Archive for July, 2009

Half Moon Bay 7/19/08

July 20, 2009 - 7:05 pm No Comments

Our last night together after dinner at Half Moon BayAren't these beautiful?   Flowers at our restaurant - Half Moon BayBeautiful view from our RV site in San FranciscoCan you see the whale in the bottom right corner?I felt better this morning after a good night’s sleep.  It definitely was the road trip; no one else felt ill so it wasn’t anything we ate.  I still was not 100%, however, so we decided to stay close to the RV today, do some laundry and have Ben come by this afternoon for an early dinner.   I was feeling better as the day went along.  We had a few glimpses of whales right in front of our RV!   It was so exciting.   We saw a Mother and baby and folks around us say these are California grey whales.

Today is Allan and Catherine’s 3rd wedding anniversary.   We called them to congratulate them.   They are doing well and Catherine is still feeling great.

We had dinner at Half Moon Bay with Ben and his good friend Patrick.   Patrick is a good surfer and loves to surf in Pacifica near our RV park.  It’s really a beautiful area for surfing.   At any rate, Half Moon Bay is a beautiful area with a big marina and restaurants.   We had dinner at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company.   Excellent food!    We all had seafood.

Of course I’m always sad when we have to say goodby to Ben.   But it’s been a great visit and we hope to see him this fall.  He will make a trip home to meet his new niece Olivia who will be born in early September.

We will head out Monday morning on our way to Bakersfield.   Stay tuned!

Point Reyes National Seashore 7/18/09

July 20, 2009 - 6:45 pm No Comments

Point Reyes National SeashoreInteresting little oyster bar at Point Reyes National SeashorePeaceful sight - Point Reyes National SeashoreYes that's the Golden Gate BridgeBen picked us up at 10:30 a.m. for a day trip to Point Reyes National Seashore.   Actually we were on the bayside of the seashore and it was absolutely beautiful.

The only problem with this day was we dressed for 60 degree weather but by the time we were an hour north of San Francisco the temperature started to soar.   It was 98 degrees by the time we had lunch.   We traveled on very curvy roads in this extreme heat and by the time we were halfway through the day, I was extremely sick.   I think now that it was a combination of high temperatures, too heavy clothing (we dressed in layers but still with blue jeans, socks, tennis shoes, etc).   I became really really sick and nearly fainted.  Ben and Greg were wondering what to do with me.   At the time I nearly fainted, I could hear both of them saying “what are we going to do” and I could envision them removing me from the car and leaving me on the side of the road.

Ben got me back to the RV quickly and I went straight to the sofa.   Needless to say we cancelled our dinner meal and I stayed put for the rest of the evening.   I haven’t been that sick in a long time.   Hope tomorrow will be a better day.

Stay tuned!

Back to San Francisco 7/17/09

July 20, 2009 - 6:23 pm No Comments

Stones sticking up out of the ground -- looks like a cemetaryInteresting formations in the landscape - northern Californiaalmond groveWe left Yosemite Pines RV Park around 8:00 a.m.  I must say I was glad to be leaving this park.  It is very hot, very dry, and very dusty with red dirt everywhere.  We had a good trip back to San Francisco.  The terrain is very interesting.  Rocks are sticking out of the ground appearing to be headstones in a cemetary.  Driving along a very desolate stretch of highway we came upon an AmericanFlag flying in the breeze in the middle of a pile of rocks.  It was literally in the middle of nowhere!

The stretch of highway around Manteca California was full of almond groves.  These trees are much smaller than pecan trees but they are harvested in the fall as our pecans are.  There were produce stands all along this area full of fresh fruits and vegetables.  We bought as much as we could store in our fridge.  Wonderful cantelope, tomatoes, corn, blueberries, etc.  We bought almonds to share with Catherine.

We saw lots of windmill farms.  Today on the California news there was a discussion of state employees being forced into furloughs every Friday hoping to save more budget cuts.  No work—no pay on Friday for state employees.
The temperature cooled down as we drove toward San Francisco.  It was 90 degrees in Yosemite and 60 degrees by the time we got to San Francisco.  We saw a big RV on the road with a huge sign on the front which said “world’s worse motor coach”.  Couldn’t tell the brand name, but he certainly was making a point.

We arrived in Pacifica in time for lunch.  Tonight we’ll have fresh corn and other fresh vegetables.  Oh, and fresh strawberries and cream.

We plan to see Ben tomorrow.   He worked today down in Palo Alto and will be free for the weekend.  I’ll post photos later as I’m having trouble with slow WIFI.

Laundry and Housekeeping 7/16/09

July 16, 2009 - 2:57 pm 6 Comments

We slept “late” this morning, meaning we slept until 7:30 or so.   We had a wonderful breakfast of bacon and eggs, juice and coffee.   Campground guests are up early here — there is a group of young 20-somethings across from us and they were already gone by the time we had breakfast.   They are probably hiking today.  

We got over to the laundry early and sat near the laundry room while our clothes washed and dried.   We had a nice conversation with a gentleman from Nashville who was washing clothes also.   He and his wife hiked 16 miles yesterday!   They also drove 30 straight hours from Nashville to get here and when we told him it took us 10 days he was envious!!!   We explained that we were retired and didn’t have to move too fast.   He is a barber by trade and was very interesting to talk with.

After lunch we actually took a short nap.   It’s very hot here and we especially wanted to take today to piddle and not have to drive anywhere.   We’ve really enjoyed the day.

We will have beef burritos tonight that I made at home before we left.   They are great—filled with taco beef, spanish rice, and black beans.   Allan, you would just love it!!!  Ha Ha

Tomorrow morning we will head out toward Pacifica, where we will spend our last  couple of days with Ben.  Not sure what he has planned.   We think we might drive through the Napa Valley and not sure what else.   Whatever, we will enjoy being with Ben again.

We haven’t had cell service since we’ve been in Yosemite.   I don’t particularly like to be without phone service, but we talked with Allan and Catherine last night by SKYPE, and we could see that Catherine is changing fast now that she is in her last 6 weeks of pregnancy.   She still looks beautiful!!!   I talked with my Dad today by pay phone at the general store here and he remembers that we are in California visiting Ben.

Stay tuned!

The Grandeur of the Big Sequoias – Mariposa Grove Yosemite 7/15/09

July 15, 2009 - 5:36 pm No Comments

Yosemite Valley - AWESOMEControlled burn by forestry serviced to regerminate sequoiasGiant Sequoia in Mariposa Grove - YosemiteWe're in the Tunnel Tree - Mariposa Grove YosemiteMagnificent Yosemite Valley--Bald Dome in the middleWe drove over to Yosemite today and turned south in the park to get to the Mariposa Grove of Big Sequoias.   This grove was discovered in 1857 by ….hmmmm… I can’t remember now.   He was a naturalist who discovered this grove and made it his lifetime quest to protect this grove.   

We drove to a visitor center and boarded a free shuttle to get to the grove.   The park controls traffic very well by not letting cars go into the grove.   The shuttle let us off at another stop where we bought tickets for the tram which takes you through the park.   There are hiking trails all over the park, but since the temperatures are nearly 100 degrees, we decided the tram was the best for us.   We got up close and personal with the trees but you really cannot touch most of them.   After the tram ride, we boarded a shuttle again to get back to the parking lot.   You see this was a long day of travel, although we were only 65 miles from the grove.

At any rate, we enjoyed the day and again, the photos just don’t do it justice.  I tried to get in touch with my friend Donna Davis but we never did find each other.   The big problem is that we don’t have cell service in the park.   We stopped at the Yosemite Lodge on our way back to the campground.   Donna and husband are staying at the Lodge, but it was so crowded we couldn’t find a place to stop.  Summer!!

A deer jumped right in front of our RV on our way to the grove.   We  were just far enough away so we only had to brake and not swerve but it was scary.  Also the roads were full of frost heaves so driving was extremely slow.   We’ve read about frost heaves in preparation for our Alaska trip, but we didn’t realize they would be here also.   Good practice, but driving was around 35 miles per hour.  That made for an 8 hour day for us today.

We are going to stay in the RV park tomorrow so that we can get some housekeeping done.   We’ll do our laundry and clean up.   Also we may watch a movie.   Allan always gives us movies to take on our trips and we just never get around to watching them.   So we must watch one or two while we are away.   Friday we will head back to San Francisco for another couple of days with Ben.

Stay tuned.

Jaw Dropping Yosemite 7/14/09

July 14, 2009 - 4:19 pm 2 Comments

Bridal Veil Falls Yosemite NPCloser view of Bridal Veil Falls Yosemite NPEl Capitan Yosemite NPWell, words nor pictures can give you any idea of the beauty of this park.   We’ve seen a lot of beautiful parks in our travels, but this has got to be the tops.   First of all, it is easy to get to and move around.   Their shuttle service is excellent and well organized.  Our RV site is 22 miles from the gates to the park.   Then you drive further into the park to get to the Village and starting point for what we want to see.   I’ll tell you a little funny story.   Park fees vary according to what you are driving and your age.   Normally it would cost $20 to get into the park for one automobile/RV for seven days.  There is also a senior lifetime pass for anyone 62 years or older which has no time limit.   Greg will be 62 in 3 weeks.   So I mentioned this to the park ranger and she said “well just don’t let your 20 year old grandson come in on this pass”.   So she gave us the senior pass for $10.   This lifetime pass allows you to enter any federal park in the United States for the rest of our lives!  So this is one of the benefits of growing “old” and I use this term loosely!

We took the shuttle to various stops and we especially enjoyed El Capitan.   We did not see any rock climbers today as the temperature was upwards toward 100 degrees.   It’s a very dry heat so it doesn’t seem as hot as home with the humidity.  We had lunch at a nice little cafe with outside seating.

A friend from TVA, Donna Davis, and her husband, are here in Yosemite today.   She called on her cell phone as they were driving into the area from San Francisco.   We hope to meet up in the next day or so if we can find each other.  Won’t that be a hoot?

We plan on going back to the park tomorrow and see the Mariposa Grove.   This is a grove of big sequoias.  It is hot here but we are comfortable in the RV.   We are sleeping very good every evening.

Stay tuned!

Yosemite Pines RV Park 7/13/09

July 13, 2009 - 4:57 pm No Comments

This is for you, SaSa----Her name is TinyThink I won't be buying these todayFarmer's market at the Ferry Building San FranciscoDriving into San FranciscoBen works from home two days a weekview from our site at the San Fran RV ResortView up the hill from Ben's apartment in Nob HillPainted houses as seen at the beginning of show "Full House"We drove over to Yosemite Pine RV park which is 22 miles outside Yosemite National Park.   We will use this as a home base and drive over to the park to take the shuttle through it.    Not very impressed with this RV park.  It’s hot and dusty and they say to look out for snakes.   Well, now……

I’m going to post some various photos on this entry from the weekend with Ben.  We’ll have more photos later from Yosemite.  Stay tuned.

Tutankhamun 7/12/09

July 13, 2009 - 4:25 pm No Comments

Dinner at the dramatic Cliff House, San FranciscoInside de Young museum for King Tut exhibitBen and Greg at the Cliff House restaurantAt the Cliff House overlook San FranciscoRVrs waiting for sunset San Francisco RV resortWe had a great night’s sleep Saturday night and awoke to a beautiful day.   There was no fog and the temperature was moderate with no wind.   Ben picked us up in his zip car and we went to a great sandwich shop called Ike’s Place for lunch.   Actually we got the sandwiches and walked to a neighborhood park for lunch.   Sunday was the Susan Komein cancer walk and this park was one of the many start/stop points in the city for the walkers.   People were walking all over the city.   Off duty policemen had pink ribbons on their bikes and motorcycles while they volunteered to help guide the walkers.   It was a great site to see.

After lunch we made our way over to the de Young Museum for the much anticipated Tutankhamun exhibit.   We were extremely impressed with the exhibit.   There were 10 rooms filled with items from King Tut’s tomb.  It was very well organized so you were sure to see every single exhibit.   It is just mind boggling to understand that these relics are 5,000 years old.   The king lived in 3000 BC and their industriousness is incredible.   They had intricate jewelry and vessels, headdresses, jewelry boxes, chairs, etc.   And the burial boxes of the mummies—it was absolutely unbelieveable.   It was really a chance of a lifetime for us to see this and we appreciate Ben’s thinking about it and getting it set up for us.   We thoroughly enjoyed it.   No photos were allowed in the exhibit. 

After the exhibit we drove over to the Cliff House.   It was a very dramatic setting as it is literally hanging off a cliff.   There are rocks out in the ocean and all sorts of birds perch on them.   We actually got a table right on the water and we really enjoyed it.   Our meal was delicious as well.   Greg had  fresh halibut, Ben had a pasta dish with all sorts of fresh shell fish, scallops, etc.   And my dish was stuffed pasta shells with spinach and cheese, covered in a marinara sauce.   All the dishes were excellent.

After dinner Ben drove us back to the RV park.   We will leave Monday morning for Yosemite and return next Friday to spend another couple of days with Ben.

Stay tuned.

A Day at the Farmers Market and Ghirardelli Square 7/11/09

July 11, 2009 - 3:54 pm 1 Comment

Farmers Market at Ferry BuildingCupcakes for dessert at Farmer's MarketIn front of a beautiful wall of flowers - Ghiradelli SquareWe had a wonderful night’s sleep at the park by the ocean.   We could hear the waves crashing into the shore all night.   Well, I say all night, but actually we dropped off to sleep and didn’t wake up through the night!!!   But we know the waves were crashing.

We had a leisurely breakfast (every breakfast is leisurely) and took a nice walk around the park.   This is a very nice park with all the amenities.  We’ve met out neighbors and they are all very nice.  Everyone just does their own thing.   We took a cab into the city around 11 a.m. and met Ben at the Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building  right on the bay.   You would not believe how many people are there!    All the locals frequent this market on the days it is open (3 days a week) and there was every fresh vegetable and fruit you can imagine.   We sampled all sorts of things.   If I knew I was going to cook any time soon I would have bought a bus load of fresh food.   But I could only look—as we will be leaving Monday for Yosemite and I won’t be doing a lot of hard core cooking in the next few days.   At any rate it was a culinary delight.   I did buy some cheese at the famous CowGirl Creamery.   You can sample any kind of cheese imaginable before selecting what you want to buy.  I tasted a couple of different ones after the clerk asked me questions about what flavors we like.   I bought a couple of different cheeses.

We had lunch at the Hog Island Oyster Bar.   What a fabulous place.   We saw oysters being consumed in every imaginable way.   All  three of us  chose clam chowder.   They served fabulous fresh baked bread and the chowder was unusual for us, but delicious.   Rather than being a thick chowder that we are accustomed to, it was more of a stew, and the clams were in their shells.   The shells were open and you just pulled the clams out with a special fork.  It was very delicious.   Then we all chose a cupcake from the Miette Cupcake shop.   WOW.

We also walked around a craft fair which was across the street from the farmers market.   Lots of jewely and hand made items.   Today was just sensory overload.   I can’t believe what all they have available here.   The farmers market was so awesome and there are so many fresh things available.   I wish we had something like this at home.   This fresh market makes the grocery store look bad.

We spent some time at Girardelli Square.   Ice cream and chocolate of all sorts available.   Again, sensory overload.   We were going to ride the cable car back to Ben’s apartment, but there were so many tourists waiting in line we decided to take a cab back to the apartment for a rest.  We’ll decide on dinner later.   Ben is renting a ZIP car again this evening and we will shop with him at Target and then he will take us back to camp.

OH! and when we arrived back at Ben’s apt, there was a big envelope in his mailbox for us.   Allan and Cathering mailed a birthday card for me and an anniversary card for me and Greg so that we would receive it today.   What thoughtful children we have.  All of them!

Ben surprised us with tickets to the Tutankhamun Exhibit here in San Fran.   We will visit the exhibit tomorrow afternoon.   I’m very excited about this as it is a once in a lifetime chance to see this exhibit of the Egyptian Pharaohs.  Stay tuned!

San Francisco and Benjamin! 7/10/09

July 11, 2009 - 3:29 pm 4 Comments

Driving across the Oakland Bay Bridge --first glimpse of San FranciscoView of the Pacific Ocean from our campsite--can you believe it???Anniversary dinner compliments of Ben at NOPA restaurantWe had an easy drive into San Francisco this morning — actually Pacifica, but we drove right through San Francisco.   Can you believe it????   We arrived at the San Francisco RV Park in Pacifica around 1:00 p.m. and got set up in a great spot right on the Pacific Ocean.   I mean we are literally sitting on a ledge overlooking the ocean!!   What a view!   The sites are close together, like a parking lot really, but what a parking lot!

We took a taxi into San Fran to Ben’s apartment around 3.   He was working from home today so we tried to stay out of his hair until 5:00 p.m.   He has a beautiful view of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge from his apartment.   We had dinner tonight at a restaurant called NOPA (North of the Pan Handle).   Ben says it’s the pan handle of San Francisco.   At any rate we had a great dinner.  We sat next to a great couple who were talking to us about the food at the restaurant and what they had tried before.  I told the girl all about Ben and what he does and she was very interested in his knowledge of sushi.  I told her about Ben’s IPhone application called Sushi Guru.    Ben is driving us back to the RV park tonight in a ZIP car (rented by the hour).   Ben rides his scooter to the rental area (a couple of blocks from his apt) and parks his scooter in the car’s spot.   Then he returns the car and gets his scooter.   It only costs $10.00 an hour — a great bargain for him when he needs to go to Target or whatever.

Tomorrow we’ll take a cab into the city again and spend the day with Ben visiting the Farmers Market and of course Ghirardelli Square.   The cabbie that brought us into the city today was so nice we got his personal cell phone number and he’s going to shuttle us around the city this weekend.   His name is Malik.   He played classical music in his cab and his cab is a Toyota Camry.   Pretty cool.

Stay tuned.

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