Saturday, December 31, 2011

Spending End of Year in the Desert

Wednesday we arrived at Oasis Palm RV Resort. It is close to the Salton Sea. It is also within an hours drive of Anza Borrego State Park It is a nice little RV Park with loads of fruit trees, such as orange, lemon and grapefruit and you are welcome to pick some.

We went in one day to check out a Farmer's Market in Borrego Springs and also check out the State Park. There are a lot of places to boon dock on the drive there There will be hundreds of RVs for the long weekend. Lots of places to drive ATV's and hiking is also popular. We first went to the Farmer's Market as it closes at noon and we got one of our usual early starts NOT. You wouldn't think there would be a good selection of produce being out in the desert but you would be wrong. This  is actually an agricultural area. We bought some produce as well as some hummus, dates, and turkey bratwurst.

We stopped at the Anza Borrego Visitor Center to get a map of the Park and took a short walk around the Visitor area to look at the different types of plants that are in the Park. It is the largest state park in California and the second biggest in the Continental states.

We would definitely like to come back in the Spring time when all the flowers are blooming. It is suppose to be spectacular. As we had items from the Market that need to be refrigerated we headed back with the intentions of coming back another day to do some exploring.

The owners of the park put on a  New Year Eve's Party with everyone bringing some appetizers and drinks. The owners furnished champagne for the Midnight toast. Of course, we had a few practice toasts before the official toast. We met some really nice people, including quite a few from Canada. Always fun to share RV stories with others. We had a great time and didn't make it back to our RV until after 1:00.

We had a great year visiting some places we had been before and many new places in the western part of the United States. Being from California and having taken many trips up and down CA, we still went to a number of great new spots, such as Avila Beach, near Pismo Beach, Ocean Cove Campground near Jenner and the Trinity Alps in northern CA. We did a lot of exploring in Idaho, another beautiful state, and up into Canada going as far as Jasper and Banff and thoroughly enjoyed their magnificent Rockie Mountains. We went to Waterton in Canada and Glacier, their sister site in Montana. Back to Yellowstone where we visited in 2003 was another highlight. We went to an Escapees event in Wyoming and stopped into our "home state" South Dakota. We had been to Colorado a number of times but our trip to the Rocky Mountain National Park was a first, different from the Canadian Rockies, but beautiful in their own way. We stopped in Moab, Utah for what was going to be a few day stop over and we ended of staying for 2 weeks. A great state park near Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park. There were other places not mentioned here, just amazing how much we saw in this last nine months since we left So Cal in April. The last few months including Heather and Ryan's wedding as well as spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with family. Another great year and we are ready for more new adventures next year. What a life!!
Hope everyone had a great year as well. Have a Happy New Year.

Monday, December 26, 2011

By the Sea for Christmas Time

We are spending a week here in Huntington Beach, Ca. We're here to spend the Holidays with family and friends What better spot to stay than a place with an ocean view. Sunset Vista is a campground just a block away from the Pier and is only open during winter months as it is in a parking lot which is in full use during summer months at this popular beach. Though in a parking lot we still have electric and water hookups and there is a dump. There is a nice walkway/bike path right in front of the camp area and it is a short walk or bike ride down to Main Street which is always filled with people checking out the shops and restaurants We first lived in this area when we were first married. Their nickname is SURF City due to 8.5 miles of uninterrupted beaches and great waves.

Huntington Beach Pier

          On the Tuesday before Christmas we went to Norstan's potluck Christmas Party. We made a paella with chicken, sausage and shrimp which turned out pretty good. There was a lot of other good food as well. It was a nice time though Joe did end up being in a business meeting for a few hours after the party.
Christmas Eve we had our boys over for dinner Karol didn't come as that was the only time she could get together with any of her family. She spend it with her sister and niece and nephew. I did a brisket in the crock pot along with  mashed potatoes with roasted garlic and mascarpone cheese Everything came out good. We had Christmas Day at my sister and brother in law's, Kristi and Brock, house. Karol and the boys were there as well as Dad, Heather and Ryan and Ryan's dad and step mom and grandfather. We missed Kori and Nick as they spend XMAS at his family's house.  Heather and Ryan left after our early dinner as they were then going to his Mom and step Dad's. The bigger a family gets the more complication of where to go when are. We had a great dinner. Ryan had received a gift certificate from a Meat Shop and Kristi cooked up a great roast he got from there. Yummy and tender from a long slow cook in the oven. I brought a sweet potato and squash with apples and pecans casserole and banana and coconut bread and pumpkin with cream cheese filling bread. Kristi's mashed potatoes were excellent as well. Better start exercising after this week of overeating. Heather showed us her wedding pictures online which came out great.    Go to Kaylee's blog to see some of the pictures. Just scroll down to November 30th on Tangled Vine blog site to see some beautiful pictures of the lovely couple and family and friends. We also played some Wii games which is always fun.

Heather and Ryan
         Besides a couple of shopping trips including Trader Joes and a lunch out to one of our favorite spots, Native Foods, we spent the rest of our time here relaxing with some days warm enough to sit out and read and enjoy the views and great people watching. Dogs not allow on this section of the beach but we could walk Savannah on the walk way down to the Pier. They do have a dog beach about a mile down the road. The day after XMAS Chris and Michael came over to help put in a CB we bought for the motor home. We have one in the Jeep but need one installed in the MH for our Mexico trip in February. Chris did a great job. He really knows what he is doing and it looks great.

Wednesday we will head to the desert. We have reservations at Oasis Palms RV Resort in Oasis, California which is near the Salton Sea. It is close to Joshua National Park and Palm Springs and will be a great spot to do a lot of exploring in those areas.           We hope everyone had a great Holiday.                                                                          

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lake Hasasu State Park

We moved onto Lake Havasu State Park where we will stay for 4 days before heading to So Cal for the Holidays. We have a great site right on the water. This is a beautiful campground, no hookups but only $18 a night and large sites with most having at least some views of the water. Also a walk or bike ride away from the London Bridge area of the city.

There aren't a lot of people here now and so another quiet and relaxing place to spend some time. Unfortunately we didn't have the best of weather. 48 hours of never ending wind. I rather have rain than wind. Of course we got some of that as well. At least we have wonderful views out almost all of our windows. They have a real nice 1 1/2 walk that goes along the water and through groves of trees. It also goes through a nice cactus garden.

This area is known for having lots to do, such as boating and riding atvs through the desert. However, the following picture I took while sitting outside reading on one of our nice days, was another interesting way to see the sights

Well, another great place that we would like to come back to and spend more time, hopefully with a little warmer weather.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Between Holidays Trip to the Desert

The Saturday after Thansgiving we did our family get together at my sister and brother in laws. They go to Brock's side of the family. When we had our house, we use to have Thanksgiving dinner at our house but have gotten together on the following Saturdays at Kristi and Brocks since we started living in the MH. We had a good time with good food. Besides Kristi and Brock and us, others there were my niece Heather and her hubbie, Ryan, niece Kori and her boyfriend Nick, my Dad and Chris and Karol Casey and Michael didn't make it as they were racing their boats in Parker. We are headed to that area Tuesday and since not that far away, have decided to come back to the area for Christmas.
Tuesday we made the 6 hour drive to Cattail Cove State Park, where we have stayed before. We got a great spot with a good view of the water. Only two sites in the front area and so we have a large site with no one on our passenger side that faces the water.

Cattail Cove has 61 sites and is tucked in between hills and away from the main highway. It is so serene and quiet, especially at this time of the year. Lake Havasu was created when the Colorado River was dammed  by Parker  and the lake  is 45 miles long. During peak seasons it is very busy with all types of boats making their way up and down the lake area. This campground also has a couple of nice hiking trails that wind through the hills and along the water. We took advantage of that while here. The park is also nicely landscaped with many different types of trees and includes a cactus garden. There is a small beach area where dogs can run around and they are also allowed on the trails so very pet friendly.

They have a few dog parks in Lake Havasu and we visited both. One is in town near the London Bridge and along the waterfront. We had been there before. We also tried a new one which was at SARA Park, which is a large park, with baseball fields, in line hockey, a bmx raceway, hiking trails and other sports related activities. The dog park is divided into two areas, one just for small dogs. Savannah was a little shy as she sometimes is but did play around with some of the dogs.  there were a few other Cavaliers there and one dog that played with a basketball. He would run with it by his side and it was very funny to watch. He really had a lot of energy and kept running around with it for a long time.

We also went into town for grocery shopping several times as we had really depleted our lair when the MH was due to go into the shop. We got a few days of rain. The rest of the time has been mostly cool though we got a few days nice enough to sit outside and enjoy our wonderful view. Today we are going to head to Lake Havasu Park, which we had checked out earlier in the week It is another nice state park on the water and we made on line reservations for a spot that is right on the water. We love Cattail but wanted to try another place while we are here. We will stay until Monday when we head back to So Cal for Christmas get togethers.                                                                                                                                                

Monday, December 5, 2011

Almost New Motorhome

We enjoyed staying in Laguna but were anxious to get back to our home. The tile person finished up the tile work over the Thanksgiving weekend and carpeting was done on Monday. Enough was done that we could stay overnight Monday and Tuesday while they finished everything else up. It really looks great and we are very pleased. Wednesday we headed to Bernardo Shores in Imperial Beach, near San Diego. Thursday our new MCD shades were installed. With all the work done, it seems like a brand new motor home.

Bernardo Shores is a very nice rv park with large sites. There are a lot of long term people many of whom have small sheds on their sites. It is one of the cleanest places we have seen with  cement drives and gravel and no dirt areas. It is near Silver Strand State Beach, where we have stayed a number of times and close to Coronado. Hotel Coronado is a well known hotel right on the ocean. I would love to stay there one of these days. We had lunch in Coronado one day and went to the dog beach at Sunset Park, which is just north of the hotel. Savannah had a great time being off leash.

Hotel Coronado


         Our kindle is not working and we called Amazon. They are sending a new one out to us and we then just need to send the broken one back. We also had recently purchased another kindle so we both have one. This time we bought the new Kindle Fire. Besides books, you can download music and pictures and watch movies and tv shows and surf the web. Close to an iPad 2 though not all the features that has. We really like it. We went to Best Buy and bought covers for both the kindles which we hope will protect them better. The new kindle was delivered Monday and Tuesday we head on to Cattail Cove State Park, near Lake Havasu, Arizona.