Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall at Park Sierra

Tuesday Oct. 30 Hello from Park Sierra. I have not written any posts because we have mostly been doing "housekeeping" type chores and I know you aren't interested in that. We have washed and waxed both the car and RV, steam cleaned the RV carpet, cleaned up our lot, and had lots of doctor appointments, lab tests, etc. We are both doing very well, physically, and are grateful for that, when we see people here at our park who are sidelined from traveling because of poor health. Of course, there have also been numerous social events and interactions in which we have been eager participants. We enjoy the Friday social hour held at the clubhouse every week, and have reconnected with many Park Sierra friends. Other friends took us out for a delicious Mexican lunch at El Cid Restaurant in Oakhurst for our 4th wedding anniversary which was Oct. 25.
On this side of the table are Curt & Viv Rogers, Elaine and our nearest neighbor, Jeanne Taylor.
Opposite them are other neighbors, Mary & Rich Baughman, me, and Rodger Lyman. And here is the happy couple:
Former members of Park Sierra, Janice & Ken Ryder, have moved to a house in Coarsegold. They contacted us and told us that their daughter and granddaughter were both performing in a musical at the Golden Chain Theater in Oakhurst, so we went to see it. It was the best performance in a local theater we had ever seen. Here is a picture of Jennifer and her daughter Karah, both of whom did an excellent job!
A few days later we were invited to Happy Hour at Ken & Janice's home. Here they are:
We brought a crab dip to share, but it was outclassed by the pear gallette which Janice had made:
Then we played with the automatic picture taking feature of our camera, so we could have a picture of all of us together:
Sunday we had an impromptu Happy Hour at our lot and lots of friends showed up with snacks and drinks:
No doubt there will be more social events before we leave the park possibly sometime next week. We want to spend some time at Jojoba Hills SKP Park near Temecula, before going to Darran & Marielle's in San Diego to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dashing Cross Country Visiting Family & Friends

10/12/12 Once again, I can't seem to get the pictures to line up correctly with the dialogue, so you will have to figure it out yourself as you read along!!! We have been back on our RV lot at Park Sierra since Tuesday night, and have so many necessary chores backed up that I can barely find time for this update. Considering that we left the family farm in Illinois only 10 days before arriving here, I think we made it in record time. Especially when you consider the visits we did on the way. First we stopped in Denver to see my twin sister, Marsha. Here is a picture of us together:
As you can tell, we aren't identical twins! She is a retired nurse who eventually worked for an organ transplant company so she coordinated 5 hospitals in the Denver area. Now she is retired and has started her own "fun" business. Here is the sign on the side of her truck:
She sells her cookies online and also at a local farmer's market every Sunday. Her cookies are SO GOOD that people keep coming back every week for them and are upset if she ever takes any time off! Here is the sign she puts out at the market - you can see she makes lots of yummy ones.
And here is the sign that is on the other side of her truck:
While we were there, she fixed us a yummy chicken and shrimp pad thai dinner which was awesome. Her partner, Debbie, is still working, but she came home for dinner and here is a picture of the 2 of them:
Marsha has 2 grown sons, but Debbie and Marsha's youngest still lives at home. His name is Joseph and he is 15. It was great to see him again and wow, has he grown a lot since the last time we saw him!
The next day we were leaving, but managed to join Barry & Jan Kessler, and Carole Schneider (she was also flying out that same day), for an awesome breakfast at a restaurant called Snooze. They had the most innovative menu items and delicious food; no wonder they were rated #1 online when Jan checked for good restaurants. Try it if you are ever in Denver.
We continued to shoot across the country, stopping next in Sparks (near Reno) to see my daughter, Laura. She was 6 when Elaine and I first got together, and now she has celebrated her 40th birthday yesterday. Here is a picture of her with her 2 Moms:
We have had delightful social times with Laura and one of her work friends, Nanette, in our previous visits to Reno. So Nanette took the time to come over to see us while we were at Laura's the first night, and it is always fun to be with her:
Laura and her fiance', Dennis, cooked us a delicious and healthful meal the first night, but I neglected to get a picture of it. The next night they came over to our rig for Happy Hour:
Then we took them out to Campos, a new restaurant right on the Truckee River in downtown Reno to celebrate Laura's birthday.
It was a good meal and great to have time with them before we had to sprint for California the next day. Couldn't drive through the Sacramento area without stopping to see our good friends, Ron & Carol Leonard, who have a lovely and spacious property where they graciously allow us to park our RV when we need to be in that area. After checking out some of our rentals in the area, we enjoyed a delightful social gathering with 3 Boomer couples, and also other friends of the Leonard's. Here is a picture of the group:
The Boomer couples are Ron & Carol Leonard:
Jim & Diane FisherBaker:
Laurie Brown & Odel King:
Laurie & Odel have recently purchased a home up in the foothills area north of Sacramento and are adjusting to being part time RVers now. The next day we again forged ahead and stopped at the Fremont Elks for the night. Elaine's daughter, Tarra, and her family live there, and we also needed to check the rental houses we have in the Bay Area. Here is a picture of Elaine and Tarra:
Tarra will be celebrating her 37th birthday on Oct. 20th. Her husband is Alonzo, and here is that happy couple:
Almost as soon as we got set up, they whisked us off the a softball field in Newark where two of their daughters, Analy and Alia, were playing softball. We had to go back and forth between fields to watch them bat, run the bases, etc. They are both very good players, as is Ari, the oldest daughter who wasn't playing that day. Here is a picture of Elaine and Tarra with Analy, who is 10, and wearing her very classy uniform:
After the games, we picked up my son, Thomas, who lives in San Francisco and who took BART down to Fremont to join us for dinner. Thomas' partner, Robert,wasn't feeling well enough to join us, unfortunately. Here is the proud Mom and son:
Then we all went over to a Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant for a meal which was entertaining and delicious.
Alonzo's three girls dressed up for the occasion, and don't they look great?!
A lot of the fun of the meal is the antics of the chef, who is making a lot of flame and smoke in this picture. Isn't the look on Analy's face a hoot??!!
The next day we pressed on to Fresno, where Tuesday we had set up a lot of appointments. In one day we got 6 new RV tires installed, a new windshield on the car, a trip to Kaiser for mammograms and flu shots, a lots of shopping to restock our fridge and pantry. Now that we are back at Park Sierra for about a month, we have tons of projects to do. The rig needs some repairs and LOTS of cleaning, as does the car. I think we snagged about 1/2 the bugs living in the midwest on the front of our rig!!! Of course, we also have more planning and arranging to do for future travels. So the next post will be about Park Sierra activities and socializing, and after that, the traveling begins again!!!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Cannell Sisters Reunion

10/1/12 As most of you are aware, Elaine is the youngest of 6 sisters who all grew up on a farm in Illinois, outside of Rockford. Periodically they all get together, since these days they are all living in different cities. This year they had their reunion at the old Cannell farm where they were raised and where Georgeanne Daly, the 3rd sister, raised her family and still resides there. Elaine and I had just returned from our European cruises, and had left our RV on the farm while we were gone. So we wanted to help make sure that all the work didn’t fall on Georgeanne, just because the gathering was at her house. We did most of the cooking and provided most of the appetizers. The pictures that follow are mostly of interest to family members, but I will try to provide info as to who is in each one.
Dennis & Georgeanne’s oldest son, Tom Daly & his wife, Lana, live in the house next door and are owners of all the farm buildings and ½ the farm land. We so enjoyed it that they often joined us for happy hours and one night they stayed for dinner with us in our RV. Here is Dennis with his son, Tom, in our RV.
Mary Sue, the 2nd sister, used to live near us in the Bay Area, and also used to live in a house near the old farmhouse. She now lives in a retirement apartment complex in Rockford, but drives out for family events. Here she is seated, with Elaine and Georgeanne behind her.
At one of the dinners, David Daly, Georgeanne & Dennis youngest son, came with his two sons, Danny & Drew. David is a farmer in a nearby town.
David’s wife Carrie, and their 2 daughters, Holly & Emma. Carrie is a high school math teacher, a farm wife, a Mom of 4, a blogger, a great cook, and a regular runner. Don’t know how she has time for everything!
Elaine’s oldest sister, Barbara Traughber, lives in Mayville, Wisconsin. Her daughter, Lisa, drove her down for the reunion and Barb spent 4 nights staying with us in our RV. Lisa is a sweetie and so supportive of her Mom. She also brought us some chocolate truffle cookies when she came to pick Barb up. Delicious!!
One thing the sisters do when they get together is “bond” over vodka gimlets. Here are 5 of them doing that. Thomasine hadn’t arrived yet.
Frank & Thomasine arrived and here they are on the far right in this picture. They live in Aledo, IL, about a 3-4 hour drive away from the farm.
One thing the sisters try to do when they are together is have a picture taken of the 6 of them. This time I took it, instead of a professional photographer, and this is the result. On the couch from left to right: Penny McCarthy, from Tucson, Thomasine, and Elaine. In the back row, Mary Sue, Georgeanne, and Barbara. Don’t they all look great, especially considering that Elaine is the youngest at 65, Barb is the oldest at 75 (soon), and the others are all in between??!!
Since this all took place on a farm, and Tom Daly is farming all the land that used to belong to Elaine’s Mom & Dad, there is real farm equipment around. So this picture shows me climbing up on his combine, which was HUGE!
The wheels are taller than I am! The cockpit is really nice, with a whole array of controls – even more than in an RV. The corn and soybeans were looking very dry when we were there and no doubt Tom has started to harvest them by now. The reunion was totally over by midday on Saturday, so Elaine and I headed west. Today we are almost in Denver, where I will be having a reunion with my twin sister, Marsha. Check in later for some pictures of that event.