June 21, 2018

The Catalyst

You may be wondering why we would give up our pad in Rocklin?  To be completely honest this is what I've been dreaming of for the past several years.  Even before I started writing my own blog.

My dreams are becoming my reality!

The catalyst for this was when we left Rocklin to make a long road trip in April.  We were on the road for almost a month.  We stayed at five different RV parks.  We worked at 17 different parks.  We repaired 19 play structures.  We had time to ourselves.  We visited Disneyland.  We met up with friends along the way.

burgers on the BBQ
Our first stop on the road trip was Bethel Island in the Bay Area.  You can read about our fun hiking adventure here.  From there we went to Moss Landing KOA.  This is one of our favorite spots to stay when working in the Salinas area.  It's right next to the beach :-) We planned an extra day just to sit and relax.  And make burgers of course!

Our third stop was Valencia Travel Park in Castaic.  Our friends, Jodee and Bill, have stayed here often and I also highly recommend it.  We were right across from the pool and the laundry room.  Laundry was a priority so I was glad for the close convenience.

large end site #A12 at Valencia RV Park

Our longest stay at a single park was next.  Anaheim RV Park is very close to Disneyland.  It's also very close to many of the repair sites in Los Angeles that we had scheduled.  The only downside (for us) is that Rufus is very afraid of the fireworks that Disneyland has going on every night.  I completely forgot about this when making our reservations :-(  Bad dog mom moment...

end spot #179 was just right

I was feeling a little bit like Goldilocks at this park.  The first site they put us in was too small.  I went to the office where they gave me a few options.  The second site would be too hard to get into.  But the third site was just right :-)


With Rainer parked on his spot we were left with our own semi-private patio.   We set up our chairs, gave Rufus his mat and enjoyed cocktails in the evenings.

Ron and I have been to Disneyland several times but never without kids in tow.  This would be a new experience for us.  I used the Rover app and secured a fun play day for Rufus.  The RV park has a shuttle stop right out front by the main entrance.  For $5.50/person we bought an all day pass from the self service kiosk.  With pick-ups roughly every 20 minutes, it's definitely easier than driving over and parking ourselves.

selfie outside of a water ride in California Adventures
We bought a one day park hopper pass for each of us.  It was a little pricey but we don't get to do this all the time.  In a small way we were also celebrating an anniversary: one year cancer free for me :-)

putt putt putt on the car ride

t-shirt souvenirs for us and Emmett!
We spent the entire day at the two parks.  By the time we were ready to go home, we were pooped.  We were somewhat disappointed though because Disneyland was changing things around.  The huge Ferris wheel and roller coaster in CA Adventures wasn't operating.  Also Pirates of the Caribbean was out of commission.  So no 'Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirates Life For Me' jingle going around and around in our heads...  

colorful street art

Time to venture further north for more work.  Traffic in Los Angeles had one saving grace.  I was able to capture this colorful picture of a mural somewhere on northbound Highway 101 just outside of the city. 

Our last stop of the trip was at Pismo Sands RV Resort.  We had site #48.  Oops, no photo of this site.  Most of the sites are pull through and face opposite directions.  You better like your front neighbor!  That also means that your back yard connection area is shared by another rig.  That particular spot was empty when we left for work.  When we came back it was full.  There really was no walking space back there.  Oh well, it's only for one more night.

Our friends Tony and Mary live in the area.  Ron and Tony used to work together 20+ years ago.  Tony, Mary and their two kids moved away when the kiddos were younger but we always managed to stay in contact over the years, even vacationing together a couple of times.  We had a chance to meet up with them for dinner, a beach stroll and a card game back at our rig.

Tony, Mary, Rene' & Ron

Saturday, the last day of this road trip, arrived.  We had to get back to our pad in Rocklin.  Our final departure was less than three weeks away!  We had fabrication jobs to complete and a storage shed to clean out.  No rest for the weary...  Best. Decision. Ever!


May 5, 2018

We Give Up...

Yes indeed, we're giving up...

We've had enough of this lifestyle...

We're done with Plastic Pros (for the most part)...  

We're tired of having to pack up Raven and return to Rocklin...

So, with the blessing of both of our kiddos, we gave our 60 day notice for our pad in Rocklin!!

We're currently on a road trek to Southern California, working PolyMenders as we go.  We've even received a couple of unexpected jobs.  Plus another couple that we sent a price quote which we fully expect to get as jobs too.  It looks like we'll be down here for another two weeks and we're definitely not complaining.

Once we return to Rocklin we'll have a couple of weeks to empty our spot and then we're off to the east coast to finally see Emmett!!  Oh, and his parents too :-)

"Home Sweet Home" wherever we park her!!

April 29, 2018

Back Out Here!

Rainier and Raven are back at it again!

You can't keep us off the road forever.  The winter is nearly over and our customers seem to be calling us quite frequently right now.  We had to take advantage of the fantastic weather that's happening in California right now and make a getaway.  Of course, we have work days scheduled in also.  We'll be away from Rocklin for over three weeks!

nice view out the front kitchen window
We left Tuesday afternoon and arrived at Sugar Barge RV Park in Bethel Island after dark.  Thankfully Ron is quite practiced at backing up Raven.  The park host gave Ron a thumbs up for his excellent maneuvering skills :-)

The park is mostly grass with gravel sites, 30amp FHU, $45/night with our Good Sam discount. Plenty of area to stretch our legs while walking Rufus for his daily 'duties'.

Work in the area kept us busy the rest of the week.  But today, Saturday, we scheduled in a play day.  And by play, I mean hiking the hills of nearby Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve.

The weather was perfect.  Blue skies dotted with wispy clouds, a breeze blowing on the hillside but not in the valley, mild temperatures hovering around the mid 60's.  What more could I ask for?

"The East Bay Regional Park District began acquiring land for Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in the early 1970s. Today, most of the mining district is within the Preserve's nearly 6,096 acres. The area is an ideal location for hiking, picnicking and nature study. Naturalists conduct a variety of programs relating the Preserve's natural and historic resources."  You can read more details about the history of the area on the web page linked above.

likely one of the original buildings from the mining era

spring time greenery abounds

some trails are wide
while others are narrow
Rose Hill Cemetery
"Although little remains of the coal mining communities, a historic cemetery serves as a monument to the lives of the former residents. Buried here are children who died in epidemics, women who died in childbirth, and men who died in mining disasters and of other things. Although over 10 nationalities resided in the mining area, Rose Hill Cemetery was a protestant burial ground, and many of the people buried here were Welsh."

looking back from the cemetery

yes, it was just a bit windy at times...

can you guess what this is??

one of several mine entrances
you won't catch me working down here!
interesting view :-)
what a great play day!

Tomorrow is another travel day for us.  We leave our little spot by the delta for a spot by the ocean.  We'll be staying at one of our favorite places, Moss Landing KOA, within walking distance of the coast!

Ah, it feels great to be back out here!!

March 22, 2018

7 lb, 14 oz

Emmett arrived on March 19, 2018 weighing 7 pounds, 14 ounces and measuring 20.5"!  Mom, Dad and Emmett are all doing well.  Just couldn't leave you stranded wondering about him.  This Grammie is over the moon in love with this little boy already :-))

our first photo of Emmett and Jessica
such a chubbie face :-)

resting in Mike's arms and ready for the drive home!

We are both so excited to be grandparents!  We're planning to drive our home to Maryland early this summer for a visit. 

March 11, 2018

He's Almost Here!

Last November I mentioned that we're going to be grandparents soon :-))  He's almost here! 

January 20th was the date of Jessica's surprise baby shower.  When I got the invitation I was heart broken.  She lives in Maryland and we live in California.  For kicks and giggles I looked online for airline tickets.  I could be in Maryland Friday afternoon, enjoy the party on Saturday and be back home late Sunday.  Just a few details to work out...  YIPPEE!!  I was going to be there to see her in all her girth :-))

My flight was leaving bright and early at 6:00am.  I'm not a morning person but you bet I was up and ready to go this time.  I had my bag packed the day before.  I was going to bring the essential minimums and avoid the hassle (and fees) of having a checked bag.

There wasn't much of a line for security, an added bonus of early departure, so I stepped right up to the TSA podium.  The agent told me I was pre-screened and to take the line on the far right.  While starting to take off my shoes, another person in line said I didn't need to. Another bonus for me :-)  I put my bags on the conveyor belt, walked through the scanner, picked up my purse and bag and was on my way to my gate.  Easy peasy is how I like it at 5 something in the morning!!

My one hour layover was in Salt Lake City.  Just enough time to get a sandwich and use the bathroom.  Soon we were boarding and heading to Baltimore.

I had a car reserved for the weekend.  Good thing too as Mike (my son in law) said he had a last minute interview and couldn't make it to pick me up.  Mike was in on the surprise and even had arranged a one night hotel room for me :-)

I arrived in Baltimore around 4:30, on a Friday afternoon, and had a long drive ahead of me.  No worries.  I enjoy driving and the traffic was only slow for a short distance.  By the time I made it to the hotel it was nearly 7pm.  But I had a mission.  Must.  Buy.  Baby.  Stuff. 

cuteness overload

Lucky for me, the Babies 'R Us store was practically next door to the hotel.  They lucked out when this Grammie entered.  I bought bibs, plenty of clothes to outfit twins, rattles, diapers, wipes, pacifiers, Mommy care items and even a diaper bag disguised as a backpack.  After my shopping spree it was time for a late dinner, wrap up the goodies and get to bed.  Tomorrow I get to see my girl :-))

Saturday I had a few hours to kill so I drove over towards Hannah's house where the shower was taking place.  I was still too early so I went to a nearby park to kill some time.  Hagerstown City Park is a large park in the center of town.  There is an amphitheater, several playgrounds, a pond, an art museum, hiking trails, a train museum and I was lucky enough to find a geocache in the park.

Jessica's friends had arranged a surprise party for her.  She had an idea so when she entered the house she wasn't really surprised.  When she saw me in the group she was quite surprised.  Success!  We hugged, we kissed, and then we took a selfie :-)

Grammie-to-be and Mom-to-be :-))

Mike is a paramedic.  He is currently interviewing at several medical schools.  He plans to study medicine and work as an emergency room doctor after graduation.  Although Mike was on duty that day, he managed to stop by and say hi to everyone and grab some lunch.  He was called to action halfway through the party and had to make his exit.  Our visit was brief as he also had to work Sunday.

Jessica had fun at her party, opening presents, tossing balloons with her feet, visiting with her friends and of course, eating the made from scratch cake baked by Stephanie.

After the shower Jessica and I made another trip to Babies 'R Us.  This time I let her pick some items that she needed but hadn't received as gifts or purchased herself.  Oh Boy, I think I may have already spoiled Emmett :-)  Mike was still working the last hours of his 24 hour shift so the two of us went to see Jumanji together.  How many years has it been since we went to the movies together?!  Sometime during our late night dinner Mike told Jessica that he had to stay at the station for another 24 hour shift.  Life as a first-responder isn't always perfectly timed.

Sunday was my departure day and it came too quickly.  Jessica and I went to grab some sandwiches at a nearby Quizno's before I drove back down to Baltimore.  Mike's station was across the street and we planned to stop in after we ate.  Unfortunately he was on a call.  So we hugged and said our see you laters and I was off.

Jessica started a private group on Facebook and she posts self portraits of her and Emmett most every week.  Here's the latest one taken March 2nd.  She sent me a text on the 8th and said at her appointment the NP said her body is getting ready for Emmett to make his debut.  She said she's tired and moody but doing well otherwise.  I know how she feels.

Emmett's official due date is March 12th, tomorrow.  Ron and I will be in Long Beach at the annual California Parks and Recreation Society Convention and Expo.  You can bet we'll keep our phones next to us until we get The Call!