"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Thursday, April 1, 2021

10 Days and SO Many Celebrations!

Chiriaco Summit, CA
Dry Camp Area

After heading out of Arizona there is a nice boondocking stop just off I-10 behind the General Patton Memorial Museum.  It's free to camp and was a great spot to stop.  We have wanted to see the museum too.  Perfect timing as it was getting very windy along I-10 and it was only going to get worse in the next hour.
Set up for the night and just in time as the predicted wind storm moved in with sustained winds at 40+ mph.  No need to unhitch either as it was nice and flat.

The next morning the winds had died down and the skies were blue.  The museum itself was still closed due to Covid, but you could walk through the tank exhibit.
1939 Cadillac.  The same size engine and transmission was used in some of the tanks.
V8, 346 cu. inch 140 hp, 4 speed Hydra-Matic.
1945 M26 Pershing, 90 mm gun.
I thought this picture with the tank and the dove on the gun was a little ironic.
Lancaster, CA
Lancaster Elks Lodge
We were going to go a different route but decided to go through Lancaster just to sleep and get an early start out the next day and cut a day off our travel.  $20, W/E.

Fresno, CA
Fresno Elks Lodge
A new stop for us was the Elks in Fresno.  Nice but tight.  $20, W/E.  Another over-nighter.
It had a pond across from us that many birds, ducks and geese visited.

Placerville, CA
Placerville Elks Lodge
We came back to CA for 10 days to check on my parents, spend some time with family and celebrate our grandson's first birthday!  After a cool winter in Arizona we weren't surprised when the temps were still chilly in Placerville. Of course we had to see Doug & Deanna at our favorite Mexican place too. Sadly they were out of Carne Asada.  How does that happen?!

Since all of our family have had our Covid shots it was nice to get together for the first time in a year!
(We missed Kaylee and Lindsay who couldn't attend though)
We had many special days to celebrate that all happened within 3 weeks!
Shane's birthday,  my Mom turned 80, Alex turned 29, Jax turned 1, my parents celebrated 60 years of marriage, early Easter and my birthday!
First time Jaxon has had anything with sugar in it!  He dug right into that cake!

Another night we had an outside dinner with our good friends Mike and Rose.  Here's the guys smoking cigars while I forgot to get a picture of Rose and I. Then it was off to Monterey for a week.

Monterey, CA
Monterey Elks Lodge
The hillsides were just beginning to bloom with poppies.
All the fields were planted with red and green lettuce.
We spent one day at the park.  Jaxon loves swings!  Daddy works near and stopped by.  This is at Veterans Park and they have a nice campground too.  It's not recommended for rigs over 32 feet.
Hurley being his cool self!

On Saturday we took the kids to San Juan Buatista to walk around, see the Mission and eat at another favorite Mexican place called Jardines.  They have a huge, gorgeous outdoor garden.  They still aren't allowing indoor dining but the weather was so nice we wanted to eat outside anyway.  We finally got Spring!  Nice and 72 degrees out!  After lunch we toured the Mission which finally had the buildings and church open.
Beer was delivered to San Jose in the late 1800s on this beer wagon.
They would use this water wagon to keep the dust down on the streets on hot, windy days.
You could look through the large homes and see the children's room, lounge, etc.
While very interesting, some of the rooms kinda gave me the heebie jeebies.  I wouldn't want to be here at night!
The saloon and dance hall.
There are many California Pepper trees that grow in this state.  They can get huge!  The trunks are very gnarly but the limbs graceful and wispy.

California Poppies
The churches were draped for Easter.
I hadn't been in this particular Mission since I was a kid.  If you went to elementary school in CA, odds are you studied all year about the Missions and built one out of sugar cubes after a filed trip to the Mission nearest you.

The outdoors are really pretty but most of the flowers were just beginning to bloom.  It's a very nice town to walk around.
A Cork tree.  Found mainly in Spain and Portugal, the bark is used to make wine corks.  Now a days they are made of plastic.
Papa and Nonna loving our Jaxon time!  It will be 7 more months until we see him again.
On his actual birthday, he got another cake and some gifts from us.  He remembered exactly what to do and dove right in to that frosting!

Papa and Nonna gave him his first fishpole!  Hurley was eyeballing the football.  He kept sneaking off with it.  Hopefully in a couple of years Jax can spend the weekend with us camping and we will take him fishing with a bigger pole!
Momma showing him how the magnetic fish stick to the bobber.  This is a great bathtub toy.
Happy 1 Year Jaxon!

Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Barbara Elks Lodge
It's only a couple of hours to drive down to Santa Barbara and we had to stop for a couple of days so I could see my New York friend, Rita.  She's living here for a year to help out with her first grandson.
$30, W/E.  It's a nice place to stop that doesn't cost you over $50 a night.  Site #16 on the end.
Rita cooked us up another feast!  This Italian girl can cook!
Fresh tomatoes and mozzarella with basil, olives, salami, cheeses and fresh roasted red peppers!
I'm used to finding hearts in nature and I loved that I spotted this one in the cutlets!
Or maybe it's a chicken?
Here is Rita with her grandson, Marcus.  He brought his parents Max and Pauline (not pictured).
After we stuffed ourselves we walked along Butterfly Beach to watch the sunset.

We brought another bottle of wine with us and enjoyed the sights, smells and the company!  Rita will be moving to Florida later in the year so it will be another year or two before I get to see her again!

On our last day before we leave, Rita and I walked Marcus in the stroller and we visited a beautiful nearby church and the Santa Barbara Mission.  It was another gorgeous day with so many unique coastal plants blooming.
The Mission viewed through a long arching Agave plant.  These things are huge and hang down as the heavy flowers bloom.

More blooming trees.  I have never seen this one before!
We weren't the only ones enjoying the sunshine!
As we walked around we came upon this guy jamming away on the guitar.  I love to hear this!
I don't know what this is either but it was my favorite.  Sort of like an Agapanthus.  It grew in a perfect bouquet.

As we drive to our final destination in California, we pass the Miller Brewing Co.  These tanks look small but they are huge!

Palm Desert, CA
Thousand Trails Resort
What happened to Spring?  I guess it was only 3 days for us.  We arrived here to 90s.  Good thing we have 50a/FHU here.  We catch up on work and finish our time in CA.
Bye Bye CA until November!


  1. You didn't stop for a beer tasting? It's like I don't even know you.

    1. Nah, wanted to get moving along. I think this is a huge distribution point and no tastings :-(

  2. What a fun 10 days!! I can't believe we've never been to San Juan Bautista even though we've been by it so many times. Great pics of that beautiful mission. Jaxon is beyond adorable, and already a year old - it happens too fast with those grandbabies! Nice to find a reasonable price in Santa Barbara, it's such a pretty place. Safe travels to Florida.

    1. SJB is a great town to walk around. Great food and outside garden at Jardines! Those grandbabies are awesome! Maybe one day we'll catch up with you in quantity!

  3. Dave would enjoy the Patton museum, my eyes would glass over after a while. Some great family and friend times, doesn't get better than that.

    1. I'd have liked to go into the small museum. The tanks were actually pretty interesting. Fam & Friends!!

  4. Wow, that was a busy 10 days with lots of visiting! Those were some great sunset shots you got.

    1. It sure was! I'm not so much a beach person as I am definitely a mountain person, but I do appreciate the beach now and then.

  5. OMG-Jaxon is adorable!! Two birthday cakes :-) Can't wait to take our grandsons out for a fun camping trip too! We were just at San Juan Bautista but didn't visit the mission. Guess we'll have to save it for another visit. Good thing for facetime since it'll be a long time before an in person visit with Jaxon. Safe travels!


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