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Roisin McANoy

2021-06-22 – Springtime in the Rockies caravan… Day 27 – End of Caravan – Heading Home – Tremonton, Utah

We wanted to beat the traffic entering Yellowstone, so we pulled out at 6:45 am. We headed from the RV Park in Montana, into Wyoming, and through the Roosevelt Arch…

The early morning drive through Yellowstone was beautiful, but, other than the elk that was standing in the Roosevelt Arch, which delayed our drive for a few minutes, we saw no wildlife…

That isn’t to say that there was no excitement today… Back in Burbank our two older grandchildren boarded the big yellow school bus for the first time… They are heading to Beach Camp! We expect them to return tired, sandy, and sunburned (just a little…).

So we continued through the park. Believe it or not, this is the fastest route from Gardiner, MT to California…

We came upon some geothermal activity. This was bigger than any similar sulfur-smelling steam venting we had seen in all our time here…

But we continued on, traveling south, then heading west, exiting the park at the west entrance…

It took about one hour to travel the park. As we left we saw the lines of cars trying to get into the park. This line of traffic is still 3-4 miles from the park entrance…

So we passed on out of Wyoming, back into Montana, and on through to Idaho.

Somewhere in Idaho we stopped to stretch our legs and eat a snack. We pulled off an anonymous offramp and parked between the Potato Growers of Idaho Association and a FedEx Distribution center…

Back on the freeway we continued south…

We ate lunch at a nice rest stop somewhere in southern Idaho…

We passed over into Utah, and on the Tremonton, where we found a very nice RV Resort…

Aspen Grove RV Resort, Tremonton, Utah. Large sites, concrete pads, full hook-ups. Come back in 5 years – they have planted a tree at each site – in five years we won’t be able to use our satellite TV…

There was another Airstream in the park – pulled by a Porsche Cayenne… We had an interesting chat about tow-vehicles, hithes, and Airstreams in general…

Another interesting feature of the RV Park is that several sites have Electric Vehicle charging stations…!

For our 47th wedding anniversary dinner we selected the finest restaurant in Tremonton… It is a diner at the bowling alley…

We tried to have a toast, but this being Utah, there was no wine…

After a fairly unremarkable dinner we returned to the Villa…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-06-14 – Springtime in the Rockies caravan… Day 19 – Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming

Exciting Day Today! Our four grandchildren are all starting “school” today! Roisin and Ian go to Spanish Camp; George and Evelyn go to all day preschool! After dropping them off, our daughter, Erin, will do nothing. Or something. Or whatever she wants…!

Back at the caravan, we started the day with a Ranger talk at the amphitheater adjacent to Jackson Lake…

We heard a brief history of the Park:

In the late 1920′ s John D. Rockefeller, Jr., with his family, visited Yellowstone National Park. They met with Horace Albright, the Superintendent of Yellowstone. He took the Rockefeller family through Yellowstone, and south into the Grand Tetons area. Albright was trying to get the Grand Tetons National Park expanded to include the valley. The mountain range had become a National Park in 1929, but the valley to the east, known as Jackson Hole, was cluttered with billboards, honky-tonks, and hotdog stands. JDR, Jr. took the bait. He formed the Snake River Land Company, and anonymously purchased 35,000 acres of land; he subsequently offered the land to the National Park Service. Due to various political reasons, the donation was denied. Finally, many years later, against public opinion, and with repeated Congressional efforts to repeal the measures, much of Jackson Hole was set aside for protection as Jackson Hole National Monument in 1943. The monument was abolished in 1950 and most of the monument land was added to Grand Teton National Park.

After we heard about the various sight-seeing options, we headed south… We stopped at the Jackson Lake Dam…

From the roadway atop the Dam we have a great view…

We continued south…

We stopped in to check out the Jenny Lake Lodge… Their dining room is not open except for guests…

We considered stopping at Jenny Lake, but the parking lots were packed, and people were parking on the highway, walking 1/2 mile to the lake Visitor Center. We continued on…

We were able to catch sight of some Pronghorn Antelope…

We continued south to the Moose-Wilson Rd. We drove south some more and were rewarded with our first sighting of a moose!

Just a bit further down the road we found his mate and their offspring, but they were moving quickly into the woods…

Our destination this morning is the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve…

The parking lot was again packed, and we waited 25 minutes for a space. Luckily, most cars belonged to hikers heading out to Phelps Lake…

We walked across the meadow towards the Visitors Center…

The Laurance S. Rockefeller (LSR) Preserve is a 1,106 acres refuge within Grand Teton National Park on the southern end of Phelps Lake. The site was originally known as the JY Ranch, a dude ranch. In 1927, when John D. Rockefeller, Jr. purchased much of the land in Jackson Hole for the creation of Jackson Hole National Monument and the expansion of Grand Teton National Park, he retained the 3,100-acre JY Ranch as a family retreat.  The Rockefeller family used the J-Y Ranch for over 70 years; over the years the family gave most of the ranch land to the national park. Upon his death in 1960, JDR, Jr. left the J-Y Ranch to his son, Laurance. Finally, Laurance S. Rockefeller donated the final parcel to the Park Service in 2001, effective in 2008. The donation came with special preservation and maintenance restrictions, with the vision that the preserve remain a place where visitors can experience a spiritual and emotional connection to the beauty of the lake and the Teton Range.

When the family took over the J-Y Ranch there were 48 various dude ranch buildings on the property. The family had 28 buildings removed or demolished, and the remaining 20 buildings were remodeled and updated for use as a family retreat.

Over the years, the camp was modernized and updated, and a few new cabins were added. However, the rustic camp experience was always retained. Finally the family decided to donate the property to the Park Service, and to move their retreat to another location a few miles south, just outside the boundaries of the National Park, on the Moose-Wilson Rd. They wanted the land to be returned to its natural state.

Laurance Rockefeller hoped that his project would serve as a model for the National Parks. The overall plan for the preserve was developed by D. R. Horne & Company with advice regarding user experience from Kevin Coffee Museum Planning. Prerequisite to creating the LSR Preserve, the cabins, stables, utilities, roads, and other built environment that had been part of the Rockefeller family’s presence at the JY Ranch were removed; about half of the buildings were moved to the new Rockefeller Retreat, and the other half were donated to the Park Service to be relocated and re-purposed for their use.

The land was carefully bio-remediated with seeds or plantings collected from nearby locations within the site. A nine-mile system of hiking trails lead through sub-alpine and wetland habitat, with vistas along the southern edge of Phelps Lake. The visitor experience is prompted via the 7,573 square -foot visitor center situated at the lowest elevation of the Preserve.

The visitor center building was designed by Carney Architects of Jackson, Wyoming with the Rocky Mountain Institute consulting on energy and daylighting analysis. Hershberger Design prepared the landscape design plan for the visitor center site and trails. A team of designers, cinematographers, photographers, sound recordists, writers and others contributed to the displays inside the visitors center and those efforts are noted on a plaque in the center, which was dedicated on June 21, 2008. The visitor center was the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified property in Wyoming and only the fifty-second Platinum rating in the LEED program.  Featuring composting toilets and a 10 kW photovoltaic system, the facility earned all 17 LEED energy points.

We entered the Visitor Center. (Lynda wasn’t really angry…)

Inside it was like a church. We were the only people there. There were marvelous displays: topographic maps, Photos, audio and video exhibits, and a meditation space. I loved it. I could have sat for hours enjoying the architecture and the displays of nature… But Lynda wasn’t that patient…

I threatened to take a nap in these really cool chairs, custom designed for the Rockefellers for their retreat…

We walked around, taking in the building. This massive fireplace is part of the staff lounge…!

The paths led to the creek flowing out of Phelps Lake…

After this contemplative experience we needed lunch. We drove to Dornan’s, a pretty mediocre restaurant…

We returned to the RV Park and walked along the lake…

I spent a little time in the “village” looking for internet. After dinner we walked to the swimming beach and enjoyed the sunset…

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We returned to the Villa and an enjoyable time was had by all…

2019-06-17 thru 2019-06-24 – Family time in San Clemente…

Another Airstream Adventure.  But no traveling…

On Monday, 6/17, we drove the short 1.25 hours from Redlands to San Clemente.  I have been camping here since 1956… It never disappoints…

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We found our campsite – all RV sites are pull-through, about 75′ long, with full hook-ups.  Some are better than others, but considering how hard it is to get reservations here, we’ll take whatever we can get…

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We had a quiet afternoon, happy hours ensued, and we enjoyed a peaceful evening with friends.  This will be the last peaceful evening we will have for awhile…

Tuesday morning (and every morning this week) we walk the 1 1/2 miles along the beach path to the pier…

We’ve been walking this path for about 20 years now…

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We’ve been watching these cliffs erode for about 50 years…

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A landmark along the way is the T-Street bridge…

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Across from the pier is Bear Coast Coffee – the best coffee in So Cal.  Today (and every day this week) Lynda has a latte, I have a decaf cappuccino, and we split the Feta-Egg sandwich…

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After breakfast we walked back to the Villa and awaited the arrival of the Thundering Herd…

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Our daughter, Erin, arrived with Roisin (6), Ian (5), Evelyn (1), and George X (3)…

Erin and Lynda put up their tent while I tried, unsuccessfully, to keep the kids out of trouble…

Despite the cool weather Tuesday (and every day this week)  – it never broke 70 – beach time soon arrived…

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I asked Lynda why she rarely takes pictures of anyone besides Evelyn; she replied that she is the only one who stays still long enough…

(PS:  I don’t do the beach thing.  I sunburn easily, there is no drink service, and I need my alone time in the Villa…)

By about 5:00 on Tuesday (and every day this week) Lynda and Erin and the Thundering Herd arrived back at the Villa; they’re hot, tired, sandy, hungry, and cranky…

We do our best to keep them from killing each other while the cleanup process takes place…

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Usually we feed the kids, then put on Netflix in the Villa while the adults enjoy Happy Hours.  Then we put the kids to bed and finally all the adults collapse…  For some reason on Tuesday (and every night this week) Evelyn refused to fall asleep quietly and required adult attention for about an hour…

Wednesday morning the Thundering Herd accompanied us to the Pier and Bear Coast Coffee…

Everyone watched the train go by…

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We were able to corral the kids for a picture on the Group W Bench:

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Time on the swings ensued…

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And the rest of the week proceeded in exactly the same way…

The only difference occurred late in the week.  Erin and the kids went home Thursday evening, and they returned on Saturday morning…  This allowed Lynda and me to make our marathon walk; we walked to the pier and Bear Coast for breakfast, then we walked to the north end of the beach path; from there we walked inland to Rainbow Sandals to buy new flips for me – walking as much as we do, I wear them out often.  Then back down El Camino Real to Beach Town Books, a used book store Lynda likes, then to lunch at South of Nicks (which is actually NW of Nicks…)

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From there we walked down Del Mar to the pier, and then back to the Villa.  About eight miles…!

On Saturday morning Erin and the Thundering Herd returned…

Another special event occurred Saturday…

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Happy Anniversary to us!  It’s been 45 years !

To celebrate, we took pictures…

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In the afternoon we did our separate things…

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Saturday evening we were joined by friends (whose anniversary is Sunday) for dinner at Pierside…

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We enjoyed the sunset…

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Sunday afternoon we were joined by other friends… Beach time, happy hours, and dinner ensued…

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And then everyone left.  Silence!  Golden silence!

Monday we walked one last time to Bear Coast for breakfast… We packed up and returned to Redlands…

And an enjoyable time was has by all…

2019-06-06 thru 2019-06-11 – Traveling West – Liberal, KS and then Home…

This morning we pulled out of the RV park in Liberal, KS, and pointed the Villa southwest.  In about three minutes we were in the far western part of the Oklahoma panhandle; about 90 minutes later we were in the far western part of the Texas panhandle; by noon we were in New Mexico…

These parts of Oklahoma and Texas look remarkably like Kansas…

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At one rest stop there were these nice little picnic shelters… Mid Century Modern!… Nice, but a little beat up…

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All day yesterday and all day today, until we entered New Mexico, we followed the railroad tracks.  About every ten miles we came to a small town dominated by these giant grain elevators or silos…

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The further we drove west the smaller and more distressed the towns were… Not being farming folk, we could not tell exactly what these facilities do, but we assume it is related to grain storage, food processing, feed production, or something like that…

By mid day we were at our campground in Tucumcari, NM.

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And, for the record, New Mexico does not look anything like Texas, Oklahoma, or Kansas:

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Happy Hours and a light supper ensued in the Villa; tomorrow we head towards Gallup, NM.

Friday morning dawned nice and cool, but the heat will be arriving soon.  We pointed the Villa west, towards Albuquerque and beyond…

The drive was uneventful, as expected…

New Mexico looks like this…

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At one rest stop we found this Scenic Historic Marker:

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We weren’t sure what it meant… east and west looked pretty much the same to us.  Yes, western New Mexico does has more hills.  We rose to almost 7,000′ elevation before dropping down to 5280′ elevation in Albuquerque…

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Then we went uphill again to 7,275′ elevation at the Continental Divide…

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We eventually arrived in Gallup, NM, at about 6,500′ elevation…

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The sky was beautiful, the sun was hot, but the winds made the 89 degree temperature bearable.  By early evening we were able to turn off the AC, and by sunrise tomorrow it is supposed to be 48 degrees…

Happy Hours and a light supper ensued in the Villa; tomorrow we head towards Kingman, AZ.

Saturday morning dawned nice and cool, but the heat will be arriving soon.  We pointed the Villa west, towards Winslow, Flagstaff, Williams, and Kingman…

The drive was uneventful, as expected…

Arizona looks like this…

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We drove for about six hours, taking time for rest stops, fuel, and lunch… We finally pulled into Kingman, AZ by mid-afternoon…

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Interesting note is that we stayed here almost exactly two years ago as our first stop after leaving Irvine on our 4 1/2 month trip, the day after Lynda retired…

Happy Hours and a light supper ensued in the Villa; tomorrow we head towards Palm Desert, CA.

Sunday morning dawned nice and cool, but the heat will be arriving soon.  We pointed the Villa west, towards the California border…

The drive was uneventful, as expected…

We crossed over the Colorado River…

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And we entered California!

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We were met by some attentive uniformed people who asked us where we’d been, and if we were bringing in any firewood…

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The California Desert looks like this…

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For those of you who insist on calling places like eastern Oregon a “desert”, please stop!  Rivers, grass with cattle grazing, and green leafy trees do not make a desert!  See photo above for what a desert looks like!

We moved on to Palm Desert, where they have succeeded in making the desert green:

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We spent the afternoon and evening with like-minded friends, sharing happy hours and dinner.  Early Monday morning we drove the final hour…

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We arrived home in Redlands; an enjoyable time was had by all…

Tally:

Miles driven: 8,379

Days traveling and camping on our own:  40 days

Days on the Cajun Country Caravan:  16 days

Days on the Springtime in Kentucky Caravan:  22 days

Total days living in the Villa: 78 days

Total number of Airstreams seen along the road:  211

Number of nights in the Villa over the past 24 months:  375 days  (51%)

And one last photo of our girls…

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2019-05-25 to 2019-05-27 – Memorial Day Weekend

We returned from Indian Wells on Saturday mid day.  I visited my mother in Artesia, and had nice Happy Hours on the front porch back in Redlands.  While we were Airstreaming over the past 2 1/2 months we have several new neighbors.  We chatted briefly with them and we hope to get better acquainted upon our return in Mid-June…

We received several nice photos from our grandchildren’s visit to Griffith Park and the remnants of the old LA Zoo…

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Sunday we enjoyed church at The River CRC, we had a relaxing afternoon, then we had a very enjoyable evening dining out with Rodger and Cyndi, neighbors who often help our son while we are away… walking the dog, picking him up when he falls, and cleaning up broken glass… The only down side was that it was raining, so we were unable to walk to the restaurant…

On Monday, Memorial Day, we were visited by The Thundering Herd.  The weather cooperated to the point that we could hang out in the back yard on the deck… (The deck was finished in October, but it has been too cold to use it until today…)

Lynda took the kids for a walk…

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The kids built a tower with blocks, with only a little help from me…

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I was able to get reacquainted with the lovely Evelyn…

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By early evening they piled into the car and headed home.  We cleaned up the house and prepared to fly tomorrow…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

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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2019-03-16 – 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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2019-02-21 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…

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…

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