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2019-01-07 – South Coast Airstream Club – Pala Casino RV Resort – Day 6

Final day of this trip.  Time to head home…

We were on the road by 9:30 or so; we stopped in Temecula and dropped off the Villa at Airstream Inland Empire for routine service and a few minor repairs.  All its life this Airstream has been maintained by C&G in Bellflower; however, this past summer C&G closed, with Rod and Darlene retiring.  So we are trying Airstream IE…

As we were approaching home we marveled at the mountains adjacent to Redlands:

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The little rain “storm” we experienced at Pala left a lovely blanket of snow on the mountains down to about 4,500 feet… We’re happy the snow stayed in the mountains where it belongs…

We unpacked and cleaned up.  I took our son John to the Apple store in Rancho Cucamonga to have his 2 week old iPhone replaced.  We were in and out of the Apple store in about 10 minutes and we were soon back home.

I spent some time starting to begin planning our trip east in March… More on that coming soon…

We had a delightful evening watching the final college football game of the season – The championship game between Clemson and Alabama. (As usual)

Spoiler Alert:  Rant Coming…

You’ve heard me rant before that these top football schools have gamed the system, scheduling their entire seasons with “cupcake” games, playing competitive teams as little as possible; the powers that be let them get away with this, and the sports writers and commentators do, too, rarely watching these games, merely looking at the numbers.  So Alabama beat Citadel 50-17?  Alabama beat Louisiana 51-14?  Why is Alabama even allowed to play teams like this and get credit for it?  Alabama beat Mississippi 62-7 in an SEC conference game?  Ole Miss only won 1 conference game this year!  For me it was a very boring season.  On most Saturdays there was only one real competitive game.  Back in the BCS days when strength of schedule actually mattered, there would be three or four, because schools knew they had to play these games to earn top rankings.  No more.  Now it’s all about the numbers…  The sports writers and commentators all crowned Alabama as the Champion back before the season even started.  Alabama football players were only going through the motions…  And the same goes for all the “elite” football schools…

Don’t get me wrong – I like Alabama, probably more than any other SEC team.  They are VERY good and are fun to watch most of the time…

So, as expected and predicted at the beginning of the season, Alabama and Clemson went at it tonight, going through the motions awaiting Alabama’s coronation.  But a funny thing happened on Alabama’s first offensive drive:  A pass was intercepted by Clemson and it was run back for a touchdown!  Alabama fans and players were stunned and perplexed… And it went downhill from there, the final score being Clemson 44, Alabama 16; Alabama never scored a touchdown after the 1st quarter…  It was a great game to watch two great teams play football!

And an enjoyable time was had by all, except for the Alabama fans…

2019-01-06 – South Coast Airstream Club – Pala Casino RV Resort – Day 5

Today is the last day of the official club campout.  We began with breakfast.  As is our custom, the breakfast buffet begins with the leftover desserts from the night before…

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After breakfast most of the club began their hitch-up rituals, and by noon the park was substantially empty…

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There were 8-9 of us who are staying one last night…

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More movies were watched and many walks were taken…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

2019-01-05 – South Coast Airstream Club – Pala Casino RV Resort – Day 4

Saturday dawned cold again… but as the day wore on clouds began to form…

We gathered for breakfast…

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After breakfast we were given a brief tutorial on “Prepatrip” (prepatrip.com), a tool for campers to sign up for potluck meals online.  The club has been using it for a few months and it seems to be working well.  We are hosts at our next camp-out, so we needed to know how it works.

The puzzlers moved their table indoors; after lunch the rain began to fall…

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It wasn’t a downpour, but any rain in any form is reason to pull out the heavy coats and umbrellas…

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The casino looks like a modern day castle looming in the distant clouds…

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Even the adjacent hills looked a little menacing…

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Old movies were watched as the rain fell…

We gathered again for dinner and enjoyed way too much food… We celebrated the fact that Lynda and the others finally finished the impossible puzzle! **

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

**  From the lyrics of “Crazy He Calls Me”, by the late great Billie Holiday

I say I’ll move the mountains
And I’ll move the mountains
If he wants them out of the way
Crazy, he calls me
Sure I’m crazy
Crazy in love, I’d say
I say I’ll go through fire
And I’ll go through fire
As he wants it, so it will be
Crazy, he calls me
Sure I’m crazy
Crazy in love, you see
Like the wind that shakes the bough
He moves me with a smile
The difficult I’ll do right now
The impossible will take a little while
I say I’ll care forever
And I mean forever
If I have to hold up the sky
Crazy, he calls me
Sure I’m crazy
Crazy in love am I

2019-01-04 – South Coast Airstream Club – Pala Casino RV Resort – Day 3

It was cold again this morning – 34 degrees at sunrise… But we have good 50 amp power and a strong furnace so we were comfortable inside.  Lynda continued to puzzle and soon the final group of Airstreamers began rolling in.

A friend and I like to go out for lunch to celebrate the weekend.  The only place to eat around here is at the casino, where the food is marginal at best.  But we try to order things that are simple.  It’s mostly just about getting together away from the crowds.  Lynda is always invited to join us, but she would rather puzzle…

On Friday evening on these weekend rallies we always get together for “Heavy Hors d’Oeuvres”, which serves as dinner for all of us.  New friends are made and old friendships are renewed.

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2019-01-03 – South Coast Airstream Club – Pala Casino RV Resort – Day 2

It was a quiet day in The Villa today.  I watched old movies on TV, took a nap, and spent much time walking about the RV Park.  Lynda pulled out a new jigsaw puzzle, complaining vociferously that it was going to be impossible to complete, then she proceeded to get it substantially done the first day…

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More Airstreamers started to roll in mid day.  By the time happy hour rolled around there were about 10 members on site.

We had made plans to meet old friends in Escondido for dinner.  We drove south, while they drove in from East San Diego County.  The restaurant was unusual in that it is located atop a Lexus Dealership!  But is was beautiful, the food was great, service was wonderful, and the room was spectacular!  But the real reason was to reconnect with old friends that we had not seen in almost a year…

We lingered over our meal and didn’t arrive back at The Villa until late – 10:30!  It was cold, we were exhausted, and an enjoyable time was had by all…

2019-01-02 – South Coast Airstream Club – Pala Casino RV Resort – Day 1

We enjoyed a leisurely morning at Emerald Desert, then we packed up, hitched up and headed out.  We are going to Pala Casino RV Resort, about 10 miles south of Temecula.  On Friday the monthly rally of the South Coast Airstream Club will commence.  We are simply arriving a little early…

We could take the freeway from Palm Desert to Pala (the 10 to the 60 to the 215 to the 15) for a trip of about 125 miles and 1 hour 45 minutes.  OR we could take surface roads and travel 75 miles in 1 hour 45 minutes.  The only slight hesitation is that surface roads take us from the desert floor up the “Palms to Pines” highway, which climbs up about 4,000 feet in a few short miles of narrow, curvy roads… But, we are adventurous, we have a strong tow vehicle, and we were not even scared off by the “Chains may be required at any time” signs.  We took the drive and climbed the mountain.  There was little traffic and several turn-outs allowed us to let the few hurrying cars by… Soon we reached the plateau, where snow was visible off the roads but not on them.  The land here is quite barren and bleak, but still a very interesting drive.

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We wound our way through Aquanga, Anza, and Sage, finally arriving in Temecula, and then driving down a steep canyon for the last 10 miles into Pala.  Soon we were in, connected, and paid for…

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Pala has large concrete sites, grass separating the sites, and it is very clean.  The day was clear and sunny but still cold by our standards.

Soon friends arrived; happy hours ensued. We decided to drive to Temecula for a visit to a great little Italian restaurant – Gourmet Italiano.  We had been here before and we enjoyed a lovely dinner.  Upon returning to the RV park we enjoyed another bottle of wine as we stayed inside, out of the cold…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2019-01-01 – New Years Day – Emerald Desert RV Resort, Palm Desert, CA

New Years Day dawned bright and beautiful, and cold!  Frickin Freezing!  (Which is defined in Southern California as being below 60…)  We cozied up to the fireplace and watched the Rose Parade.  After, we walked to the local grocery store two miles away to buy some forgotten ingredients.  It was a stunningly beautiful walk!

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Upon our return we watched the Fiesta Bowl. At 1:30 we returned to the home of our hosts once more, in time to watch the Rose Bowl, then the Sugar Bowl… And that was New Years Day!

We returned to The Villa, exhausted… And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-12-31 – New Years Eve – Emerald Desert RV Resort, Palm Desert, CA

We are off to new adventures today!  It’s been a busy Christmas Season and we are ready to head out to ring in the new year.

As a bit of a recap:

Christmas Eve was spent with extended family on my mother’s side… More than forty people – several cousins, more second cousins, and many more third cousins.  We took the opportunity to get one photo of all of my mother’s direct descendants present:

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Notice the boys’ feet… It must be something genetic… This is me at their age in 1954:

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Christmas day was spent with the grandchildren in Burbank:

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Roisin was quite pleased with the art supplies she received…

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After Christmas comes our son John’s birthday, celebrated, as usual, by several visits by friends and family to various fine dining establishments…

So today is New Year’s Eve, and we are heading to Palm Desert in The Villa.  We checked into Emerald Desert RV Resort, and spent the afternoon getting in our walking time…

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As I’ve reported in the past, Emerald Desert is a beautiful place and we always enjoy our time here.  We watched some football, and at 5:00 pm we headed out to visit like minded friends for the evening.

We enjoyed hors d’ouevres that included shrimp cocktail, caviar, and various chips and dips.  Dinner started with crab cakes (with Justin sauvignon blanc), Caesar salad (with Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay), and roast lamb with a dried cherry sauce (with 2000 Ridge Montebello cabernet sauvignon).  Dessert was a blackberry and raspberry pie.  I found it particularly interesting, because I love the taste of boysenberry, which, as you know, is a cross between raspberry and blackberry.  Thank you Mr. Boysen and Walter Knott…!

We rang in the new year with a special cocktail provided by our hosts, and an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-11-30 – San Clemente State Beach – 2018-12-03

We took a quick trip to San Clemente State Beach this past weekend.  The occasion is the annual Airstream Club party wherein we swear in the new officers, cuss out the old officers, and enjoy hanging out with one another as we begin the Holiday season.

For the past 14 years we have been holding the party at the HOA clubhouse at Cypress Shores, an exclusive community of about 150 homes which sits adjacent to their one half mile long private beach… One of our members has lived in Cypress Shores since 1982, and they have generously offered this facility to us.

We arrived at the State Beach on Friday at 2:15 pm and were quickly and easily set up.  Within an hour of so there were five Airstreams here…

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Happy hours ensued rather early, and we were soon enjoying time with our friends…

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It was actually quite cold this evening – in the 50s, so we turned in early…

Saturday morning was even colder!  But we were walking to the pier by 7:30 or so.  Our destination is Bear Coast Coffee, where we can enjoy a great latte or cappuccino and some creative food.  We soon found out that there was a big surfing contest going on this weekend…

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But we enjoyed our coffee and were soon walking back to the campground.  As usual, the ocean was beautiful, but quite rough, due to the recent rain storms of the past week…

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While I spent the entire day watching football, Lynda actually walked back down to the sand.  The storms had left quite an impact on the beach…

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Happy hours again were had.  By now there were 7 Airstreams here…

Sunday morning it was even colder – into the 40s.  Walking along the beach in the shade of the bluffs was quite uncomfortable to us Californians… So we opted to have breakfast at The Fisherman, where we could sit indoors atop the pier.  The sun felt good, and the food was good as well…

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The ocean was again beautiful, and it was calming down a little…

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This afternoon was the party.  We drove over at about 2:00 pm.  The party was soon in full swing.  I found my usual introvert’s corner to try to maintain my sanity…

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I did spend a little time chatting with others…

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Some of our members were dressed quite festively!

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Here is the whole group…

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One of the highlights of this event is always the sunset view from the clubhouse balcony…

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Monday morning we once again walked to Bear Coast Coffee.  It was a beautiful day.  Back at the campground we marveled at all the empty sites, something we never see here in the summer or on weekends…

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We soon were packing up and heading back to Redlands… where we saw beautiful snow-capped mountains…

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

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