Friday, September 27, 2013

Boise to Tucson

Left our apartment and spent the night in a hotel on 9/14/13.  Sure tiring packing up and I was glad I hadn't taken lots of things out of storage.  Sunday we headed for Reno and stayed at the Nugget in Sparks, had a great dinner at my favorite place, Ruby River.  Went to the gorgeous pool, hot tub and to bed.  Up and had my breakfast at "El Salvador" 2 tostadas.  John had juice and we got him some good food later (healthy).  We are determined to be careful with his sodium.  We don't want to end up in the hospital again.

My last hot tub at our apartment

Viva El Salvadore - rico

Long, long drive to Pismo Beach.  Lots of memories for me there.  Stayed two nights at an Mayan designed home build in 1935.  It was a beautiful place filled with all sorts of goodies.  Walked on the beach, ate clam chowder (Gena), went out on pier and drove along the coast.  I forgot how beautiful the flowers and succulents in CA are.  Nothing could be more beautiful. 

Mayan designed architecture, 1935

Pismo Beach Pier

Lots of surfers out

Beautiful California flowers

See the Seal, finally got a marine creature picture

We drove to Pea Soup Andersen's for what else - pea soup.  Been eating it on drive up and down CA for 50+ years.  Couldn't miss stopping there.  Had my favorite pastry there too and actually resisted getting any to go.

Arrived in Long Beach and stayed for 3 nights.  Drove to San Pedro for my torpedo sandwich at Sorrentos.  Been going there for 45 years and I enjoyed my sandwich so much.  We did make it down to Royal Palms and walked around and was flooded with so many memories.  Drove to my old church on the hill were I was confirmed and by a few of my old homes.  All of these places look fine so that made me happy.

My beloved Royal Palms
San Pedro, CA

Royal Palms
We had our 2nd anniversary party here

John noticed this as he walked by
So fantastic, I loved it

View of Los Angeles Harbor from my old
church parking lot - Vincent Thomas Bridge right
by where the cruise ships leave from

I had my confirmation here in 1963

Sweet little church with a $1 M view

841 W. 17th Street
My San Pedro home

We also drove by our old house and my apartment in Wilmington.  We made a trip up to North Long Beach to see our first home we bought.  We went to Santa Fe Imports for a delicious sausage pizza.  There is no Italian sausage that tastes like theirs.

Our first home - Long Beach, CA

Great visiting with our various friends:  John's longshoreman partner, Roy and his granddaughter in Wilmington.  Good Mexican lunch and lots of laughs and stories and more stories.  So many memories.  Drove up to Rancho Cucamonga to visit with my cousin, Jeanne and her husband, John.  We had fun reminiscing and we loved their new home, full of beautiful family artwork.  Then, on Saturday, we had brunch with my old boss, Bill.  We ate in his backyard -- a paradise with flowers, succulents, and lots of butterflies.  It was so fun to see him and to meet his wife, Helen.  It is good to see them so happy together.

Visiting Roy in Wilmington, 
with Michelle and John

John, cousin Jeanne and John

Visit with Bill and Helen Cox

Left Long Beach and stopped in Huntington Beach, walked on the pier and watched some championship paddle board races.  Then up to El Ranchito where I wanted my favorite Mexican food (many changes, not the same or as good).  Drove on to Cathedral City for our week stay.

Paddle boarders, Huntington Beach


Huntington Beach Pier

Drove to Hemet to meet up with John's old high school friend Don and his wife.  Boy those old car (57 Chevy, etc) memories were flying.  I wish Robert would have been there to hear those stories.  Went to pizza and had a wonderful visit.  On the way home stopped at highly rated Mexican bakery and restaurant.  I "let" John have a tamale (tamil) which is high in sodium and he was so happy.  I was happy too because I got a torta with cochinita pibil that I love (Yucutan style meat).  Both good and we took home a few pastry.  I ate my "palm" and it was the best I've ever had -- and I have had more than a few.  Unreal!!!!!!

Best ever (went back two more times)

Tuesday, Mardi, a lady who makes house calls to help people with computer issues, came to our condo and spent time fixing my computer and gave us some tips and new ideas.  So happy to be able to put my pictures on FB and, of course, on my blog.  For $60, we got our money's worth I'd say.

Mardi, computer guru

Later that day we headed up to Idyllwild, which is up in the mountains and about 30 degrees cooler.  I was a camp counselor there for many summers and love the place.  It sure had grown.  We went up to visit John's high school friend, Larry.  They had not seen each other since high school and had reconnected through FB.  Larry invited us to a birthday party for Herb Jeffries who was turning 100 years old.  Herb had been the first black cowboy and made many movies.  He was also a famous singer who made several hit records with Duke Ellington.  Google this guy, it is very interesting.  Party was so fun with his friends from Hollywood, actors, singers, and artists.  It was an honor to attend and thank you Larry, we had a great time.

Herb Jeffries

Happy 100th birthday, Herb

Soft live music, outside, lovely party

John and Larry

Wednesday, took a ride up the Palm Springs Aerial Tram.  It was cool because it revolves around twice on the trip up.  The vertical climb was from desert floor up to 8,500 feet.  Very cool up there, a reprieve from the 90+ in Palm Springs.  We had a bite to eat and looked around at the vistas.  We enjoyed our visit up there.  Several times back in my youth I had hiked into the lodge up the mountain from Idyllwild.

Looking up the cable

Looking down from half way up

Looking at desert floor
See the huge wind farm down there
These farms are everywhere in the desert

Cute, he sure blends in

Top of the World
Shaded faces, who are those two culprits?

If you know me, you know I love GOOD baked goods.  Googled best bakery in Palm Springs and found the above Mexican bakery, but also the French bakery from heaven.  Hard to believe but two pastries cost $13.60, but truly worth it.  Mine was "Le Louvre" 6 layers of delight, cake, mousse, fondant, caramel and to add to this, it had gold leaf.  How fun to eat gold.  I had to give John a bite so he had "gold in him."

Came the day before and they had
closed at 3:00 - so two trips

Half the case was sold out

The flavor of their chocolate was unbelievable
See the swirled caramel

I love great bakeries

Spent the next few days just chilling out.  Went in hot tub last night (first time since we've been here) and John took his cell phone with him -- into the tub. So he's got a new phone.  Starting to pack up as we journey to Tucson tomorrow.  We'll be staying with our friends Mike and Cheryl for 3 nights.  This seems to be a good place to I will.

Tune in for our next adventure in the wilds of Santa Fe......................

Monday, September 23, 2013

Wrapping Up Boise - CA here we come 9/15/13

What a good rest we had in Boise - mid April - Sept 15th.  It was wonderful to see our friends, parties, dinners, BBQ's, gold panning and gold meetings for John.  Made new friends while here, so it was beyond our expectations.

Cinco de Mayo party - great, thanks Cath.
Lots of hot tubbing - 20 steps from our door.  I will miss that.
I became grill master.  John hates doing it, so I decided I'd jump in if I wanted BBQ.
Gold panning in Idaho City a few times
Went bowling, played pool, and hit Dave & Busters
Ate some of our favorite food.  John has been dramatically curtailed, but we managed to fit in a few of his favorites.
John's recovery from very near death
John's new pacemaker put in 8/20/13, the day after his 68th birthday.  Doing good.
Our cute little apartment that is easy to keep clean.
Spending time with Robert and helping support him to move forward to get job, make school decisions.
Cruise to Alaska
Trip to Portland
Week in Lake Tahoe
Mini trip to our little Jackpot, NV

So it has been excellent and we leave with sadness with the exception in knowing that the "white stuff" and cold will be coming.  We are now more Florida winter people in our short and flip flops.

Come see us.  We're hoping that we will be in Clearwater, Florida for 14 months helping Robert as he goes through tech school to get his A&P (air frame and power plant) license.  An accelerated program that he should do well in as he is extremely mechanically inclined.

P.S.  We had a contest to have people guess the date when we would get home.  We did have a winner.  The winner would not take the $100, so we donated that money to Casa Hogar, an orphanage in Cancun, Mexico.  Just wanted people to know we didn't fall back on our word.  Interesting is that we would not have even been ready to "come home" had it not been for John's terrible health.  That forced us back -- we weren't ready to stop.  I hope we both can just keep going until we keel over.  We've got our fingers crossed.

Below, a few memories in photos.

May 2013
Robert, Wu Xi, and me
MK Nature Center

Residence Inn - 14 day stay
My birthday BBQ 

Cinco de Mayo party at Cathy's house

June 2013
John - Truckee River
Downtown Reno, NV

Beautiful Lake Tahoe

Tahoe Sunset

July 2013
Leaving the Port of Seattle
Headed North to Alaska

Fruit/veggie carving demos on ship

Mendenhall Glacier
Juneau, AK

My friend Dave, a musher in Juneau

Bridal Veil Falls
Skagway, AK

At the summit, pretty windy up there
Canada was about 5 miles down the road

I love this picture.  It looks like our
ship is coming right down main street.

Our ship was 17 floors and this
 glacier was taller than our ship.  Just huge.
Glacier Bay State Park

They only allow two cruise
ships a day into this area

Glacier Bay

Run off under the glacier creates small river
The glacier melt makes water color teal.

Ketchikan, AK

Totem BightHistorical Park
Ketchikan, AK

Victoria, BC Canada

Victoria, BC Canada

Olympia, WA Statehouse

Friends for 50 years
Colleen Lawrence, Olympia, WA

Mini trip to Jackpot, NV

August 2013
Cathy made John a birthday dinner

Million dollar view from Portland, VA
Hospital.  John's pacemaker August 20th

Robert and John pre-surgery
My beloved Nat Soo Pah
with Cathy on WTE campout

Put Robert's El Camino up for sale, sad.
John gave Robert our truck, so something's
got to go.  Had this car for 10 years.

September 2013
I grilled a lot at our apartment on our
small patio with small grill.

We took Wu Xi up to Idaho City
for the day - lunch & gold panning
 lessons of course

John doing his favorite thing --
teaching gold panning

My last hot tub at our apartment
So glad we stayed here, it was great.
A double rainbow on our last day at
our apartment.  Looks like we were sent
off on our adventure with good luck wishes.