Friday, July 23, 2010

July 2010 Trip-Week One

Yes, this is a trip since it has has a beginning and an end rather than a journey which has no end.

Our traveling party this summer includes not only us, Gary, Betty and Jorden, but also Dylan (my sister Micki’s grandson.)  He rode up from Ventura on the the Starlite train.

Jorden had a “tattoo verification”(it passed inspection) appointment in Fremont with the U.S. Air Force recruiters so our first travel day was very short:  about an hour and a half from Monterey to the Alameda Fairgrounds RV Park. We didn’t mind since Kelle & Joe live in the area so we visited and had a great Italian dinner at Strizzi’s in the cute town of Pleasanton.DSCN0474-1

Next morning when we got on the road Jorden and Dylan very quickly designated the back seat area they share as the “Man Cave.”  Pillows, blankets, drinks, snacks, IPods and, of course, cell phones to do a lot of texting! DSCN0537

So here we are…enjoying the the views of the snow on Mt Shasta  thankful that we have AC ‘cause the temperature is topping over 100 degrees when kaabaam!! a blowout on one of our fifth wheel tires!  We have roadside service but decide that we can change the tire…we DO have two strong teens…so the boys under Gary’s supervision pretty quickly change the tire and we’re back on the road.  Of course they manage to text message our adventure out to the world in the midst of the tire change!DSCN0515

Three nights in Portland and we all agree that we LOVE Portland EXCEPT for the horrendous traffic backups everytime/everywhere we go…but by our last day we have figured out some side street routes to avoid the crowded freeways.

The Saturday Market was fun…so much to look at!  DSCN0551

The guys find sunglasses:DSCN0556

The Portland Trailblazer’s arena Rose Garden was a must-see for my three male companions---darn, the store isn’t open and the security guard says we can’t even look at the court where the Trailblazer’s play!  Gary tells him that “We came all the way from California and this tall young man plays basketball.”   He says “follow me” and gives us a peak of the court!  Yahoo!  (They’re also doing casting call auditions for the TV show “Biggest Loser” but we don’t get into that line.)DSCN0578

The jetboat tour of the Willamette River was an absolute kick!  I didn’t take the “not responsible for water damages to cameras, cell phones etc.” sign seriously---after all we are just going on a little boat tour.  My oh my, this large jetboat maneuvered and did spins in the river as fast as our jet ski boat (second boat photo!)  Yes, we got very very wet when our driver did 360 degree spins!  But we all raised our hands when he asked who wanted to do more spins!DSCN0585 April-0002

Our jetboat tour took us up the Willamette Falls locks and…


we saw wildlife osprey andDSCN0595a bald eagle. . . DSCN0600our guide told us that this Blue Heron that had been fishing here for days---fishing must be goodDSCN0644

Portland has many bridges…DSCN0591 beautiful Willamette Falls…DSCN0637and even a submarine, the USS Blueback  DSCN0584

Jorden and Dylan were even wetter than they look! (So were we but I didn’t get a photo!)DSCN0655   Our first week comes to an end when we reach Bellingham, Washington and do the hugs and “we’ve missed you” greetings.

More to follow about our second week. . .

Friday, July 09, 2010

This is a bit woo woo:

Jorden yesterday on his 19th birthday 
  Airman 2nd Class Gary (about 50 years ago)

Our grandson Jorden has been waiting for a report date since he enlisted in the USAF in March. This week he got it: October 5, 50 years to the day of when his Papa reported to the USAF! This would never work out if you tried to plan it!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Fulltiming on the 4th of July


I started thinking about the many places we’ve spent the 4th during our 16 years of full time RVing.  Well, of course I  can’t  remember every year  BUT I’ve kept a Journal since we went on the road in November 1994.  So, I looked it up!  Here it is in chronological order:

Not a good start:  1995 at Lake Pokegama in Minnesota must not have been very memorable because I didn’t write anything specific about any kind of celebration!

116 degrees!  Yes, that was the temperature in Laughlin, Nevada in 1996 at the airport parking lot where we watched one of the BEST fireworks displays anywhere---hearts, palm trees and lots of multi-color! I was so hot there on the Colorado River that the AC in our new Komfort fifth wheel couldn’t keep up.

1997-an Independence Day with no fireworks displays in Santa Fe, New Mexico, our 2nd favorite place in the U.S.A.

No fireworks in 1998 either but this time it was a no-brainer. . . we were in Fairbanks, Alaska.  Nearly 24 hours of daylight in July!thumbnailCA5K38CE

1999 was special---sitting right in front of our country’s Capitol, is there a more fitting place to be on the 4th?  A parade, the National Concert that year featured Kenny G, JoDee Messina, The Temptations, Nell Carter and Maureen McGovern topped off with a fireworks show over Washington Monument!  It was 105 degrees and Jorden got to play in the opened fire hydrants on the grass on the Capitol lawn! (This is a click art photo but really shows how impressive that evening of fireworks was.)thumbnailCA81ALNH 2000 found us back in Santa Fe but this year there was a fireworks display!  Since we couldn’t see it from Rancheros Campground where we were camphosting we drove down Old Las Vegas Hwy to “thieves corner” to watch them in the beautiful New Mexico sky.

Note here: Can’t find my photos of prior to 2001 when I got my first digital camera!  Where or where have I put them…sure can’t find them!

Back home to Minot, North Dakota in 2001! This day could have been taken from my childhood: a concert and patriotic ceremony at Roosevelt Park & Zoo (restored old Zoo building in the photo) and later a HUGE fireworks show in the tiny, teeny town of Burlington near Minot.  Being up north where the sun doesn’t set until very late the show didn’t start until 11:00pm!MVC-852S in 2002 there was no fireworks show at Farragut State Park near Cour d’ Alene, Idaho but, after we barbecued with friends at the Brig Museum (yes, it was a real Brig!) where we were docents we watched the Macy’s fireworks show from New York City on TV.  (It’s just not the same on TV is it?MVC-798S

2003, our first year as Laguna Seca Raceway volunteers!  We were building our deck overlooking the racetrack and spent the day putting outdoor carpeting down.  Afterward, a picnic dinner of KFC with Jorden and his Dad.

MVC-483S2004 finds us in St. Louis on our Americana Extravaganza trip with Don & Lee and Zach.  Jorden and Zach swam in the RV park pool, of course we barbecued and ended the day watching fireworks from the park deck.HPIM0724

We’re back at Laguna Seca in 2005.  Of course we barbecued but also painted blue stripes on the hospitality suite stairs and moved golf carts in preparation for the next weekend’s MotoGP Races.HPIM3588

Gosh, some years, this one 2006 at Laguna Seca, are pretty ordinary although we ALWAYS barbecue. Gary & I go over to Judy’s and replace the threshold in her bathroom.  We do have fun playing with her dog Larry.  Later we watch the Boston Fireworks Show on TV.

2007 was fun. . .we were in Bellingham, Washington visiting family.  First we barbecued, Jorden and his cousins Kassi, Zach and Andy swam, played foosball and ping pong at our RV park.  Afterward a spectacular fireworks show over Bellingham Bay. DSC04119DSC04095 








It was Salt Lake City in 2008 but we couldn’t find any fireworks shows and we didn’t barbecue…an unusual Independence Day. We drove out to Antelope Island State Park.DSC06483

Last year it was neither fireworks nor barbecues but lots of very fast motorcycles…MotoGP Races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca…and thousands of fans in our “front yard!”DSC08953

And today was a quiet one---NO fireworks shows on the Monterey Peninsula---guess its a $$$ thing with the cities.  BUT, yes we did barbecue traditional 4th of July fare:  hot dogs, potato salad, macaroni salad, beans (Bush’s, of course), chips and guacamole and brownies for dessert.

I wonder where Independence Day 2011 will find us?thumbnailCAJZ6OUW