Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Jaxson Comes for Another Visit

I’ve got some good news and some bad news.  The bad news is that our DIL Suzanne fell in her kindergarten classroom and broke her small finger.  That made it had to take care of William Jaxson, so we offered to help her by taking him back to the Village with us for a few days.  That’s the good news! We had a ball.








We took him for a long walk along the creek, played with him with his new toy, the alphabet train, and oh, we did take him to Disneyland so see all of the Holiday decorations!

His favorite TV show is Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse.  Well, in California Adventure they have a live show with puppets that brings the clubhouse to life.

IMG_0762IMG_0764We were a little concerned that he might not feel comfortable inside the theater.  When the doors opened there were no chairs or benches.   The floor was carpeted and everybody sat on the floor.  Kind of tough for an old man like me.  Then it got real dark and few kids started crying.  But as the show started Jaxson was fascinated.

IMG_0774After the show we went over to Disneyland to see the lights.  Our timing was not great because everyone was lining up for a parade.  We fought our way down Main Street, and then onto It’s a Small World.

IMG_0782 IMG_0786







They have a huge Christmas Tree (not a Holiday Tree) where the giant pumpkin was last month.  So we had to have a picture!

IMG_0777IMG_0793IMG_0801Those annual passes are really working out well.  And we’re getting a lot of exercise with all of the walking!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The MOHO Moves, and So Does Matt & Suzanne

Matt & Suzanne are moving to a new house.  It’s closer to both of their work, and the house is almost as large as their previous house.  For those of you who don’t know, they short sale their house, which was a very good move.  We took the MoHo to Wilderness Lakes, which is not one of favorite campgrounds.  They have some canals there that attract ducks & geese.  Very pretty animals, but they poop anywhere they want, usually by the campers.

Of course there were a few problems.  The moving company was supposed to be there between 8 & 10.  They showed up about 1:00pm.  Linda & I got up at 6:00am (I know, hard to believe) to pick up Jaxson and go to the new house to meet the cable & internet installer.  He was supposed to be there between 8 & 5.  A long time to not be late, but Matt wanted to make sure he had internet access.  He showed up about 3:00 pm.  Oh well.

Of course the movers brought to small of a truck.  They really packed it in tight, but there was still stuff left over.  Matt & I spent Sunday, in the rain, loading our cars and ferrying it over to the new house.  The good news is we got everything moved by late Sunday afternoon.  And we got to spend some fun time with Jaxson.  He’s growing up so fast.  He doesn’t walk much, he runs everywhere now!

On Monday we headed back to the Village, tired but happy that we could help Matt & Suzanne, and spend time with our Grandson.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Landscape Update & Garden Center News

Look at this-A blog two days in a row.  I wanted to share some changes here in the Village.  If you read one of our posts last year about the landscaping in front of our condo-click on this link for a reminder, I thought I would show you how the plants are maturing.

Here’s the front of the condo with the roses in bloom.


On the side yard we have added a lime tree and some additional plants to fill in the slope area.  The water tends to run off the slope when the sprinklers run, so it’s hard to get anything to grow.


The big news is that our friends Bob & Ronnie have share their garden plot in the garden center with us for the Winter.  The Village has two areas for community gardens, but there’s a waiting list to be assigned one.  We’ve been on the list for two years, but we still don’t have a space.  Here’s a view of the garden center where we’re growing some Winter veggies.

Garden Center

Here’s our planting area.  We’re planting strawberries, lettuce, spinach, peas, carrots, and beets.



We’re having a lot of fun planting.  As long as we’ve been married, we both have enjoyed working in the garden.  Especially Linda.  And this gives us space to play.  I’ll let you know in the Spring how everything grew, and if you live close we’ll share some of the bounty. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

I’m Starting the Blog Updates Again

I know it’s been a long time since the last update, but I thought I would try writing again.  When we got home from our trip to the Northwest, I was kind of blogged out.  And not much of interest happens in Laguna Woods Village.  But we do keep very busy.  So I think I’ll try boring all of the readers with our humdrum everyday life.  I’ll try to liven it up with photos, rumors and commentary on all those subjects I’m such an expert on! I don’t know what, but I’m sure something will come up.  I don’t know if I’ll blog everyday, but I’m committed to at least twice a week until the end of the year.

Just to add some of what’s been happening, most of the great things during the summer concerned our Grandson, William Jaxson.  He turned 1 in October and we had a big party at an OC Regional Park.



It was a very fun party, with BBQ hamburgers & hot dogs, with all of the trimmings.  The theme was Mickey’s 1st birthday.  It was a lot of fun with good friends and family.

Jaxson was spoiled as required for a 1st birthday with lots of balloons, presents, food and fun.  He had a lot of help with presents from all of his cousins.


If you want to see all of the photos from the party, check out the album by clicking on this link.

If you want any prints from the party, email me and I’ll print them out and mail them to you.

Later in the month Linda and I had a special treat of watching Jaxson for a weekend while Matt & Suzanne started packing.  They sold their house so they’re moving into a rental house in the first part of November.  It’s so much fun having our little grandson visit us in the village.  On Saturday we stayed around the condo playing with his toys.  On Sunday we visited Disneyland using the annual passes we got back in July.  The park was decked out for Halloween.  We didn’t know it, but there was a special event for the Children's Hospital in Orange County, so the park was very crowed.  But we did have fun, and didn’t feel stressed to see everything in one day because we knew we could come back.  Here’s a picture of Jaxson with Donald.


As you tell, Jaxson wasn’t quite sure about it.  We rode the Casey Jr. train in Fantasyland.


And as we were leaving the park we got a group shot at the big pumpkin.


Here’s a link to all of the pictures.

We’ve been keeping busy.  I taught a beginners class on Windows 7, Linda has been taking 2 classes on beading, I’ve been working in the PC workshop and Photo Lab every week, Linda has been taking an Aqua Fitness class 3 times a week, and we just starting gardening in the garden center.  More on these activities later, and I’ll be doing some flashback posts to the highlights of the summer-fall.  We hope you enjoy the posts & photos. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Long Hard Driving Day

We left Eureka with a goal of making it South of San Francisco.  Looking at our options, we thought the Thousand Trails Preserve at Morgan Hill would be a good overnight stop. 

The road started out really good with 4 lane divided highway that we were on the previous day.  But when we got to the Richardson Grove area it turned into a narrow 2 lane road with tight curves all the way down to Leggett.  They didn’t want to cut down any of the old Redwoods, which is a good thing, but it did make for some slow driving.

After that it got better as we made the slough through Sonoma Wine Country, Santa Rosa, and Marin County.  We were careful because we didn’t want to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and get dumped into downtown San Francisco, so we took the east side freeway, I-580  past San Quentin and over the Richmond Bridge.



We rejoined the 101 south of San Jose, and an hour later we were pulling into Morgan Hill after about 8 hours on the road.  And did I mention that there’s no rest stops on this whole drive, so stopping is difficult.  This is a typical TTN preserve, meant for camping, not overnight stops.  All the sights were gravel and in trees.  The park was pretty full and we had a little trouble finding a site.  They’re all 30amp sites with no sewer, which was fine because we were just going to be there overnight.  The layout is a little different from most campgrounds in that the utilities for 2 sites are in the middle, so one rig pulls in facing one way, and another rig pulls in the opposite way.

Tomorrow will be a short drive to Santa Maria where we’ll spend 2 nights preparing ourselves for the final drive through Los Angeles.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Tallest, But Not the Oldest or Largest

We’re talking about the coastal redwoods in our blog title today.  We drove south heading for the Avenue of the Giants.  But we wanted to make a couple of stops first.

Our first stop was the big city of Loleta, with a population of about 500 souls.  The reason we wanted to stop was the Loleta Cheese factory.  As most of you know, or can tell by looking at me, I love cheese and this factory makes over 30 varieties.



They had samples of everything.  We ended up buying some sharp cheddar, jack with garden vegetables, and a very creamy fontina.  It was a very good stop.

Around the corner from the cheese factory was the Loleta Bakery.  I had to stop there to check out the cinnamon rolls.  They were really good, and we also bought a loaf of sourdough bread, which we enjoyed over the next few days.

Our next stop was Ferndale, CA.  It’s a Victorian village in the middle of farms.  The whole city is a National Historic Site.  Here’s some pictures of the downtown area.



It had some great shops and galleys along the downtown area.


Finally we made to the Avenue of the Giants.  It’s the home of the Coastal Redwoods, which are a different species from the Sequoias near Yosemite.  The costal redwoods are the tallest trees, and the sequoias are the largest trees.  And by the way, the oldest trees are the bristlecone pines, also in California.

We followed the twisty, curvy road in and out of the forest along the Eel River.  The highlight was the Founder’s Grove in the Rockefeller Forest.




It is absolutey awe inspiring to be among these old, graceful trees that were here before Jesus was born.  It really brings a sense of joy and wellbeing to us just to be here hiking among the trees.

We went to the Humboldt Visitor’s Center to learn more about the forest and how they were saved from logging.  A highlight was the MotorHome that was constructed from a single redwood log.



It was a great day in the Humboldt County and the Redwoods.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Welcome Back to California

We left Coos Bay and started South.  Some of the area we had covered the day before, but after Port Orford we were breaking new ground.  US 101 in Central & Southern California is a good road, but up here in Southern Oregon and extreme Northern California it has some very tight turns and narrow roads.


We saw some beautiful coves near Brookings, OR.



We crossed over into California near Crescent City where the US got hit by the Japanese Tsunami.  We didn’t see any remaining damage in the harbor.  We knew we were back in CA when we started seeing the roadside attractions such as Paul Bunyan.


And then more narrow curvy roads.


When I’m driving the MoHo I always believe those 30 MPH signs, and slow way down. 

We ended up staying at in Eureka, CA, at the Shoreline RV park.  It was OK, but not one we will probably go back to.  It was right off 101 so there was a little road noise, and the sites were pretty narrow.

Tomorrow we’re going to tour some of the Redwood Parks.  More interesting posts then.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Southern Oregon Coast

The next day of our stay at the Mill Casino we decided to head South to explore the coast.  Our first stop was Bandon, an historic downtown and a world famous golf course, Bandon Dunes.  There are four different courses here, with summer green fees at $225 a round if you’re staying at the resort, or $275 for the public.  Here’s a photo from the website.


It’s quite a complex for being miles away from any major city.  The closest airport is in Coos Bay, unless you have a private plane to land at the resort.  I guess it’s really nice to be rich & famous.

One of the highlights of the area are the cranberry bogs.  Most people don’t realize that Oregon grows cranberries, and Bandon is the center of the production.  In fact they have a cranberry festival, and the 65th annual festival is Sept. 9-11.  The bogs we saw didn’t really show any growth yet.  5% of the total U.S. production of cranberries come from the Bandon area.  And one of the stores in the downtown area was a candy store, Cranberry Sweets & More.  They used jellied fruit to create unique candy.  It’s available by mail order if you’re interested.

We continued further down the coast.  Our next stop was the Cape Blanco Lighthouse.  It dates back to 1870.


The view from the top of the lighthouse was great.



As you tell from the photos, the good weather didn’t stay very long.  But we didn’t let it stop us from exploring.  Here’s the stairs going up to the light.


Next we stopped in Port Orford.  We were looking for a nice restaurant for lunch.  We almost gave up when we saw a vista point parking area, and parked the car.  Looking behind us we saw a new cafĂ©, Redfish.  It’s located next to Battle Rock, the site of a battle between the first settlers and the local band of Indians. 


The food was fantastic.  I had the seafood chowder, which included anything that was fresh that day.  It was the best chowder I’ve ever had.  Linda had the oven roasted turkey breast on walnut cranberry bread with oven roasted fingerling potatoes that were fantastic.  The restaurant was located next to the Hawthorne Gallery.  Sadly it was closed that day, but I was able to get a picture of one of it’s wooden sculptures.


We headed back to the MoHo, enjoying the reverse drive.  We’ve found that you see things differently if you drive back along the same route from the opposite direction. 

Next we’ll head to California on our way back south.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day Turns Into Night

We left the rally after a lot of hugs & handshakes.  We had a wonderful time and met a lot of great people.  We hope we can attend the next rally in September at 7 Feathers RV Resort.  You can read our review of the RV park here.

We had an appointment with Coach Glass to have our windshield replaced.  We anticipated spending most of the day in Eugene as the glass has to set for four hours before the MoHo could be moved to prevent future leaks.  So we went over to Valley River Center to do some sales tax free shopping.  We used to shop here when we lived in Albany.  While we were there I received a phone call from the installers.  It seems when we had the windshield when we first got the coach, they used silicon to stop some leaks.  That is a no-no, as it affects the gasket that the windshield sits in.  That meant that the gasket has to be replaced for another $500, and the MoHo couldn’t be moved for 24 hours.  Luckily, we were able to stay in the coach overnight where the work was being done, and we even had power so that we didn’t have to run the generator. 

We left the next afternoon and we didn’t have plans on where to stay.  We knew we wanted to visit the coast so we headed to Florence, which is directly west of Eugene.  When we got there, we checked out the local casino, Three Rivers.


It used to be in a tent, and now it’s a first rate facility.  As you can see the weather improved as we drove to the coast, so we decided to go further south.  Our good friend Maggie gave us a certificate for a free night at the Mill Casino in Coos Bay so we stopped there for two nights.  They have a vacant area in their parking lot for boondocking, and a nice RV park overlooking the bay.  We had a bay view site, here’s the scene from our new front windshield.


After dinner I decided to head towards the coast to try to photograph a nice sunset.  I got some nice pictures, but the sunset wasn’t that great.  First I stopped in Charleston where all the boats moored near the ocean.


The area doesn’t look to prosperous, the restaurant is closed along with the tackle shop.  I don’t know if it’s because of the recession, or poor fishing conditions.

Here’s a few of the photos I took at some of the state parks right on the ocean.



And there’s a lighthouse there where there’s no public access.  This is as close as I could get to it.


It was fun exploring a new to me area of the Oregon Coast.  Every area is beautiful.