Living in California, 2013

Trip Start Sep 09, 2013
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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, September 8, 2013

PICTURES OF BRYCE NATIONAL PARK
PICTURES OF ZION NATIONAL PARK
PICTURES OF LAS VEGAS

9/9/13....Arrived in California.  Little town of Santa Margarita, which is 20 minutes from San Luis Obispo.  Norm, one of Scott's ibew buddy's found this campground and has been awaiting our arrival.  He has been in California working and playing for the last 9 months.  

9/10/13....Norm's party is tonight.  Has horseshoe throw every Tues night.     

9/11/13....went into town today.  Stopped by the beach in San Luis Obispo.  OMG was the water ever cold!  Won't be considering going for a swim.   Worried about getting frostbite in my toes.  Really neat though, we went to the ocean then stopped by the grocery store on our way back home.  

9/14/13....Went into San Luis Obispo again today.  Went down to check out the ocean front stores and restaurants.  Found the neatest thing ever!  Seals!  Wild seals just make themselves at home on the rocks below the piers and along the oceanfront.  So, we ordered lunch at a outdoor restaurant and had the best view ever, ships, waves, birds, and seals.  Wow, still can't believe I am actually here in California!

9/17/13....Tues night party tonight.  Towards the end of the evening one of the girls screamed and pointed and one of the guys came back carrying a tarantula on a piece of firewood.  OMG, they are HUGE!  I was surprised at how slow they move.  It's like their little brain has a hard time working all 8 legs at one time so it takes all their brain power to walk.  If you can get over the creepiness of it being a giant spider, it really is a marvel of nature.

9/21/13....Took the dogs into Avila beach today which, is one of the "dog friendly" beaches here.  Really cool!  Most of the people walk down the stairs and take their dogs off the leash and just let them run like they are in their fenced yard.  The slope leading up to the road is covered with boulders so there is not a risk of losing your loved one.  We let Daisy run around but, kept the 2 little ones on a leash.  You never know when the wiener dog is going to do and Jack is always up to pick a fight (as long as he has some back up people (Daisy n Dolly) he can leave the dirty work to be done).  Really puts a smile on my face watching them play at the ocean waves edge.

9/23/13....Went up to San Francisco today so Scott could sign the books up north.  Not so sure I want him working out in the desert.  Valley Fever sounds pretty nasty.  Would rather freeze than risk being one of the unfortunates that react to fungus spores.  Which, really puts a major kink in my plans for playing while we are out here in California.  Went across the Golden Gate Bridge.  Really is a marvel to see.  Just to think of it being 1933 and man accomplishing building that thing is simply amazing.  Found us the ultimate dog friendly ocean front today, Isabelle Island.  We had driven all the way around the bay signing books and had a few hours lefts before we had to head for home so we took the exit for the island hoping we could walk the dogs.  What a pleasant surprise to arrive a dog park.  Dogs running everywhere!  So, we opened the door and let Daisy take off and took Jack and Dolly for a stroll.  Poor little Jack just didn't know what to think.  Everybody kept running up to him to check him out.  But, after about a half hour he stopped being concerned about it.  So, another half hour later we decided to let him have a try off the leash.  He was as good as gold.  So, we could stroll around with the dogs running about just like they did when we were kids.  Only, had to deal with Dolly being on the leash.  But, she was being so good and since the place was totally fenced in we finally gave in and let her loose too.  What a super pleasant surprise that both Dolly and Jack just blended right in with the rest of them.  We spent 3 hours wandering around.  It was just so nice watching a golden retriever swimming chasing his a ball in one of the fingers of the bay.  One lady had a miniature schnauzer just like Skipper.  They really had a good time running around being a dog.

9/26/13....Went to the beach again today. Took all 3 dogs with us so went to dog friendly Avila Beach. Walked Jackie for a few minutes to let him adjust n kept Dolly on leash for 15 min n again was amazed at how they could just run around as free as a bird. What a joy to let them run around while we stroll around hands free of leashes.  A couple of small seals that were black kept sticking their heads up out of the water n looking around.  I got the feeling they were just there to drive the dogs nuts.   Maybe seals get bored too n need to make up something fun to do like agitate dogs. lol    Pelicans were all over the place. Couple of young adults out on stand up boards paddling around.  

9/30/13....Drove on Scenic Route 1 today.   Beautiful, just beautiful.   Stopped n watched the sunset on one of the pulloffs for sightseeing.   Really, brings home the majesty of God's creation. How can you gaze upon all that beauty and attempt to believe it just all happened all by itself?

10/2/13....Had to go shopping so we stopped by the beach on the way home.  Dream of a lifetime came true... I saw wild dolphins swimming!  We had just left that bay area and had gone for a drive thru the rest of the park and after we got to the end we had turned around and doubled back to where we had started.   We pulled into a parking area that overlooked the bay to watch the sunset and suddenly there they were, dolphins!
 
10/3/13....Went to Hollywood today to sign the books for Scott.  No sightings of Movie Stars.  Damm!  No time to go see the hand prints or footprints in sidewalk either.  Damm!   No time to sight see and see where these people live either.   Damm!   And, most disappointing of all no time to stop n see my personal hero's who told Scott to pack up the truck and move to Beverly, hills that is, swimming pools, movie stars....Damm!   Damm!  Dammit!   lol

10/3/13....took Scenic Route 1 most of the way there and back so lots of views of the ocean.  Santa Barbara is much greener and lush than San Luis Obispo.  But, SLO has Big Sur and Santa Barbara has tons, and I mean tons of people and therefore traffic.  Like the area we are in much better than down there.
 
10/3/13....Oh, I also forgot to bring up somewhere along the way the Clam Chowder from Splash Cafe.  I am not a big fan of Clam Chowder but OMG is this soup out of this world!   For an extra dollar or 2 they put a scoop of cold crab on top to mix in n OMG is it ever good. Guess some of the Costco's carry their Clam Chowder Soup so I personally recommend for you costco shoppers you look to see if they carry it.

10/5/13....Scott's friend Norm left for home in Missouri yesterday.  He has been here working for a year now. Going home to see his grandson. Funny how it's the grandbaby's we miss the most! They change so much while we are gone. Should have seen the license plates at his farewell party. I counted 13 different states when I walked thru the parking out front of our campers. That is just crazy!
 
10/5/13....There was a star gazing party tonight.  Up on top of one of the mounds in our campground the professors from Cal Poly one of the best colleges in California.  OMG, the sizes of their telescopes!  OMG, we got to see stuff we will never get to see again.  The 3 that stand out was "jellyfish", "wild duck cluster", "7 sisters".  He showed us where the northern cross was in 3 stars triangle.  Pointed out the Goat and Capricorn.   We were up there a couple of hours looking thru scopes. Guess they come out here once a month to use that mound. Really cool!


10/9/13....Moving day!  Going to go up further north and see the National Parks we came to see.  Hopefully our government will stop playing the game of chicken with the dem. vs rep.  Going to move to Santa Nella.  Going to sign the Fresno book.  Will take about 3 hours to get there.

10/11/13....Well... we are still waiting for the game of chicken to end with our government.    We want to get over to Fresno to sign and then drive onto Kings Canyon Nat. Park and then Sequoia
National Park.  Then we are going to head up to Lassen Volcanic National Park and then over to the Redwoods.  Our President Obama n our government have been playing chicken for 10 days now. It is costing me 40.00 bucks a night waiting to get into the National Parks.  OMG, who would have thought wildfires would stop us from getting there when we came into California and then the government would go on strike until President Obama got his way with national healthcare. Actually, national no care in my opinion.  We will all be on the "Get Sick n Die Quick plan".   Well, now we have to pay 40 for tonight and then again on Sat and Sun.  It will be a minimum of 200.00 for us to sit n wait.

10/12/13... We landed at San Juan Belita.    45 min from Monterrey Bay.   The town is a monument town from the large mission that was built in 1800's.   Really, quaint with little shops lining the streets for several blocks.   The ground here is mostly flat with only a little sloping hills so riding our bikes is nice here.    Also, the campground is cool because the owner when he built the place 45 years ago planted Redwood trees so several trees would be on each lot.   So, we are camped in the middle of a Redwood grove.   The trees are already so big that it takes both Scott and I holding hands to put our arms around the trunk of it.    Also nice that we can ride around in the golf cart.   You know the 3 dogs love their golf cart rides.
 
10/14/13....
Went to San Francisco to Pier 39 today.  Got the city pass so we could ride the trolley cars and ride the buses also gives a ride on one of the boat tours of the bay.  Also, had tickets for their Exploratorium and the bay Aquarium.   The aquarium gives the choice of the San Francisco Bay Aquarium or the Monterey Bay Aquarium.    I guess the Monterey Bay one is supposed to be much bigger n nicer so we are going to go there.  The pier is full of little shops and places to eat. Clam chowder all over but none as good as it was in San Luis Obispo Splash Café.   Omg, was that ever good.   The boat ride went out in the bay around Alcatraz prison and under the Golden Gate Bridge.  The seals were laying all over the place just, blanketed the boat docks. The one picture we have is of all the seals laying about the docks and all the people above them looking down at them.  It just seemed comical like the seals were looking up n saying "look at all those people up there on that deck. They come here every day and pack that deck, guess they are trying to get some sun or something, look funny don' t they?"   
 
10/16/13....Took the bikes into Monterey to ride on the bikes on the bike trails next to the ocean.  Really, cool n neat to ride your bike along the edge of the ocean.   Around the beaches, the rocks with seals laying on them, the boats in bay, they huge jellyfish floating at the edge of the water.  Just really cool.

10/18/13....
Took the 3 dogs into a another dog park today.   Really is so cool to take the "kids" out for a walk and all 3 scampering around and no leashes.  Just puts a smile in your soul to watch them scamper around and other dogs coming up to say hello and then they scamper off together.

10/21/13....Went into Monterey Bay to the Aquarium.   Omg, Wow!   One huge tank after another of ocean beauty.  Really felt like a you were looking through a window into the ocean.  One of the big tanks that was my favorite was the kelp tank.  Lots of different fish in the tank.  Big fish, little fish, solitary fish, schooling fish, all in a natural environment.  Swimming around the Kelp, rocks, and ledges.   The kelp growing naturally like it does in the ocean.  It grew the hole depth of the tank which was 3 stories tall.   Cool to watch the predatory fish separate the little schooling fish into 2 or 3 different "balls" of fish and then have the balls darting around trying to rejoin the main ball of the school.   The jellyfish were just magical to watch!    Floating so effortlessly, just hypnotizing.  The tank with the big fish like the tiger sharks, sturgeon, tuna, sharks, and other large fish I can't name with the 2 sea turtles.   The circle tank above your head with the little silver fish swimming their little hearts out going round, and round, and round.   The bleacher sitting areas in front of the big tanks.  Watching the otters play in their romping area.  The tank after tank of the cool things, fish, plants, anemones, jellyfish, seahorses, stingrays, and whatever else I didn't name.   Don't think I will ever go to another aquarium that reaches this level.

10/24/13....
Rode the bikes into town and checked out all the little shops, the chickens running around on the streets, the mission, antiques, the little older homes that make up the town.  

10/26/13....Moved over to Fresno so we could be closer the the Sequoia's trees and Yosemite.  Scott finally got the ok from the state to take the test for state licensure.    

10/28/13....
bored out of my goard. Scott is studying for his state test.

10/29/13....Scott passed his test!!!  So, we headed over to the Sequoia National Park to make a childhood dream come true to celebrate.  Silly us listened to Tom-Tom GPS to take us thru the mountains to get us there.  As the road got more narrow and more torn up we started doubting Toms advice. As we were 3/4 up the to the top of the mountain and just belly laughing at our stupidity and hoping it would just turn out to be the scenic route it started to sleet.  We stopped laughing!    We did not have chains for our tires as it recommended.   Sliding off the road was not funny.  So, we turned around and headed for home.  We would have to see the giant Sequoia's tomorrow.

10/30/13....Found the park today.  Wished we had chains for the tires again today after we had to drive thru some of the slick areas that had packed snow.  The Sequoia's were NOT disappointing.  Honest to God the trunk of the tree is as big as a room in your house.  It is just surreal when you are standing there because you know trees are just not that big but, yet there it is.  One of the Giant's had fallen over many years ago the park didn't know when because it had fallen that long ago anyway they had cut a tunnel thru it so u could walk thru to the other side.  The odd thing was that the tunnel was about 30 foot from the base of the tree.  The trees do not rot like normal trees.  They are also 3,000 yrs old.  Can you imagine?  They were here when Jesus Christ walked this earth

11/2/13....Went to Yosemite today. OMG!!! OMG!!!   And I will back that up with a WOW and a HOLY COW!    Everywhere you turn your head you need to click the camera.  Hard to imagine the cliff faces of the mountains being as high and beautiful as they are.  To see the valley in real life is just beautiful.  Was very fortunate to get a nice warm day as this is very late in Yosemite season.   Yosemite has already had low temps of 17.  Took lots of pictures, lots n lots of pictures.  Glacier Point lookout is amazing!  You are on a cliff that is over 3,000 feet above the valley below you.  The thing I picked out to measure was a concrete truck,  it looked like it was only a inch long.  It was like being up in the Sears tower.  Wish we could have gotten here when we planned on being here because we really would have liked to stay for a week.

11/4/13....Went to a underground garden today.  Totally amazed at the feat that one man accomplished here!!!!  This guy who was the 2nd son of a wealthy family from citrus orchards in Sicily immigrated to the US because all the wealth would be passed to the oldest son as was the tradition and the father was very oppressive.  He became a digger for the New York Subway and saved his money to buy land to have his own citrus orchard.  He then headed to Southern California and found out the land was way too expensive so ended up in central  California in Fresno. Here he bought 80 acres of land and tried to start his orchard.   Unfortunately, the ground here is as hard as a rock and the summers bring temps of 115 which tends to burn up fruit trees. So, the guy being determined to succeed hired himself out as a farmhand and then gets the bright idea to dig down 12 foot and plant his trees. Then he gets another bright idea that since it is cooler down below than up above he could live in these areas that he is digging. Then he gets another bright idea and decides that Fresno could use a underground resort to let people escape the heat.  Keep in mind that this is before machinery so he is digging all this by hand and he can not afford to pay anyone to help him.   This guy digs a room about the size of a farm Morton building. A couple more rooms half that size about 20 more room about 10 foot around has all of them connected with a tunnel/hall system. Puts in a underground courtyard. Digs a underground tunnel entrance for cars. All of this stuff is on a 5 acre piece of his property. He ends up living down in these rooms until he dies at the age of 67.  70 acres after his death is sold off by the family and the tunnels and other digging in it goes undocumented so no one knows how much more was there.   Large buildings are built on the land that was sold.  An interstate is put in at the edge of the property and there was tunnels collapsing when they were working on putting in the road.  I can not imagine how one person could possibly have moved as much dirt as this man did in his lifetime!   And, he had to go thru a layer of "hardpan" rock besides that was 8 inches thick. Hardpan is like concrete.  Amazing!  Simply amazing!
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