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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…

2018-11-13 – Disneyland and the happiest place on earth…

Today was Disneyland Day!

This required leaving the house at 7:30 am and fighting traffic to Anaheim, finding the way to the Toy Story parking lots, finding the Accessible parking stalls, getting John in his wheelchair out of the van and over to the shuttle bus, onto the bus and thus to the entrance to the park.  Everything went flawlessly and with no drama.

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The meet-up with Erin and her three oldest kids also went well and the day went off without a hitch…

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Waiting for the teacups…

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On the Teacups…

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Roisin even got to sit on the forward deck of the boat as they floated into the whale’s mouth…!

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The funny story about this photo is that shortly after this was taken, another little girl walked by, leaned over, and took a nice long slurp off George’s ice cream …!

This was George’s first trip to Disneyland.  He declared that his favorite ride was “Bungo” (or Dumbo) but we didn’t get any photos, so here is one from Small World.

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And what about “The Happiest Place on earth”?  Not at Disneyland – It was right here in Redlands, where I spent the day dog-sitting Yan…

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And an enjoyable time was definitely had by me and Yan…

2018-11-06 – Leaving Emerald Desert RV Resort, arriving Paso Robles – Day 6

Today is a travel day.  We left Palm Desert and headed towards Paso Robles.  Our route took us within 1/2 mile of our house in Redlands, but we rolled on without stopping…

For most of the drive it was relatively bleak – over the Cajon pass, and through the Antelope Valley…

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We continued west on Highway 46, past the James Dean Memorial Intersection… Here he is, as a giant painted plywood cutout.  Lynda snapped this as we drove by, there being no place to stop…

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Not much happening here, but the road is great and it was an easy drive…

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On the far eastern outskirts of Paso Robles we stopped at Tobin James Cellars… This will be our home for the next few days…

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(Lynda may or may not have her eyes closed, but the late afternoon sun was intense…)

We parked the Airstream across the street from the winery, all alone, in the wilderness…

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Well, we weren’t quite alone – there was another camper here as well…

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Actually it was just a giant dirt parking lot, used for employee parking and as a staging area for UPS trucks…

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img_0234But it was free!  Thank you, Harvest Hosts!

We did some wine tasting, bought a few bottles, and spent the evening in the Villa…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

And today we celebrate National Redhead Day with our grandson, Ian:

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2018-11-01 – South Coast Airstream Club – Emerald Desert RV Resort – Day 1

This weekend is our regular camp-out/rally for out home WBCCI club – South Coast California Unit, soon to be renamed “South Coast Airstream Club”.  We meet for a weekend rally on the first Friday of every month, with few exceptions.  Due to our travel this year for the Southwest Adventure Caravan, and our move earlier in the year, we have missed several rallies, and it is great to be back, to have a weekend rally, and see old friends again.  We’ll even meet some new friends this weekend…

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Even though today is Thursday, we packed up and left Redlands this morning and arrived in Palm Desert at about 1:00.  It is a one hour drive… After living so far from this part of the desert for so many years this is a real treat!  Emerald Desert RV Resort is a true RV resort, with many amenities and services, beautiful grounds, and great facilities.

(In the interest of full disclosure, the one downside of Emerald Desert is that it not only is adjacent to the 10 freeway, but between the freeway and the RV resort are railroad tracks.  About once per hour, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, a giant, 150+ car freight train rumbles past…)

But, despite the trains, we love this place, we are thrilled to come in a day early, and we will be staying two days after the official end of the rally on Sunday, taking full advantage of the opportunity to camp here at club rates…

When we leave here, on Tuesday (election day), we will travel about 6 hours, to Paso Robles, for five days or relaxing in beautiful wine country… More later – stay tuned!

So after we arrived here we had to wait to check in; being the first day of November, there is a huge influx of “snow birds” who come to stay for “the season”.  Most come for four to six months, enjoying the great weather in this beautiful place.

We finally secured our site assignment and started to get settled.  Soon we were joined by six other Airstreamers who were also coming in one day early.  It was great to see these people again after so long.  Happy hours soon ensued, and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset…

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And, in case you missed it, yesterday was Halloween…

Here are our four grandchildren on their first Halloween, at ages 5 mo., 7 mo., 9 mo., and 12 months…

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And here they are as they looked yesterday, at age 5 yrs, 4 yrs, 3 yrs, and 7 months…

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

2018-10-15 – Day 58 – Home!

We spent the night in Palm Desert in the Villa in the parking lot at the golf clubhouse…  We were on the road at 7:00 am, and at Mentone Beach by 8:00 am.

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We spent about an hour unpacking and cleaning, then we were home in Redlands…

Our next trip out is November 1 – the Airstream Club weekend rally in Palm Desert, at Emerald Desert RV Resort, then off to Paso Robles for some wining and a “Friendsgiving” at the Record Family Vineyards…

And, as is our custom…

The McAnoy family takes a walk…

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-10-09 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 52 – Caravan is over; we head for home…

We watched the balloons fly one last time… We walked on the field amidst the chaos…

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It’s always fun to see the special shaped balloons – later in the week they will have a special competition just for them…

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This is Bill Lee, the pilot who organized our balloon rides last week in Gallup.  His balloon is the official balloon for the State of New Mexico… We tried to talk to him, but I think he was preoccupied…

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So we walked on…

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After a few minutes we looked back and Bill Lee was aloft…

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Once all the balloons had ascended we walked back to the Villa, hitched up, and left our happy campground full of Airstreams…

Our destination today is Gallup, NM, back to USA RV Park, which we left less than one week ago… We are spending one night, to dump the tanks, take showers, and get re-oriented again for our trip home…

We stopped briefly to stretch our legs, and then traveled on…

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We crossed the Continental Divide (7275′ elevation) at about 11:00 am.  It was 44 degrees outside… And then the rain began.  It was not heavy, and it did not hinder our trip…

There is not a lot going on out here in western New Mexico…

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But soon we were settled in to our site at USA RV Park, just west of Gallup, NM.

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This evening we had planned to walk the 1/2 mile and eat at Virgies, a Gallup institution.  Literally seconds before we left the Airstream it started to rain in a giant downpour.  It didn’t last long, but we didn’t want to get caught in another such downpour… Also, the highway was too wet, in our opinion, to walk…

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We called Uber and 9 minutes later we were at Virgies:

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By the time dinner was over we were able to walk back to the Villa…

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

Oh!  Here’s Evelyn:

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2018-10-03 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 46 – Traveling from Gallup to Cubero, New Mexico

Another travel day… These days are my favorite – driving down the highway, watching the scenery, going places that we’ve never been before… Today we took the long way around, choosing to drive the back roads for three hours instead of the interstate for two hours…

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We drove south from Gallup, towards El Morro National Monument, then through El Marpais National Monument.  This area is very volcanic, yet the mesas still exhibit interesting rock formations…

We stopped at a few historic markers…

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The road eventually turned east, then northeast, where it intersected with the 40; about 20 miles later we were at Cubero, site of the Sky City Casino, Hotel, and RV Park.  Sky City is the name for the Pueblo at Acoma, where we will go tour tomorrow…

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We had an easy time setting up in a very modern, but very bleak RV park.  Naps, then Happy Hours, and dinner ensued…

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As Happy Hours were transitioning to Dinner we were hit by a sudden thunderstorm, followed by a rainbow…

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News flash!  This morning it dropped below 70 degrees in Los Angeles, and rain MIGHT happen.  Erin quickly dressed Evelyn in all her winter clothes:

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-09-29 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 42 – Gallup, New Mexico…

Another quiet day on the caravan.  We began by visiting an Indian Trading post and learning about Pawn.  Among the Indians, Pawn is nothing like the typical pawn shop where folks down on their luck borrow a few dollars on something semi-valuable that they own.  For the Indians, Pawn is a combination bank and safe deposit box.  Since there is little private ownership of land, and semi-communal living is common, there is no place secure for the Indians to store their valuables.  So they bring them to the Pawn and Trading Post; the trading post will store the valuables and give a token “loan” to the owner.  The owner then comes in every 2-3-4 months and pays a fee to keep the items in pawn.  When they need their possession back, they pay back the “loan” and claim their goods.

This trading post has over 1,800 saddles in Pawn.  I doubt there are even 1,800 horses in this part of the reservation… There are also guns, ceremonial head dresses and boots, lots of jewelry, and many other things the Indians deem valuable…

The saddles…

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After listening to the Pawn explanation we saw an artist demonstrate his craft.  He showed us how he sketches and etches his design (in this case a silver bracelet) into a piece of soft stone.  This makes a mold, into which he pours the molten silver.  Out comes the rough bracelet, which he then polishes and finishes into a fine piece of jewelry…

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Most caravaners then proceeded to spend lots of money…

We returned to the Villa.  We enjoyed a Saturday afternoon watching college football.  While the internet service is terrible here in New Mexico, the satellite TV is great!

We had many Happy Hours with our Airstream neighbors, then watched football again well into the night…

And again we have a short day, so here I present Erin and George expressing their feelings about spending all day Saturday watching T-Ball…

img_9071And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-09-28 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 41 – Driving to Gallup, New Mexico…

We left Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon Dam and headed roughly Southeast across some of the most remote and desolate terrain I’ve ever seen.  This is mostly the land of the Navajo Nation…img_5963img_59611img_90631

We drove for miles and miles… and saw nothing but miles and miles…

At Kayenta, AZ, we stopped at a Burger King, home of a great exhibit telling the stories of members of the Navajo Nation who served in WWII, and, particularly, the story of the Code Talkers.

By the time we had finished looking at the exhibits other Airstreamers had also arrived…

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And then we left and drove to Gallup, NM.  Nothing too exciting.  In the evening we enjoyed a BBQ dinner provided by the RV park in their dining pavilion…

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We were visited by the representative of the ballooning folks to brief us on the coming days’ activities – we are going to be riding in hot air balloons!  We are scheduled for Sunday…

So, as is our tradition, on slow news days, we present some of our great grandchildren…  Maybe you’ve seen these before…

Roisin, age 5:

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Ian, age 4, and George, almost 3:

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Ian, Roisin, and Evelyn, age 6 months:

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Ian:

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Evelyn

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And, finally, Evelyn:

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

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