December 30, 2016

Friends, Family And An Engagement

With the New Year almost here Ron and I are thankful for many things:


We first met Steve and Debbie a few months before they began their full-time adventure in 2014.  We've remained friends ever since.  When they come to California to visit their family for the holidays we have a fun get together.  This year we spent an entertaining evening at Dave 'n Busters, a bar/restaurant/arcade for kids of all ages :-)  Then we did some geocaching in the area and Steve found a micro cache.

friends and drinks just go together

Debbie and Steve

some serious skee-ball happening here

Steve found a tiny surprise in the canister
Steve and Debbie have been so helpful to us as we join the ranks of full-time RV'ers.  They answer simple and sometimes silly questions we pose to them.  We hope to return the favor one day to future full-timers. On a side note, we are now among the ranks of geocachers.  Our caching name is PolyMenders and as of this writing we have 5 finds so far.  I'll write a post about our first adventure soon.


We haven't had too many family members here yet.  Our daughter lives in Maryland.  Our son lives in Japan.  We're in California.  We are planning to go to Japan in March but Roamin will have to stay behind.  We're hoping to get to Maryland over the summer at some point. 

We did spend Thanksgiving with my aunt and uncle.  Just a few days ago their son, my cousin, came to visit them.  So David came by to see us too :-)

best cousins, he's 2 months older than me


Last week our oldest child, Alex, made a life change, it's all good!!  Let me tell you a little background first.  Alex is one of those people who never has to study for a test, yet aces it.  He is self sufficient and doesn't believe in free handouts.  He says what is on his mind.  He has had girlfriends in the past but none seem to have captivated him quite like Kana.  She brings out the best in him!  And I'm very proud to say that Alex and Kana are engaged to be married!!  :-))

awww, they're so happy!!

Kana is a nurse.  Alex has said that when they move back to the states (he goes where the Air Force sends him) that she will get her US license for nursing.  She will likely be in high demand since she's fluent in both English and Japanese.  Ron and I are looking forward to meeting her soon :-)

So Many things happened in 2016 for us.  What about you?  What are some of the best happenings in your life in 2016?  Feel free to comment.  I love to hear what's on your mind too.

December 24, 2016

Decked Out For Christmas

Christmas decorations in an RV?  Sure, why not!    

This is our first year celebrating Christmas in Roamin.  I definitely want to decorate.  I just need to scale down the size.  

When we lived in the house I would set up the 6' tree with ornaments that we acquired over the years.  Some hand made by relatives.  Some made by the kiddos.  Most store bought.  All full of memories.  When we downsized the tree was donated.  Most of the ornaments were also donated.  I did save a few special ones though.  They're in storage because they won't fit on our RV sized tree.

Ron and I wanted a small tree that would fit on the narrow rear counter top.  We use our kitchen table multiple times a day so a table top tree wouldn't work for us.  We looked at Amazon and at a few local stores before finding a perfect tree at Walmart.  And what goes best with small trees?  Small decorations do.  I'm the tree decorator at our house.  This year I was done in a jiffy!


The tree is cute but we wanted something to go along with it.  We bought some garland with lights.  So one afternoon while Ron was out and about I turned on the Christmas music and finished up with the interior decorations.

The garland is hung with Command hooks.  They are an RV'ers best friend IMO.  The photo is the kitchen slide but garland is also on the dining room slide too.  I kept the kiddo's stockings and hung them too :-)

Apparently Rufus doesn't care if the house is decorated or not.  LOL :-))

There's presents under the tree.  Christmas music is playing on the radio.  Dinner is cooking.  The fire is going.  We even had a visit from our friend, Santa, known by the name Gary 364 days a year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Friends!!

December 10, 2016

Roamin Goes To The Lake

When we left the Monterey area our vacation wasn't quite over just yet.  We had reservations at Millerton Lake State Park near Fresno for four nights.  Another one day of work to tend to in Fresno and then we had free time until the following Monday.  The best part was that my aunt Sandi & uncle John and their dog, Kestrel, would be staying at the same park too!

getting set up is becoming easier

The FHU area is a parking lot with a grassy area behind the rig.  There are plenty of dry camping spots too.  The dry camping area is gravel and less level.  Sandi and John prefer to dry camp.  We aren't quite ready for that just yet but we hope to try it once we get more used to this lifestyle.

We actually had a bit of 'mock dry camping' while we were here.  For some unknown reason our water line wasn't working quite right.  When we hooked up to city water, the water was forced into our fresh water tank.  To solve the problem we disconnected the city water and used water from the fresh tank by using the water pump.  We spoke with a tech at Camping World after we finished working in Fresno.  He said that something might have simply made the actuator fill the tank.  We decided the best course of action would be to call our local CW once we returned home and have the part replaced under warranty.  We had to fill the tank each evening before turning in for the night so we'd have enough water for our morning showers, but it wasn't so bad.  I'm happy relieved to report that once we got Roamin set up back at home, all is well and we haven't had any more issues with the city water hookup :-))   

the lake is a short walk away from our site

We found ourselves taking Rufus down to the shoreline a few times.  He really enjoys his free time to run around off leash.  I'm not sure where the other campers spent their time but I'm glad they weren't down here because we had the area practically to ourselves.  There are plenty of trails in the park.  On our next trip here we'll spend more time walking them.

Thanksgiving Day was spent with John, Sandi and Kestrel.  We had agreed upon a pot luck style meal for dinner.  John is vegetarian and Sandi is allergic to turkey, so that worked best for all.  Sandi made a pot roast, rolls and brownies.  I made spicy black beans in the Instant Pot and bought a bag of kale/broccoli salad.  It was a delicious meal and John even ate some of the pot roast.  He said it had been years since he had meat...

Sandi, Kestrel and John

we can actually fit four at our table :-)
We all had such a good time together.  I'm so glad I invited them to join us.  They wanted to do something for Thanksgiving but just hadn't decided what to do or where to go.  We're looking forward to another trip together in the future.      

November 26, 2016

Vacation Time, Part 2

Sunday was laundry, grocery shopping and football day so nothing interesting to report that day.  We really enjoyed our stay in the area.  We would definitely come back to this family owned and operated park again.
frogs seem to be their trademark

it was a tight fit, Roamin didn't mind though

Monday, our last day in the Carmel area was spent mostly in the car.  But we did have a great time!

First stop: Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Pacific Grove

we made it :-)

hard to capture a good photo of hovering insects

The Monarch Butterfly spends the winter months in the Monterey/Carmel area where the climate is right and food is plentiful.  In the center of town there's a small refuge where the butterflies are protected.  A trail runs through a small grove of eucalyptus trees.  Most of the Monarchs are huddled in various clusters on distant tree trunks.  With my old eyes I had to use the provided telescope to see them.  An occasional butterfly can be spotted flitting around to the delight of visitors no matter the age.  The docent said there are around 17,000 butterflies currently visiting the grove.  That number sounds impressive until she says it was nearly twice that just a few years ago.  I think it's sad that chemicals used to protect our crops are killing the food that these majestic butterflies feed upon.  But I'm not going to bore you with political views on this blog.  We walk through the grove and exit where we started.  There is no entrance fee but dogs aren't allowed so Rufus had to stay in the car.

Second stop:  17 Mile Drive

Starting out in the cypress forest, we meander our way down to the beach.  The $10 entrance fee is so worth it!  Once again Rufus got to enjoy the sand and surf.  Many people were at this famous beach so he only got a few minutes of unleashed freedom.

There are gorgeous homes along the drive.  Most of them have gated entrances.  There are gorgeous golf courses along the drive.  We don't play.  There are pricey shops along the drive.  We don't need more 'stuff'.   We were happy just driving along and enjoying our time together!!


The day was quite windy.  No one seemed to care...  The sun was bright and the temperature moderate.  All is well on the California coast!

Rufus looking at the surf as we drive to the next marker

waves crash upon the rocks

There are approximately 20 points of interest along the route.  There is a marker for each one.  Some are more famous and some are simply informational.

what a shiny hood you have Red...

Ron set up the mini tripod to get a shot of us together.  Notice the wind swept hairdo of moi??!!

We stopped at a few of the areas where we could venture out a bit.  We were hoping to see some tide pools.  The tide was too high this trip.  I did find a precarious rock formation.  I wonder who built it. 

me and my buddy enjoying the day

the boys got to scramble around on the rocks too :-)

One of the most iconic trees on the coast is the Lone Cypress Tree.  It's been in the same spot clinging to the rocks for over 250 years, according to Wikipedia.   I took a few photos of this famous tree myself.  I'm happy to share them with you!

we weren't the only admirers today
simply breathtaking!


November 24, 2016

Vacation Time, Part 1

When we were contracted to repair a slide in Salinas we decided to turn it into a vacation.  Salinas is just a little north of Monterey and Carmel.  I booked a spot at Carmel By The River RV Park for 5 nights.  One day of work and four days of fun is just what we need!

We left home with Roamin in tow last Thursday.  We were scheduled to make the slide repair Friday.  This one required Ron to be on a ladder.  One large hole was located near the top and another smaller hole also needed a patch at the bottom of the slide.  As always the kids will be thrilled to have their slide back upon their return to school after the holiday week off. 

Our work took us just a few hours and we were done and on our way to enjoy some time off!

We looked up things to do on a great website, and decided that a walk along Cannery Row would be a good way to start our vacation.

 many shops, restaurants and lights
Cannery Row was made famous by the author John Steinbeck.  There's a lot of history here but we simply wanted to window shop and stroll the streets.

I did come across an interesting bit of nostalgia though...  I didn't think to pick up the receiver so I have no idea if it works or not :-/

The shops are beginning to decorate for Christmas and we found a large nut cracker in one of the interior hallways.  It was pretty empty and quiet, even though it was a Friday evening.  The restaurants were open but the smaller shops had closed for the night.

Saturday's weather forecast called for intermittent showers.  We decided to brave the day.  We grabbed our jackets, hats, umbrellas, dog leash and headed for the coast.

The weather held out!!

 Rufus really enjoyed the off-leash beach! 

The damp sand makes for a cool photo of shoes and paws.

We took a walk along one of the piers.  There were people hoping to catch a big one and a father out teaching his kiddo how to surf.  I suppose if you live on the coast, you better know how to surf...

Further up the pier we came upon a gull resting.  It was quite aware of Rufus and flew away just after the shutter opened.

I wonder what this sea otter is snacking on??

One last stop before leaving the pier.  I had fish and chips on the brain and had plenty of options to choose from.  We ate on the pier at a place with outdoor tables underneath a large patio type roof. 

The rain arrived just after we got home and gave Rufus a bath.  We had good timing!!
 Up next: 17 Mile Drive