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2019-05-02 – Airstream Caravan Travels – Springtime in Kentucky; Louisville and their Slugger! – Day #8

Once again we boarded the bus…

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Soon we found ourselves in Louisville.

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Our first stop is at the Louisville Slugger factory.  But first, we once again attempted a group photo…

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And a selfie..

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And the final shot:

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The giant bat does dominate the skyline in this historic section on downtown Louisville…

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Inside we reviewed the current major league standings; how ’bout them Dodgers!

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The Louisville Slugger is made by Hillerich &  and Bradsby & Co.  They used to make butter churns, but they found that making bats is a more profitable business…

They have many bats that have been used in MLB games;  Lynda tried out the bats of current Dodgers Cory Bellinger and Justin Turner…  She also took a photo with Jackie Robinson…

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We watched a master bat maker working at his lathe making a bat.  It takes him about 30 minutes to make a bat, using the model bat as a template and hand-measuring every aspect of the new bat with a set of calipers to make sure it is an exact replica…

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(By the way, it takes 30 seconds for the CNC controlled lathes in the factory to make a bat, which is an exact replica of the specs that are programmed into the computer…)

The museum even has bats in its belfry…

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We enjoyed the tour (sorry, no photos…).

They use trees from western New York and eastern Pennsylvania; their trees are in sustainable forests, and most trees selected for bat-making are about 65 years old.  Bats are made mostly of maple, but also birch and ash.  They maintain 3,000 different bat designs.  Pros usually order 80-100 bats per player per season, to the tune of about $80 each.  Retail bats, and bats made for minor league baseball are cheaper…

Next on our agenda today is a river cruise up the Ohio River; Indiana is across the river at this point.

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We assembled for the lunch buffet on the lower, enclosed deck, out of the rain…

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Once underway the rain slowed and we could walk around the boat and see the sights…

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The water is quite high this time of the year…

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It was a nice boat ride.  Who doesn’t like boat rides?

Next we walked around downtown Louisville.  We are in the historic downtown, adjacent to the main financial district…  Lots of historical storefronts…

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Here is an area where the old buildings have been torn down, but the facades have been saved.  We also saw this with new, modern buildings built behind the historic facades.  Very nice!

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There are some Bourbon tasting rooms here, but we didn’t have time…

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We spent about an hour in the Frazier Museum…

We returned on the bus, and once again turned in early…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

And in the spirit of all things baseball, I present the McAnoy children…

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2019-04-07 – Airstream Cajun Country Caravan – Travel to Carencro, LA

This is the last travel day for the Caravan – our next stop is the final one – only 4 nights left…

We walked the park again a few times, then hitched up and left Eunice about 11:30 am…  Of course, we soon were delayed by a train… And I love trains!

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It was 50 miles to Carenco, on the outskirts of Lafayette.  We stopped for a quick lunch at GoBears!

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Unfortunately, their tiny lunch room was closed – no idea why… So we walked next door to McDonalds.  They have all automated touch screens for ordering.  During the lunch rush there was one cashier, wandering around with nothing to do… Progress???

We arrived at the Bayou Wilderness RV Resort.  Nice place with full hook-ups, including cable, plus clear skies for satellite TV.  The sites are a little rustic, though…

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We hooked up, set up, checked out the store and other amenities, and walked around a bit.  There is an actual swamp out back… lots of Bald Cypress trees growing out of the water.  Those funny little pointy stumps are roots growing up out of the ground.  They are called, “Knees”.

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At about 4:00 pm it started to rain, with thunder and lightning, of course.  It was still pouring down when it was time to meet the other Airstreamers in the meeting room here in the RV park for pizza and ice cream…

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By the time we were ready to walk back to the villa after dinner it was still raining, but not nearly so hard.

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

The McAnoy baseball team…

Ian, almost 5:

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Roisin, age 6:

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2019-04-05 – Airstream Cajun Country Caravan – Travel to Eunice, LA

Easy travel day again.  At least at the start.

We drove over 50 miles today to camp at the Lakeview Park and Beach, just north of Eunice, LA.  It is a beautiful place, and, since it is Friday, the park is quickly filling up with weekenders from the local area.  There is a nice fishing lake, plus a swimming lake and beach, but it won’t open until next week…

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Along the route we passed by typical Louisiana roadside scenes:

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Upon arriving, I noticed that my iPhone was not charging – the cable would not plug in.  After several panicked minutes wondering where in rural SW Louisiana I could find an Apple store, then several more panicked minutes realizing that what I really need is an A&TT store, then remembering that I have insurance on this phone (because I do not believe in those ugly phone cases…), then a few more phone calls and we were back in the truck and off for a one hour drive to Lafayette to an Apple authorized repair shop.  If this proved to be unsucessful, I could get a replacement shipped to me – all I need to figure out is – Where will I be when the new phone arrives?

Lafayette was busy, but we found the store easily.  Five minutes and nine dollars later my phone was fully functional!  All it took was a tiny set of tweezers and knowing what to look for…

So, since we were already parked in a giant Target parking lot, we did a little grocery shopping, and headed back to Eunice.

Along the way we did see one of the better ideas to come out of Lafayette:

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Yes, the drive-thru Daiquiri stand.  Due to recent laws banning open containers of alcohol in cars they now put a lid on the plastic daiquiri cup, and a straw to poke through the little hole in the lid…

So we returned to the campground.  We had missed both the final GAM and a drivers’ meeting.  We took an evening stroll around the lake…

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After our traumatic day we retreated to the Villa and enjoyed an adult beverage or two…

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

And the all-dressed-up McAnoy family:

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2019-04-02 – Airstream Cajun Country Caravan – Travel to Abbeville, LA

Today is another travel day.  However, all travel days are short here in Cajun Country.  In total, we travel only 160 miles from campsite to campsite.  In fact, the only reason we move as much as we do is that a minimum of five locations are required on a National Caravan, according to the Airstream Club (WBCCI).

So today we drive from New Iberia to Abbeville – a total of 21 miles…!

The countryside is quite varied, but for the most part it is wide open spaces…

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The pictures above and below show sugar cane…

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There are a few small (very small) towns, and a variety of houses:  ramshackle, modest farm houses, very nice older farm houses, and, of course, starter castles and McMansions…  This trip was slow and easy…

This campground is a total opposite of New Iberia; it is small, hidden back in the woods about one mile from the highway, full of trees (no satellite TV for me!), and no amenities other than full hook-ups.

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We parked and set up the Villa and had the rest of the day to catch up of my to-do list – I need to be finalizing the next leg of our trip after the caravan is over.  We will be heading to the east coast, travelling north a bit, then back west to Kentucky, where we begin Springtime in Kentucky Caravan on April 25…

We did a lot of walking around the park to keep our Apple Watches happy.  We found this tree with a nest of three baby owls…

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This was probably the mom, watching nearby…

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We had a GAM again and turned in early.  And an enjoyable time was had by all…

And of course, the McAnoy family on a hiking outing…

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2019-03-29 – Airstream Cajun Country Caravan – Traveling to New Iberia, LA

Travel days are generally slow and relaxing, especially when we are only traveling 41 miles…

We left Breaux Bridge (actually closer to Butte La Rose…) and proceeded on the route.  We are traveling in a clockwise manner around southwestern Louisiana…

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GPS devices on the computer, on our phones, and in the truck all told us to turn right when exiting the RV park.  Our leaders, and our caravan driving instructions, said turn left.  Apparently to the right is a pontoon bridge with overhead clearance of 9′-6″ (most Airstreams are just under 10′-0″…); also there is a levee to be crossed – steep up, then a steep down, leaving a rig bottoming out at the top.  Bad idea!

So we turned left.  We stopped to fuel the truck and to restock the refrigerator.  Then we stopped for a flagger at road construction.  Then we stopped to wait for a coal train… This is why a 41 mile trip took almost 3 hours… But the countryside was beautiful.  This is a prosperous part of the state, with many McMansions and starter castles lining the highway…

This RV park is part of the Sugarena, sort of a fairgrounds type of place.  The parking spots all have concrete pads and full hook-ups, including cable.  And no trees to get in the way of my satellite TV…

Shortly after we arrived most of the folks set out to do some shopping… very few trucks to be seen…

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As a side note, when we were at the State Capitol yesterday we saw these water-filled areas next to the Mississippi River:

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What you don’t see here is that for most of the year these areas are parking lots.  There are floodgates in the levees that are usually opened in April to help relieve the spring flooding down stream.  This year these floodgates have been open, and these parking lots and other overflow areas have been fully flooded, since February.  And the spring surge hasn’t started yet…

So after a relaxing afternoon we gathered at 4:00 for a GAM – Get Acquainted Meeting.  We will have four or five of these in the next few days.  We met with five other couples and we, well, got acquainted.  Tomorrow is our turn to host another five couples…

After the GAM/Happy Hour broke up some caravanners got together to play a little music…

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We turned in early, as is out custom.  And speaking of customs, here are a few pictures of some of our grandchildren

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2019-03-20 – Airstream Caravans Travel – Day 8 – Las Cruces to Carlsbad, NM

We headed east today; the destination is Carlsbad, NM, in the far southwest corner of the State.  The mountains east of Las Cruces have one section with these amazing crags…

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Just over the mountain we stopped at White Sands Missile Range.  This is where all the testing of missiles and rockets has been done since WWII.  We started at the museum… They have lots of exhibits, like you would expect.  The history of the area was interesting, as was the story of how the US Government temporarily “borrowed” the land (3,200 square miles – almost three times the area of Rhode Island…) from the owners during WWII; after the war they didn’t give it back, buying it via eminent domain.  The owners were not pleased…

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This is a Red-Tailed Hawk (stuffed) on exhibit…

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This is a Red-Tailed Hawk (wood) in my living room, hand-carved by my father about 30 years ago…

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Across from the museum is a small building containing a restored V-2 missile…

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The Germans developed the V-2 as a terrorizing weapon during WWII and used it against England.  They spent more on these weapons than the US spent on the Manhattan Project.  After the war the US brought back all the V-2 rockets and various rocket parts to the US (mainly so the Russians couldn’t get them).   They sent it all here, filling 300 railroad cars.  The US also brought back all the German rocket scientists they could.  The V-2 formed the basis of the early days of space research, setting the stage for our manned and unmanned voyages into space.  This rocket in this building was used for research many times and has now been restored…

In the missile yard are MANY rockets of all sizes and shapes…

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Amazingly, rockets are a lot like trees – seen one, seen them all…

So we rolled out east again.  Soon we entered the Lincoln National Forest and ascended over 4,600 feet to a summit of 8,600 feet…  In this photo we are looking back west towards the white sands…

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Tunnels are always fun…

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Once we descended the mountain we were in a desolate plain that went on for miles and miles.  As is our custom, we stopped to stretch our legs and to keep our Apple watches happy…

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We checked into the KOA about 20 miles north of the city of Carlsbad.  The trees in the park are full of noisy birds…

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The park was basic but good.  They even prepared BBQ dinners on-site and delivered them to the Villa at the appointed hour.

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

And, as is our custom, we present the some of the McAnoy children (and one neighbor…)

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2019-03-16 – Airstream Caravans Travel – Day 4 – Las Cruces, NM

We rolled out of the Queen Mine RV Park at about 9:30.  Today we are heading to Las Cruces, NM.  We are traveling in southeast Arizona in some of the most remote areas we have ever seen…

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Some of the mountains are still covered in snow… There is also “snow” or the slushy remnants of hail, alongside the road…

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We stopped at a monument commemorating the surrender of Geronimo, the Apache chief, to the US Army in 1886.  He was the last Apache chief to surrender…

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New Mexico welcomed us!

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There was even more snow on the ground in New Mexico!

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We pulled into Sunny Acres RV Park in Las Cruces at about 3:30.  In, connected, and paid for…

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Happy Hours ensured… And an enjoyable time was had by all…

And, as is our custom on travel days, here are pictures of our great grandchildren…

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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…

2019-02-21 to 2019 02 28 – San Clemente State Beach

We’re off again for 11 days… First stop is San Clemente State Beach, one of the best ocean front RV parks in California – large sites, full hook-ups, 30-45 minute walk to town and the pier, shops, restaurants.  It’s a little further to the Rainbow Sandal Store, but we will walk there one day during this trip…

We packed up the truck and headed out at 11:00 am on Thursday.  We picked up the Villa in Temecula where we had left it for service at Airstream IE.  So far they have been OK, but I’m not overly impressed after two visits.  We’ll see…

We arrived at the campground promptly at 2:00, found our site, and tried to set up.  After several tries in various locations we were able to get decent satellite TV service.  However: OOPS!  the utility post prevented the slide from opening!  So we had to un-stabilize, re-hitch, and re-position.  Now that the slide opens we can’t put out the awning due to an unfortunately placed tree… We have such first world problems!

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But we are set up and a quiet evening alone was had.  Happy Hours occurred.  The sun set, and all was well.

Friday morning dawned bright and cold!  42 degrees!  (It had snowed the day before in many parts of LA…)  So we walked to the pier a little later than usual.  But it was delightful in the sun and the coffee at Bear Coast was wonderful.

We did see evidence if the recent heavy rains:

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The rest of the day was spent reading and doing income taxes.  Much fun…

At 2:00 pm or so three cousins arrived and set up.  We had a little casual conversation with them, but we retreated back to the Villa as the sun set and it got really cold again.  Happy Hours and dinner inside were had and all was well…

Saturday is the big day and the reason for this trip.  We will meet up with many of my cousins, plus the various inlaws and outlaws.  We’ve been doing this for about five years, mainly since so many of us have birthdays around this time…

We did walk to the pier for coffee, of course…

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Around 1:00 we started to gather and by 2:00  we had a nice crowd, although it was smaller than some previous years… We counted six first cousins, plus about 12-15 others, including kids and grandkids, and the aforementioned inlaws and outlaws…

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These are the six cousins, standing in age order.  I have no idea what I was looking at…

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Just some of our motley crew…

We spent the afternoon getting reacquainted, lying and bragging about our kids and grandkids, and, for some, great grandkids.  (Note that the other five cousins are all a LOT order than I am…)

There was much food and wine and even a little bourbon…

Again it was quite cold, so we turned in relatively early… All was well…

Sunday was another big day.  It is Lynda’s birthday!  We are the same age for about two weeks… And we will be visited by our daughter and her thundering herd…

We walked to Bear Coast Coffee once again, then we returned to the Villa and 30 minutes of peace before the McAnoy clan arrived…

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They soon decided they needed to walk down to the beach…

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Evelyn enjoyed her first time crawling about in the sand…

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After a walk to the pier and a brief snack and they all departed for home… We were exhausted…

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We turned in early… And all was well…

Monday we decided it was time for an epic walk… First to the pier for coffee, then to the Outlet Mall in North San Clemente.  Lynda found a few bargains for the kids, then we headed over to Rainbow Sandals to buy new flips for the kids.  We walked back through town, stopped for used books, and then returned to the Villa – a total of 9 miles and about 20,000 steps.  Then it was nap time!  In the evening we joined the few remaining cousins for a light dinner and another day was in the books… And all was well…

Tuesday again found us at Bear Coast Coffee…

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It was the first day we could walk to the pier without wearing jackets… As we were walking we received word that Evelyn has received her first birthday present:

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The others have also received their own chair on each of their first birthdays…

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Today we went through all the cupboards and storage areas in the Villa and removed anything not necessary for our upcoming three month trip to the east coast and back… We don’t need 16 wine glasses, six water hoses, etc.  We feel much lighter now…

Since last Sunday was Lynda’s birthday, tonight we walked in to Ave. Del Mar and went out to dinner at Brussels Bistro…

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It was OK – nice Old Fashioneds, pretty good frites, good meatballs, OK mussels… Good, friendly service… We took Uber back to the Villa and turned in early… All was well…

It’s Thursday morning and it’s time to go.  We walked for coffee one last time… The coast was lovely as usual…

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We packed up, hooked up, and left San Clemente about 10:30 am… We are off to Pechanga RV Resort in Temecula!

We’ll be back to camp in San Clemente in June…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

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