Sunday, October 31, 2010

We’re still in Santa Clara, California


Sunday, October 31, 2010                                                                                          Lorraine’s report

Happy Halloweenie to all our family and friends!! Hope everyone has a hauntingly great day.

It’s been a quiet week, busy but quiet for us. We’ve picked Kaitlyn up from her school, brought her home, fed her, done art work with her and played with her after school every day this week.

Last Sunday found us heading out mid morning to the local pumpkin parking lot. Rain, wind and a big storm was suppose to blow in for the day, but didn’t hit until late afternoon. The weather here has been unusually cold and wet according to the locals.

Susy, Kaitlyn, Chuck and I had fun helping Kaitlyn pick out her pumpkin for Halloween. They had those big bouncy houses, but we didn’t have time and the weather wasn’t cooperating for her to go in and play on them. We got home just as the rain started.

While Kaitlyn and her mommy caught a catnap, Chuck and I cleaned out the pumpkins. Then Kaitlyn and I went on line and found a face she wanted Papa to carve on her pumpkin.

Her mommy woke up a short time later and she found a face for the second one. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the big pumpkins (about 2 feet tall each). I did bake up all the pumpkin seeds and we all enjoyed a nice treat.

Susy treated us to dinner at Black Angus for watching Kaitlyn all weekend, a great time and good food was enjoyed by all

Monday found me not feeling very well; I had a slow start to the day, but I did finally get it all together, and off we went to do laundry. Since we don’t have sewer here at the Elks, we took our laundry to a Laundromat. We didn’t finish before it was time to pick up Kaitlyn, so Chuck took off to get her from her school. I finished by the time he came back.

Wednesday found us out going to Fry’s Electronics store to look for a new computer for Chuck. He lucked out and found one; bought it and Mark will set it up this week; thanks Mark. His old one has been acting up and not working a lot for quite some time. Chuck took us to the Elks for a dinner of Cornish Game Hens and all the works.

Thursday found us up bright and early and on the road by 7:45 am, just in time to hit the commuter traffic on our way to the Port of Oakland. Chuck needs a card from the port commission to go back to work at the oil refinery he used to work at; it’s some sort of security thing since 911. He can’t go into the refinery without it. It was a nice day for a drive, still cold 45 degrees, but sunny, and lots of heavy traffic.

We were done before his scheduled appointment, so on the way home we stopped at a newly remodeled Walmart, I needed to pick up a few things.

Susy called later on and it turned out she wasn’t feeling very well and had stayed home from work. This whole area has a lot of different viral infections and colds and flu going around. You can’t walk into a building without hearing coughing and sneezing by someone. All of us, Kaitlyn, Susy, Mark, Chuck and I have had days where we haven’t felt all that well, and both Susy and Mark stayed home from work on Friday.

Friday was the annual Halloween Parade at Kaitlyn’s school. Parents were invited to go by about 10 am to help their child dress for the parade on the school grounds at 10:30. Susy picked me up because Chuck had to fix the lights by the sink in the bedroom; I couldn’t get my hairdryer to work properly. He also started notifying everyone we get mail from that our mail forwarding place in Rapid City has bought a new building and is changing all our addresses. So we have a lot of places to notify that we are getting a new address in Box Elder, SD.

It was a lot of fun to attend this parade; all the children are all so excited, as were all the parents and grandparents; the noise on the school ground was incredible. We have gone to this event the past three years for Kaitlyn and she is growing up so fast.

Saturday Susy picked me up and we went to several yarn stores. I wanted her to pick out the yarn she wanted for a throw blanket I’m making for her. We stopped by Kohls for her to use her Kohls bucks, and then home. I had taken steaks out for dinner and had Mark come over with Kaitlyn. We had a nice dinner, followed by Go Fish and Old Maid.

I think we all had a great time.

So that’s our week, like I said, busy but quiet. We get Kaitlyn after she finishes her school, and then spend quality time with her. I love it…………..

Until next time…………..Lorraine


10/31/10                                                                                                                             Chuck’s report

A full week with our daughter and grand daughter, that’s what we are here for!  We’ve been able to have Kaitlyn each afternoon after school, she and Lorraine usually play, watch a movie and just enjoy being together.  I know we both have really liked being with her everyday and she said she likes being with us too. 

On Sunday we went with Susy and Kaitlyn and helped them pick out their Halloween pumpkins at the pumpkin patch.  Of course, Kaitlyn wanted them all but cooler heads prevailed and they ended up with two large and three small ones.  We brought them over to our place where everyone helped to carve the two large ones.  Kaitlyn was happy and pleased with the results.  Don’t know why but nobody thought to get a picture of us carving them or of the finished project, oh well.  Later we met Mark at Black Angus for dinner before calling it a day. 

Monday Lorraine work up feeling a bit under the weather so we decided to take it easy, yea, right.  She stripped the bed and we loaded up all the laundry and rugs and headed out to find a laundry mat.  We found one that had enough machines and got everything going.  I had to leave before everything was dry to pick up Kaitlyn from school then returned to pick up Lorraine and our laundry.  Later we met Susy and Mark at an all you can eat salad place called Sweet Tomato for dinner, the first time I’ve been there. 

Tuesday we had a slow morning before going to pick up Kaitlyn at 2:15, we didn’t know that she got out early and was already in day care.  Lorraine had to track down the classroom she was in and figure out the procedure to get her out of day care.  Once that was done, we stopped off at a grocery store and came home.  Susy stopped by after work and we ordered in pizza for dinner.

Wednesday we went to Fry’s, an electronic store, to check out computers because my laptop has been acting up lately.  We found one much more powerful than my current one and had them set it up while we went to pick up Kaitlyn from school.  After picking her up, we stopped by and picked up the new computer which Mark will set up with all the software and such before I can use it.  Thanks Mark.

As I mentioned in an earlier posting, I accepted an offer to go back to work at the BP refinery starting in March.  Once of the prerequisites to working in the refinery is to get what is called a TWIC card.  Thanks to the terrorist of 9/11, anyone working around airplanes, trains, ships and some trucking are required to enroll, get investigated by the federal government and purchase a Transportation Workers Identification Credential card.   I filled out a pre-application form online but had to go to one of their sites for the actual enrollment, finger prints and picture.  The closest one to us here is in Oakland, about 50 miles away. 

I made an appointment to be there at 9:30 on Thursday morning which meant we had to leave here by 7:45, early for us.  We knew we would be hitting morning rush hour traffic so wanted to make sure we had enough time to get there as the next appointment I could get was two weeks away.  We made it with time to spare, in fact, we actually got in a bit early and were done by 9:30.  On the way home we stopped at a Wal-Mart and found a Costco to fill up the gas tank too.  We got back in plenty of time to pick up Kaitlyn from school once again.  Later, Susy came over with some Chinese food for dinner from one of their favorite places.

Friday morning Lorraine met Susy and they went to Kaitlyn’s school for a Halloween party and parade.  I had a couple of repairs to make on the coach so stayed here to fix them.  Susy dropped Lorraine off after the party, later we went by and picked up Kaitlyn from school.  Susy came by later, Lorraine fixed hot dogs and chili for dinner and we played cards after. 

Saturday Susy and Lorraine took off to find a few bargains, their main purchase was to be some yarn so Lorraine can knit a blanket for Susy.  She will probably finish the one she is working on for Kaitlyn this week and start on the one for Susy.  Once again I stuck close to home, gave our dog a bath and cleaned up a bit.  Later Lorraine cooked steak and baked potatoes for all and we had another good dinner with everyone.  After dinner, Mark, Susy, Lorraine and Kaitlyn had a good time playing cards (Go Fish and Old Maid).  When they left, Mark took my new computer with him, he will set it up for me and I’ll get it from him before we leave. 

The weather this week has been a bit cooler and wetter than we thought it would be.  The big storm they predicted hit North of San Francisco and just gave us a bit of wind and rain, not too bad.   And we have seen the sun part of each day and I’ve thought about changing to shorts and sandals a couple of times.  Guess what I’m saying is, I can’t complain about the weather, its pretty nice, compared. 

We decided to stay here at the Elks Lodge, its a lot cheaper than the place we normally stay and it’s close to Susy’s place and Kaitlyn’s school.  We will probably stay here during our stay over Thanksgiving and Christmas too, the campground hosts think they will have spots during those times for us.

We plan on heading over to Laughlin for two weeks, leaving here on Wednesday.  We stayed there last year and liked the area, lots to do and that’s not counting all the casinos there too.  Lorraine’s sister told her that our mutual friends from Canada, Dennis/Barb will be in Las Vegas at the same time we will be in Laughlin and we are talking about making a day trip with the car to see them. 

So that was our week once again.  Guess I’ll add a few pictures (we don’t have many to choose from) and get this posted. 


At the pumpkin patch with Mommy. 

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The Coliseum at Oakland where the Raiders play.  This picture is for my son who used to like the Raiders.  They play the Seahawks today but it isn’t sold out so it will not be on TV here. 

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That’s Oakland in the distance.

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The port of Oakland where we had to go for my TWIC appointment.

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Kaitlyn’s school and the annual Halloween parade. 

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And with that, I’ll get this posted.  Hope you have a good day.

Thanks   Chuck

Sunday, October 24, 2010

We’re in Santa Clara, California


Sunday, October 24, 2010                                                                                                   Lorraine’s report

Hello from a happy camper in Santa Clara, CA, the Elk’s Lodge back parking lot. We finally arrived here on Wed; being only 86 miles away from our granddaughter for almost a week. It was all I could do to not drive over from Isleton, CA to see my grandbaby and daughter.

It was nice to visit Mike and Linda, friends who live in Auburn area, and our friend, Jeanette who we met two years ago at Quartzsite, AZ. We called Linda to let her know we were in the area, and wouldn’t you know, they were heading out with their old car club rally, but they said they would be home Monday. The last time we tried to visit with them, they were away on a fall road trip to the Midwest.

We drove up to Auburn for dinner on Monday, early afternoon. Linda had invited Jeanette, who lost Bill last November. It was our first time seeing her since Bill passed. We enjoyed a wonderful visit with Mike, Linda, Jeanette, and Jeanette’s friend of 35 years, Penny. Thank you all for great food, and making great new memories!! See you in Q this year.

The other memorable event of the week was our drive through the delta area. We found the restaurant, Foster’s Bighorn Restaurant we had found two years ago. This restaurant is full of stuffed animals and animal heads from all over the world. We went inside and I had to take pictures again, most likely like the ones I took before, but this place is amazing. The owner was the hunter that bagged all the animals, too numerous to count. It was a beautiful day for a ride, sunny, warm, mid 70’s with a slight breeze to cool you; all in all, an enjoyable day.

Then we came here, and I got to see Kaitlyn. She was as excited to see me as I was to see her. We pick her up after her school, before she heads into day care. We then spend the afternoon doing art work and writing, eating and watching her movies. She loves to be with us here.

This Elk’s lodge is just a parking lot behind their building. It is in an industrial area so it’s noisy, with all kinds of businesses here. It has only 30 amp, no sewer, but water. The Elks rent out their patio on weekends for parties, and boy, was the one last night extremely loud. We had to turn up the television to hear the game, the music was so loud. The good part is that we are only 4 blocks from our daughter’s condo, and it’s cheap for this area, only $15.00 a night. Our other RV Park charges $275.00 a week for 30 amp, water and sewer.

We went to the Stanford/Washington State University food ball game on Sat. Susy had asked us to watch Kaitlyn so she and Mark could attend their band reunion at the game. Of course, we were happy to do it. Stanford won, and I think both Susy and Mark had a blast with the band, and we had fun with Kaitlyn.

So that is it for me. Until next time………..Lorraine



10/24/10                                                                                                                           Chuck’s report

We started the week with a very rainy Sunday at Delta Shores RV park in Isleton.  We mostly stayed inside and enjoyed a quiet day together.  And I might have spent a minute or two taking a peek at a football game, might have but not sure. 

Monday we had made plans to drive to Auburn on the other side of Sacramento to visit with our friends Linda, Mike and Jeanette.  We first met them at Quartzsite three years ago and have gotten together a few times over the years since.  We have stayed at Bill/Jeanette’s place in Lincoln, before he passed, a couple of times too.  Last time we were at Bill/Jeanette’s we met a friend of her’s from Texas, Penny, who happened to be up for a visit again, good to see her again too. 

We got to Linda’s place and shortly after Mike came down from his place in Grass Valley.  They took us for a tour of Auburn, pointing out the sights and good places to eat.  After our short tour, we returned to Linda’s house.  Mike and I stayed there while Lorraine and Linda made a quick trip to a grocery store.  While they were out, Jeanette and Penny came by and shortly thereafter all of us were together.  We had a very good dinner and there was much laughter during our conversations, just like you would expect from friends that don’t get together too often.  We may have stayed later than expected as it was late when we got back to our coach but we both agreed we had a good day.  Thanks Linda, Mike, Jeanette and Penny for a good time and being good friends too.

Tuesday was to be our last full day in the Delta area so Lorraine wanted to take advantage of the full hookups to do laundry.  We also took advantage of another good day to tour the Delta area a bit more.  We went to Isleton, Rio Vista and couple of very small towns.  While we were in Rio Vista we went into a bar/restaurant we’ve been to before (Foster’s Bighorn) but couldn’t resist making another stop this time.  This is the place with all the stuffed animals the owner shot from around the world back in the 20s and 30s.  He had them stuffed, mounted and sent back to Rio Vista where he mounted them on the walls of his bar/restaurant.  What a collection, if you are ever in town, I would recommend a look see.  

Wednesday we were on the road, heading South.  We wanted to check out the Elks Lodge in Santa Clara for a place to park our rig.  We knew it only has 30 amp and no sewer at each site, only a common sewer dump site but it was only about three blocks from Susy’s place and two exits away from Kaitlyn’s school.  And it was less than half the price of the place we normally stay, a good thing as prices are a bit high here in the Bay area. 

Once we got to the Lodge we decided to stay here for at least a week and move if we decided we didn’t like it here.  So far everything is working out fine.  We can use a normal water hose to dump our gray tank each day after showering.  We may have enough 3” hose to reach the dump site to dump our black tank each week without moving but that remains to be seen.  If not, we will have to pull in the slides, raise the jacks and move to the dump site then reverse everything and get back into our place, a bit of a hassle we would like to avoid if possible. 

But everything considered, the main reason we are in town is to spend time with our daughter and grand daughter.  We were able to pick up Kaitlyn after school on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  She stayed with us overnight on Friday as Susy and Mark wanted to play in the Stanford Marching Band on Saturday and they would have to practice late Friday night and early Saturday morning in order to play with them during the game Saturday afternoon.  So we’ve accomplished our main goal for this week, ha.  By the way, Stanford won their game against Washington State, 38 to 28, yea. 

Lorraine is knitting a blanket for one of Kaitlyn’s Christmas presents.  She’s been working on it for the last 10 days or so, even with bad arthritis in her hands.  She said it takes 6 skeins and she’s working on the fourth now so she’s on the downhill side I guess.  Looks good to me, I’m sure Kaitlyn will like it too. 

I guess we didn’t head far enough South or maybe should have gone to the desert because the forecast for today if for heavy rains and high winds, glad we aren’t driving.  Who was it who said “it never rains in California”?

Our plans have us staying here for another week, want to spend Halloween with them before we head out.  We have made reservations in Laughlin, Nevada for after we leave here.  It’s a bit unusual for us to make reservations that far in advance but we got a coupon in the mail with a special offer in Laughlin that we wanted to make sure we could use, two weeks for the price of one.   We will come back here for a couple of weeks over the Thanksgiving holiday too. 

I guess that’s enough rambling, I’ll stop now, add some pictures and get this posted. 

Driving through Sacramento on the way to Auburn. 

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A picture of a overpass, second one is a view over the valley.

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In Auburn, Linda’s home town. 

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A local dentist makes these cement statues and places them throughout the town, neat. 

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Linda on the left, Jeannette on the right.

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Jeannette’s friend from Texas, Penny.  Mike resting in his chair. 

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Linda’s backyard pool and the table set for dinner. 

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Back in Isleton and more pictures of the Delta.

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Our coach at the Delta Shores campground.

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The stuffed animals in Foster’s Bighorn bar/restaurant in Rio Vista.  What a collection, couldn’t shoot lots of these today because some of them are protected species. 

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Our daughter Susy and Grand daughter, Kaitlyn. 

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At Stanford football stadium. 

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Susy and Mark are playing in the band during Homecoming game. 

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The Tree is the mascot of the band, very political correct. 

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Mommy  and Daddy come visit Kaitlyn during the first quarter.

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And that was our week once again.  Maybe not an exciting one but we are glad to be here with our daughter and grand daughter once again. 

So until next time - - - Chuck