Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Eureka - California (2) 2014

Last night I went dancing at the lodge.
Today we went to the Sequoia Park Zoo. The Eureka Zoo has a new enclosure for the North American River Otters. Its uniqueness is that children can enter a tunnel, made of glass, and see the otters in their water habitat from all sides.

Nicolette and Jacob are sitting in the tunnel. 

The otters were also playing on land.

We stopped at the bush dog enclosure and listened while a zoo keeper talked about those animals.

In the Secrets of the Forest building are a lot of displays explaining life in the forest.

Nicolette is busy at the Microscope Station.  

The red pandas have two babies. The male was in a tree while the mother was taking care of the babies in the building. This action can be seen on a monitor.

After the zoo visit we went to the Bay Mall where Nicolette and Jacob ate late lunch. I had a big lunch and was not hungry.
Yesterday I did not feel good. I thought that I ate something which did not agree with me. Claudia told me that Nicolette and Nicolette’s friend had the same problem. Claudia believed it was a virus or a bug.
I spent most of the day on the couch and then could not sleep at night.
Today I felt a little better. I picked up my three altered jeans, got some money at the bank and ate lunch at the senior center.
The rest of the afternoon I took it easy. At the 5:00 PM television news they showed the preparations for the season’s last concert at the board walk. The weather lady said to bring sunscreen.
I jumped in the car and drove to the waterfront. The weather was perfect there. The concert started at 6:00 PM. 

The Madaket was leaving for an evening cruise.

On the boardwalk was a lady with a snake around her neck.

The weather lady was doing another weather report from the concert.

The kayakers were in the water enjoying food and the music.

The little kayak with the BBQ and food supplies was floating in the water.

I danced one time with Maria, a lady who I know from the dance on Mondays. She and a few other dancers had come to enjoy the music. I am still too weak to do a lot of exercises.

Today was an exciting day. In the morning I spent a few hours with Nicolette and Jacob. I would have liked to do something out of the house with them but could not get Jacob away from playing a game on the television set, and I did not feel like bribing him.
I had planned to have lunch or dinner today with Doris, a lady from the Friendship Circle Dance Club. When I mentioned to her that Shakespeare’s “ A  Midsummer Night’s Dream “ will be performed at the Redwood Park in Arcada, we chose to do this and will go out to eat another day.
I get nervous when I dance with Doris and sometimes get out of step. She smells good, not perfume, just a clean just get out of the shower fragrance. I think it is her hair.
It took quite a bit of courage to ask her to go out with me.
I arrived near her house early and drove to the next street and parked there to spend some time. Doris had told me how to get to her house, but I had set the GPS anyway.
When I finally went to her street I could not find the house number. I should have turned on the GPS . I called her and got directions again. When I try to do my best I mess things up. Her street looks like it ends at a cross street, but continues a few hundred feet away.
At my age I should not get nervous anymore.
The stage was the redwood forest. Light beams were directed on those giant trees. It was a wonderful setting. The actors were good and we had a pleasant experience.
We had parked outside of the park and now it was dark. I asked two young ladies, in a giant SUV, whether we could come with them to the bottom of the hill. After they had enough room to get out of the parking space they brought us to my car.
On the way home I noticed that I had difficulty talking. I believe it was because I was nervous. My voice was coarse. Doris made some tea when we arrived at her home.

This was another super day. The weather is unbelievable good. We had sunshine almost all day.
Doris and I went to Liu’s Oriental Cuisine restaurant for dinner.
After dinner we drove to the small town of Bayside and danced at the Bayside Grange. The Grange is an old meeting hall. The band was Kenny Ray and the Mighty Rovers. The music was perfect for dancing.
I had a problem though dancing the waltz. The sound of the standup bass was not loud enough for me and I could not hear the beat. Right now I am nervous anyway and this made it worse. We did not dance the next waltz.
I came to Eureka to see the family, spend time with Nicolette and Jacob, get my new driver license, and get the car fixed. I accomplished all of it and I am having a good time.
The WINs will be here on the 17th of September and leave on the 23th. I like to be with the WINs, we have a lot of fun, and the group is like family, but right now I feel like staying in Eureka.  

Sunday was a day of rest for me. Nicolette did not feel well and Claudia had to take her home early from the birthday party. Nicolette’s friend had the party at the Freshwater Park.
Monday I walked at the boardwalk and it was cold and nasty.
I finally installed the flexible steel covered water hose to the water filtration system under the kitchen sink. When I installed the system I used clear plastic hose with stainless steel clamps. The clamps loosened after a while and I had water in the pots and frying pans.
 In the evening I danced at the lodge, which of course is a lot of fun.
Today I walked again at the boardwalk. The weather was pleasant today, no sun though. I also walked in Old Town. They had a Farmers Market there.

Then I drove to Woodley Island and walked some more. The statue of the fisherman is a memorial for all the sailors who lost their lives at sea.

The marina and the Carson Mansion in the background could have been a better picture if the sun would have come out.

The restaurant at the marina is a beautiful place for outdoor dining. 

Jack England arrived here Sunday. He did not stay very long with the WIN group. He is alone and heading south tomorrow. Jo is in her own motorhome and must have stayed.

Wednesday I ate lunch at the Senior Center and then walked in Sequoia Park.

The trail is shaded by second growth redwood trees.

There are a few lone survivors. This one is bigger than the rest of the trees.

I walked to the duck pond and then joined a gentleman who was walking his dog. We had a nice conversation while walking.

Thursday I walked again in Sequoia Park. This time I walked unmarked trails and did not know where I would end up. Since the park is surrounded by streets and houses one cannot get lost, only has to walk a long distance back to the parking lot. Part of the way I walked on a street until I saw this waterfall and entered the park again. The concrete slab sits on a giant trunk of redwood.  

August is almost over and I have not experienced any real summer weather this year.  65 degrees F. is the high for the day in Eureka. It is a lot better than 90 or 100 degrees F.
Today, lunch at the Senior Center was Hawaiian. They had a Luau. There was supposed to be a dancing group, only two entertainers showed up.  It was fun though and the food was very good.

At the Senior Center they serve dessert first. Here comes the coconut cake. 

Today was a magical day. I have not experienced a day like this for a long time.
For a treat Doris took me to Gill’s Restaurant for breakfast. The food was excellent.
A lot of customers had arrived at the same time as we did and we had to wait a while for the food to arrive. This was fine with me. It gave us more time to talk. The restaurant is away from a major populated area, but very busy. The very good food and the location on the bay make this possible.
Claudia told me that Gill’s is her favorite breakfast restaurant.

Our next stop was the Coast Guard Station where they had open house.

The helicopter had just landed.

We enjoyed a video of the station and inspected a large boat. There were smaller boats on display also. The fire department displayed some of their equipment too.

We drove to the jetty and walked around a bit. The weather was perfect. It was T shirt weather.
From the Coast Guard Station we drove to the Headwaters Forest Reserve. We walked the Elk River Trail.
We stopped for a while at the Engine house and learned about the town of Falk, which used to be here. Townspeople worked in the logging camp and lumber mill which are also gone. The engine moved logs to the mill and lumber to the bay.

At mile 2 bridge was a picnic table. We stopped and had a picnic. Doris had prepared a complete picnic lunch.  
We continued on to mile 3 bridge.  After that bridge the trail went up. I told Doris that we better head back. But she wanted to go to the next bend, and then another bend. When it got really steep we turned around.
The trail was sometimes in the shade which made it a pleasant walk. Doris is a good walker. She walked the six miles without a problem.

Doris and I went today to the last “Plays in the Park” performance.

 At 2:00 PM children and young adults performed Sheherazada, Legend of the Arabian Nights.
Sheherazada is a young lady who marries the king and tries to change his view of women. The play is part drama and part comedy. It was very entertaining.
Unfortunately taking pictures was not allowed. I could only take a picture of the empty stage.

During the intermission they sold popcorn and other items.

After the show we went to Doris’s house where I watched her preparing the evening meal. And it turned out to be a delicious soup with bread fresh out of the oven.

Today was Labor Day. I went with Jacob, Nicolette and Nicolette’s friend to Freshwater Park. I believe it was the last day for swimming. The dam will be opened and the swimming hole disappears.
I have never before experienced such good weather in Eureka. But the area needs rain.

In the evening I went dancing at the lodge. Just like when I am with the WINs I dance with everybody, even though I would like to dance only with Doris. I have a feeling she rather dances with some of those fantastic dancers of the Friendship Circle Dance Club. Some of those people dance wherever there is dancing. They go to the different lodges in town. I am getting better but I will always have two left feet. I love to dance though and do not mind when I have an embarrassing moment once in a while. The waltz is still the most difficult dance for me.
Today I danced with a 92 year old woman. She does not look and act her age. One man in the club is 94 years old. 

Tuesday was Dance and Dine Day at the Senior Center. Every first Tuesday of the month a three piece band plays from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM in the dining hall.
Some Friendship Circle people were there and danced and I joined in. 
Wednesday I did not do much. I went to Doris’s house and picked up my ticket for Saturday’s Garden Gala. We have to go separate because Doris goes early. She is a volunteer at this event.
Thursday I went to the Boardwalk and walked and treated myself to an ice cream. I kept on walking into the streets and stopped at the Picky Picky Picky store. One building is a regular store where they sell clothing, shoes and equipment for outdoor people. The next building is stocked with military surplus stuff and the last building is their warehouse store where they have items on sale.
I bought a pair of walking shoes. I never paid so much for a pair of sneakers. In the last two years I wore out three pairs. Of course walking over rough terrain did not help. The soles split on the shoes.
The Moose Lodge is surrounded by large redwood trees. It feels like camping in a forest.

Today was Grandparents Day at the Senior Center. While we were waiting for the food and eating we listened to piano music.

In the afternoon I walked the Elk River Trail. 

The trail is covered with asphalt and figured this would be a good place to try out my new shoes.
Along the trail are signs with information about the area and wildlife.

The river is not very deep right now.

At 1:00 PM I met Doris at the Humboldt Botanical Garden. The garden had its Annual Garden Gala. It is the garden’s most important fundraiser and they tickets were not cheap.

Doris was volunteering at the event and paid for my ticket. I feel guilty, but she told me since it was her idea she was going to pay for it. It is her rule.
I better get some ideas pretty soon because she is way ahead of me. Doris and a partner were working in the soft drink and root beer float booth.

There were also booths serving local food, beer and wine. It was all included in the price of the entrance fee.

Local restaurants and the Lost Coast Brewery participated in this fundraiser.

While Doris was working I went for a hike in this large garden. I climbed up to the overlook. From there one can see Humboldt Bay. It was a bit foggy and the view was not that great.

The “All Happy Now Earth Sculpture” is located at the end of the trail. It is one quarter of a mile from the beginning of the spiral to the end, when one walks on all the circular paths. 

A woman was playing her harp next to the trail.

Besides flowers there are a lot of bushes and trees.

When I came down from the hill I walked in the flower section.

A band provided the music.

I had cooked red cabbage and beef rouladen, and had peeled potatoes to make mashed potatoes. The plan was to come to the motorhome after the garden visit and have dinner. I did not know that the food at the Garden Gala was part of the package. Doris wanted to sample the food, which made sense. I started to graze while she was still working.
Two Italian restaurants had very good food. There was also a pizza booth with several kinds of pizza.
A bakery served all kind of desserts.
Doris was done with her work at 3:00 PM and I walked with her from booth to booth.
After a while we went to Doris’s house and took a rest.
Then we drove to Old Town where they have “Art Walk” the first Saturday of the month. Last month I went for the entertainment. This time we also walked though several galleries.
The main entertainment was the Pan Dulce Steel Orchestra. Those ladies were really good. 

This artist tried to explain what was on his canvas. All I recognized was a woman’s breast and two lobster claws.

We stopped at the Humboldt Bay Coffee Company where Doris bought a coffee. A band was playing there too. In some of the galleries were bands.

In Eureka are several wonderful galleries. On Art Walk day they serve cookies and other sweets. We did not take any. This was another super day.

Sunday afternoon I watched Doris making two batches of peach jam.
When she was done I cooked the potatoes, mashed them, and heated up the red cabbage and beef rouladen.
Instead of doing this in the motorhome I brought everything to Doris’s house. We had a wonderful dinner.
Monday I walked another stretch of the Hikshari’ Trail.

At the end of the trail is the terminal where gasoline is pumped from a large barge to tanks on land. The barge is filled with the fuel from a tanker in the ocean.

In the evening I went dancing. Doris came later. She is very busy with volunteer work. Right now she is writing a grant for a nonprofit organization.
Tuesday, on my way to the Senior Center, I ended up at Doris’s house. My car knows how to get there on its own.
After lunch I walked the whole Hikshari’ Trail. At a fast pace it took 30 minutes one way. It took me longer on the way back. I was picking and eating blackberries.
Today was a special day again. Doris and I went to see the National Acrobats of China. The show was magical, and the reaction of the audience was accordingly. How do they do that? was the question.
One young lady seemed to have a body made of rubber. All the performers were slender but had to be very strong to accomplish their tasks.
I am floating on a cloud right now. I hope the cloud does not burst. I never thought, that at my age, I would feel like this again.
Sharon and Dick arrived here yesterday. They will stay at the lodge for five days. They are heading for Pahramp, Nevada.
When I saw two cars, with kayaks on top, in the camping area I had a feeling that two WINs were here.

Yesterday Doris and I had a wonderful dinner at a seafood restaurant. The fish was fresh and well prepared.
After dinner we went to the Redwood Curtain Theatre and saw Equivocation. It is a play about the gunpowder plot in England during Shakespeare’s time.
The acting was superb, but one had to really pay attention to be able to follow the plot.
Today I ate dinner at Doris’s house. Her daughter and husband, and youngest son arrived today from Portland, Oregon.
The daughter is here for a class reunion. Doris’s son lives in Eureka and I have met him. Now I have met the first of three daughters.

At 9:00 AM Claudia, Scott, I and the kids left for Mckinleyville. Jacob had a soccer game there.

He and his team mates were practicing before the game.

There were about six full size soccer fields and some small ones for little boys and girls.

Girls and boys were practicing, each with a ball.

On the way home we stopped at the Oriental Buffet for lunch.
When we got home I went to the Bay where gay and lesbian people had a festival. 

It was different from any festival I have been too.  Men dressed up in women’s clothing. This guy was very tall and had good looking legs.

There was a costume contest.

Two vehicles from the Kinetic Races were on display. Those are homemade and have to go on land and water.

The weather was great and on the bay were many boats and kayaks.

Next to this festival, at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center, was Paddle Fest. There were kayak races and other activities.

On my way to the car I saw the Carson Mansion, built by a lumber baron.

The Pink Lady was a gift from Carson to his son at the son’s wedding. 

In the afternoon Doris and I went to Sequoia Park for a walk. Then we went next door to the flower garden. Most of the flowers are at the end of their life cycle.

This fall the weather is just out of this world. This is the best time I ever had in Eureka. Nicolete and Jacob are at an age where one can talk with them. It is actually fun to be with them.
Of course Doris has a lot to do with me enjoying my stay. We have a lot in common, and the same interests.
I hate to leave Eureka for a month. But I have to go to Carlsbad for an ultra sound, have my eyes checked and get new eye glasses, and have my teeth cleaned. I also want to see my regular doctor. I have not seen him for a long time. Whenever he sees me he sends me for a lot of tests. So I am going to be busy.

The Senior Center celebrated its 40th anniversary. California Street was closed for vehicular traffic and we were sitting in the middle of the street.

An accordion band was providing the music.

We ate hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and beans.

There were two food lines.

Several cakes were served.

Line dancers were also entertaining us.

In the evening I went dancing at the lodge. In true WIN fashion I dance with everybody. Doris gets asked all the time, so I feel not guilty not dancing with her every dance.

I went with Doris to the plumbing store in Fortuna to buy brass hardware for one of her bathrooms. Her son had called ahead and asked them whether they had the fittings.
When we got there they only had them with a chrome finish. We wasted our time.
I went back to the motorhome and got it ready for the move.
In the evening I watched Doris cook dinner and helped her eating it.

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