adjust the brakes and replace the brake fluid.
After lunch we took Nicolette and Jacob to Old Town and treated them with ice cream.

From there we went to the Board Walk. Today the weather was pleasant and the sun appeared.

Late afternoon we went to a Chinese buffet.
This was our last day with Claudia and her family.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter 2009 in Eureka

We were on the road at 4:30 AM. Leaving early makes it easier to get through Los Angeles.
When we left Carlsbad it started to rain, not much, just enough to be irritating.
It rained off and on, raining real hard for a while after Santa Barbara.
We stopped in Santa Maria, at Costco, for gasoline and had lunch at their parking lot.
Since the weather was not very good we kept on driving and stopped at the Elks Lodge in Salinas.
Normally we stop in Pismo Beach and spend the afternoon walking on the beach and in town.

Last night, while Doreen was reading, the camp host and somebody from the lodge were knocking at the motorhome door. I had fallen asleep already and woke up.
When I opened the door there they were standing with two big dogs on their side.
They asked me whether I was an Elk, when I said yes, they asked me why I did not pay for the camping site. Doreen picked up the receipt from the dashboard. This lodge has a "Pay yourself station". I had paid for our site and had put the envelope in the proper box. The camp host had not checked the box.
They finally found something wrong. Since I did not want water and electricity, I parked the motor home next to the storage area. I was told that the person who stores his rig there might come back. I told them, that as soon as somebody comes back I will move. I did not think that anybody would arrive at 10:00 PM.
We left Salinas at 7:00 AM and arrived in Sunnyvale at 9:00 AM.
When we arrived at the Elks Lodge I noticed a motorhome with the WIN decal on the back. The motorhome looked like June Genis’s. I mentioned that to Doreen.
After we had set up the motorhome June paid us a visit. She used to live in this area.
At 10:00 AM we left for Vera and George’s house. They are Doreen’s sister in law and brother in law.
We went to a restaurant for lunch.
It rained again off and on all day long.

We left Sunnyvale at 5:45 AM. Going through San Francisco was not much of a problem. Traffic was manageable. Normally we take I-280 to highway 1 to the Golden Gate Bridge. This time we stayed on 101. I will never do that again. On Van Ness Street are many traffic lights, and coming down the hills with a motorhome is no easy task. Stopping in time at a red light is hard on the brakes. One time I had to make a fast stop and the front wheels locked and the tires lost some rubber on the street.
I had planed to buy new tires after this trip, but now I have to buy them in Eureka.
When we arrived at the Golden Gate Bridge there still was not complete daylight.

We stopped in Santa Rosa for gasoline. Instead of staying a day in Santa Rosa as planed we kept on driving.
Claudia had called me yesterday and told me that they will take Nicolette and Jacob to the Elks Lodge on Saturday for a Easter Egg Hunt. We thought this would be fun watching the kids looking for goodies.
So we drove today all the way to Eureka. We arrived there at 2:00 PM.
Our neighbor at the Elks Lodge is Tom McMorrow, he and his lady are WINs.

Claudia, Scott and the children came to the lodge at 11:00 AM.
The lodge had set up an inflated contraption where the children could go in and jump around.
In one room were tables with craft supplies. Children were drawing pictures and cutting and glueing all sorts of things.

A large Easter Bunny came around and gave chocolates to children and adults.
At 12:00 noon hamburgers and hot dogs were served.

Dessert was ice cream. Scott had noticed that a Santa Claus look alike was hiding Easter eggs outside in the bushes and grass. He informed Nicolette and Jacob, and they went to the window and observed what was going on.

After lunch children up to three years looked for eggs in one of the large rooms.
After that the older children lined up outside on the lawn. When the signal was given they ran and started collecting eggs.

Jacob did very well, Nicolette got four or five.
One child ran to her mother and told her: "They are hard boiled eggs". I suppose she thought they were chocolate eggs.
At the end of the Easter Egg Hunt each child received a basket with sweets and small toys.
The Eureka Elks Lodge did a super job, it was well organized and the children were happy.
In the afternoon we went to Gottchalks where Doreen looked around and I was bored. The store is going out of business. This is the second store to leave the mall. Mervin’s closed the doors a few months ago.
In the afternoon we went to Claudia’s house.
The weather held up, it looked like it would rain, but it did not spoil the fun.

At 2:00 PM we went to Claudia’s house for the Easter Dinner.
Besides us and Claudia and Scott, and Nicolette and Jacob, there was my ex wife Hanna, Scott’s mother and her boy friend Pete, and Scott’s father Rob.
When we arrived the children were in the hot tub, which actually was not hot.

Everybody loved Claudia’s ham, sweet potatoes and green beans.

After dinner friends of Scott came over. There was another Easter Egg Hunt in the backyard. Little Victoria enjoyed it very much.

Claudia was hiding all of Nicolette’s and Jacob’s candies. The male adults got some of them though and were eating them, yum, yum.

In the morning we got four new tires for the motorhome, Les Schwab had only four. Costco did not have any of the size we needed. In a few days Les Schwab will get some more.
First we will go on a little trip with Claudia and the kids.
In the afternoon we took Nicolette and Jacob to the playground and afterward to the mall for ice cream.

In the process we lost Jacob’s sweater. A little girl made friends with Nicolette and would not leave her alone.