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2017-12-01 to 04 WBCCI South Coast Unit Holiday Party and Officer Installation, San Clemente…

It is our custom in the South Coast Unit to hold a Holiday Party and to install the new officers on the first Sunday of December.  Several years ago we decided that it would be fun to camp near the event, so now we, along with a few others, spend the weekend at San Clemente State Beach, one of our favorite camping spots.  The party and the installation are held nearby at the Clubhouse in Cypress Shores, adjacent to the State Park.  Before the festivities began we went into the adjacent greenbelt and took a group picture:

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We began the weekend by picking up The Villa at C&G in Bellflower, who had finally repaired the damage to the Airstream that occurred last May and June.  It all looks great now!

We arrived at San Clemente and checked into our site.  Our friend, Rob, was already there, and we were joined by the Bangerts later on in the afternoon.   We spent the afternoon relaxing and reorganizing various things inside; we are still recovering from moving out after our long trip over the summer and we are readjusting as we go.

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We did have some time to walk to overlook the beach and remember why we like this place.  We have not been here since last April – I think that is the longest we have been away for many years…

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(PS:  the house in the background surrounded by trees is “Casa Pacifica”, President Nixon’s “Western White House”.  When we were camping here while teenagers, and he was in residence, we would walk along the beach and chat with the Secret Service agents who blocked off the beach to prevent us from walking closer to the house.  Several years later, when we bought our first house nearby in Laguna Niguel, our next door neighbor was a Secret Service agent who drove to San Clemente everyday to help guard the now-former president…)

Friday evening was the PAC12 football championship football game between Stanfurd and U$C, two of our favorite teams to root against; so we were OK with whichever team lost… (Stanfurd lost…)

Saturday morning we once again walked along the beach trail to the pier and had breakfast and coffee at Bear Coast Coffee.  This is my favorite view from our sidewalk table:

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Saturday was another lazy day of watching football; there were 4 games, all of which helped decide the final four teams who will play in the playoffs:

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The last games were not over until well past my bedtime.  It was a tough day, but someone had to do it.

However, tonight was a “super moon”  I did step outside long enough to catch a shot over the Airstream:

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Fortunately, Sunday was an easy day.  We walked once more to Bear Coast Coffee, then I recovered from a busy Saturday:

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Finally it was time for the big event:  We got all dressed up and headed to the party:

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We were able to see the sunset:

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We returned to the Villa for a good night’s sleep; Monday we returned home and picked up our three grandchildren for a fun 4 day, 3 night sleepover, whilst their parents enjoy a quick vacation away…

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-11-02 to 06 WBCCI South Coast Unit Rally, Borrego Springs…

We’ve been home from our odyssey for almost three weeks now, and it’s time for a regularly scheduled weekend rally with WBCCI South Coast California Unit.  The Airstream owners club is divided into 12 regions and several hundred local units.  South Coast California Unit includes people from Orange County and portions of San Diego, Riverside, and Los Angeles Counties, although there is no specific geographical boundary for any Unit.

Borrego Springs is a tiny town set in the center of the giant 650,000 acre Anza-Borrego Desert State Park:

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The State Park is named after an early explorer who passed through here on his way from New Spain to Alta California in the 18th century.  A local sculptor created this image of General de Anza:

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We arrived at Borrego Springs RV Resort at about 2:30 on Thursday, Nov. 2, and by the time we were set up it was time for Happy Hours.  There are six Airstreams here, the day before the rally officially begins.  We brought a special treat to Happy Hours:  Imported Wine!

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Happy Hours ensued and we headed to be early…

On Friday, we had a beautiful morning.  My brother, who has been wintering in Borrego Springs for six or seven years now, sent a text asking how we liked Borrego.  I replied by sending this photo:

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He replied with this photo of Bellingham, Washington, and the 6″ of snow they got overnight:

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This morning we walked to town, just to get some exercise, and to stop in at the Visitors Center to get some information on local hiking spots.  The town is pretty quiet on a Friday morning:

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Why they have a mail box here is beyond me…

We continued into town, walked around the traffic circle, and we saw this sign:

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This guy must have a booming business!  Where else could you possibly find gravel or boulders here in the middle of the desert?

Friday evening was our usual “heavy hors d’oeuvres” happy hours.  We have 20 Airstreams in attendance.  This is the first time we have seen many of the club members in five or six months!  It was great to catch up…!

Saturday morning, after breakfast with the club, Lynda and I went to the State Park and did an “easy hike” into Palm Canyon.  It was a three mile round trip, with a native palm grove at the top of the canyon:

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The rest of the day was spent recuperating from this “easy hike”,  Remind me to stay away from “moderate” or “difficult” hikes!

On Sunday we drove to see Font’s Point.  It is an overlook offering a spectacular view of the Borrego Badlands.  The fun part was a 4 1/2 mile drive (each way) over sand:  four-wheel-drive required!

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The view shows the work of erosion and seismic activity over many, many years:

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It was quite exhilarating, being all alone in the midst of this environment!

Sunday evening there were only 8 Airstreams left, most folks having returned home at the official end to the rally.  We had a shared meal in the clubhouse…

Monday morning we hitched up and returned home.  An enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-10-16 Westbound; Home!

We left the Visalia WalMart at about 8:15 this morning.  We pulled the Villa over the Grapevine, and arrived in Irvine:

 

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Our intrepid crew was waiting to greet us:

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Happy Hours and a home cooked meal ensued; an enjoyable time was had by all…

June 10-October 16

128 Nights

Over 15,000 miles, including about 1,000 miles as part of the WBCCI Nor’ by Nor’east Caravan

28 States, 5 Canadian Provinces, all 5 Great Lakes, 10 border crossings between US and Canada

Public transportation:  7 Train trips, 4 bus trips, and 3 Uber rides (not counting excursions as part of the Nor’ by Nor’east Caravan)

8 Frank Lloyd Wright buildings

5 Laura Ingalls Wilder sites and museums

Visited by our grandchildren:  2

12 Visits to friends and/or family

3 Visits for service on the Chevrolet Silverado truck

5 visits for service on the Airstream

143 Airstreams seen along the road or in RV parks ( plus 24 on the Nor’ by Nor’east Caravan, 31 at the Carson City Rally, 98 at the Jackson Rally, and many, many more at the various Airstream dealers we visited along the way…)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-10-15 Westbound; WBCCI Region 12 Rally, Last Day; on to Visalia…

Today the Region 12 Rally ends.  We are hitching up and getting ready to leave… The tent is coming down, and most of the campsites are already vacant…

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We drove about 4 hours south, through the central valley, to Visalia.  There we stopped by to see long time friends, Dave and Mary Baas.  We were last at their house in 2011, on or way home from another Airstream trip…

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We caught up on the news and family and friends.  We shared a lovely happy hour and had a nice dinner together.  It is great when old friends reconnect after many years.

We left their house about 8:00 and drove about 6 miles further south; we stopped to shop at Walmart and decided to make a night of it.  We parked the Villa where we were directed by the security guard, and we turned in for the night.

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2017-10-14 Westbound; WBCCI Region 12 Rally, Day 5…

It is Saturday, so we watched a lot of football!  There were many big, highly ranked teams that were upset, and we always like that.  As usual, the PAC 12 ate its own…

But we did venture out to drive through the beautiful countryside:

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We drove to Placerville to visit an old college friend, Harley Frazee.  He moved to Placerville about 2 1/2 years ago and lives on a sprawling property tended by sheep and enjoyed by his highly skilled agility dogs.  We had a nice chat and a tour of the property.  (Sorry – no pictures…)

We returned to the Villa, took many walks around the park, and watched more football.  Happy Hour ensued, then dinner with the Club, then the evening entertainment in the tent:

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We were able to catch up on South Coast Airstream happenings with our Unit President, Bob Kirkpatrick and his wife Karen:

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We returned to the Villa and enjoyed more football.  And an enjoyable time was had by all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-10-13 Westbound; WBCCI Region 12 Rally, Day 4…

Today was a busy day.  The Warrens drove, and we left the RV park at about 10:30 am. Soon we arrived at Bella Grace Winery just outside of Plymouth:

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Bella Grace is owned by one of the Airstreamers at the Rally.  They hosted a wine tasting, and educational tour of the vineyards, and tours of the wine caves…

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The wines they were pouring were mostly their Italian varietals, and we enjoyed them a lot…

The vineyard talk was very interesting, learning about the farming aspect of wine and grapes:

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As much fun as this visit was, we had other things on the agenda today… We left and drove to the town of Plymouth; lunch was in order:

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We ate at Amador Vintage Market, which includes a great sandwich deli, a wine tasting bar, and lots of gourmet wine country types of things…

After lunch we walked the town a bit:

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Next, the Warrens took us to their house in El Dorado.  They built it about 15 years ago on 10 hilly acres studded with oak trees.  The views were lovely!  They have put a lot of work into the place to make it look really nice!

After our quick house tour we headed down the hill to Convergence Winery.  This a favorite of the Warrens.  We agreed:

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And by now, it was time for dinner.  In Plymouth, across the street from Amador Vintage Market, is Taste:

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Next door is their newly opened boutique hotel called Rest.  We went in to Taste and found seats at the wine bar:

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We ordered a bottle of Bella Grace Old Vines Zinfandel, and proceeded into dinner.  Lynda and I opted for small plates…

Steak Tartare:

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Flatbread with three cheeses:

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And something they called, Toma; cheese roasted on an oak plank, with honey , prosciutto, and grilled figs:

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It was a great meal!  Taste is a surprise gem in an otherwise very rustic, old town…

We returned to the RV Park.  Tonight’s entertainment put on by the club was a comedian; I stopped in to see what it was all about.  His jokes were OK, some were very amusing, but his real skill was in working the crowd… It was really fun!

After the comedian we watched Syracuse upset Clemson!  What could be more fun than that?  Well, I’ll tell you what:  CAL beat and humiliated a sleep-walking Washington State!  It was awesome!  Go Bears!

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-10-12 Westbound; WBCCI Region 12 Rally, Day 3…

Not much going on today at the Region 12 Rally, except for some WBCCI business meetings in the RV park clubhouse:

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I considered going, but I decided I would rather stick needles in my eyes…

The Rally provided “Continental Breakfast” today; this consisted of boxes and boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts.  Last time I was in France, I don’t recall any Krispy Kreme donuts at a Continental Breakfast… Besides, isn’t Krispy Kreme an oxymoron?

We did a lot of walking in the morning, and in the afternoon, too.  We really like the path around the RV park:

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The smokey skies were beginning to clear…

It was a good thing we walked a lot… For lunch we drove about 10 minutes away, to the hamlet of Pine Grove, to Giant Burgers 88:

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We sat at the counter; cheeseburgers were great!  I kept expecting John Belushi to walk in and slap some burgers onto the flat top…

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This evening, after Happy Hours, we had our traditional raffle, with a “The Price is Right” twist; Lynda was selected to “Come On Down”, and was presented with a selection of about 5 kitchen gadgets.  She nailed the price ($85 vs $86 actual) and proudly returned to the Villa with her loot!

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These skills for The Price Is Right must run in the family:  Here is our son John in 2003:

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-10-11 Westbound; WBCCI Region 12 Rally, Day 2…

Today we are seeing the results of the NorCal fires.  The air is very smokey and it smells smokey as well… There are no fires nearby, but Napa and Sonoma counties are really suffering…

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One of the features of this rally is the “Maintenance with Vinnie” seminar.  Vinnie Lamica runs an Airstream service and maintenance center here in NorCal; he spoke for 2 hours on all the things we need to know to keep our Airstreams in top shape.  Very informative.  I took copious notes and made lists of things for me to ask C&G to do to the Villa.

Otherwise we had a quiet day.  Lots of walks.  The campground sits on a plateau, sloping down into the canyon on most of its perimeter; there is a “nature path” all around the perimeter of the campground, part way down the slope.  It has a few ups and downs, and it is 3/4 mile from the door of the Villa and back again.  We have been walking this path several times each day.  For excitement, we walk clockwise sometimes, and counter- clockwise other times…

The highlight of the day:  Mexican dinner with the Warrens:

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Kathy and Larry Warren were on the Nor’ by Nor’East caravan, and they live about an half hour drive from here.  Since we refuse to eat Mexican food outside of California (some rare exceptions can be made for Arizona and New Mexico…) we have been over four months without having Mexican food.  So tonight was the night.

The Warrens selected El Torero, located down Hwy 88, just past Jackson.  It is located in a storefront in a grocery store strip center, and the interior was nondescript, but the food was just what we were looking for:

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It wasn’t fancy or authentic, but it was very satisfying!

We returned to the Villa, then gathered with several other Airstreamers in the big tent to play various games of Joker.

You’ve never heard of Joker?  Don’t worry – no one has, except Airstreamers.  It is a hokey version of Parcheesi, Sorry, or Kick-in-the-Pants, played on home-made boards.  (Some boards are extremely well made and beautiful art in their own right…)  Except that it uses normal playing cards (Devil Cards, to you Calvinists out there…) instead of dice, and each card does something different.  I hate games like this.  Games of chance that do not require much skill other than remembering all the rules are meaningless to me… We played three games.

 

Another light photo day, so here I present my grandson George X, getting a ride, compliments of his great-grandmother (my mother…):

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An enjoyable time was had by George X…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-10-10 Westbound; WBCCI Region 12 Rally begins…

Today the Region 12 Rally begins!  The happy merry workers have arrived and they are setting up the big tent:

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We have the day free until 4:30, so we decided to go tour the town of Jackson.  It is very historic, with plaques on most of the buildings telling us that they had been built in the mid 19th century.  This is gold country; we are not far from Sutter Creek, and all the towns in the area are proud of their gold rush heritage.

Unfortunately, there is not much besides old buildings in Jackson:

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At the end of the street is the courthouse…

We walked up and down the streets.  Most were empty, closed, or under re-construction due to a recent fire (how recent, we don’t know…)

So we did not find a good place for lunch.  Maybe we’ll come back on the weekend – apparently more places are open on the weekends…

We returned to the Villa. Most sites are filled with Airstreams:

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Happy Hours started at 4:30 and dinner followed.  The entertainment for the evening was the playing of “Human Bingo”.  It is a “get acquainted” game… There are almost 100 Airstreams here; we had spent the weekend with many of them in Carson City, and many others that we have met in the past.  That is almost 200 people!  So I’ve been struggling with remembering names and circumstances all day long and I am peopled out.  I’ll meet the rest of the Airstreamers in the upcoming days at my own speed…

As we exited the tent after dinner the sky was putting on quite a show.  No, this is not fires – just a California sunset:

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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