Friday, February 27, 2009

Today was another hot, sunny day here in Yuma, a wonderful day.

We didn’t do a lot this morning, spent time catching up on e-mails, news etc. on the computer. We headed out about noon and went to the Brown Bag Burger for lunch – they have really good burgers and again we split a 10 oz burger with fries and a drink.

From there we did a quick trip into Wal Mart and got some bread and buns and I got a bathing suit which I needed badly as I hate wearing my really good one in the pool with all the chlorine. After Wal Mart we stopped at the market where I picked up a couple of books and got John and new t-shirt and myself a new top as well as a bag to take to the pool.

When we got back I was boiling so quickly changed into my new suit and headed for the pool where I stayed until I felt like a prune! Dinner is now over and we are looking forward to a quiet evening of reading or TV.

As always, today was another great gift of a day in the sunny south and we look forward to another good day tomorrow.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Today was a repeat of yesterday, another quiet day here in sunny, warm Yuma.

This morning I did a major cleaning then after lunch headed out to my lawn chair, book in hand, and sat out reading all afternoon. When I finished my book I looked at my watch and it was 4:45, too late for a swim so I went for a long walk instead.

I have been having trouble getting on the internet the last couple of nights so this will have to wait until tomorrow to be posted.

As always, today was another great gift of a day in the sunny south and we look forward to another good day tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Today was another beautiful, hot day with temperatures in the mid 80’s, it was a quiet, uneventful day for us.

This morning I spent mainly on the computer posting John’s pictures from our trip into California and catching up on e-mail, although I still have a couple more to do. I did laundry late this morning then came home and sat outside reading for a while and about 3:30 went for a swim; what a great relaxing day it was but there is really nothing to write about in my blog.

As always, today was another great gift of a day in the sunny south and we look forward to another good day tomorrow.

More Pictures of Hearst Castle and Our Drive Along the Ocean

John just gave me some of his pictures from our trip into California so I will post them now. There are pictures of the coastline, Hearst Castle and Solvang.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We enjoyed another gorgeous warm day here in the sunny south. We sat outside with our coffee for a while this morning then headed out to see about getting the oil changed on the truck and to pick up some groceries.

Wal Mart couldn’t do the oil change for about an hour and a half so we just picked up some groceries and then went to Fry’s to finish the grocery shopping. It was about 2 when we got home so John decided to head back to Wal Mart for the oil change and also to get fuel – diesel was $1.739 today, sure do like that!!

I put the groceries away and then chatted with John and Irma, our neighbours, for a bit, they had just returned from a week in the Tucson area. Around 3:30 I headed down to the pool, it was a lot busier than yesterday so kind of hard to swim with so many people just hanging around chatting. I talked to a couple of women from B. C. for quite a while then ended up walking back with Maureen as she is only a street over from us. John arrived home just as I got back from the pool – good timing.

One of the couples here was having a Mardi Gras party tonight, they have a corner lot and had at least 50 chairs set up around the lot and had a huge Mardi Gras poster covering the whole side of the trailer and the food smelled so good. A few drinks later everyone was parading around the park, I think a good time was had by all but I bet there will be some sore heads in the morning.

As always, today was another great gift of a day in the sunny south and we look forward to another good day tomorrow.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Today was a beautiful warm day here in Yuma, when I checked the weather this morning it called for an overcast, cloudy day but by late morning the sun was out and it stayed out the rest of the day with highs in the mid 80’s.

I spent this morning getting my blog and pictures posted for the past 5 days and catching up on the blogs I read as well as e-mails and news. This afternoon I sat outside and enjoyed the warm weather reading and went for a nice swim – life is great! John washed the truck and dusted off the trailer so we are all nice and clean looking again. Obviously it was a quiet, unexciting day but nonetheless enjoyable.

As always, today was another great gift of a day in the sunny south and we look forward to another good day tomorrow.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

It rained overnight and this morning we woke up to very overcast skies, cool temperatures (50F) and a light drizzle. This is the weather forecast for the next week in this area so it makes it easier to say goodbye to this beautiful part of California!

We had an 800+ km drive ahead of us so we were on the road about 9 and had a bit of drizzle all morning but it never poured rain so that was good. We took Highway 41 east to 46 that took us to Hwy 99 south of Bakersfield. Highway 41 was very scenic but a slow drive as it was a very hilly, twisty and turny road, it would have been really pretty if the sun were shining.

Highway 46 was pretty flat and all vineyards and orchards, the leaves aren’t out on the vines yet but a lot of the trees were just starting to flower – very pretty.

There were also a lot of cattle grazing on the hillsides on the south side of the highway. Just before we got to Highway 99 we passed a very large area of oil drilling rigs and hundreds of hydro towers to supply the juice to run them.

Highway 99 was pretty boring and not much scenery and at Bakersfield we picked up Highway 58 East and the scenery along here was a bit better. We stopped for lunch at Tehachapi, elevation 3729’ and there was lots of snow on the surrounding hillsides but fortunately none in the town. From there I took over the driving and we went across 58 to Highway 395 and took it south to I-15, then picked up I-210 at San Bernardino, then I-10 east to 86 south around the Salton Sea. Highway 58 wasn’t too busy but 395 was a VERY busy two lane highway and I-15 was really busy, I was very thankful when we hit I-210 as it was far less traffic all the way home from there.

We had overcast cool weather all the way to Palm Springs then the sun came out and the temperature jumped to 75F, sure did like that! We again passed a lot of wind farms in the southern part of California and the mountains were still beautiful with the snow on them. A lot of the windmills we passed today were on metal towers rather than pylons, but there were also a lot on pylons, I have no idea why they would be different.

It was interesting that all the vines in the vineyards around the Salton Sea had the leaves on them, just the difference in climate.

I drove until we were at I-8 with about 45 minutes to go to Yuma and then John took over again so I called both Nan and my sister and chatted with them until we were pretty well into Yuma.

We stopped at Cracker Barrel for dinner when we got into Yuma, then home. It has been a long day and I am tired so I won’t be trying to catch up on my blog until tomorrow.

We had a wonderful “holiday” and the scenery was amazing but I am glad to be back in our own little home on wheels as I hate staying in motels, but this was a trip that was much easier to make without having the trailer behind us.

As always, today was another great gift of a day in the not so sunny south and we look forward to another good day tomorrow.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Today was overcast and cooler but it didn’t rain so I guess we can be thankful for that. We drove around Morro Bay for a bit this morning (very touristy) then decided to drive south to Solvang, a Danish village located in the heart if Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country.

Solvang is a very pretty town but again very touristy and very expensive. We wandered around the shops for a while but found nothing that I needed so badly that I would part with my money, although we did enjoy browsing and taking pictures. There are a lot of places that have wine tasting and that would be fun if you weren’t driving, but seeing how we were driving we felt it best not to do the wine tasting.


We came across this pretty fountain in a courtyard while walking around.

From there we went to Buellton, home of Anderson’s Split Pea Soup, and as John loves Split Pea Soup it seemed like a logical place to have lunch. I don’t’ care that much for it but I had a bowl and as it was all you could eat John had two bowls. Thanks Pat for telling me about both Solvang and Anderson’s.

We then came back to Morro Bay on Highway 1 most of the way and what a scenic drive. We passed acres and acres of vineyards and the same for vegetables, and a lot of the vegetable growing land looked like the black muck in the Holland Marsh back home.; also there were lots of cattle grazing on the slopes of hills. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous and everything is so lush and green.

Back at Morro Bay we drove down to Morro Rock in the harbour which is the focal point for the town; Morro Rock is a dome-shaped volcanic peak and stands 578 feet high and covers 50 acres at its base. There were a lot of people out there walking the beach and just enjoying the scenery, we even saw a couple of hardy souls heading out on their surf boards. The natural harbour provides protection for boats of all sizes so there is a marina here and also a small commercial fishing fleet. They have whale watching tours out of here and I inquired about them but they are only on Sundays at this time of year and that didn’t work for us so no tour this time.

Beach at Morro Rock

Looking Into Morro Bay

Morro Rock

We came back to the motel for a while before heading out for dinner. The evening is now just about over, by the time I download my pictures and get some ready for my blog it will be about bedtime, we have a long drive tomorrow so want to get to bed early and up and out of here early in the morning.

As always, today was another great gift of a day in the not so sunny south and we look forward to another good day tomorrow.

Friday, February 20, 2009

What a wonderful day we have had, the weather was beautiful, a little on the cool side but I was comfortable just in my top without a jacket, and the scenery today was spectacular.

We had the breakfast here at the motel, fruit, juice, coffee, bagels, muffins etc. – nothing fancy but it was okay. We headed up California Highway 1, which runs along the ocean and the scenery is stunning.

At one of the lookouts we saw a lot of these little prairie dogs and they sure weren't shy.

We had reservations for a tour of Hearst Castle at 11 a.m. and when I picked up the tickets the fellow said they had room on the 10:40 tour so we took that, most of the tour was a group of high school students from Ventura and they were a great group of teenagers.

A bus takes you from the Visitor Centre to the castle which is on a site he called The Enchanted Hill – a five mile drive up the mountain and my, what absolutely beautiful views. We took Tour No. 1 which is recommended for first time visitors and we saw the outdoor Greco-Roman style Neptune Pool, absolutely beautiful and the tour guide said that most of Hearst’s visitors couldn’t swim so the pool didn’t see a lot of use. We then walked around the esplanade that featured marble sculptures and gardens – gorgeous. From there we toured Casa del Sol, an 18 room guesthouse facing the Pacific coastline, we saw four of the bedrooms and fours baths plus a sitting room – just a small sampling of the guesthouse!

Looking Up to the Guest House

The Esplanade

View From the Esplanade

Outdoor Greco-Neptune Style Roman Pool

Looking North From the Esplanade

Entrance to the Guest House - Notice the Tiles and All the Gold is at Least 23 Karat

We then went into Casa Grande, the main house and saw five ground floor rooms – the Assembly Room, the largest of 14 sitting rooms; the Refectory, the only dining room on the Enchanted Hill; the Morning Room, another sitting room; the billiard Room that features two 1920’s era billiard tables and the Theatre, which is the largest room in Casa Grande. The furnishings, tapestries, statutes etc. in Casa Grande are stunning to say the least, it is just mind boggling to see how the rich lived. We finished the tour at the indoor Roman Pool with blue Venetian glass and gold tiles – I have never seen such a gorgeous pool in my life – it was very tempting just to jump in and enjoy it! The tour guide said there is a $750 fine for “falling” into the outdoor pool so heaven only knows what it would cost for a swim in this beautiful indoor one. I didn’t get any inside pictures as we weren’t allowed to use a flash so the only ones I got were the indoor pool.

Front Entrance to Casa Grande (Main House)

Indoor Pool (Can You See the Diving Platform?)

When we returned to the Visitor Centre we ended our tour by seeing a 40 minute Imax film – Hearst Castle – Building the Dream.

From there we headed north on Route 1 and what an absolutely stunning drive, the road is very twisty and turny with awesome views of the ocean and at some spots the ocean was very calm and at others the waves were just crashing in, it depended on how protected the beach was at that point. We stopped at pretty well all of the view points including the beach where all the sea lions spend their days – an amazing site.

Sea Lions

Views Along the Coast

We drove up the coast through Big Sur to Carmel and Monterey then cut across to Highway 101 to head back – a long drive but one we will never forget.

When we got back we stopped for a pizza slice and salad for dinner and now are back in our room relaxing. By the time I finish this and download my pictures I think I will be about ready for bed. There is still no wi-fi so don’t know when I will get this posted but it is done in word and ready to go as soon as I get a connection.

As always, today was another great gift of a day in the sunny south and we look forward to another good day tomorrow.