Saturday, November 27, 2010

We in Santa Clara, California


Sunday, November 28, 2010                                                                                                                                    Lorraine’s report

Another week has flown by and we are still here in the Santa Clara Elks RV back parking lot. This week the weather has been a lot cooler, more wind and lots of rain. But compared to back home in Bellingham where they had temperatures in the low teens at night, 60 MPH Northeasterly winds blowing straight down from the glaciers in Canada and SNOW, this is Paradise. I knew the rest of the country had sunny, blue skies, not the gray cloudy, wet and windy weather found in the Pacific NW during the winter all the time.

Well, last Sunday, Chuck went and picked up Kaitlyn from Susy’s house, just around the corner by 7:30 am. He was going to watch her so Susy could catch some extra sleep. Nice thought, guess who joined Nana in bed for five minutes, then wanted to get on with the day; guess I didn’t need more sleep.

Susy and I had planned to take Kaitlyn to Valley Fair Mall to see Santa on Sunday afternoon. Her mommy had promised her she could make a build a bear; she chose Clarice, the reindeer, Rudolph’s girl friend. She loves that reindeer and while building it Kaitlyn found you could put a musical unit that plays and sings the Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer when you push the button. She now knows that song by heart, and while we were out for dinner, Kaitlyn and Susy sang together along with the recording, it is so fantastic to hear her and her mommy sing together. Kaitlyn as well as her mommy have such sweet voices.

Kaitlyn has wanted to go to a park, but the wind was blowing pretty hard and it was cold outside. So we took her to the playground at the mall after Build a Bear, where she played with 50-100 other children that wanted to be outside, but couldn’t. This play area has that rubberized floor that is easier on kid’s knees

Of course, Kaitlyn saw Panda Express and wanted her Panda soup for lunch. The food court was so crowded and the noise level was incredible. You couldn’t hear the person across the table from you, and people were waiting to pounce on an empty table; and it took forever to get your food.

Finally, it was time for Kaitlyn to see Santa. Kaitlyn surprised both of us; she went in to talk to Santa, only this time she sat on his lap all by herself. This was the first time she has ever done this! Usually she has her daddy sit with her while she sees Santa and they take a picture of her, her daddy and Santa. I guess being with Mommy and Nana made her brave enough to do this and get a picture of just her and Santa. Way to go Kaitlyn!

We went home and I did a ham dinner for all of us. Then it was more card games, Go Fish and Old Maid. We all had a great day.

Monday we took off early to head back to Oakland to get that card Chuck needs to return to work at the refinery in Bellingham in March. The drive was the longest part, but it wasn’t raining when we left, although it rained on the way there.

We stopped at Walmart to get supplies, then headed back. Chuck stopped by the MH on the way to pick up Kaitlyn so he could put his ice cream away before it thawed.

Dinner that night was at Chili’s.

Tuesday I was feeling really ill again, so we spent a quiet morning home. We picked up Kaitlyn from school at 2:15 and brought her home where I did our normal routine with her. Susy came home and we ate dinner at home. Later, Kaitlyn fell asleep in Chuck’s arms while he was rocking her so she spent the entire night with us. It was so cold and windy, Susy hated to take her out in it, and she is too heavy for Susy to carry her up to her condo. Kaitlyn spent the whole night without any problems, no night terrors or anything like that, I had about two hours sleep that night.

Susy and Kaitlyn were both off from work and school and Susy came over later on in the morning. We headed over to Costco to get movie tickets; they are cheaper there than in the theater. We wanted to take Kaitlyn to see “Tangled” on Thanksgiving Day. We came right back and did more of the same stuff we have been doing.

Thanksgiving found the girls coming over for brunch, followed by the movie ”Tangled” .

Kaitlyn really liked the movie, but it may have been a tad too long for her. She needed to lay on us in the theater. We came right home and she wanted to have her “quiet time”, a good thing. Afterwards, Susy went over to Mark’s to pack some stuff she was sending to Seattle with Mark.

They came back and we headed out to Black Angus for our 5 pm reservation for dinner. What a surprise there. The place was jam packed, there was no place to sit while you waited and if you made a reservation then you had at least a half hour wait to get your table. We enjoyed a nice dinner, but the service was slow; the waitress said she had been there since 11 am with the place packed all day.

Black Friday! In years past Susy and I would be up by 4:30 or 5 and be out to hit all the places for the great sales. Not this year. Susy went out on Thanksgiving at midnight to the Great Mall, which opened for sales early. She wanted to check out several things. She then had to be up by 6:15 to take Mark and Kaitlyn to Oakland airport to catch the plane to Seattle to see his mom.

Susy came by for me at 9:15 and we headed over to a mall in the East Bay. We found some good sales, but didn’t buy all that much. We ended up spending most of our time fighting crowds and waiting in long lines to pay, up to 45 minutes. I’m a person who feels that when I want to buy something, the store should be waiting to take my money for the goods, not me waiting in long lines to pay. It’s all backwards!

We headed for home by 3 pm and rested a bit. I checked the movie theater times for Harry Potter and found that we could make two matinees if we hurried. We again headed out but had to stop for gas in the car, so that meant we would have to go to the later of the two movies. We both enjoyed the newest Harry Potter movie. Susy dropped me home and headed to her house. She was beat, as was I.

Saturday we planned to put up Susy and Kaitlyn’s Christmas tree. Only one problem, when we picked up the tree at Mark’s house, the stand to hold the tree wasn’t with the box. So off we headed to Home Depot to find a tree stand. We ended up getting a new 7 foot tree with LED lights. We decorated the entire tree in about three hours. Dinner was delivered pizza, good food.

I should say that I’m almost back to normal (for me). I still get a terrific headache, have sinus drainage, cough and get nauseous, but I am feeling a whole lot better than I did last week, in spite of not having much rest or sleep.

We want to wish John a very Happy Birthday on Tuesday, and Rose a Happy Birthday later on in the week.

So that’s it for me….Be well….Lorraine



11/28/10                                                                                                                                                Chuck’s report

Yep, were still here, near our daughter’s place.  Last Sunday Lorraine, Susy and Kaitlyn took off for some shopping, I stayed home and watched a football game.  I also was able to track down an intermittent power outage on some outlets in the bedroom, I found a loose connection in a false floor under the bathroom sink.  They sure find some strange places to hide things on these rigs!  Lorraine made a nice dinner later and then played card games with Susy and Kaitlyn before they headed back to their place. 

Monday we drove to Oakland to pick up my TWIC card, now I’m covered to work back at the refinery according to the federal government.  The fact I worked there over 36 years had no bearing on it, I still had to be checked out before they would issue me my card.  But it’s good for five years so don’t have to worry about it for awhile. 

We made a couple of stops on the way back then picked up Kaitlyn from school for another afternoon of fun and games.  We met Susy and Mark at Chili's for dinner.  Mark and Susy volunteer at Kaitlyn’s school, taking turns every other Tuesday morning.  Mark was on for the next day so he took Kaitlyn home for a Daddy night.  Susy came back to our rig, she and Lorraine played cards for awhile before calling it a night. 

Tuesday we once again picked Kaitlyn up from school and had a normal afternoon of fun and play.  Susy came by after work for dinner and we agreed to let Kaitlyn spend the night with us, something she hasn’t wanted to do this trip yet.  She had a bad dream in the middle of the night, otherwise it appeared she had a good night with Nana and Papa. 

Susy took Wednesday off from work so she came by in the morning.  Lorraine still wasn’t feeling too well plus she didn’t sleep as soundly as normal with Kaitlyn here overnight so we just made a quick trip to Costco and stayed close to home the rest of the day.  Well, that is except for a trip to In N Out for dinner, that is. 

Thursday was Thanksgiving, hope everyone had a good one, we did.  Susy and Kaitlyn came by in the morning, picked us up and we all headed out to the movie house, meeting Mark there too.  This was the first showing of a new movie they wanted to see, an animated one called “Tangled”, about the princess Rapunzel.  I don’t enjoy going to the movie house, much prefer to wait until the movies come out on DVD or on TV but this one was sort of cute and had many laugh out loud parts.  I think Kaitlyn liked it more than anyone else did though so it was worth it. 

After the movie we came back to our place for awhile then headed to dinner at Black Angus.  Susy had made reservations about three weeks before, called and checked on Tuesday to make sure everything was still ok.  Even with that, once we got there, there were about 50 people waiting for tables and they all had reservations too.  We waited over 45 minutes for our table but it was worth the wait.  They had a Thanksgiving turkey dinner special plus the normal menu too.  We ended up with two of the dinner specials, turkey and all the trimmings, and two ordered off the menu, steak and such.  Everything came with deserts too, pumpkin pie with the specials and a big, fresh, hot chocolate chip cookie with the normal orders.  All in all, it was more than we could eat and we left there full and carrying three take out boxes, ha. 

Friday morning Mark and Kaitlyn were flying out of Oakland to Seattle, Susy was going to give the a ride to the airport at 7:00 am.  After getting them to the airport, she came by our place and picked up Lorraine for some Black Friday shopping.  After they got back from shopping they decided they wanted to go to the movie house once again.  This time they wanted to see the new Harry Potter movie, I elected to stay back and watch the dogs vs. going along. 

Saturday morning Lorraine fixed a breakfast for us, Susy came by to eat with us.  They spent some time wrapping Christmas presents they had bought the day before.  We then went by and got some Christmas stuff we had stored at Mark’s place.  We also got Susy’s Christmas tree out and started to set it up but found the tree holder was missing.  A quick trip to Home Depot took care of that, too well in fact as Susy got a new tree, marked down to less than half price.  I picked up some plastic and such to cover the windows in Kaitlyn and Susy’s bedrooms.  While they decorated the tree, I put the plastic over their windows.  We had the Washington Huskies/California Bears football game on the TV but none of us got to watch much of it as we were in different rooms.  But the Huskies did win (yea) and if they win next week they will probably be invited to a bowl game for the first time in many years.

After we finished the jobs we were doing, we ordered a pizza and watched the rest of the Stanford/Oregon State football game.  Stanford won once again, finishing their regular season with 11 wins and 1 loss.  They are now waiting for the bowl announcements coming out next week to see where they will be playing.  Mark and Susy will probably go to their bowl game so they are waiting and hoping right along with the team. 

It has remained cooler than normal here this week.  We’ve had temperatures below freezing a couple of mornings, this morning being one, but it warmed up as soon after sun came out.  We’ve had a couple days of rain, Monday, Friday and Saturday but so far today we’ve had sunshine.

Mark and Kaitlyn are coming back tomorrow, we will be leaving here on Wednesday morning heading for Palm Springs so we will only pick her up after school one more time this trip, on Tuesday.  We have sure had a good time with them once again and it will be pretty quiet without them while we are in Palm Springs but we will once again be back here in two weeks to spend Christmas with them.  There has been some talk about us maybe going to Los Angles for a visit to Disneyland with them before we come back but we haven’t settled that yet.  Also, part of our schedule may depend on which bowl game the Sanford foot team gets invited to.  Depending on which game and when and if Susy, Mark and Kaitlyn do go to the game, that may affect our schedule too.  But as usual, our plans are petty fluid and we will make/change them as we go along. 

So once again, that was our week in review and short look ahead at our plans, such as they are.  Guess I’ll add some pictures and get this posted.  We don’t have many pictures to add as we didn’t take too many this week so it shouldn’t take too long. 

Kaitlyn at the play area in the mall. 


Then a trip to see Santa, she wasn’t too sure about it though she warmed up soon. 



Susy and Lorraine decorating Susy’s Christmas Tree. 


And that’s all, folks!  I’ll get this posted now and get back to watching the football game. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

We’re in Santa Clara, California


Sunday, November 21, 2010                                                                                                                                         Lorraine’s report

We want to wish all our family and friends a very Happy Thanksgiving. We are so fortunate to be living in this country, in spite of the many challenges this country faces today.

When you think back as to why the Pilgrims came here, seeking freedom to worship God as they felt was right, and not dictated by the rulers in England, then you wonder how America became “the hope of the world”, with everyone wanting to come here for what we as Americans have and taken for granted.

When we visited Jamestown this past summer, we saw how the first settlers lived and suffered through that long first winter. It was amazing to see. Over half of the men that came over perished. Without the friendly Native Americans, namely Squanto and another, that whole colony would have not have made it. The Pilgrims had a lot to be thankful for.

So now onto our week; we were with Barb & Dennis last Sunday. I woke up feeling ill and haven’t been back to normal since November 11th.  I’ve had nausea and the runs, a terrific headache, cough and a cold, and at times I can’t get warm. Since I got that flu shot in September before we left Bellingham, I’ve had one thing or another every month since then. It makes me wonder if it was worth it to get the flu shot.

Sunday, we were still in Pahrump, NV and we ran errands, came home, with me resting for the afternoon. We spent the afternoon watching football on TV. Barb had cooked a spaghetti dinner and invited us over to eat. We enjoyed our last evening together with them.

Monday Barb & Dennis came over to say goodbye. They left by 11-11:30 am or so and were headed into Las Vegas. We wished them well and said we’d see them down the road; many thanks for coming to see us in Laughlin and going with us to Pahrump. We enjoyed our visit with you two.

Afterwards, Chuck and I had more errands to run. We stopped at the two casinos we hadn’t been in to and found out that the Nugget had a great buffet dinner of Prime Rib and all for the price of two for $10.00, which we went to for dinner. Afterwards, we went home and packed up stuff around the coach.

Tuesday morning we were up and off by 9:45. We had to get diesel and Chuck waited to hook up the car since the station was not very friendly to a 40 foot RV and toad. Then we headed out into the desert again. It was pleasant, sunny, blue skies but windy off and on. We stopped at Bakersfield Orange Grove RV Park by 4 pm, enough driving for the day.

Wednesday we were on the road before 9:30 headed north to Santa Clara, the Elks back parking lot. We arrived by 2:15 pm, set up and I headed over to pick up Kaitlyn from day care while Chuck washed the bugs off the windshield.

Kaitlyn was so happy to see me, she flew into my arms when I picked her up from school. Her mother bought her a workbook from the educational store that reinforces what she is learning in her school. She feels she has to do that work before she does anything else. I have to say she is eating more and drinking more water, than she did when we were here before. She is hungry all the time now, and she may be gaining a little weight.

This past week, Kaitlyn’s school has been getting out early for teacher/parent conferences. We picked her up Thursday and Friday at 11:20. We’ve had errands to run after, and then we head home. I usually give her lunch, and then do her homework, we play, do art work and then I make sure she has her quiet time for over an hour or more.

I’ve been cooking dinner every night at home, and feeding her earlier than when she is there at school and day care; she’s there from before 8 am when Kindergarten starts until 6 pm or so, when either her mom or dad picks her up. That makes for a really long day for a five year old!

It’s been cooler here and wetter here than normal. I’m already tired of the cold, windy, wet and gray skies. Back home in Bellingham, it’s been down in the 20’s and 30’s with snow. And Mt. Baker is opening for snow skiing this weekend. At least here there’s no snow you have to drive in.

I love being here with my daughter and grand daughter. Mark will be taking Kaitlyn up to Seattle this next Friday after Thanksgiving to see his mother.

That’s it for me. Until next time.



Nov.  20, 2010                                                                                                                                                                   Chuck’s report

Ok, it’s time to get started writing our blog once again.  First of all, this Thursday is Thanksgiving and I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  Hope you get to spend some time with your family during your celebrations.  We had hoped our son, Rich, would be able to come down from Alaska and join us all for Thanksgiving but it appears he will not be able to do that. 

Last Sunday Lorraine woke up feeling poorly once again so we had to cancel our breakfast at Dennis/Barb’s rig, bummer.  We took it pretty easy so Lorraine could rest up, went to Wal-Mart to pick up our prescriptions and some more cold medicine.  Later we did go down to their rig for a spaghetti dinner, thanks Dennis and Barb for the food, drink and great company. 

Monday morning we had to say our “see ya laters” to Dennis/Barb as they were heading off to Las Vegas.  Dennis retired about three weeks ago and they decided to head South, wanted to visit Las Vegas and such.  We heard they were in the area and had their phone number so Lorraine called them and they decided to meet us in Laughlin, postponing their scheduled trip to Vegas.  We spent a week with them in Laughlin then we all decided to head to Pahrump for a few more days.  They were  getting their plans back in order, heading to Vegas as first planned.  We enjoyed visiting with them, showing them the sights we knew about and exploring new areas with them too.  Thanks for spending part of your first retired trip with us, see you two later. 

After they headed out, Lorraine and I made a trip to town, wanted to check out a couple of places.  Of course, we ended up checking out two casinos too.  The first place we stopped was the Nugget, both Lorraine and I walked out with some of their money so we considered that a good stop.  We then went down the street to check out Terribles, the one downtown, not the one where  we were staying.  We both played for awhile and didn’t loose too much before we decided to head back to the rig. 

We rested up for a couple of hours then headed back to the Nugget to their buffet, it was a two-for-one and was the best we had in Pahrump.  We didn’t gamble any before or after dinner, just returned back to the rig for a quiet evening. 

Next morning we finished packing up, flushed and drained all the holding tanks, drove to the gas station to fuel up and hook up the car.  We headed out across the desert once again, this time heading West.  We didn’t have to cross any high passes and made pretty good time.  We knew we were going to stop for the night somewhere along the way and decided to head for Bakersfield once again.  We pulled into the Orange Grove RV park, set up, washed the bugs of the windshield and ate dinner that Lorraine had fixed, didn’t even unhook the car.

Somewhere I managed to loose a day as I thought we had an extra day before we got back here.  Lorraine told Kaitlyn we would be here on the 17th and I thought that was Thursday.  I wasn’t in any hurry to get going on Wednesday morning, knowing we had an extra day and we might even stop for another night along the way, WRONG.  It was pointed out to me that today was the 17th and we would be in Santa Clara to pick up our grand daughter just as we had promised. 

So once again we headed out, heading for the Bay area.  We got back to the Elk’s lodge here in Santa Clara, set up and Lorraine took off to pick up Kaitlyn from school while I stayed behind to clean the bugs off the front once again.  We are sure doing our best to eliminate the bug population as we travel from place to place.  I don’t like to let them sit on the front and cook in any longer than necessary; I try to wash them off when we stop.

Just before I finished, Lorraine returned with Kaitlyn in her child seat in the back.  As soon as she was out of the car, she came running to Papa with her arms up.  I was sure glad to see her too!  She helped me finish spaying water on the front and she went inside with Lorraine while I dried the front. 

The rest of our week we’ve spent as much time with Kaitlyn as possible, picking her up from school after their early dismissal due to parent/teacher conference week.  We would pick her up, stop by stores as necessary then head for our rig.  Once we got there, Nana (Lorraine to rest of us) would do her level best to feed Kaitlyn as if she hadn’t eaten for a week.  They would play games, watch movies and just be together, such fun for both of them.  Kaitlyn also has a book she works each afternoon after school, calls it her homework.  She is in kindergarten and this book covers some of the stuff she is learning.  She writes her letters, traces lines, draws pictures and such and she wants to do at least one page per day.  One afternoon she wanted to do more than three but we told her to slow down, there was always tomorrow.  She said but wait, you were gone for 14 days so she was that far behind and needed to catch up, ha.  I hope she keeps that same attitude when she actually has real homework later in school. 

Thursday afternoon turned out to be very nice, weather wise, so we decided to walk around the area where we are staying.  We walked down the block and found a place where the leaves were falling and piling up, of course we had to crunch them and throw some at each other.  I’m sure you could have heard Kaitlyn laughing a few blocks away, she had such fun. 

We also had dinner with Susy each night, at the lodge one time, Lorraine fixed dinner the other days.  Kaitlyn and Susy both put in their requests and Lorraine fixed what they had asked.  Of course, there was some card playing and such before and after dinner too, Kaitlyn likes to play Go Fish and Old Maid, as long as I lose that is. 

Friday we noticed the Washington Huskies were playing the UCLA Bruins that evening and would be on TV.  We started watching in the second quarter and I watched the rest of the game.  The Huskies won and if they could possibly win their two remaining games, they could actually go to a bowl game this season.  And to think that two years ago they didn’t even win one game, they are playing much better football now. 

Saturday Susy and Kaitlyn once again came over to our rig where Susy and I watched to Stanford Cardinal beat the California Bears.  Stanford is already bowl eligible and are just waiting to see what bowl they get invited to.  Lorraine once again played with Kaitlyn and fixed us a good dinner.  And once again Kaitlyn managed to beat me in just about every game of Go Fish and Old Maid that we played, didn’t you hear her laughter??

The weather here has been a bit cooler than we had the past two weeks and yesterday we actually had a good rain storm, thunder and lighting and all.  I heard the local ski area are expecting enough snow to open this weekend.  I also heard that they are getting some snow back home in Washington and that Mount Baker ski area will be opening this weekend too.  It isn’t unheard of for Mount Baker to open before Thanksgiving but they don’t do that every year, for sure.  Its been cold and wet along the whole West coast this week, we are glad to be down here where all we have seen is rain with some wind, not too bad and I don’t have to shovel it. 

We only have 30 amps electric service here at the lodge so we have to manage our electrical usage, we can’t run two big heat producers at the same time.  For example, if we need to run the microwave, we have to turn off the heat pump.  We can run our clothes drier but can’t use the microwave or the heater at the same time.  We’ve been in the motorhome for over three years now and understand our systems much better but ever once in awhile we forget and trip the main circuit breaker by using to many amps, bummer.  So I have to head over and reset the breaker, not a big deal but makes me feel like a newbie once again. 

Our plans have us staying here for another week, until the first of December.  I think we will continue with our new tradition of going out for dinner on Thanksgiving, that’s much easier on everyone plus we’ve had good food when we go out.  And I won’t have to do dishes after dinner either.

So this week we will again spend as much time with Kaitlyn until her dad, Mark, takes her up to Seattle the day after Thanksgiving.  He plans to spend the weekend with his mother, brother, sister and Kaitlyn’s cousins.  Susy will be able to spend some time with us while Kaitlyn is with her dad so all will not be lost.  I predict a couple trips to the mall and maybe even to the movie house for Lorraine and Susy.  It’s been awhile since they’ve managed to have a couple of days to spend together with mother/daughter bonding so I’m sure they will have fun. 

I just checked and it looks like we are scheduled to be in Palm Springs 1000 Trails starting on 12/2 which means we will leave here on the 1st.  We are currently scheduled to stay there for two weeks and then return back here for two weeks over Christmas.  But as usual, our plans are not commitments we have to make, after all, we are retired and don’t have to meet someone else’s schedule now, ha.  Life is good!!

And now for some pictures.  Lorraine didn’t take too many this week so I should finish up and get this posted soon. 


Pictures before Dennis and Barb headed for Las Vegas.


Our trip through the desert on our drive back to Santa Clara.





A military base out in the middle of nowhere.


It sure gets green when they have water available.  New planting of almond trees. 


Kaitlyn crunching leaves along the sidewalk. 



Miles of smiles!!


As I just said, “Life is good”!!!

Thanks   Chuck

Sunday, November 14, 2010

We’re in Pahrump, Nevada


Sunday, November 14, 2010                                                                                                                                          Lorraine’s report

We moved this past week from Laughlin, NV to Pahrump, NV with Thelma & John’s friends, and our friends from BC, Barb & Dennis Bell. Our week was up there at the park and we decided to go with Barb & Dennis to check out an area we haven’t been to before. So Thursday we packed up the coach and headed out to Pahrump, Terribles Lakeside RV Resort. The wind was gusting upwards of 35 miles per hour and made for a thrilling ride.

Last Sunday found us all going to the Riverside Casino to use our free breakfast buffet tickets the RV Park had given us for staying there for the week. It was a wonderful buffet. They started with mimosas and had just about everything you could want for breakfast. Of course we all ate too much, but that was our main meal for the day.

Following that we headed down to AVI Casino to check out the swap meet they have there on weekends. Not knowing they had moved it a couple of miles down the road, we didn’t find it until we left the area several hours later, but by then they were closed.

We all had fun playing the machines, unfortunately we all left seed money there.

Monday I wanted to have my hair done, and Barb and Dennis decided to drive over to the Grand Canyon, while Chuck stayed home and did stuff around the coach. I have to say the gal did my hair just about the best it’s been done since we came on the road.

Barb and Dennis really enjoyed the Grand Canyon; Barb said when they got there she just said “WOW” for the first five minutes they were there. They drove back and got home by 6:45 to find I had cooked a fried chicken and potato salad for all of us. We visited until late, enjoying each other’s company.

The next day we were off in Dennis’s truck to do some errands for them. They had stuff to return, pick up and look for. For lunch we took them to In N Out for some great burgers, and then we were off to Christmas Tree Pass to see the ancient Pictographs. The guys hiked up to see them and take pictures, while Barb & I visited in the truck. We went home afterwards and rested.

Following the break, we headed over to Barb’s where Dennis made us drinks. Dinner was out to the Tropicana Casino for their buffet, two for one-$10. We all played, but no luck.

Wednesday found us heading out in Dennis’s truck to Lake Havasu City to see London Bridge. It was a great day for a drive; it had warmed up to the mid to high 70’s, sunny blue skies, and a slight breeze. We enjoyed walking on London Bridge and doing the tourist thing.

The guys stayed in that evening while Barb & I went to Harrah’s Casino for a couple of hours. Barb & I had a little bit of luck and it was a lot of fun.

Veteran’s Day we drove to Pahrump, set up and went to Wal-Mart with Dennis & Barb to get a few things. I was cold all day, the wind was biting; I had to put on jeans, dig out a coat and add a sweater, just to warm up.

Barb picked up a pizza for all of us for dinner, followed by a game of Pass the Love; all in all a great day.

Friday I woke up with a heavy cold, cough and just not feeling very well at all. It took me a while to get going, so we headed off to see Death Valley later in the morning than we had hoped.

Death Valley was amazing to see and since it was our first time there, we found it to be more than we thought it would be. The views, the salt flats, everything was awesome. The desert is amazing.

We left at 11:30 and didn’t get back until 5:45, a long day.

For dinner we went to Terrible’s for their steak and lobster dinner for $11.99. Chuck and Dennis had the New York steak for $11.99; then we all tried our luck at the machines. Barb had some luck while the rest of us left seed money.

Saturday we headed out to Red Rock Canyon by Las Vegas. I was still under the weather, but after taking Dayquil and some cough syrup, I was able to go. We stopped along side a road side stand and we all bought some jerky, honey and nuts. Barb also bought some dried fruit to take home.

Red Rock Canyon is a must see; being only a short drive from Las Vegas. The sheer towering cliffs, the contrasting colors, the majestic mountains are a sight to behold. They just finished a new visitor’s center that had a ton of information on the canyon that we stopped at before the 13 mile car tour. It was another great day for a drive.

From there we went to find Barb a date shake at the date farm about 37 miles away, or so we thought. I entered the China Ranch Date Farm in the GPS and away we went into the desert. It took us from a paved two land highway to a one lane gravel road with just the gravel road going through these big sandstone washes. At the end we came to an oasis with a lot of date palm trees, and a small bakery/tourist shop. Barb had her first date shake, which she thoroughly enjoyed.

Again, we didn’t get home until 5:45 or so. I must say the dogs have been really good, with us being gone all day. They are happy to see us when we return.

For dinner we went to Saddle West Casino and Resort. The guys had the B-B-Q buffet, while Barb had French dip and I had an omelets. Chuck brought me some chicken noodle soup, which helped my cold.

We played the machines a bit and I finally had a bit of luck, the rest of the group not so.

So this week we have seen a lot of beautiful vistas, wonderful colored rocks, some wild burros, a couple of tarantulas on the road, and a snake. The weather has been great, warm most days, cooler at night, down to 39 degrees, windy but no rain. We’ve enjoyed getting to know Barb & Dennis and had a lot of fun with them.

We were so sorry to hear about Rob and Norma having to put down Toby, you have our sympathies over your loss. He was such a great dog!

Hey Dave & Sandy in MN, saw on the news this morning you were having snow already, you all ready to head south yet?  Let us know and we will save a spot for you!

So until next time……Lorraine


11/14/10                                                                                                                                                                     Chuck’s report

We’ve had a busy, fun week.  We enjoy being in the desert and doing some exploring.  And of course, there is the always present Casinos too.  This is the first time Dennis/Barb have been to the desert, in fact, the first time they have seen a cactus they told us.  I think they have enjoyed exploring and visiting the desert too. 

We went to the Sunday brunch at the Riverside Casino on Sunday morning, a good meal with good friends.  Of course, we all tend to overeat at these things so it was our only meal that day and still we may have had too much.  Later we went an Indian Casino in the area, AVI, where we played the slots and visited some more. 

Monday Dennis/Barb took off to see the Grand Canyon.  We elected to stay closer to home, we’ve been there once before and probably will make that a stop on one of our future trips.  Lorraine had her hair done then prepared a fried chicken dinner for when they got back from their trip.  They were on the trip for most of the day, didn’t get back until around 7 so they were ready for a bit of a rest.  We played cards after dinner and continued with our visit but it wasn’t too long before everyone started yawning so we called it a night. 

Next morning Lorraine and I did some work around the coach, she also did a few loads of laundry before we headed out for the day.  We went into Bullhead City, stopped a couple of stores.  Later we went out to a place our friends Joe/Alice introduced us too a couple of years ago where there are Petroglyphs marked on the rocks.  We had to drive out out of town about 10 miles, then about 5 miles on a gravel road then a walk of about 1/2 mile.  Lorraine and Barb decided to wait at the car while Dennis and I made the walking trip out and back.  I will include a few pictures rather than try to explain the markings. 

After we got back to our campground and walked the dogs, we decided to find a good place for dinner.  We went to two casinos and tried our luck on the slots first, bad idea maybe but what the heck, if you don’t play, you can’t win. (But you never hear anyone say you can lose if you do play, do ya?) Anyway, we ended up at the Tropicana for a buffet dinner, seems to be some of the cheapest and good food in town.

Wednesday the four of us got in their truck and headed out for a visit to Lake Havasu.  Lorraine and I had made a short trip here once before but we didn’t get to visit the London Bridge, that’s right, the real London Bridge is here.  Back in the ‘70s they bought it, took it apart, shipped it over and rebuilt it here.  It spans a short inlet but is the main tourist point in town.  We parked the truck and spent some time at the bridge, now we can say we’ve been there, done that. 

While on our trip, we talked about our upcoming plans.  Dennis/Barb were planning on heading to Las Vegas the next day and we were planning on staying in Laughlin for another week.  But we both changed out plans and decided we would all head to Pahrump the next day.  I think Dennis and Barb are quite content to just see different areas on their first trip down here and they will head over to Las Vegas tomorrow. 

After we got back to our campground, the gals wanted to check out Harrah’s Casino on our last night in town.  Dennis and I both declined to go, instead we stayed back and rested.  After they got back we played cards at our place for awhile again before calling it a day. 

Next morning we weren’t in a hurry to leave, only had a couple, three hour trip to Pahrump.  Our neighbor came over for a visit before we left and told us of a shortcut we could take that would keep us from climbing the mountains twice.  So once we got set up, Lorraine and I took off to fill up on diesel but we couldn’t get into the gas station so just left, planning on fueling up somewhere along the way.  We met Dennis/Barb just outside town and headed off.

We have an altitude readout on our GPS, Laughlin was under 1000’ and in the next 5 miles we climbed to over 3500’, a l o o ong hill.  Once we got to a wide spot in the road called Searchlight, we took the cutoff our neighbor told us about.  He told us it was a two lane road but in  very good shape and an easy drive for a big rig.  Boy, I don’t know what we did to piss him off but did he lead us astray.  Our 2 1/2 or 3 hour trip took over 5 hours, we crossed three mountain ranges and at one time we were over 5400’ high.  It was a very scenic drive but no shortcut and for sure didn’t save us from making long climbs up and down the mountains.  Oh well, it’s another road we can cross off the map at least. 

Once we got to Pahrump, we followed our GPS to Terrible’s Casino, only problem was we didn’t know there were two Terrible’s Casino in town and of course we were at the wrong one.  Barb found the correct one on their GPS so we followed them as we backtracked a few miles and out of town away to the right one.  This one is nice with the RV sites situated around a small lake or close to it.  There are some fish in the lake and fishing is allowed but we haven’t taken the time to try it yet, probably won’t get to it. 

We stopped at the office to register and found they were almost full, due to the Veterans Day Holliday weekend.  Of course we didn’t make reservations but they were able to get us in the same loop, petty close together.  Dennis/Barb got set up but we found our site had too many trees and we couldn’t get television reception through them.  So it was back to the office and try to get a different spot.  We ended up about 10 sites down the loop we were in, not as close but at least we have all the utilities we like (50 amp power, water and sewer) plus an open shot with no trees to block our antenna.  All the lakeside sites were either full or reserved of course but have an open view of the lake from our site.

Once we got set up, we made a quick trip to Wal-Mart then we met at Dennis/Barb’s for dinner, a pizza they had bought and cooked in their oven.  We discussed playing cards again but Lorraine hasn’t been feeling well so we decided to call it an early night and meet in the morning. 

Next morning Lorraine felt even worse so we had waited until the medicine she took started working before we made the decision to take off on another adventure.  This time we decided to see part of Death Valley National Park, we had never been there so it would be new to all of us.  Not sure what to see/do, we stopped at the office and got a few suggestions from the gal at the desk.  We took off with our GPS set for the visitor’s center in Death Valley and a map of the area.  There aren’t too many roads paved roads and we had a few places we wanted to see so we determined our route and took off.  

We stopped at the Amargosa Opera House but it was closed so all we got to see was the hotel.  We stopped off at a couple of view points and drove through some pretty scenery.  We took a short detour drive through Artist’s Palette for more scenery, this time with lots of colors.  We stopped at Devil’s Golf Course, never did figure out why they named it that.  This an area below sea level that once in a while gets some standing water.  They told us the water that gets here started as rain or snow in Nevada and has to seep through the mountains where it absorbs lots of chemicals and such.  When the water evaporates, it leave some salt pillars behind at what used to be the bottom of the lake.  

We also made a stop at Badwater, the lowest spot in North America at 282’ below sea level.  There can be water standing here also and the place got its name because some miner’s horse wouldn’t drink the bad water in the area.  After leaving here, we wanted to go to the China Ranch Date Ranch but we had to get back to take the dogs out for a walk so postponed that place until another day.  After another busy day, once we took care of the dogs, we decided no one needed to cook so we headed over to the casino for dinner.  This time we ordered one of their specials vs. having another buffet. 

Saturday morning we once again decided to head out to visit another area.  There is an area not too far out of Las Vegas that has these multi-colored hills and rocks called Red Rock Canyon.  Lorraine and I have visited this area before and wanted to show it to  Dennis/Barb.  They have built a new visitor's center, very nice.  We drove around, stopped at a couple of lookouts and enjoyed the day.  Later we made a quick decision to head to the Date Ranch so Barb could get a Date Shake.  She has heard about these and Lorraine also mentioned to her how good they were so she really wanted to try one. 

Once again, we set the GPS and took off, only a short 30 miles or so.  But what we didn’t know was it wanted to send us down this gravel road (which by the way was flooded) so we took the longer way to the ranch.  No problem except it also sent us down a gravel road, this one only two miles long.  Again, what we didn’t know soon came into play as we ended up going through these cuts in the hills with the cliffs close by, in fact, in one stretch it was down to a one lane road.  We told Barb that even if she didn’t like her Date Shake she was going to eat it anyway due to the route we had to travel to get there, ha. 

But get there we did, no problem.  Barb ordered and ate her Date Shake, sharing it with all of us even.  The gals also bought some dates and such too.  It was dark by the time we made it back to our rigs so once again we decided no one needed to cook so off we went to find some place to eat.  We once again ended up at a casino, Saddle West, where the gals ordered off the menu while Dennis and I tried their buffet.  After dinner we tried the slots for awhile before calling it a day, another busy, fun filled one at that. 

This morning we had plans to go over to Dennis/Barb’s for breakfast but Lorraine didn’t feel very well when we got up so we cancelled and had a quite morning and gave her medicine a chance to kick in.  She hasn’t felt good enough to go outside and do anything yet so we extended here for two more days.  Dennis/Barb had already extended for another day too but it looks like everyone will stay close to home today.  Dennis bought a bike rack and doesn’t have to store his bikes in the basement so he wanted to do some reorganizing today while Barb did some laundry.

So once again we changed out plans and it turned out to be a good decision.  We have really enjoyed being with Dennis and Barb and exploring with them.  The desert has lots of different ecosystems and varies a lot depending on which area you are in.  Some has very little signs of any life, hardly any plants in fact.  Other areas has lots of cacti and other bushes/ brushes.  We’ve seen two tarantulas, two snakes, two coyotes, a bunch of wild burros, horses and very few birds. 

The weather has been just about perfect here, getting up to the 70s and 80s but cooling off to the high 30s, low 40s at night.  Plus it’s a dry heat, as they say, so our arthritis isn’t bother either of us as much as when we are in a wetter area.   I have had to switch to long pants however as it feels cool with all the wind.  But all in all, we like the desert this time of the year!

We told our grand daughter we would be back to their area on Wednesday this week and we plan on keeping that promise to her.  As it stands now, we are paid up and scheduled to leave here on Tuesday morning.  Our normal travel schedule would have stopping one night on the way to the Bay area so we actually have an extra day to spend somewhere, either here or along the way.  As usual, our plans aren’t very firm and we will make it up as we go along. 

I will now go through all the pictures that Lorraine took this week, over 500 of them, and add some to the blog.  Then I’ll get this posted and get back to normal for the rest of the day. 

Sunset in Laughlin, NV.



You’ve heard of the People in Wal-Mart pictures?   Just can’t take him anywhere!!


Here’s a tarantula (big spider) we found in the desert.  


A a bit further we ran across this snake. Really, Dennis actually ran it over, poor thing. 


Driving through the desert.


We went out to see the petroglyphs or ancient marking on the rocks. 





Heading for Lake Havasu, where the London Bridge is currently located. 





And there’s the London Bridge, out in the middle of the desert on this lake. 



Swallow nests along the bridge. 


And to prove we were there - - -



Views from the bridge.


Both the boat and palm trees look out of place at the London Bridge. 


We stopped for snacks, tried small samples of beer. 



On the way back, clouds make the desert look different.



We find a cotton field with bales of cotton alongside the field.


Proof Barb is stealing cotton and trying to figure out how to get a bale of cotton too. 


Back out in the desert, these are Joshua Trees.  Haven’t seen so many or so big before. 





Getting to Pahrump. 



Out in Death Valley National Park.










That’s our car down there, we climbed up to an overlook view point.  Here we are at Sea Level but it’s pretty dry.




That’s not an optical illusion, we drove down there.  Lots of different colors, sorry the pictures don’t do them justice. 



Here we are at Devil’s golf course, salt crystals formed when the water retreats. 



And now at the lowest place in North America, 282 feet below sea level, still pretty dry here too. 


Oops, there is some water here. 


Two coyotes looking for a hand out, they’re wild but come up close to the car for food.



Back at our campground in Pahrump. 



Red Rock Canyon, not too far from Las Vegas. 





Some more wild burros alongside the road.  There goes Dennis to give them two apple cores.


Taste good, let’s chase him and get more,  Run Forest, Run. 


Driving through some close encounters with the canyon walls, heading towards China Ranch Date Ranch. 





They cover the date bunches, not a job for me.  Here is a bunch of dates that were covered. 


Barb showing the dates.  Some of the cactus (cacti?) in their “flower beds”.




Some old mines along the way, I think these were gypsum mines. 


Whew, really hard to keep the number of pictures down, Lorraine took too many good ones.  Plus wanted to show some of our travels in the desert too.  Hope you enjoy them however. 

Thanks   Chuck