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2019-03-18 – Airstream Caravans Travel – Day 6 – Hatch and Las Cruces, NM

Another leisurely day… We drove about 35 miles north of here to visit the town of Hatch, NM… of chili fame.

The town takes its famous Hatch chili seriously, as evidenced by the names of the local businesses…

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We strolled the town, looked into all the shoppes, and finally settled on the Valley Cafe for lunch.  Very spicy and flavorful, but not up to our standards for Mexican food… Maybe we’re spoiled…

We returned to the Villa and had a leisurely evening…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2019-03-15 – Airstream Caravans Travel – Day 3 – Bisbee, AZ

Once again we awoke to sub-freezing temperatures.  But between the fireplace, the heat pump, and the furnace we were able to keep warm and keep the pipes from freezing…

We began the day with a tour of the Queen Mine…

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We were outfitted with hard hats, miner’s lights, and safety vests… We mounted the mine tourist train and headed into the mine…

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About 700 feet into the mine we dismounted and walked up some wooden stairs to a large cavern…

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We were told about the various jobs going on in the mines at any one time.  Our tour guide worked in the mines for about 15 years, starting two days after he graduated from Bisbee High School…

 

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We were told about the various ways to make the holes for the dynamite and how these methods changed over the years, from hammering a steel spike in 1915 to pneumatic drills in the 1960s… Every few years improvements were made to efficiency and safety…

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Sometimes the shoring seems a little improvised…

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These are the ore cars and the chutes from above where the ore is dumped…

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The supervisors traveled up to 10 miles per day around the mines, mounted on these rail-cycles…

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After another train ride we dismounted at the 1,500 mark and walked down a cross-tunnel…

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There are fire doors every 500 feet or so…

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Next was the lesson on where to drill holes and how to set off the dynamite to get the largest cavity possible…

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Finally we saw a typical 11-man elevator cage…

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And the porta-potty…

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Tour over, we walked back to the train and we were returned to fresh air…

After lunch we spent more time walking about the town. We visited The Bisbee Mining Museum, and enjoyed browsing the many vintage, antique, and junk shoppes…

This evening we returned for an anniversary dinner – It has been 51 years since our first date… The town was lit up and it was a beautiful sight…

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We had asked all over town for recommendations for the best fine dining, white tablecloth restaurant.  Every person we asked stated, without hesitation, “Roka”.

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They were right.  Great service, interesting, innovative food, and a lovely bottle of Turley wine…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2019-02-28 to 2019 03 04 – Airstream Club Rally at Pechanga

We left San Clemente at 10:30 am and arrived at Pechanga RV Resort (at the Pechanga Casino in Temecula) at 11:40 am.  We are the first of the club to arrive, and we set up easily.

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The others of the club who are arriving a day early soon started showing up, and by 4:00 pm we had 11-12 rigs here.  While we usually stay pretty close to “home” on these early rally days, tonight a few of us set out for Old Town Temecula to visit a restaurant named Devilicious.  The restaurant is pretty unremarkable, but behind the hostess stand is a hidden door, and behind the door is a tiny “Speakeasy” – a “hidden” bar.  We ducked through the hidden door and through the dark curtain and we pretty much had the place to ourselves…

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We enjoyed some interesting food – fried olives, charcuterie platter, bacon-wrapped dates… And, of course, some nice drinks… Luckily, I was not driving, and we had a lovely evening.

Friday was another rainy day.  We found this morning out that our daughter had taken her 4-year-old son to Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles with Appendicitis.  We’ll know more later in the day.

We had a nice breakfast at the golf clubhouse at the Pechanga Resort.  The Clubhouse has always been my favorite part of golf… We spent the rest of the day greeting the other club members as they arrived.  The rain cleared a bit.

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Pechanga RV Resort is a very nice place.  We were parked next to the pool.  I don’t think it has been used much lately – we just heard that this February was the first time in history that SoCal never got above 70 degrees!

Lynda went wine tasting with some of the others while I enjoyed a few good movies.

At 5:00 we joined the others for Happy Hours…

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We heard this evening that our grandson’s surgery went well and everything was as well as could be expected…

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We turned in early…

About 4:00 am the rain started again.  It is always lovely to hear the rain in the Villa…

Breakfast was at 9:00.  We had a text message from our daughter saying that Ian had had a rough night.  Lynda wanted to be there to help out juggling the other three kids, so I unhitched the Villa and we drove the truck home.  Lynda drove to Burbank, then to the hospital.  Things were going better today…

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I returned to Pechanga, where I set up my new internet connection – an A&TT hotspot.  My other hotspot is Verizon, and there are some places where we get zero Verizon signal – such as here at Pechanga.  When we travel for long trips across the country we often find places where one service or the other works well, or vice versa.  So having both is my solution.  A&TT works great here.  I even set up Apple TV and watched a movie on Netflix!

Lynda reported that Ian was intently watching a video on YouTube and he didn’t really care that she was there, but she felt better…

Dinner tonight was meat with a side order of meat.  And chicken.  The other women had completed Lynda’s puzzle:

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Dinner was great.  Everyone enjoyed the time together, as we usually do…

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The rain continued into the evening but was starting to fade… I returned to the Villa and turned in early…

Sunday morning was rainy but it soon stopped.  Breakfast was had once again in the Club House, and I went back to the Villa and had a lovely quiet day.  At 2:00 a bunch of us again returned to the Speakeasy, then afterwards returned to the Villa to drink some more…

So Monday morning I cleaned up the Villa, hitched up, and returned home.  I spent the day catching up on mail and putting things away…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2019-02-10 to 2019 02 15 – Crystal Cove State Park – Moro Campground

We escaped for a quick five days at Crystal Cove State Park.  We were just here 10 days ago, but it is one of out favorite places…

We pulled out of Redlands at about 1:30 pm, arriving at the guard shack at 2:46 pm.  They are VERY strict about the 3:00 pm check-in time, so I threw myself of the guard’s mercy, explaining, “I’m sorry we are early, but there wasn’t enough traffic…”  He acquiesced and checked us in.  By 4:00 we were set up and the rain began.

We were soon joined by two couples from our high school days, plus another Airstream couple who is camping with us.  We enjoyed Happy Hours inside the Villa, as the rain rattled on the roof.

However, just before dinner we stepped outside to see the sunset:

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After dark we returned inside for dinner and some great wine.  As the hours passed by we enjoyed catching up and laughing about old times…

Monday morning dawned bright and sunny, with blue skies all around… The traditional walk along the beach happened despite the cool temperatures (42 degrees…):

The tunnel under Hwy 1 is both a beach access path and an outflow for rain run-off from the hills above.  This was our first close-up glimpse of the surf line…

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Phil and Steve braving the elements:

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Low tide reveals many more rocks than usual:

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Lynda on the rocks:

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On our return walk atop the bluffs we pass by the historic Shake Shack:

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(I could show these same photos every day because we take the same walk every day…)

Later in the day I walked out to the edge of the campground for some shots of the coastline:

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And a nice view of the Villa…

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The rest of the day was spent relaxing and puzzling; I watched an old movie and worked on planning our trip to Louisiana in March.  Happy Hours arrived at 5:00 and we enjoyed a cozy evening in the Villa.

Tuesday morning started out much the same as Monday.  The weather is gorgeous but frickin’ freezing – 42 degrees when we left to walk the beach at 8:30 am.

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It’s always fun to see these small water fowl along the way…

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Lots of rocks are exposed at low tide.  Beyond is the historic zone of the 1930s era cottages; these cottages have been restored and are available for rent through ReserveCalifornia.com.  It is virtually impossible to get a reservation…

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The final 17 cottages are currently being restored.  New foundations are installed on deep pilings, new infrastructure, roads, and utilities are being installed, steel frames are added to meet current building codes, and all the old materials, inside and out, are restored and reused to maintain the 1930s look.  The restoration of the 17 cottages is costing $17,000,000 – you do the math…

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Crystal Cove consists of 3.2 miles of beach and 2,400 acres of land, all donated by The Irvine Company to the State of California in 1999…

Wednesday morning started out much the same as Tuesday.  Except the weather, while still gorgeous, has turned cloudy…

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Rain is expected to start at noon and to continue for 5 days…

Along our walk back to the campground we pass by these houses (about 130 condos) on the hill above the Crystal Cove Shopping Center.  These were done by my office, TCA Architects, Inc., almost 20 years ago.  They appear to be holding up nicely…

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The rest of the day we stayed cozy in the Villa, listening to the rain on the roof… Happy hours occurred.

At about midnight the rain started in earnest.  It rained HARD for 12 straight hours, with bouts of very heavy wind.  Being inside an aluminum tube, with plastic skylights, the noise was deafening!

Thursday morning we stayed in due to the rain.  Happy Valentines Day! Finally a little after noon the fog/low clouds lifted and the rain slowed to a drizzle.  We ventured outside:

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The sea was angry, my friend…

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The stream that becomes a two foot wide channel through the tunnel under the highway has become a torrent.  The rangers closed the day-use area to keep people from being swept away if they tried to walk through the tunnel…

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The surf continued to tear up the beach and sweeping the sand out to sea…

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The evening of the 14th we enjoyed Happy Hours again, this time with special Valentines Day Cocktails:  We each had a Boulevardier, served with caviar on a blini, and for dessert were chocolate truffles and more wine…

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It was a good evening…

Friday morning was beautiful again.  We couldn’t do our normal beach walk because the tunnel under the highway was still flooded, but we did a work around.  The beach was a mess, loaded up with seaweed and kelp, but it was otherwise clean…

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After the walk it was time to clean up and hitch up.  We were back in Redlands by 2:30…  We even saw some green fields and hills and orange groves in Redlands on our drive home…

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Next week we go to San Clemente State Beach, and the week after that we have a club rally at Pechanga…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2019-01-27 to 2019 01 31 – Crystal Cove State Park – Moro Campground

We left Chula Vista RV Resort at about 1:15, hoping to arrive at Crystal Cove State Park, El Moro Campground, at 3:00, which is check-in time.  We drove north on the 5, the 15, the 805, and the 5 again, finally exiting at the 1 in San Clemente.  We then drove north on Pacific Coast Highway for 12 miles, passing through Dana Point, Monarch Beach, Laguna Niquel, South Laguna, and Laguna Beach.  Naturally, on a Sunday afternoon, with great sunny weather, Laguna Beach was packed, but the drive was wonderful, despite towing The Villa through the crowded, narrow highway…

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We arrived safely, checked in, parked, and were set up by 4:00.  Then we hit the beach.  We haven’t been here since March… Before we moved to Redlands we walked this beach two-three times per week…

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The beach was lovely, the tide was low, and the weather was warm… Sunset was even nicer!

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Today is the last day of “Restaurant Week” in Newport Beach, so we broke form and went out to dinner.  We went to Pescadou, a great French restaurant on Balboa peninsula.  We haven’t been here in several years and it was great to see Jacques again…

Monday morning found us walking the beach again…

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After a day of relaxing and puzzling we again had our Happy Hours as the sun set…

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Tuesday morning we were treated to breakfast by our Airstream friends; a day of relaxing and puzzling ensued…

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Tuesday evening we again ventured outside the RV Park, going to Fashion Island to watch a big screen showing of “The Wizard of Oz”.  Much fun…

Wednesday was pure relaxation.  Walk along the beach, a stop at Starbucks, puzzling, movies on TV, and more relaxation.  4:00 brought Happy Hours…

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Thursday brought the rain.  We packed up and headed for home…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2019-01-24 to 2019-01-27 – South Coast Airstream Club – Chula Vista RV Resort

Our second rally of the new year.  Technically this is the February rally, but the Chula Vista RV Resort is closing January 31, so we moved our dates up one week…

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If you recall, we had left our Airstream at the dealer in Temecula for service.  So today we loaded up the truck and drove to Temecula.  It seemed quite odd to be heading out to a rally without the Airstream!  But once we arrived at the dealer and hitched up, all was well again.  We arrived at the RV park at about 1:00 after an easy drive.  We set up and relaxation began.  That evening we had a nice small Happy Hours at the picnic table in our site – there were 5 Airstreams which had arrived early as we had.

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Friday was the official start of the rally.  We had a relaxing day, and enjoyed lunch at the local eatery, The Galley, at the adjacent marina.

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By Friday evening all 14 Airstreams had arrived and Happy Hours ensued…

On Saturday we served 30 people breakfast (we are “hosts” of this rally, along with another couple, so we had a few extra responsibilities…).

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At 10:00 we walked the 3/4 mile to the trolley station and we rode into downtown San Diego.  We strolled the streets, eventually arriving at Little Italy.  We stopped in for a light lunch at a small restaurant, then we walked some more.  We eventually made our way to the waterfront, then we headed to “the oldest bar in San Diego:”  The Waterfront Bar.  We enjoyed some cocktails, and eventually we found our way to the trolley station.  We  were back at the RV park by 3:00 or so.

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Happy Hours started at 5:00 and Dinner began at 6:00.  Hamburgers and all the fixin’s were on the menu.

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Sunday morning was quiet and slow, with continental breakfast at 8:30.  Breakfast was done and the clubhouse was cleaned by 10:00 and we began to get ready to leave…

We are heading to Crystal Cove State Park, where we will be camping for another four  days…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

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…

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