Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Blog

From Lakeport we traveled to Santa Rosa and once again, what a nice surprise? The camp site was close enough to the center of town to be able to walk (about a mile).  We knew from the forecast that we would have a dry day and a wet day there and that the afternoon we arrived would be fine also. The weather has been a big part of this trip as it probably will be throughout the 2 years. Whether too hot or too cold we are cozy in our little home as we have both heating and air conditioning.
We walked into Santa Rosa and along the way found the Luther Burbank gardens; very interesting – Burbank was an early pioneer of grafting and grafted literally thousands of trees, flowers and shrubs much to envy of his fellow horticulturists of the time. There was a bed of “naked ladies” Lilies, from miniature to giant in size, lots of roses named for the Queen of England, film stars, perfumes and places. His wedding photo was on display - he was 67 and his wife looked about 19 years old. He died 5 years after the marriage and she must have been a widow for 50 years or so as she only died around 1997. During her life Mrs. Burbank gifted the house, outbuildings and gardens to the city of Santa Rosa. The Burbank gardens forms part of a lovely chain of parks right beside the downtown area.
We walked then to Peet’s Coffee for our daily dose of caffeine, I drink a Cafe Latte with lots and lots of foam, which I love.  Sometimes the locals talk to us as they find our accents intriguing. Not surprisingly most claim some Irish blood flowing through their veins; one woman reckoned she was 1/33 Irish she was fun – I told her that she was the United Nations all in one person.
The following day it rained so we visited The Charles M. Schulz Museum to learn all about Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Peanuts, Linus et al – we spent nearly 4 hours there – it’s a must visit! Charles M. Schulz (“Sparky” to his friends) lived and worked for 50 years in Santa  Rosa. One could draw a picture and they would put it on file and then you could come back 50 years later and they would have it in the archives. I didn’t draw do a drawing – going back in 50 years being the problem!! 
Our next stop was Los Gatos in Maky’s driveway for 3 nights.  I hit town just as the parties were starting.  I went on the hike to San Francisco; we had lunch in the Palace Hotel. I will not say how much I ate but it was three courses and was delicious. That night I went to the annual Tennis Party in Loretta’s and now have a lovely small cushion for my RV.  Thank you ladies, I could see you wanted to steal it but had decided it was the only suitable present for the RV.  I will think of you as I sit on it!!
At the tennis Party I discovered there was a British Party the next night in Debbie’s house (I am 1/8 British).  Both of us enjoyed meeting so many friends and discovered that quite a few people are following us through the Blog.  The food was wonderful and plenty of it.  The turkey was moist the Pudding huge and the trifle boozy (Barry what did you put in it?).
The reason we hit Los Gatos so early was three fold ,  my friend Rina was visiting from  Israel so I knew Debbie would come up from San Diego for a week end so we ended up coming back to Los Gatos a little early to see Rina, Eileen (Eileen was not going to miss out on the fun and she flew in from Maine),  Debbie, Maky, Judy, the Variot’s, Gaffney’s, Goswamy’s, Gianni’s; and of course we “bumped into” lots of other friends and neighbors also. And, boy did we have fun.  I think I can finally play Mah Gong thank you, Kerry.  I had a Bridge party, Bunko party, and lots friends around.
Eileen left for Maine on the 16th, we had dinner with Rina and Ami that night and they left for Israel on the 17th.
We parked the RV in Morgan Hill for the week and it was a 40 minute ride to town and the parties. At the moment we are house sitting for Eileen and Carl as our RV is in for a major service, lots of big and little jobs need doing. I will not be moving out of Los Gatos again until Sunday. 
My “Flip” just died on me and I am sending it back to the distributors and hopefully they will send new a new one.  They were very nice on the phone and I like the size of the flip.  We will see what happens.
We saw family at the weekend; our baby is now 30 years old.  I am OLD (Ed. Adele might be, but I’m definitely NOT).  Our two San Jose grandsons are now 2 years and 4 years old and two of the best boys in the world!!  
Christmas Day will be a family celebration, thanks to Stella and Tony and then on Sunday, St. Stephen’s Day, Boxing Day – whatever you want to call it we fly to England to spend three weeks with the three best grand children in the British Isles.
To all of our Followers and Friends we wish a Merry Christmas & a Happy, Peaceful and Prosperous New Year.
We expect to be back on the road at the end of January.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Photo's as promised some time ago

Promised you photos and here they are. (You see the real reason I could not put photos on was I had forgotten my connecter) now that I am near Los Gatos I can get things out of storage.

Taken at Munson Falls near Tillamook, it is as tall as the Niagara Falls but not so much water!  It was way up a back road with lots of pot holes.  It was so green in the forest.  The spray makes a micro climate and the moss was thick on the trees.
Tom at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Washington. We also visited a site they wintered at in Oregon.  We now think we are experts on the Lewis & Clark trip. Any Questions?
A “blowhole “on the promenade in the middle of a seaside town called Depoe Bay just south of Lincoln City, OR.  What fun watching the waves come in and wondering would this be the one that would” blow”.
Tom at the main door of Tokeland Hotel, Tokeland, WA that was built in 1865 and is still in its original state. Walls are not plum, door frames crooked, the rooms are furnished as it was in 1865, Iron bed with patchwork counterpanes, wash stands with pitchers in the wash bowls and chamber pots with lids stored underneath.  
We had a wonderful dinner there of Cranberry Pot Roast it was delicious. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Konocti Mountain at Lakeport

We had hooked up the car the night before our departure from Fortuna. It takes us two hours from bed to road and we are not early risers so having the car hitched is a good start. 

Next day we set off in the rain and it was relentless. Wipers on all the time; swish/swish...these are big wipers. We had booked ahead to an RV camp in Leggett but we decided to keep going to our next scheduled stop Lakeport on the shores of Clearlake which is dominated by Konocti Mountain.

Konocti is a sacred mountain to the Native Americans, who have been living in the area for over 12,000 years; it is a dormant volcanic mountain on the south side of Clear Lake.  Needless to say there are houses built right up the side of it with fantastic views.

Clear Lake which has been there for millions of years is 100 miles around. Lakeport is the county seat and it is a pretty little town with a very good museum in the old Court House of the history of the Pomo people, their culture, weaving and basket making. One exhibit that fascinated was a reed boat – very similar to those from ancient Egypt. In the lobby of the museum we met a genuine Pomo, Thomas I told him I thought John Wayne had killed them all and after a good laugh we had a great chat with him. Once again we stayed beside a Casino, this time literally on a strip of land belonging to the Pomo tribe. Let me put it this way they do not have houses with great views.

We drove down to Calistoga and saw "Old Faithful" shooting into to the air and a few minor steam pools along the side of the road.  Calistoga which is in the wine country has mud baths and hot geysers. We had left the fishing area of California and entered into the wine country. Most places before Calistoga relied on the fisherman for business.

On Sunday we had a wonderful traditional Holiday Victorian Afternoon Tea at the Lakeport English Inn which is run by Karan Mackey a former Mayor of Lakeport and Supervisor of Lake County. I also purchased some gifts from their beautifully Holiday store.

I am having some challenges downloading videos and photos and will work on resolving these issues during the Holidays as I have some great shots to show.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

CA at last

We crossed into CA on November 28th.  Any other State it really makes no difference but CA likes to let you know you are entering this vast and different place called after a mythological island in Spanish folklore.

Police in uniform officially greet you at the border and make sure you are carrying no fresh fruit and vegetables into CA.  This of course meant I had a night of making a gallon of soup in lots of small pots.  Then the fresh fruit had to be chopped into little pieces and I ended up with 4 bowls of fresh fruit salad.  Fresh Fruit Salad!!! That’s a salad, right?  The soup is now finished but the fruit salad is still with us one more bowl to go!!

As Tom was unhooking the car at our next stop, Fortuna, he was already chatting up a lady at the campsite, Joei. So I asked her in to have a cup of tea and 8 hours later she goes home. Joei Carlton Hossack as it turns out is an Author and has written many books (of course I bought one called Everyone’s Dream, Everyone’s Nightmare which is about her own RV adventures with her late husband). She was on her way to San Diego to see her sister but had an oil leak which meant that she could not leave until Monday and this was Sunday.  We invited her to visit Ferndale with us and we enjoyed her company as much as she enjoyed ours.  She is very entertaining and has lots of stories to tell as she had travelled extensively in Europe and the USA.  She is not impressed with our plan of travelling in our RV to 48 states over 2 years; as she had lived on the road for 11 years before she settled in Canada.

Ferndale is a Victorian town with a beautiful Main Street that is crowned by a gorgeous Hotel at the end of the street. It’s a real jewel in the middle of farming country.

Fortuna is your all American town.  We went to the movies to see the latest Harry Potter movie.  Once again I need to read the book and not sit there and wonder what the story is. 

Next blog I promise will have Photos.