12/1/11 Opps, it is now Dec.1 and I haven't posted for almost a month because we have been just too busy. Once we returned from the transatlantic cruise, we had to retrieve our car at Darran & Marielle's in San Diego. The next day we drove to Park Sierra, where we had left our RV, and we started loading it up with everything we thought we might need to clean, repair, and paint the vacant rental house in Santa Clara. The next day we drove to the house and got started. We had hopes of parking on the street near the house but Santa Clara police told us in gruff terms that we could not "live" on the street. So we went to the Santa Clara Elks Lodge, which was only 3 miles from the house. It was a bit expensive, for an Elks Lodge, but it worked out quite fine.
Luckily, the former tenants had not left a bunch of junk and they had also done a partial job on cleanup, so we were able to start painting almost right away. Elaine's daughter Tarra, and her husband Alonzo, helped us with some of the cleaning and repair work, plus they got some of their contacts to come over and give us bids for work that we couldn't do, such as carpet repair, exterior painting, shed roof repair, etc. So, by Friday, Nov. 18 we felt like it was in decent enough shape to put an ad in Craig's List and start showing it. Within 30 minutes we had 3 calls and the first 2 people who came over applied to rent it. The next day we got 2 more applications. The first couple who applied qualified and they are now our new tenants. They have also been very helpful in getting some things finished even after we left the area. We continued painting and fixing and finished the interior on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. Hooray!
Thanksgiving we had a delightful time and delicious meal at Tarra & Alonzo's house in Fremont. Their 3 girls were there too and it was a fun family time. The next day we went back to Park Sierra to get our rig ready to travel to the Southwest for at least part of the winter, and also to start packing for our 2 one week cruises to the Caribbean which start on Dec. 4.
We then headed south and one of the first things that happened was our tow bar snapped a spring on one side, so the arm wouldn't stay extended. That meant driving the car separately. At least no damage was done to the car or the RV when it collapsed in. We have contacted Blue Ox and apparently it will be a fairly easy and inexpensive fix once the part arrives.
So now we are preparing to leave our rig and car and fly to Houston on Saturday. Our cruise friends, Duane and Dorothy McCarthy, who were with us on the transatlantic cruise a few weeks ago will be our hosts overnight, and they will also drive us to Galveston to the ship on Sunday. This 2 week period in the Caribbean will be a welcome vacation after all the hard physical work we did on the house. When we return, Dec. 18, we will have to make some decisions as to where we will go next. We DO plan to attend Boomerville in Quartzsite between Jan. 14-30 and also go to the big fireworks festival called Winterblast in Lake Havasu City in Feb. Hope to see some of you in these 2 places! The pictures I promised to post from the Holy Land cruise and the transatlantic cruise will be posted tomorrow, hopefully! Thanks for your patience.