Thursday, August 30, 2012

Time for Paso!

We were kind of long overdue for a wine tasting trip to Paso Robles.
I know were are due when we get down to the crap we have left over from provisioning for our Baja Bash trip three years ago.
Maybe that Don Simon Tempranillo at 18 pesos has probably aged into a Charles Shaw Cab...?
Eh, most likely not.

So up to Paso it was.

Bailed out of work at noon on Friday and met up with Jenn and Bruce in Santa Margarita.
Hotter than hell, but I wasn't the one wearing a black fur coat.

Yay for air conditioning and yay for being able to hang your head out the windows and let your jowls flap in the wind.

Found some decent Zin at Pozo Valley on case special.
And a couple bottles at Ancient Peaks, then out highway 41 to Morro Bay and up to Cayucos.
Not so hot!

We have a fun little motel we go to that is dog friendly.
Across the street is a fun diner with a dog friendly patio.
All good!

Then a full day of Paso tasting on Saturday, with the five of us in my car.
Jenn and I shared the back seat with the dog...

Hit up Tobin James first ~ always a fun place to start!
Then to a favorite, Pear Valley.
Pear Valley could even be one of Lexie's favorites, as she could see us from outside!

Filled the back of the car and time for food and water.

For all of us.

Love the view!

And what I called the "fat chair".
Big, fat, wide seat so it makes whoever is in it look little.

Sort of like Lily Tomlin as Edith Ann back in the dark ages...

Then to J. Lohr where long story short, got to try a ton of wine and got the industry discount ~ YAY!

Last stop was Twilight ~ a favorite of Bruce & Jenn's and wow!
The owner does a food pairing with each wine.
So picked our second place to be wine club members (we have been members of Pear Valley for a year or two).

Then down the hill, wisely passing up Opolo and Harmony, because really, four is a good number.
Five is a little nuts.
And six is crazy.
Been there... done that.

Happy hour in the adirondack chairs on the grass at our motel and to Hoppe's for dinner on the patio.

Pretty much wined out by Sunday, so headed down the coast to Morro Bay for breakfast.

And sillyness apparently.

And fog out over the bay.

We actually were stupid enough to think we were getting on the road early enough to beat Santa Barbara traffic.
Ah ha ha ha HA!
Worst traffic ever between Santa Barbara and the Rincon.
Next time, and there will be a next time, we either leave at 7 am or come back on Monday.
I think I'll pick Monday...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Happy Dog Anniversary!

So lucky us!
Lucky dog!
One year ago today, we were flying back from South Carolina happy to be coming home from a vacation.
Ummmm, I am never happy to be coming home from a vacation...
But we were coming home to DOG.
Lexie Dog!

She was one day away from getting the needle when my ex assistant at 7 months preggers drove to South LA to rescue the mutt from certain doggy heaven.

She looked like this when we got her:

Dull coat.
Bald spots galore.
One tick.
And sad...

And now!
Spoiled, loved, happy dog!

With pretty eyes.
Shiny coat.
No bald spots.
No cysts.
No ticks.
And certainly not skinny!
Happy dog!
Who gets to sit on the couch with her head on the table...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Small Boat Sailing... A Forgotten Joy!

So with living on a big boat and every great once in an eon often taking it out to the islands we have forgotten the simple joy of sailing.
The big boat entails a bit of work to get it out of the slip and actually moving under sail.
Mmmm... more like a lot of work...
Undoing the spider webs of dock lines (remember we are in the cheap seat slip, which basically faces open ocean to our port quarter).
Undoing the electrical and hoses (we like to do laundry on the boat).
Stowing (if we remember).
And a host of other crap.

On a small boat?
Take the sails out of the bag and hoist them up.
Undo two strings.
Well, it helps a lot when your friends leave a Lido 14' parked next to your boat fully rigged...!

Thanks friends!
And the additional joy besides ease?
Sunset sails.

Spur of the moment.

Friends on board.

Happy dog sniffing the cormorant guano sniffs.

No engines running.
Small waves slapping the hull.

Peaceful and calm.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dog Friends

So getting a rescue dog is great.
For us.
For the dog.
For society.
Spaying and whacking balls off neutering is great.
Picking up your dog's poo is great.
All great.

Our needy dog was one day away from getting the needle.
She was underweight.
Had cysts.
Puncture wounds.

Both external and internal scars.
We have no idea where she came from or anything about her history.
Other than she was found tied to the shelter's gate in South LA / Watts.
The gem of SoCal...

Rescue dogs come with baggage.
Same as if you meet a person after the age of two.
A puppy would have been easier less baggage.
But then again we have had no pee inside the boat.
No chewed anything.
Just baggage...

Lexie's baggage includes three things:
Can't be left alone.
Pulls on the leash.
Leash aggression.

The leash aggression we have narrowed down to:
Being afraid of other dogs.

So what do we do?
We introduce new dogs to her where she feels safe.
On her boat and dock (and yes, this is now her boat and I will tell my employers this is now her dock).
In her office (and yes, employers it is her office now).

And now she has friends.

She has Amber.

She has Brody.

Uh, well maybe Brody has her...

She has Katie.

She has Sailor.

She has Lucy.

She has Sophie.

She has Maya.

She has JoJo.

And she has a pony...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hot Air Balloon Glow!

Yes, I know this has nothing to do with a boat, sailing or the water, but this was COOL!
And we like to do land things too...
Our friends own and pilot a hot air balloon!
Well, actually the wife does!
She is the pilot.

They invited us to be ground crew at the Santa Paula Citrus Hot Air Balloon Something or Other, so we dumped the dog on Curtis, spontaneously invited Connie and dumped Connie's dog on Curtis and went!

It was amazing!
A vintage plane fly over.
Boys jumped out of a plane.
Turned out one of them knew my cousin and even trained under him.

And this!
The glow...!

The balloons are laid out, filled by a giant fan then the burners are lit to lift the balloons. 

It was beautiful!

Peggy was amazing ~ she let all kinds of people climb in her basket for photos and entertained so many.

The burners kept us warm!

I loved it.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

New Nets! Aka: New expensive dog toilets.

The old original hockey nets were starting to look like old original hockey nets.
Time for new ones.

Between the design, engineering, materials and sewing I knew this was not a job for me.
It was a job for someone that knows what the heck they are doing.
SLO Sail and Canvas to the rescue.

They came, measured, laid out some plastic something or other to make a pattern and came back a couple of weeks later and viola!

Even helped Jim put them on!

Which makes for happy Jim.
Happy Heather.
Happy dog.
Because she can now use the underway toilet without having to worry about her paws going through the old original hockey nets.
Happy dog!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Prisoners Harbor ~ I'll Take It!

Another amazing Friday afternoon crossing!
Two times out of two...
I'll take it!

And this time we went further up the island to Prisoners.
The last hour or so we were getting some spray back to the enclosure.
Spray though, not giant slamming stopping waves.
I'll take it!

Did our game of "guess how many boats were in the anchorage" and we all failed at it.
An amazing low number: 3
I'll take it!

Alan, Susan and Katie the dog went with.

Lexie sat in Susan's seat, so Susan took Lexie's underway spot.

Good food.
Good friends.
Good times!
I'll take it!

Joined by "Shining Star" the next day.
And a few others.
Calm, flat, beautiful.
Lovely "Zihuatanejo Lighting"!
I'll take it!

Easy motor in.
Easy parking.
Successful escape from the dock for two nights!

Happy Birthday Party to My Mommy!

So much fun to have so many friends and reptiles relatives here!
And some for several days, giving us enough time to enjoy!
Loved it.

So many pics too, so here is a link: