Saturday, November 17, 2012

Celebrated Jim's Birthday!

So four years ago we celebrated a few things on this day...
Jim's 50th.
Scarah Palin not being elected to Vice President.
Not sure which was better, but we had a great time in San Jose del Cabo (we were living in La Paz at the time).
This year, we had better wine.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Birthday Camping Trip

At the end of October and the beginning of November, I have three, count them THREE big birthdays to celebrate!
And Jim's.
Fun for them.
Not so fun for me.

We have celebrated at Disneyland.
Zaca Lake.
Had parties.
Stuff I can't recall off the top of my head.

This year, camping at Wheeler's Gorge.
All good except the obnoxious, drunk, stoned, partying, loud lame music playing, rude, tacky twenty-nothings not far enough away...
Good food.
A stream with little waterfalls.
And Lexie sitting in Stan's Ural's sidecar...


Halloween was a big deal at my insurance job.
Not so much at the current yard job.
Maybe insurance needed some lightening up?
We seem to have enough fun just with three dogs and two parrots at the boat yard.
At the insurance brokerage we all dressed up and went out to lunch.
I spent days trying to figure out something original.
Something non store bought.
Something creative.
Once I figured out what my idea was, I spent days buying the parts, dying fabric, engineering, creating, sewing and embellishing.
A lot of fun, but a lot of time.

So when my ex-boss emailed me inviting me to the lunch, I responded with:
"You want me to think of an idea, buy, create, engineer and sew for a two hour lunch?
OK ~ I'M IN!"

Now, what to bee be...?
Think, think, think.
Don't want to spend too much money.
Or too much time.

Lexie already had her bee costume (yes, store bought because it made me laugh)...
What to bee be?

A bee keeper!

Easy ~ buy white clothes, a hat, some netting.
Glue the netting onto the hat.
Glue some random little bees all over.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Last Stop ~ Refugio!

Short delays can be a good thing.
In leaving San Simeon, thankfully the ranger asked us a second time "what space are you vacating?"
And thankfully that black sedan was coming down the road.
That extra 15 seconds it took for the ranger to ask us a question and for that black sedan to pass may have saved us some serious damage.
Or worse.

See, there was this suicidal deer that decided to do a "death by car" suicide.
She ran from our side of the road across to the oncoming traffic lane, dodging as she went.
Possibly having second thoughts?
She was hit by a ton and a half of metal going 65 miles an hour.
Which apparently wasn't enough metal or fast enough.
She flew sky high as the two of us screamed in horror.
Came back down with no use of her back legs.
And struggled...
and struggled... and struggled...
And we were heartbroken and close to tears.
And had no gun to put her down.
We both considered getting out a "Stan knife" and cutting her throat, but just didn't know if that was going to work.
Images of hooves and blood and eh... can't do that...
Other cars were slowing.
All with drivers in agony.
Hopefully one with a gun.

So, thanks to that ranger for not quite being able to hear us.
Thanks to that black sedan dawdling along.
Because it wasn't us to hit her.
It wasn't great to see.
It was quite painful.
More for her, I am sure.
But oh, SO very sad...

So on to Refugio for our last night!
Where we scored on campsite locale!
Front row!

And backed by the big boys!
Wine, cheese, crackers and dog cookies all around!
A beautiful view.
A beautiful place.
A beautiful beach.
And beautiful trees.

A beautiful evening.
A beautiful end to a great trip!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

San Simeon

No, we didn't do the "Hearst Castle" thing, as much as we'd like to have done.
Remember, we had the ball and chain dog with us.
And as much as she would have loved to swim in that neato indoor pool with all the marble and naked statues around...
We went to a campground instead.
Picked a spot up on the hill.
No one around, except some tent campers a few spaces away.
Quiet and peaceful, right?

For the most part yes.
With a few interruptions.
One, being giant raccoons wandering about.
Two, being a brush fire on the hill back behind our campground one evening.
Who reported the fire?
Jim saw the red glow and the glowing smoke.
I ran to the ranger station.
Luckily the wind had died down.
And it was put out quickly.
Three, one noisy family.

We did a bit of walking.
A bit of nothing.
A little driving and geocaching.
More nothing.
And some more nothing.

Big Sur Heat!

Big Sur is cold, dreary and foggy, right?
Gray skies.
Damp breeze.
Wet droplets falling from the trees.
Or it's 95 degrees.
As was when we arrived...

So we spent the day in the river.

Swimming (well the one with the short legs swam).
Playing with others.
And smelling like wet dog.

It was devine!

And once again, a great campsite!
With the river 50 feet from our door.

Easy beer and wine glass re-fill...

Alan and Susan caught up to us for a night, as they were on their way up to San Francisco to catch a little America's Cup racing.
Nooooooo, they did not sleep in our trailer with us, but stayed in one of Fernwood's tent cabins.
Which is basically a cabin frame with permanent canvas tent sides and roof.
And a whole bunch of beds inside.
One for Katie dog, one for Susan and two for Alan...

We walked a little.
Heard wild turkeys across the river.
Heard bobcats in the early mornings.
Enjoyed lunch one day at the restaurant.
Met a great couple from Germany.
Met several of the Fernwood Resort employees.
And Lexie met three new dog friends, Strider, Maggie and a new boyfriend, Poet.

Poet belongs to Virginia.
Virginia is a young free spirit who travels and lives very much on the minimalist side.
She once spent 4 months camping on beaches in Italy.
Not a bad life.
She is a writer.
Oh... "Poet"!
She must have named him that since she is a writer!
Because when he was a puppy...
Pisses. On. Every. Thing.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

And On To The Redwoods ~ Butano State Park!

Ok, this place was just great!
Look at our view from inside the trailer!

Butano is South of Half Moon Bay and North of Santa Cruz.
Just beautiful!

We had what we felt was the best campsite ~ all by itself.
A great view.
Flat for the trailer.

I said giant, right?

And all by itself, right?

We did a little hiking.
A little.

A lot of sitting and relaxing.
A lot.

And since we were staying a few nights had cranmosas!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wedding Fun!

Dog was dressed and ready for fun!

Happy cute couple, Wayne & Carol!

Beautiful decorations!

Friends from afar ~ Lupe from our 1998-2000 Puerto Vallarta days!

Harvest moon over the bay.

And my wonderful friend, Carol!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

And on to The Wedding!

Of Carol and Wayne!
Of "Crapricorn Capricorn Cat"!
Of my best "La Paz how the hell are we going to survive this hot, sweaty summer" girlfriend!
To the crazy Wayne!
Oh the stories...
We'll save those for another day.
Or just look back into my La Paz and cruising life...
If that really existed.

So over the hill on Highway 17 - oh yay, another fun drive dragging a trailer...
And through the woods San Jose and the outlying conglomerous of roads, freeways, highways, interchanges and concrete beltlines.
And into the little ghost town of Brisbane.
Geesus, talk about quiet.
Empty office buildings and a quiet, but full marina.
Uh, not so quiet that night however...
Remember who the bride and groom were...
And if you don't remember, this might give you an idea of what the night entailed:

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pitstop in Santa Cruz Redwoods

Still had a night to "kill" before the dreaded drive into San Fran, so a stop at an RV park in the Santa Cruz mountains was in order.

But first we had to get there...

Here is a draft letter I am working on:

Dear City of Salinas,
Thank you for the "warning" on the side of the road that the BlahBlahBlah Offramp was closed and to please use Plan B Offramp.
Thank you.
Plan B worked great.
We were able to get off the freeway and took the frontage road right on up to BlahBlahBlah Street.
And saw that the entire BlahBlahBlah street was closed, not just the offramp.
That was great.
We were dragging a trailer around on unknown and pretty poorly marked streets and ended up on a teeny tiny street with crappy little houses.
Which in reality was ok, because we were dragging our own teeny tiny crappy temporary house.
So the teeny tiny street took us right back onto the freeway.
On to Plan C.
Thanks City of Salinas!
You suck!
The People Who Had Two GPS's in Their Vehicle and Still Had to Drive in Circles Due to Someone's Lack of Understanding Proper Closed Street Signage

But we got there.
With just a bit of "shit I'm trying!" and "stupid streets going in circles" and "it's ok, we'll just go to Plan J"...
And a bit of "oh crap, Santa Cruz traffic is crazy" and "oh shit, really, seventeen hairpins up this 6' wide road?" and "are you sure you are taking us the right way?" which in the end, I wasn't as our GPS's (two, remember we had two) were telling us to use Plan S Road, when trailers are forbidden on Plan S Road (and there was a reason... seventeen hairpins on a 6' wide road) and we really should have been on Plan R Road.
But the turn onto Plan R Road was so filled with stoplights and crazy traffic that we missed it.

With a final hairpin turn onto Big Trees Road (aptly named) we made it.
Kind of a chock-a-block RV in a row place along one side, but we had handpicked by the nice girl I talked to on the phone when making our reservation, a GREAT SPOT!

Loved it!
Set up camp.
Walked the dog.
Had wine.
Oh, and had electricity so hung the trailer trash lights.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Avila and Quick Stop at Pear Valley

As our friends, Wayne and Carol of "Capricorn Cat" were having a wedding party in San Francisco we planned a vacation around attending.

As usual.
A little shopping, a little preparing and a little leaving work early on a Thursday.

First stop Avila Beach.

Not much to write home about, but a great view.
A level spot.
Far away neighbors.
A place to bbq.
A spot to sit and sip some wine while knitting.

Second stop, a wine club pick up at Pear Valley Winery.

Had to make sure we wouldn't go thirsty...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Next Stop ~ Vacation!

Fall Sunrises...

Quite lovely.

The sunrises, sunsets and weather are great!
I don't like the shorter hours of daylight or walking the dog while it's dark.
I do love the feel of fall though...
The oranges, pinks and shimmering golds.

I love fall, however would prefer it to be followed by either spring or summer.
Skip winter.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What Not To Do With A Boat...

Really, it's best to keep them on top of the water.

You, know "above", not under...

Makes it hard to sail, anchor, park and haul out.

Four Adults, One Child, Two Labrador Retreivers Island Trip

Which really equates to a lot of dog hair and a lot of towels.

And a lot of fun!
Yellowbanks with Dawn, Neil, Nina and dog Amber.

We all swam.
Some of us dove in.

Some jumped.


Some were pulled in.

Some watched.

Perfect weather.
Perfect guests.
Perfect food.
Perfect wine.
Perfect good time!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Perfect Four Days at La Islas!

This was the spoiler trip for sure.
Ruined us for the Labor Day weekend...
We had four perfect, incredible, warm, flat, calm, peaceful days last weekend, so with 10-20 and gusts to 25 this weekend - eh, staying in the harbor!

But last weekend?
Dorothy, Jim A. & their dog JoJo joined us.
We headed out through the gap and up the backside to Willows on Thursday.

Stan followed us up after hooking, but not boating a few makos.

And rowed over for hora feliz.

Then he headed back down the island and we headed to Santa Rosa.

Had a few bloody marys at some point.

Sat on the dog toilet tramps with the culprit dog at some point.

Ate well the entire time.

Enjoyed 74 + degree water on the backside of Santa Rosa!
All four humans and both dogs went for a swim.

Then headed over to Forneys at the West end of Santa Cruz for our last night.

Jim, Damnit Jim & Dorothy went in to the beach and I stayed with the dogs.
Ate and drank more.
Just lovely...!

On Sunday we motored down the front side to show them all of the anchorages, Painted Cave and poked our bows into Diablo and Pelicans.

Yep, spoiled us.
Staying in the harbor, watching the boats slam out of the harbor, watching boats come back in and listening the the chatter on vhf.
Good decision.