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  

November 8, 2016

It Was Inevitible

I've been reading RV blogs for over three years now so I knew this would happen eventually.

I was just hoping it wouldn't need to happen so soon.

I'm talking about defrosting the refrigerator.

Growing up my parents owned a frost free refrigerator.  The same was true with Ron.  In our first apartment together there was a refrigerator included.  It was not frost free and we had to defrost it several times during our time in that apartment. 

We've been living in Roamin for a couple days shy of two months.  Yet, the freezer was needing to be defrosted already.

freezer compartment showing signs of too much ice

there was even ice on the top of the freezer door

the fins in the refrigerator were iced over primarily on one side

The first step is to empty both the refrigerator and the freezer sections.  I could have planned this step a little better.  Although I defrosted it on the weekend prior to grocery shopping for the week, there was leftovers in the fridge and ice cream in the freezer.  Next time I'll plan it just a little bit better.

I put most of the freezer items in a small ice chest.  Some foods I will be using in the upcoming week so they were purposefully left out on the counter to thaw.  As far as refrigerator items go, I put the milk and other dairy products in the second ice chest.  I knew most of the rest of the fridge items would remain cold enough during the defrosting process.

The second step actually took place while I was putting food into the ice chests.  That was to turn off the power and leave the doors open.  The freezer section didn't have too much frost so it was fairly easy to clean out.  I used a rubber spatula and loosened what I could.  It had the consistency of freshly fallen snow.  Luckily the sink is nearby so I tossed it in there to melt.

just like fresh snow
best place to let it melt
The fins in the lower section took a while before the ice began to melt.  It was a good sight to see the drips coming off the bottom.

After a while the ice began to loosen its' grip on the metal fins.  As I pulled the icicles off the fins I tossed them into the sink as well.  Be sure you're gentle if when you defrost your unit.

All in all it took a total of about 4 hours to defrost the freezer and fridge.  As I said earlier I will plan my next defrosting session better and have nearly empty compartments.

so much better :-)
looks good in here too :-)
I'm sure most of you have done this in your own rigs.  I'm curious if you have any helpful hints to share?  I'm also curious if two months seems like a short time span to need a defrosting?