Friday, February 25, 2011

Old Town San Diego-Trolley Tour

We had a great time in San Diego and only wish we could have stayed longer. On our last day there, we met up with some friends from the Montana Club, Coleen and Ray. We had a great time touring the area. Since Coleen used to live in San Diego many years ago, that was an added bonus. It was a fairly nice day even though it had been raining the day before, and there were forecasts of more rain over the next few days. We were happy to spend time with our friends, and we were able to get a nice tour of the city and now have some ideas of where to go on our next visit. The San Diego Zoo is on the top of that list. We took the trolley ride which last about 2 hours if you don't get off and on. So, since we didn't start until around 12:30 pm, we decided to stay on it and only get off at a couple of locations. The tour guide pointed out places of interest on the trip, and we will probably just drive to the various locations next time we go there.

View of Bay from the San Diego/Coronado Bay Bridge

Another view of the bay and the city

This is the famous Hotel Del Coronado. This is the view from the street side.

There are many museums in this city. This one is "The History of Man"

This is another view from the trolley on the bridge.

We stopped at a Mexican Restaurant in Old Town. We were surprised that we were the only people eating there. It made us a little nervous, but the waiter told us this is their slow time. I don't remember the name of the place, but the food was excellent!

We started our tour in Old Town State Historic Park. Old Town San Diego is considered the " birthplace" of California. In 1968 the State of California purchased this property to preserve it's rich heritage that was considered San Diego from the 1821 to 1872 era. While waiting to meet up with Coleen and Ray, we were able to walk through the town and try to capture it with our camera. All is a short distance. You had your choice of unique shops, historical buildings, and restaurants. This is also where we started the trolley tour, so we also ended our day here and stopped for a fabulous meal at the Mexican Restaurant.

This is the General Store in Old Town

Another building in Old Town

We didn't have time to go into all the stores, but I think they still sell boots here.

We liked this flowered bush. Not really sure what it is called.

Grocery store

I heard this is a good place to eat!

Lots of little stores and shops in Old Town.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mission Bay RV Resort, San Diego, CA

View across the Bay from our RV park

Looking down at the row of campers from our campsite. This RV park was in a great location of San Diego, close to everything. Also great because it was right on the bay. We didn't like the fact, however, that it was completely black-topped, also we were very close to the people in back of us.

I took a really nice walk (at least a mile) along this path that was adjacent to the RV park. It went all along the bay. Unfortunately the sun wasn't shining too much, so the pictures aren't the greatest. There were lots of nice homes, not lavish ones, but nice enough for my liking.

This is one of the nicer homes along the path. They all face the water.

Many people had flowers planted. Can you see all the houses across the water? Lots of houses built into a hill. This seems to be very typical of San Diego.

I liked the rustic appearance of this home. It looked so inviting.

Aren't these little guys cute!

I stopped to talk to this friendly couple named Tony and Janice. They informed me they were newly weds. She is originally from Buffalo, NY but has lived in California for many many years now. He is from Las Vegas, NV. They were so friendly and gave me a history of the area. They told me the City or County (not sure which) owns the property these houses were built on, and wants to take back the property. Not sure what that means for the homeowners, but I guess they are protesting it.

We had a very brief stay in San Diego. We needed to be in Yuma by Sunday in order to attend a Passport America Rally I had signed us up for and paid for. We were staying at this Passport America RV Park in San Diego for 1/2 price, but it was only good for 3 days, then the price would go up to $50 per day. This was a little too much for us considering rain was predicted for the next couple of days anyway. It was supposed to rain all day on Friday. So, on Friday morning we packed up and moved near Yuma for the weekend. I really wanted to spend a day at the San Diego zoo, but this wouldn't have been a pleasant experience in the rain. The zoo will have to wait until our next visit. I'm told it rarely rains there and the weather is usually in the 70's year round. Wouldn't you know, we picked the wrong 3 days in the year to go there.

On Thursday, we met up with some friends from the Montana Club. We took a trolley tour of San Diego with them. We had a great time, and that will be my next post.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Visiting Andres and Family in Bakersfield

Andres and his lovely wife, Masha.

This pretty girl is 9 year old Natasha here with her dad.

We had a great time getting to know Natasha and we hit it off with her right away!

Andrew 3 and his dad stopped by our campsite to see us and check out our accomodations. He felt right at home and liked our little house. Isn't he adorable?!

We had a nice visit with Andres and Andrew at the campsite.

Our last night here and Andres cooked some yummy steaks out on his grill. Nice setup! I wouldn't mind having this outside cooking space.

Yummy steaks and pork chops.

This is Masha's mom, Natalia and sister, Malia, who were visiting from Russia. I think Masha was tucking the kids in for the night when this shot was taken.

Whenever we went there, we were always served Russian tea, and lots of good treats. It is a Russian tradition to treat their company royally. This is Natalia with 2 different teas she mixes together in your cup. Very delicious. Andres is standing by ready to cut the cheesecake.

We left Bakersfield today and are now in San Diego for a few days. We really enjoyed visiting Andres, Masha and their 2 children, Natasha and Andrew. Also, Masha's mom, Natalia and sister, Malia were visiting from Russsia. They had arrived a couple of weeks earlier and were spending a month with them. We were so happy to meet them both also.

On our last night in Bakersfield, we were invited over for a lovely dinner. We had a wonderful time, and it was sad saying goodbye to everyone. Hopefully, we will go back again sometime before too many years go by. Andres and Masha both said they would like to come visit us in New York sometime and we hope they do.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bakersfield, CA

We arrived here in Bakersfield a few days ago. After many years apart, we looked forward to seeing our nephew, Andres and his family. We got together with them on Wednesday evening at their home. We met his wife and their 2 children for the first time. We had a very nice visit. Sorry, no pictures yet, but we are going over there again this afternoon and hope to spend more time with them over the weekend, so that will be my next post.

We are staying here at the Orange Grove RV Park. This is a very unusual setting. We are in an orange grove and we are encouraged to pick oranges for our eating pleasure. This is a very nice park and is reasonably priced. The orange trees are located throughout the park and the oranges are the best we have ever had. Very sweet and juicy. Al never ate oranges much, but he really likes these. I guess fresh off the tree is always best!

They provided us with a picker to reach the high parts of the tree. You can catch 4 or 5 at a time in the scoop that is on the pole.

John, a friend of ours from the Montana Owner's club, who lives near Bakersfield, called us and asked us to go to lunch. He took us to his favorite Italian Restaurant, Luigi's, here in Bakersfield. The food was excellent. This is John's favorite dish called the 1/2 and 1/2. Half pasta with meat sauce and half Italian beans. We both ordered it on his recommendation. Of course, it was very good. We hadn't had good Italian food since leaving NY in October, so it was a real treat.

The walls inside the restaurant were covered with pictures. This restaurant has been here for many, many years and visited by many famous people, including John F. Kennedy. All their pictures are on the wall. If you look closely, you will see Al and John at the bottom right corner of picture.

More pictures. It was overwhelming to see so much memorabilia in the form of pictures. Of course I couldn't study them too closely with people dining there.

We stopped at the Buck Owens Crystal Palace. There was going to be a concert there that evening with a group that Al likes " Asleep at The Wheel". We didn't think we could get tickets since the show was that evening, but they just opened up some new seats right up front and center. We decided to purchase the tickets and talked John into going also. We couldn't have had better seats. It is set up like a dinner theatre, as you sit at a table and you can order food and drinks before and during the show. So, our table was right on the dance floor. There was still plenty of room to dance while the band played. We had such a great time and it was such a treat for Al as he really enjoys their music. This is the type of concert I like going to, as it was very laid back. Lots of people were up dancing and that was as much fun to watch as the band. We are a little out of practice when it comes to dancing, but we did manage to get up and dance one dance together.

Another view of the Buck Owens' Crystal Palace

We are standing in front of the bronze statue of Buck Owens. John, me and Al.

Asleep At The Wheel

Monday, February 7, 2011

Visit to Joshua Tree National Park

Since we were camped just outside of Joshua National Park on BLM land, we didn't want to miss checking out this park. Our time here was short, only 4 days, so we packed a lunch and spent 1 whole day in the park. We drove through almost all of it, but there were some dirt roads, off the main one, that we are saving for our next visit. This park is beautiful. It is known for the Joshua Tree as there are many of them throughout the park. It is also known for it's huge rock formations, and many different plants and wildlife. We really enjoyed our time here. We had perfect weather and beautiful scenery. We had beautiful sunsets, and sunrises (I was only up early enough to see one). At night the sky was sparkling with stars. Having never traveled this far west before, we were amazed at the mountains all around us. Many were capped with snow, while we were enjoying 70 degree days with lots of sunshine.

One of many beautiful rock formations and a few Joshua Trees

I really liked this photo. Took this in one of the many campgrounds throughout the park. Love the small opening at the bottom of the rock. Kinda reminds me of an outdoor fireplace.

We are driving on the park road. Hard to capture in a picture how pretty the mountains are here.

As you can see, the rocks all vary in size and texture. I thought these were very interesting.


If you look closely, you will see a picnic table. This is a campsite. I would guess for a tent only.

The cholla cactus is one of the many plants in the park. You do not want to come into contact with this one. As is says in this sign, even the slightest touch can cause the cactus spines to penetrate your skin and removal is not only difficult but very painful.

Here is a picture of the menacing cholla cactus. You can walk though the path, but would not be smart to wander off it. The fence and rocks provide a nice barrier.

Part of the San Andreas Fault Zone is located in this park. If you notice the red line running left to right near the bottom this is the location of the fault. Sign says that if you stood in the same spot one year from now, you would likely be 2 inches further southeast than you are today. In six years, 1 foot and in 60 years, 10 feet. Pretty amazing!

Al took this photo. You can tell where the Fault line is by looking at the sign above.