Sunday, November 29, 2009

Still in San Jose


Sunday, November 29, 09                                                                                                    Lorraine’s report

Well, another busy week has just ended for us. We’ve been here in San Jose at Trailer Tel RV Park. We sure hope all of our family and friends enjoyed Thanksgiving as much as we did. We were with our entire little family, Rick our son who flew in from Florida to be here, and Susy, Mark and Kaitlyn, who live near here for the holiday. We went out to Thanksgiving dinner and everyone had a delicious meal, and we weren’t in the kitchen all day.

Last Sunday, Susy decided she needed to put up her Christmas tree, since they had to fly up to Seattle on Friday for Mark’s grandmother’s funeral on Saturday. So up went the tree, in four hours or so. Now I used to have a big tree, with tons of ornaments, but Susy has me beat on that front. Anyway, I think Susy’s Christmas tree turned out very pretty.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I watched Kaitlyn from 9:15 or so until Susy got home from work. I fixed Rick’s favorite dinners Monday and Tuesday evenings. We were able to schedule a family photo shoot on Wednesday evening, but the gal was rushed, getting us in late and then leaving early to pick up her son from day care. She didn’t get many good shots, so we had to reschedule, since we were disappointed in the shots the gal took. We didn’t order any pictures that day and will go in today at noon for another go around.

Friday, Susy and I went out to Wal-Mart, Target and Kohl's for Black Friday shopping. We were only out three hours or so, since the crowds here in the bay area are so enormous. We got home with Susy’s purchases and decided to wrap a while after she packed an over night bag for their trip up to Seattle.

Chuck had told them we would drive them up to SFO airport for their trip, so off we went. We dropped them at the airport and since I needed to stop at the grocery store, we did that before we came home for a quiet evening.

Saturday, Rick and I had talked about going to a movie, so he came by and off we went. We had several to choose from and decided on 2012. We both decided we liked it; it was very intense with lots of action.

Rick and I then went to Valley Fair Mall. He was looking for several things, but couldn’t find them, so we came home. We got here and the last of the Apple Cup between University of WA and WA State was still on TV. We watched the Huskies beat the Cougars then started watching Stanford vs. Notre Dame game; Stanford won. We ordered in pizza for dinner. It’s been great visiting with my son; I’m going to miss him when he heads back up to the North Slope for the winter. I’m not sure when we will be seeing him again, so I cherish my time with him.

That is it for this week, I think. Until next time…..Lorraine


Sunday 11/29/09                                                                                                                   Chuck’s report

We are still here spending time with our daughter and her family.  Our son is here too, he flew in from Florida where he was spending some vacation time.  His winter job for the last few years has been building the ice road up at the North Slope.  He wanted to get some time in warm weather and get some sun before he heads back up this winter.  Although Washington has some short days in the winter, I don’t think I would like not seeing the sun at all for a couple of months like he has to do.  We did like having the very long days in Alaska this summer, however. 

It really was a quite week for us.  Last Sunday Lorraine helped Susy put up their Christmas tree.  Usually the tree doesn’t go up until after Thanksgiving but Susy, Mark and Kaitlyn left on Friday night for Mark’s grandmother  funeral in Seattle on Saturday.  They made a quick trip up there, leaving on Friday and getting back late yesterday. 

We were able to pick up Kaitlyn three days this week and she spent all three days with Nana.  Wednesday we all met at a Sears store to get some family pictures taken.  It was a bust however as the photographer was in a hurry and Kaitlyn was in a mood.  So I think the plan is to go back today for some retakes, we didn’t order any from Wednesday. 

Lorraine and Susy decided that we should go out for Thanksgiving dinner.  Susy made reservations at Black Angus, they had a special turkey dinner deal for those who wanted.  Susy and I both had prime rib, everyone else had the turkey and all had a good time. 

Thursday and Friday we spend at their house, Lorraine, Susy and Mark did the day after Thanksgiving shopping thing, Rick and I watched Kaitlyn and some football on TV.  Later Rick went to visit with his buddy from school days, Art, who lives down here now. 

Saturday Rick and Lorraine wanted to do some more shopping before we leave and they also caught an afternoon movie.  I don’t really like going to the movie house so I stayed around the coach and got caught up on some small maintenance items. 

As I said, a quiet week for us.  Our plans have us leaving here on Monday heading for Palm Springs for two weeks.  We have three of our friends there now, we are hoping to see them and spend some time with them before they leave.  It rained around here a couple of times this week, a good storm moved in on Friday.  Once again we are looking forward to some warmer, drier weather.  We will be coming back here for two weeks over Christmas but our son has to head back home to Alaska so he won’t be here with us. 

A few pictures of our week:

Putting on the tree decorations.

DSCN1701 DSCN1703

DSCN1705 DSCN1707

The second one shows Kaitlyn picking up one from under the tree. 

DSCN1711 DSCN1712

The finished product, it only took them a couple of hard hours of work, it looks good.

DSCN1715 DSCN1719

The whole bunch of us at Thanksgiving dinner. 

DSCN1731 DSCN1732

That’s all for now. 

Thanks   Chuck

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Back in San Jose


Sunday, November 22, 2009                                                                                                Lorraine’s report

Here we are, back at Trailer Tel RV Park in San Jose, CA. We got here on Thursday, Chuck took the coach by Lea lees RV Repair Shop to see if they can put in a bid on fixing the booboo, the stress cracks and a few things. They will get the bid to us this week.

Last Sunday, Joe and Alice, our friends from Birch Bay came into our park there in Laughlin. We spent the afternoon visiting and catching up. We went out to the swap meet there at AVI casino to check on several things, but didn’t get anything. They wanted to play for an hour or so inside, so we did. We ate dinner there with them, Alice and I had the $.99 special ham and eggs. Again, it was very good.

Monday, Joe and Alice wanted to go to breakfast, so off we went, to the Riverside Casino for their breakfast buffet, again, a great meal for all of us. We then went for a drive into the desert, looking for Christmas Tree Pass and the hieroglyphs. We found where they were, and Joe/Alice/Chuck went off down the trail to find them. I just sat on the rocks, watching the sun cast its shadows on the surrounding mountains, listening to the wind.

A few minutes later Alice came back, she was in sandals and the sandy, gravely road was hard to walk in with her sandals, so we visited. Chuck took the camera and got some great pictures.

We came home, visited some more, and decided to rest and then meet up for the Monday Night Football game at the Edgewater. Alice won a big cup full of goodies for finding a postage stamp first. We had a lot of fun that evening.

Tuesday, we said our goodbyes to Joe and Alice and will meet up with them in Palm Springs. I did laundry, errands and getting the coach ready to leave the next morning to head back to the bay area. Chuck had his chores to do also.

Wednesday we headed back to the bay area. Coming through the mountains before Bakersfield, we hit some strong head winds from a storm coming in. We pulled over for the night at Orange Grove RV Park, since it was so windy and getting dark.

Thursday was a nicer day for traveling, and we got into the bay area by 1:30 or so. Chuck had the coach in for estimates, and he unhooked the car so I could go and get Kaitlyn. As usual, she was so excited to see me, we headed back to the RV Park so I could help Chuck set up. We got back just in time to do that. Kaitlyn sure wants to help you do whatever you are doing.

After setting up, we went on up to Susy and Mark’s house to get her after Susy got off work. All of us then went to dinner, then back home to Susy’s.

Friday, Chuck went and picked up Kaitlyn and brought her back for a day of playing, arts and crafts and just having a fun time.

At 3:00 we went back up to Susy’s to meet up with her and drive over to the Oakland Airport to pick up our son, Rich, who was coming in from Florida to be with us over the Thanksgiving holiday. His plane was coming in around 5:45, we met him and all went to eat, since the traffic was so heavy yet. Then, we went back over to Susy’s house and more visiting.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early. Mark had heard they were having a swine flu clinic there in San Jose at the fairgrounds by us. Chuck took me over and we got in this huge line. Mark and Susy and Kaitlyn came a short time later and waited for the flu shot. We were in line for less than two hours, we had numbers 1628, 1629, 1630, 1631. We had heard they had 6000 shots to give out that day. Mark and Susy came the last two weekends, but didn’t stay, because the lines were several miles long. The four of us got our flu shots, Chuck didn’t. I have to say the crew there passing the many people through was really very well organized, and the volunteers kept the line moving smoothly.

We went home and I made up some snacks for the “Big Game”; this is the rivalry between the football teams of Stanford and California State Bears. Cal won. All of us were there rooting on Stanford, so they could go to the Rose Bowl. At least our little family was together, we had good food and a lot of fun.

So that was our week. I want to wish all our family and friends a Happy Thanksgiving. May the time you spend together with each other be blessed. Also, on a sad note, Mark, our son in law lost his grandmother on Friday evening. Our sympathies go out to Mark, his mother and her family.

Until next time…….Happy Thanksgiving to all……Lorraine


Nov. 22, 2009                                                                                                                       Chuck’s report

First off, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope you are able to spend time with your family.  We are lucky this year, we are at our daughter’s, son-in-law and grand daughter’s house with our son coming in for the week.  I think the plan is to go out for Thanksgiving dinner but the main thing is we will all be together. 

I also have to report a sad thing.  Our son-in-law Mark got word his grandmother passed away on Friday.  She lived in Seattle area and they will be heading back there for the funeral next weekend.  We wish him and all his family the very best at this trying time. 

Last week we were able to spent two days with our friends, Joe/Alice, from Washington.  We got caught up on their happenings since we’ve last seen them.  We did a couple of buffets, watched Monday night football  at a casino and drove out to Christmas Tree Pass to see the hieroglyphs the ancient ones carved/painted on the rocks.  All in all, a good time with our friends of many years. 

We were staying in Laughlin and it was just a few short miles up the road to the turnoff to Christmas Tree Pass.  We drove about 4 miles down a dirt road to the parking lot and had a short hike to where the hieroglyphs are located.  I was please to see they were in good shape with no graffiti on them.  There was a guy there who  seemed to know what the symbols meant, at least he talked a good story.  I was just impressed with how they’ve held up over the years and wondered how they got to some of the locations.  

We left Laughlin and headed West once again.  We ran into some pretty heavy winds the first day so we pulled in the Bakersfield Orange Grove RV park again.  The oranges are still not at their peak for ripeness but we were able to find and pick a few more.  We left the next morning with nice weather to accompany us on our travels back to the Bay area. 

Once we got in the area, I took the coach into a repair shop we have dealt with before for an estimates on the work we need.  Once again, if they give us a good price and we decide to have the work done here, we may not head back to Alabama to the factory.  We’ll see what they say later this week.

While the shop was looking over the needed repairs, I unhooked the car and Lorraine left to pick up Kaitlyn from day care.  They got to the RV park just after I got the coach backed into our site.  We got set up, with lots of help from our grand daughter, and then Lorraine got to get some more baby time.

So the next couple of days were spent like a couple of weeks ago, time with Kaitlyn during the day and with Susy and Mark during the evenings.  Plus, our son came in Friday evening and will be here this upcoming week too. 

Saturday morning was spend standing around so Lorraine, Susy, Mark and Kaitlyn could get their swine flu shot.  As most of you may be aware, the vaccine is still in short supply so they have clinics around the area with limited supply.  We got to the location early and still there was about 2000 people ahead of us.  But about two hours later, we left with everyone getting their shot.  Even though I don’t partake of these opportunities (I’ve only got one flu shot years ago), I still stood around with them for the two hours.   

Today I hear that Susy and Lorraine want to get Susy’s Christmas tree up, as she will not be here next weekend.  So we will be heading over there pretty soon.  I will bring the tree and all the trimmings up from the garage and then stay out of their way.  They both like decorating a tree for Christmas, we can’t have one in the coach so Lorraine gets her “fix” helping Susy put hers up. 

And now for some pictures of our week.

Joe and Alice


Christmas Tree Pass hieroglyphs.

 DSCN1579 DSCN1582

DSCN1585 DSCN1587

DSCN1590 DSCN1596


From Laughlin to the Bay area.

DSCN1606 DSCN1608

DSCN1609 DSCN1621

DSCN1623 DSCN1624

DSCN1625 DSCN1629

An Airforce base out in the desert. 

DSCN1632 DSCN1654


DSCN1639 DSCN1661

The incoming storm.

DSCN1673 DSCN1675

Fields of rose, late in the season but still have some colors.

DSCN1676 RSCN1680

DSCN1682 DSCN1683


The real reason we come here.  I really like the upside down crown Kaitlyn has in the last picture. 

DSCN1696 DSCN1699

So another week has gone by for us.   We will be leaving here and head for Palm Springs, just not sure of when yet.  Our current plans have us getting there on 12/1 but we may want to head for warmer weather if Susy and family leave for the funeral.  Lucky our plans are carved in Jell-O! 

Thanks   Chuck

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Still in Laughlin, Nevada


Sunday, November 15, 2009                                                                                               Lorraine’s Report

We’ve had another busy week in Laughlin, NV. Last Sunday I went to the Outlet Mall just down the block from us. I had several purchases in mind, found a couple of them at good prices. I came back home to pick Chuck up and off we went looking for Dollar Tree. We found that store, made our purchases and headed out into the desert, looking for a new Indian Casino, AVI Casino. Outside that casino, they were having a swap meet that we wanted to check out. Afterwards, we went inside for a bit, then decided to eat dinner. The casino has a special going on 24/7 of Ham and Eggs- 99 cents. It was a very good meal for 99 cents.

Monday, we went to the Edgewater Casino for a free Ladies Slot Tournament; come to find out, men are allowed to enter, also. Neither Chuck nor I had any luck with the machines they had for the tournament.

We left there and ran our errands, ending up at the Safeway in Bullhead City, where I got my groceries, and Chuck rented a carpet shampoo machine to do the carpets in the coach.

Once the carpets were completed, we took off to go watch the Monday Night Football game on TV at the Edgewater Casino. The Edgewater was having a free football party, giving away prizes all evening during the game. On the way over, we stopped by the Colorado Belle Riverboat Casino. I put in my $$ and ended up getting a bonus on the third spin that paid quite well.

Continuing on over to the Edgewater, we signed in and collected our entry forms. They had specials on beer and food. During the commercial breaks, they would draw names from the entry barrel. The second commercial break, they pulled my name from the barrel. I went up to the front and tried to throw a football into a homemade board with five holes; the one in the center was for $500, the others two were for a free gift, and two for $25.

Needless to say, I missed; not having thrown a football before, but they gave me a hat and $10 in free slot play. It was a fun evening.

Tuesday, Chuck tried to find a vet to take Misty to. Misty had gotten that water bug parasite, again. No luck, so one of the places suggested he call our vet back in Bellingham, which he did. Our vet was able to call in to a vet’s office a prescription to get Misty on the road to recovery, again. She’s lots better.

We finished our errands and came on home. We decided to have dinner at the Tropicana Casino, their Prime Rib buffet. It was very tasty and good.

Wednesday, Veteran’s Day, was a day off for us. Chuck had heard about the wild donkeys in Oatman, AZ, so we took off to go see them. It was a cooler, overcast day.

Oatman is an old mining town that is full of touristy type shops on Route 66. They have lots of wild donkeys that roam all over the streets. The tourists can buy a bag of carrots to feed these animals. The donkeys follow you down the street until all the carrots are gone, then move on to the next person. It was a nice day for a drive and we had a good time.

We got home and I cooked dinner. We also heard our friend, Bill passed away that day. He had lung cancer. He was on vacation in Canada and returned home on Saturday. Sunday he didn’t feel very well so on Monday he went to his doctor. He found out a day or so later that he had lung cancer, the tumors had broken his ribs, and it was stage 4. Thank you all for praying for a miracle, Jeanette and Bill were sure hoping for one, but that was not to be.

Thursday, Chuck took Misty into Bullhead City to get groomed. Chuck also had his hair cut. I stayed home all morning and wrapped most of the presents for our family for Christmas.

Friday, I called down to the front office to find a place to have my hair done. The gal there said that the salon at Riverside, where we are staying was a good place to have my hair done. So I called and made an appointment to go. Chuck stayed home and did stuff around the coach. My hair turned out ok, but this gal was more expensive than I expected. For dinner we went to Riverside’s Friday night Seafood Buffet. It was very good, and very busy. We came right home and watched TV, since we were both tired.

Saturday I did some laundry, finished wrapping Christmas presents and returned several things I had bought. We then went out to AVI, the Indian Casino. They were having a promotion where if you got so many points, they gave you a snuggle blanket. People were walking out of the casino with boxes of them.

That brings us to Sunday. Joe and Alice, our friends from Birch Bay are coming into town from Las Vegas for a night. They want to go to dinner. It will be nice to see them again. It’s funny, when we’re there in Birch Bay we have a hard time hooking up. We have to come 1300 miles or so to meet up with them.

So until next time…Be well…Lorraine

11/15/09                                                                                                                                   Chuck’s report

It is with heavy heart that I mention the passing of our friend Bill this week.  We were able to visit with them for a couple of days about three weeks ago and I’m glad we did.  Our thoughts, prayers and best wishes go to his family in this sad time. 

One of the reasons we wanted to come to Laughlin was to get some “down” time in some warm, dry weather.  We have accomplished that and then some.  The weather here has been great, in the 80s during the day and down to the 40s at night.  Our coach has some dark colors so when the sun comes up, the inside gets warm quickly but it doesn’t get too hot with the AC running. 

We did take advantage of the dry heat to rent a shampooer to clean our carpets.  We cleaned the carpets before our trip to Alaska.  What with normal usage and our trip to Alaska, it was getting time for a good cleaning.  Our coach does have tile in the entryway and all through the main coach.  The only carpet is in the bedroom and in the forward passenger side slide out.  But still there is too much for just using a hand held unit, therefore I rented a machine from the grocery store.  Lorraine said she is pleased with the results so maybe I did a good job.  So with the throw rugs being cleaned last week and the carpet cleaned this week, I think we are good to go for awhile. 

Misty has picked up a bug once again so I called our vet back in Bellingham, he faxed in a prescription to a local vet for some pills for her.  Lorraine also made up some rice and hamburger meat for her, that seems to help too.  She is doing better but when we go for a walk, she is a bit slower and doesn’t want to go as far.  She also likes this weather, she likes to just lay out in the sun like a lizard.

Monday evening we decided to watch Monday Night Football at a casino.  They give out tickets according to how much you’ve gambled that week so we didn’t have many tickets to put into the drum.  The folks who get their name drawn attempt to throw a football into holes in a sign and possibly win anything from a free prize, $25 free slot play or the big prize (littlest hole in the board) of $500 cash.  We were surprised to hear them call Lorraine’s name on the second pull.  She tried for the $500 but didn’t make it, in fact of the 20 people who had their names drawn, only two won $25 free slot play by hitting the biggest hole in the board.  Still, they gave Lorraine $10 free slot play and a hat, not bad. 

On Wednesday afternoon we headed about 30 miles out of town to visit Oakman, an old mining town.  This town was part of the gold rush in the early 1900s, going through a couple of boom/bust times.  In fact, when the town was going through one of its boom times, the famous Route 66 was built and it went through the town.  A few years later, however, the road was moved to a more accessible area for those old model Ts to drive.  The mines were closed for good in the 40s and the town sort of died. 

Some call it a ghost town but its better known for the wild burros that roam freely.   The miners used burros to carry their heavy loads but when they left, they just turned them loose.  Over the years they have learned to adapt and there are at least two herds of them now.  They roam the town, accepting handout from the tourists.  There were probably 10 in town while we were there, once someone feeds them, they follow that person around hoping for more.  It was fun to watch some of the people feed them then try to get away as the burros chased them down the street or even on the sidewalks. 

They also have a “shoot out” on the main street twice a day.  We were there for the 12:00 shoot out, probably the lamest example of a shoot out we’ve seen.  There are lots of these across the US and every one we’ve seen puts this one to shame.  Oh well, at least they tried. 

This week, Lorraine has spent a few hours wrapping some of the Christmas presents she has bought during our travels this year.  Most of the places we stop she likes to roam the shops and see what she can get for our kids and especially our grand daughter.  She is a big Christmas type person and enjoys most aspects of it except for the wrapping so she is glad to have most of it done early. 

There are lots of casinos in Laughlin, in fact that’s really why the town was built in the 70s.  All I have to say about the casinos is !@#$%, that says it all about the luck I’ve been having with the slot machines.  At least we haven’t been visiting them everyday.  They do have good buffets in some of the places but the days of the $4.00 feeds are pretty much over too.  I’m sure glad that’s not the reason we came to town, ha

Saturday Lorraine was able to do some shopping while I watched the Washington Huskies football team lose yet again.  They are playing better than they did last year but still have a long way to go.  Their glory days are behind them but hopefully there will be more ahead too. 

Our friends from Blaine, Washington, Joe/Alice, are coming in today from Las Vegas for a one day stop.  They aren’t full timers but do spend about 5 months on the road every winter.  We never seem to find the time to visit with them when we are back home, seems the only time we see them is on the road.  Oh well, whatever it takes, we are sure glad to see them when we can and looking forward to a good time with them today.

And now for the pictures:

The Colorado River from the Laughlin side.

DSCN1459 DSCN1460

DSCN1461 DSCN1462

Some pictures of our campground.

DSCN1468 DSCN1471


Pictures on the way to Oakman, love the unique way of displaying our flag. 

 DSCN1475 DSCN1480

DSCN1486 DSCN1488

DSCN1490 DSCN1494

More Joshua Trees. 

DSCN1539 DSCN1540

DSCN1480 DSCN1486

Here are the burros and some of the town of Oakman.

DSCN1483 DSCN1484

DSCN1498 DSCN1499

DSCN1500 DSCN1508

DSCN1509 DSCN1511

DSCN1521 DSCN1527

DSCN1532 DSCN1497

DSCN1502 DSCN1506


A picture  taking opportunity. 

DSCN1513  DSCN1515 DSCN1516 DSCN1517 DSCN1518 DSCN1519

So once again, that was our week.  We will be heading back to the Bay area, getting there on Thursday and staying through Thanksgiving.   Lorraine has already been talking about spending time with our grand daughter, she sure has a good time with her. 

Thanks   Chuck