10/4/11 This is our last night at Park Sierra, after a hectic couple of weeks of packing, socializing, and getting ready for our next batch of travels. Tomorrow we leave here, in our car, heading for San Diego. Elaine's son, Darran, will be getting married to the perfect woman for him, Marielle, on Saturday evening. Tomorrow afternoon and evening we will be staying with our long-time friends, Kathy Cleveland and Sally Wurts, at their condo in Poway, near San Diego. Thursday, we will drive to Pacific Beach, an area of San Diego where Darran lives, and where we have rented a large beach house located between Mission Bay and the Pacific Ocean. After we get the keys and do a bit of shopping to stock it with a bit of food for the hungry family, we will be enjoying the solitude while waiting for the kids and grandkids to arrive. Elaine's daughter, Tarra, her husband Alonzo, and their three daughters, Ari, Alia & Analy will probably arrive first. Late in the evening, my daughter Laura, her fiancee Dennis, and her 2 daughters, Paige and Michaela, will arrive. Friday, my son Thomas, will arrive with my niece Kathy, and her daughter Camille. So there will be 14 of us staying at the beach house. Luckily, it is really 2 condos hooked together, with 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, 2 living rooms, and 2 patio/decks w/ BBQ's. The beach is 2 blocks away and Mission Bay is just a few blocks in the other direction. The Dana Hotel, where the wedding will be, is also just a few blocks away.
Friday evening we will all attend the rehearsal dinner, at the home of Brian (the best man) and his wife, Jen. Saturday is a beach day and then at 5PM, the wedding. Sunday will be another free day to enjoy the beach house, then everyone leaves on Monday. Elaine and I will stay in Darran & Marielle's apartment for 2 days while they are on their honeymoon in Puerto Rico. On Wednesday, the 12th, friends will drive us to the airport, so we can catch our flight to Rome. On the 14th we will board the Royal Caribbean ship, the Mariner of the Sea, for a 12 day cruise to Turkey, Greece, and Israel. Our good cruise friends David & Diane Wilson will be with us. Then we 4 will stay on the ship for the next cruise, which is a 16 day transatlantic from Rome to Galveston. On that cruise we will be joined by at least 6 other cruise friends. We will be back in Galveston on Nov. 11.
Wile we have been here at Park Sierra, we have been having some fun social times. Our friends Flo & Co brought their friends Pearl and Cheryl with them, and were also joined by another rig of women: Ann, Susan & Anne, all from Superstition Mountain Resort in Apache Junction. We had them all over for Happy Hour one night and then they all brought dinner another night. Here is a picture of Pearl, Cheryl & Anne.
At the other end of the tables, our Park Sierra friends Glenda & Elleen were enjoying their time with Ann, Susan & Flo
Saturday was Susan's birthday, so we all went to the Queen's Inn Wine and Beer Garden in Oakhurst, and followed it up with dinner at the Sweetwater Steakhouse.
Both the wine and the food were excellent, although the service left a lot to be desired.
There were lots of food events with Park Sierra people too. Here we are having dinner at the clubhouse with Vicki & Jan, Brenda & Dave Niel, and Wally & Verna Baker.
There were also several excellent dinners at Dave & Brenda Neil's place, our across the street neighbors, because they had friends visiting. Happily, we were included because Brenda is a fabulous cook! Here is a picture of Elaine, Brenda, Judy Tillery, and our other neighbor, Jeanne Taylor, on the Neil's patio:
Our other neighbor, Carol Rodely, was taking care of her grandchildren for a few days, so they made cupcakes to share. Her she is with Camille, offering us some:
One of the first days we were back, we attended a very nice wine tasting and dinner at Birdstone Winery, because we are members of their wine club. They had live music, prizes, and as always, wonderfully delicious wine to go with the nice appetizers and dinner. We sat at a table with 6 people we did not know, and had a delightful evening with them:
Yesterday we had a Happy Hour here at our lot to welcome back our neighbor Jeanne, and also say goodbye to our friends before we leave again. About 20 people were here and we enjoyed having them very much. The weather had turned cool, so we had a fire in our pit which was toasty warm. Quite a change from just a few days ago when the temps were in the 90's!!! Here are our friends Gloria Taylor, Ken Kimpton, Elaine, Roy Jensen, and Rich Baumann. Of course other friends were around, probably at the food tables!
Please check in again after this weekend because I hope to have lots of wedding pictures posted!