Monday, February 25, 2008

2/25/08 This is the night before we leave Park Sierra to drive to the Bay Area to start the long travel process which will get us to Johannesburg, South Africa and ultimately Pretoria on the 28th. Tomorrow, after closing up our rig, we will meet Elaine's daughter, Tarra, in Fremont for a late lunch. Then we take BART up to the San Francisco Airport and a shuttle to the Travelodge where we will stay tomorrow night. We have to be back at the airport by 6 AM on Wednesday to catch a flight to Dulles, where we pick up our South African Airlines flight to Johannseburg. The whole process takes about a day and a half and costs $1260 each. Now you know why we want to stay there for nearly 3 months - dollar cost averaging. It will be a long flight and we hope we can weather it well.
Of course, we have been using this very rainy week to pack and do paperwork, getting ready for our departure. Happily, we also had a nice visit with my oldest granddaughter, Paige. We picked her up at her other grandparents' place in Merced on Monday and took her back there on Wednesday. Besides teaching her to make pizza (see below), and playing games, we also took her thrift store shopping on her way home. We got a few things for our trip and she got some new tops and everyone had a good time. She is now swimming for her new high school team and has made some new friends there.
Don't know if you can tell from the picture below that Elaine has almost totally healed from her run-in with the slideout. She just has a little red spot in the middle of her forehead and a small scar which you have to really look closely to see. She is a tough Broad, isn't she?!
Thanks everyone for all the caring and supportive messages you sent which aided her recovery.
The next message will be from South Africa, where we hopefully will be having exciting adventures enabling us to write a more interesting travelogue.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Thought I had better post an update to let you know about Elaine's recovery. She healed rapidly and on Wednesday her sutures were removed. Her cut is now almost totally healed and because her black eyes went away, she looks much better. Considering that it was a rather horrendous gash, all has turned out OK in a very short time. I will post a picture of her as soon as I can so you can see that she is her cute self again.
We have been using the time here to have doctor appointments, clean out our rig, start packing for our trip, and catching up on paperwork and tax prep. Additionally, we are having some social times with friends. Tonight Viv & Curt Rogers and Ann & Art Aiken are coming over for a spaghetti dinner and then we will all play pegs and jokers over at the clubhouse. More news and pictures in a few days.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Hello from Park Sierra. We returned on Thursday after a 5 day stay at Jojoba SKP Park near Temecula, CA. Unfortunately, it wasn't all fun and partying there, as we had planned. Tuesday we were supposed to attend a gathering at Dick and Carole Schneider's to watch the election returns and do what Boomer friends do best, eat and drink and talk. Mid-afternoon we had a visit from friends Jim and Kathy Jensen who were also parked in the boondocking area with us. Jim was telling us an interesting story when Elaine decided to go out and turn off the generator. She was in a hurry to get back to hear the rest of the story so she didn't pay attention and on the way back in, she hit the corner of the bedroom slideout so hard with her head that she actually bent it. She also opened up a huge gash in her forehead and scalp. She was bleeding quite a bit but we put lots of paper towels on it and an ice pack, which slowed the bleeding considerably. Then the debate began as to whether we should go get it stitched up or not. Elaine said she would butterfly it herself if we could just get some butterfly bandages. Kathy and Bill, the workkamper guy at the park, decided we had better take her in and they found out where the nearest Kaiser urgent care center was and printed out a map to it. Jim and Kathy went with us but when we got there, the doctor took one look at it and said it was too big a gash and all the way down to her skull and we had to go to the emergency room at the Inland Valley Medical Center across the street. So we went over there and after about an hour in the waiting room, we got in and Elaine was treated by a physician's assistant. He cleaned it up and got the bleeding stopped with epinephrine, then meticulously picked all the hair out of the wound and spent about an hour suturing it. The amazing thing is that Elaine was not really in any pain until after the suturing and didn't even get a headache! They insisted that she get a cat scan to make sure she didn't have a fractured skull or bleeding on the brain. They gave her a couple of painkillers and a shot of antibiotics and we were able to leave the hospital at about 11:30 PM. The next day she still felt OK so about noon we started driving back towards Fresno, stopping along the way to get her Rx for antibiotics filled. By the time we got back to Park Sierra the next day, her eyes were swollen and blood had seeped down into her tissues so she had 2 "black" eyes. The left one wasn't bad but the right one looked like she had been mugged. Once she took a shower and washed her hair, she actually didn't look too bad. We went to our own doctor here on Friday and she will have the stitches taken out next Wednesday. It is very lucky that this injury wasn't worse because we are supposed to leave for Africa on the 26th and we do NOT have travel insurance!
It has been nice to be back at Park Sierra where we have already had a very nice Happy Hour with friends this afternoon. We will be getting ready for our trip, doing taxes, catching up on paperwork and packing in the next few weeks. Tomorrow we will be picking up my granddaughter, Paige, in Merced where she now lives with her Dad, and she will ride with us up to the Bay Area. We are having a meeting of our new tenants, our old tenants, and Elaine's daughter Tarra, to coordinate the changeover at the end of this month for our Santa Clara rental house. It will be a chance to see Tarra for a few hours too. Wish we had a little more time while we are there to visit other old friends, but this will be a one day visit.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Monday, 2/4 It is a sunny day here at the Jojoba SKP Park after a windy, rainy and nasty day yesterday. Quite a change from the weather we had on the desert! Darran, Elaine's son, drove up from San Diego to have brunch with us and he brought flowers for his Mom, since it was her birthday last week. He is looking good and it was wonderful to have several hours with him, just catching up on the happenings in his life. After he left, we just hung out in the RV and watched the Superbowl since the weather was so ugly we didn't want to go out. How nice that the game was an exciting one that wasn't decided until the last few minutes.

We arrived here from Boomerville, near Quartzsite, on Friday. We are parked in the boondocking area and have a nice view over the nearby valley and looking up at some hills. There was even snow on the top of those hills when we arrived and more fresh snow this morning! Saturday we shopped in nearby Temecula, which seems like it is growing into a huge city at an alarming rate. But here at the SKP park it is rural, quiet, and serene. Saturday night there were 16 Boomer friends helping Dick Schneider celebrate his birthday at Killarney's Irish Pub. The beer and food were good but the noise level was incredibly high so visiting with anyone not located right nearby was impossible. We were seated across from Laurie & Odel King, and near Carole Schneider, so we had very pleasant company. In fact, we will be having a tuna dinner with these same people this evening up at Dick and Carole's lot.

Most of the pictures below were taken at Boomerville, near Quartzsite, AZ. Besides shopping at the various stalls and the big tent in town, and attending social events and seminars at Boomerville, various daily tasks contributing to life on the road still had to be performed. Nancy gave Jerry a haircut on one of the windier days. Carolyn Kimpton had previously given me and Elaine haircuts (Thanks, Carolyn!) but we had her do it in our rig. Bruce and Maria, friends from our Panama trip in 2004, moved their big green bus over to park near us and joined us for Happy Hours around the campfire. Maria also joined the gals for beading sessions which were mostly held in Marilyn’s rig. Marilyn is a fantastic jewelry maker (see picture below) and also does beading. She was also the shopping expert when beads, crystals, wire or stones were needed and she coached everyone on where to buy and what to pay. I should have taken a few pictures of all the gals at work in her rig but I find that I snooze through photo ops occasionally, which is also why I don’t have a picture of the gang at the Irish Pub. I did have the camera available when our old friends, Lee & Susie Blattner brought Marv and Sylvia over for a visit on one of the sunnier days. They were heading for Phoenix the day we left for California so we won’t see them again for quite a while and we were pleased that they drove over for a visit.

Wednesday we will drive back to our lot at Park Sierra. There are taxes to do, things to finalize concerning the re-rental of our Santa Clara house, and packing to accomplish before we head for San Francisco airport on Feb. 26. We won’t arrive in Johannesburg until Feb. 28 and I’ll bet we will arrive with a serious case of jet lag! More later about our upcoming trip....