Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Slowly heading West

Last weekend we stayed at the Fairgrounds in Durango, a very comfortable, no amenities other than 50 amp and water, but perfect for $17 a night. It was time to catch our breath, do a little grocery shopping, winterize our blankets, and do a lot of laundry.  We also wanted to check out the free dump station at Santa Rita Park.  But first brunch was on the top of the list. I “Yelped” a good breakfast restaurant and Bobby “D” Deli came up with lots of starts and reviews and it was only 1/2 block from the fairgrounds. Perfect! We drove the .2 miles only to find a tiny Taco shop.


There were lots of cars in the parking lot in back and we decided to try it. We got the next to the last table and it was only 11:15 a.m. I ordered the fish tacos and Tom ordered the Pork Pastors and both were absolutely outstanding. By the time we had our desert, a shared sopapilla with chocolate drizzle, whipped cream and honey, people were standing in line to get a table. Sorry no pictures as it was so good we ate it all before I could get the camera out.

Oh, I forgot to mention on our last blog I made the delicious chicken soup we had at the after balloon crewing party. I cooked the chicken and onions in chicken broth in the crockpot while traveling from Gallop to Durango. Then just added tomatoes, potatoes, pinto beans, okra, and  lots of spices. We loved it as much if not more the second day when I added more chicken stock and corn. I definitely will have to do that again on a long drive day.



Well, we managed to do our laundry among the weird tattooed, drugged out guys that sat on the floor while we kept feeding the dryers quarters. We took the sweaters and the comforter back to the RV to dry.  It was a nice quiet evening eating our leftover chicken soup and French bread to sop up the broth.

Sunday we rested!  About dinner time we headed to the Serious Texas BBQ. It was seriously HOT.  So hot we had to stop by 31 Flavors for ice cream to cool down our mouths.

Monday we planned on leaving Durango after meeting our friends, Wendy and Mike Lawrence for lunch at the Steamworks Brewery. We talked, ate, talked, ate and talked some more until the quarters on our parking meters ran out. They followed us back to the fairgrounds to check it out and then they left for doctor’s appointments and we left the fairgrounds to dump tanks and hit the road. We were late getting on our way so weren’t sure of how far we would go. We checked out the Walmart in Cortez, but that did not look easy to get in and out so we continued west to the Sleeping Ute Casino RV Park, a PassPort America campground. We parked and went into the Hotel to register. We got a $5 off coupon and asked about the Member card. We registered for those in the casino and as this was our first time in this casino we got $10 on Tom’s card and $15 on mine. We tried to get them to work on 4 different penny slots and had to call for help. After the assistant got our machines working I got a “free spin”. I asked the assistant could I bet any amount and would it count against my original “free” card. She said no it was a free spin and I could bet any amount. I pushed the highest amount and it went crazy; spin after spin, adding more numbers to my card when it was done I had $47. I cashed out for my first $5 on my card. I reinserted my card, bet the penny minimum and cashed out with $.09. Tom played his free card and cashed out with $5. So all in all we got $53. and change and went to dinner in the casino. We even got the senior discount; dinner $15, parking $16.50, we made $21 and change. This was a wonderful stop.


Now traveling through some of the most beautiful picturesque country that will be on our next blog. Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

On the Road Again -- Alone

Well, it's just the two of us (well Pansy actually makes 3) on the road again. Nancy, kissackadventures.blogspot.com, has left us and gone back home.  We are heading home too, but with a couple of stops.

We stayed one more day in Gallup before driving north to Durango, CO. We checked into the Fairgrounds and drove to the Durango/Silverton train station to pick up our tickets. I had ordered them online and we wanted to check the location and avoid the long ticket line in the morning.  We knew we had to dress warmly as I had reserved 2 seats in the open air gondola car.  Having ridden excursion trains before, I knew the best pictures are taken from that type of open air car.

We had worked on the crew of the Golden High Hot Air Balloon starting at the very chilly 5:00 a.m. so we were prepare to bundle up. (just a reminder, our travels for the last 6 months have been wonderfully blogged by Nancy mentioned above if any of our readers would like to catch up on our summer/fall travels). I just have to add a few of my own pictures of the special shapes.

Back to the Durango/Silverton Train ride.  It is the time in Colorado when the Aspens turn a beautiful golden, the oaks are turning red, and the Anamas River is cascading down the canyon.

We did arrive 45 minutes late into Silverton because the sanders that deliver sand to the rails in front of the wheels on the engine were malfunctioning so the wheels kept slipping.  It sounded like chug, chug, chug, swish..., chug, chug, chug, swish.... We shopped twice in addition to taking on water for the engine men to try to fix it.   These are just a tiny percentage of pictures I took from the train. I listened to CW McCall on my earphones as we chugged up the canyon.

We had a great time on this all day trip and would recommend it to anyone who loves steam locomotives and riding a rocking narrow gauge rail car.

Today we did laundry and had a great Taco lunch at Tacos Nayarit just at the next corner from the Fairgrounds. Tomorrow we may just go for a couple of geocaches; then again we may just relax and watch our favorite Sunday TV programs. Who knows? We're retired.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Our Great Adventure with Nancy

This is our first trip in tandem with another Rv’er so I guess this might be classified as an Adventure. When we were with Nancy K in Quartzsite, she expressed interest in traveling with us as she had never been to the East Coast. As a solo women, she was a little reluctant to tackle that trip alone. Nancy is a real trooper and willing to try almost any new experience. She is a runner, a skin diver, a horse owner, and a real cowgirl (her family had a cattle ranch as Nancy grew up). Another item I might mention is she is a daily blogger so if our family and friends want to hear about our travels, I suggest you check Nancy’s blog every day. www.kissackadventures.blogspot.com.

We began our adventure leaving Fresno, meeting up with Nancy on Hwy 99, and traveling to the FMCA Golden Spike Rally in Fullerton. This was Nancy’s first time driving through central LA and I think it might just be the last. We made it without incident, checked in to the very nice (and very expensive) Orangeland RV park. We joined about 20 ‘Spikers’ for the Tuesday Knott’s Berry Farm Chicken Dinner Buffet. It was delicious. There was fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, chicken noodle soup, mashed potatoes with chicken gravy. There was also a full turkey dinner complete with dressing. Yes, I did have a very small piece of boysenberry pie.

It was good that we came down on Tuesday because on Wednesday the strongest winds to hit the LA area at this time of year started. In the park it blew down trees and an information shelter.

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The rally was very well planned by Ed and Anita Price assisted by Dan and Betsy St John. They were so organized they had all the members volunteering in one activity or another. We were busy every day:



And in between all these fun activities, we fit in a delicious breakfast every morning, a business meeting, happy hours, a soup potluck, a regular potluck and a business meeting.

While we were at the Orangeland RV Park Tom ordered a new air cleaner for our rig and I picked it up on Friday. When Tom began to install it he discovered it was the wrong size (right number in the book – go figure). It was too late to order the right one and it could not be delivered on the weekend. We decided to move to the less expensive Garden Grove Elks Lodge RV Parking area.  It is an easy in and out, super friendly camp host, and also close to Disneyland. We called our niece, Denise, to see if she could sign us in to Disneyland, but she got sick and was not working on Monday. We then called our friend, Justin, and he graciously signed us in. Both Denise and Justin are Pyrotechnics at Disneyland, but there are only fireworks on the weekends during the off season. Crying face  We made up for that loss by having the most scrumptious dinner at the Blue Bayou. My Portobello mushroom over corn risotto was the best I’ve ever had. Nancy and Tom’s dinners were equally outstanding.

Tom got the new air cleaner installed and we were on our way to the Salton Sea State Park. Of course we had to stop at the Morongo Casino for lunch. When we parked at the beautiful state park we were almost alone. The sea was a beautiful blue, the birds were flying and the weather perfect. Other than the trains that rumbled by until midnight blowing the whistle at the nearby crossing, it was a perfect 3 day stop. We ate at the lovely Shields Date Café then went shopping at Costco where Tom bought 4 new deep cycle batteries for DA PAD. The old ones were at least 7 years old and were struggling to maintain their voltage overnight. We even had to jump DA PAD with DA TOAD the last time we boon docked.








The next day we took Nancy to the unique sights around the Salton Sea:  Salvation Mountain and Slab City.

We drove south on Hwy 111, turned on dirt roads and arrived at the Mud Pots of Salton Sea.

Then skirted around the south end of the lake then up the west side to Borrego Springs to see the incredible Borrego Springs Sculptures of Ricardo Breceda.


We were treated to see the sculptures that were in storage and not accessible to the public, but the plant employee said he “did not see us go in” and he smiled and walked away. We then drove into Borrego Springs to have lunch and it turned out to be one of the most delicious Mexican lunches we’ve had in a long time. On our way home we visited several more of the 127 sculptures here.

We left the Salton Sea yesterday and stayed overnight at the pristine Saddle Mountain RV Park, did 2 loads of laundry, found 2 geocaches and drove to the Verde Valley, Nancy at Thousand Trails and we at Clarkdale Elks, today.

For many more details on our travels, be sure to read Nancy’s Blog.

And we are shamelessly influencing Nancy on Geocaching.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Back in the Saddle Again

I guess it is time to get back to Blogging. We have taken a long vacation from that activity although we have been very, very busy with the Event of the Year, granddaughter Julie’s wedding. There were showers (2), the wedding, the reception.  There was also the writing and rehearsing of the wedding ceremony performed by Tom, now affectionately known as the Rev. Tom, the setting up and decorating the beautiful Dellavalle yard, and the massive organizing and cooking for the reception. Every moment was a joy. Everything went so well and it will be remembered forever. I’ll share just a few of the hundreds, and hundreds of pictures taken by the official photographer and some from the the site where so many of the wedding party and guests posted their candid pictures.

We got back to Fresno just in time for Julie’s first shower held at our Friends Community Church.

We had fun eating, talking about Julie and Claudio’s long romance, and then Julie opened presents.

P1160354After all the presents were opened, Jenny made a bouquet out of the ribbons and wrapping paper for Julie to use at the wedding rehearsal.

This was shower #1. The following weekend was shower #2 put on by Julie’s Maid of Honor, Christy.  Julie and Christy have been friends since they were 5 years old when Christy moved next door to us and across the street from Julie. They have been best buddies ever since.


This next shower was for friends and family and was held at Jenny’s house. Christy did a great job on the food and games.


The next week we took the motor home to a very nice RV park in Morro Bay, Rancho Colina. We probably got the prettiest site in the park.


The park was only 5 minutes from where Julie and Claudio were to be married. We took Mom with us and arrived 2 days before the wedding. Most of our time was spent modifying and rehearsing the wedding ceremony.  Friday was the rehearsal so most of the wedding party was there. Tom was a little nervous and I think the bride and groom were too. Julie had planned every detail of the wedding. Their theme was all about literature. The wedding was to be held in a quaint small chapel behind a book store on Main Street Morro Bay. All the bouquets were made by Jenny out of pages of classical books. The invitations were designed and made by Julie, Claudio, Jenny and Greg. This was a very intimate and personal wedding; only the bride, groom, 5 bridesmaids, 5 groomsmen, and 12 family members attended. The wedding was video taped and photographed to be shown at the reception held 2 weeks later. These are some of our special memories:

The reception was two weeks later. Jason prepared all the food the night before and Tom, Greg and I finished it the day of the reception. We fed 150 guests salad, rolls, 3 kinds of pasta, Alfredo, Creamy Pesto, and Marinara sauces, chicken, and vegetables. The logistics were a little nerve-racking. Even Greg said in a toast that the next wedding would be catered. The food, audio-visual, toasting, dancing, cupcakes and fellowship was perfect. There were so many wonderful and sometimes tearful moments, it is impossible to capture to totality of this special time, but I hope you get the essence of this joyful occasion. Our next blog will cover some of our stay in Fresno. Unfortunately, not too much caching, but then again not too much on the road either.