Tuesday, April 23, 2019

A Short Trip to San Diego

We recently spent a couple days in San Diego visiting with Terry and LuAnn, who were house and dog sitting there. It was a bit cool and windy but we had fun taking one of the dogs, golden retriever Kaiya, to Fiesta Island's dog beach. Poor Sugar, a sweet older yellow lab, was dealing with some skin allergies and per vet's orders wasn't permitted to romp in the sand and water. 

Kaiya only wanted to chase the ball. She had no interest in playing with other dogs, try as they might,

The ring toy never left this one's mouth.

Kaiya waiting for Jim to throw the ball, again.

The funniest dog was Blueberry, a feisty French bulldog who grabbed the ball tosser from LuAnn and wouldn't let go.

What a face!

But the award for cuteness went to this Maltese who hid between its owner's legs for protection from all the bigger dogs running around.

One day we walked around San Diego University, a lovely campus with flowers everywhere.


Impressive landscaping

LuAnn, Terry and Jim admiring the fountain

USD is a Catholic college with tuition over $50,000/year

We just had to try out the big chairs

View from our walk

No trip to San Diego is complete without visiting a couple breweries. A friend of Terry's from high school was also in town, so he met us for dinner at Amplified Aleworks on Pacific Beach. We enjoyed the food and beer, and after dinner took a little stroll along the boardwalk.

It's always nice to see the ocean again.

The next evening we opted for Pizza Port, a brewery and restaurant in Ocean Beach that we visited three times when we spent a month in San Diego several years ago. It was as good as we remembered. 

Meanwhile, back at Jojoba Hills, we are getting ready to head out in a few days for Prescott, AZ.

Still quite a few flowers in bloom.

It's definitely Spring!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Summer Plans

We finally have a plan for most of the summer, which we hope will be a nice change from traveling in the Lazy Dazy. Terry and LuAnn have done some house sitting over the past year through House Sitters America, which costs $30/year to join, so I signed us up and put our profile on the website. Within a short time we got several emails from people looking for sitters but they were not in the right time frame. After searching the ads I found a three month sit taking care of two cats in Albuquerque, NM from mid-May through mid-August and contacted them to say we were interested. We had a Skype interview with the homeowners a couple days later, and after checking our references they let us know the next day that they would like us to come. We are very excited about living with cats in a "real" house for a few months. It's close to the mountains and just a mile and a half to the Sandia Peak tramway where there are lots of hiking trails. We've been to Albuquerque a few times but never got over to that part of town so we will have plenty of time to explore. There are also numerous places to play pickleball, both indoors and outdoors, and many breweries, within about ten miles of the house. 

After that we are not sure, but I suspect three months in a house will spur us on to make a move out of the RV, or we may miss it so much we continue on as is. We will see how it goes.

The weather has been perfect for being outside lately, so here are some photos from a hike we did with LuAnn the other day in Anza Borrego on the Pacific Crest Trail.

We missed the turn and realized as we were rock scrambling that this couldn't be the PCT.

We hiked over 3.5 miles from Scissors Crossing north towards Warner Springs. It was surprising that there was no PCT signage.

Agave in various stages of bloom.

     Many cacti are already flowering.

There were flowers, flowers, everywhere.

   We spoke with several section hikers and two through hikers on the trail. At this point they are 80
   miles into their 2,650 mile hike.

Chia plant

The painted lady butterflies are still migrating so Jim had to wash the front of the car when we got home.

On another note, Jim spotted this balloon out the window one morning last week. Little did we know that just a short time later the world-renowned pilot would be killed during an accident upon landing about 20 miles from Jojoba Hills. Here is the story if you're interested.

Friday, March 15, 2019

New Camera, New Tooth and Other Stuff

Nothing much of anything blog-worthy to report, but we are just glad to have our spot here at Jojoba Hills so we can stay put for as long as we like. After ten years some of the luster of moving around all the time has worn off. Now if we could just find a place to plunk ourselves down for the summer where it wasn’t too hot, too buggy or too smoky, life would be wonderful!

Our site, 411, at Jojoba Hills

Neither of us likes lugging around a big camera anymore, and the Cannon we got from our friends has been having focusing issues, so I found the smallest camera out there with a longer zoom, and that’s what we bought. It’s a Sony DSC-HX90V, and it also has an optical viewfinder, not easy to come by these days in a small camera. We haven’t used it a lot yet, but I’ve been studying the on-line manual and trying to figure it all out.

It has a rotating screen to take selfies, which we rarely do. I had to try it out in the car on our way to Garage Brewery in Temecula, with LuAnn and Terry in the back seat. Couldn’t get Jim in the shot since he was driving, but if we ever do want to take a selfie at least it’s easy to see what you’re getting a photo of. And this was before beer!

Inside the brewery I wanted to see if it took good low light shots, but LuAnn was hoisting her beer at the same time so it blurred. Otherwise not bad without the flash.

Laurelee and Libby stopped by for a few nights on their way to the Lazy Daze gathering at Morro Bay. We considered going but Jim wasn’t keen about the traffic we had to go through to get there last year so we decided against it.

We always enjoy their company. Sweet Libby is such a pretty dog. 

Our succulent garden is doing well in spite of the cold temperatures and excessive rain this winter. There’s a little peek at our new CRV, which we are enjoying immensely.

And we have lots of oranges from our tree but they have too many seeds and are pretty tart so I’ve been juicing them. We’re letting them stay on a bit longer hoping that they sweeten up given more time.

This young acacia tree on the common area between our site and Terry and LuAnns' has probably grown 5’ in the year that we've been members here.

Swarms of these silver dollar sized Painted Lady butterflies have been zooming by for about a week now, on their way from Mexico to the northwest to breed. Apparently the vegetation growth from the wet winter has given them plenty to eat along the way. We forgot to take a picture of all of the squished ones on the front of the car when we drove to Yuma recently, but they leave big yellow blobs and the front of the car was covered with them.

Didn’t have much luck focusing through the dirty, streaked glass, but these two hummers were so cute, acting in unison. Normally they fight to keep each other away.

We made two trips to Algondones, a day trip last week so I could get the implant abutment and impressions made, then an overnight in Yuma on Sunday for my last appointment to get the crown Monday morning. After almost a year I finally have all my teeth again, and it feels good!

A couple shots from our drive through Anza Borrego on the way. There weren’t many flowers along our route through the southern part of the park, although we’ve heard there are lots around Borrego Springs.

It’s nice to see things so green.

This was the view from our room at the Shilo Inn in Yuma. We splurged an extra $10 to get a room away from the interstate. We were close to downtown so we went out for a beer and an Impossible Burger at The Pint House, a nice little bar with 50 beers on tap. Yuma has kind of grown on us over time.
It was too cold to make use of the lovely pool

Other than the usual pickleball, ping pong, walking, working out and doing a little volunteering around the park, life has been pretty quiet since we got back from McDowell Mountain. We’re hoping the winter cold and rains end soon so we can get out and do some hiking and experiment with the camera more. I’ll try not to let so much time pass before I post again, but given the time it took trying to do this post using Blogger, now that Open Live Writer won't work anymore, I'm not sure I have the patience. 

Flowers by one of the ponds at Jojoba Hills