Saturday, May 17, 2014

Carmel By-the-Sea and Salinas

Yesterday, we drove down to Carmel so Jenny could take a trip down memory lane (she lived there one summer). We had a lovely breakfast and a woman we chatted with ended up paying our bill. Good karma for the strawberry fairy, I guess.

Here's my favorite sight in Carmel:

Driving by quickly,  I thought it was an elephant crossing. Looking closer, I discovered that it's actually a boar crossing. The boar's name is, I suspect, Rudolph.

After our tour, we headed to Salinas which is where Jenny was born. This is her grandparents' old house in Salinas:

This is the house John Steinbeck grew up in in Salinas:

The people of Salinas didn't like him because he wrote about the marginalized. Then he became famous and they all wanted him to come to their parties. I like him because when he was twelve, he was a crucifer at the local Episcopal church. While carrying the cross, which is what a crucifer does, he managed to drop the cross on the bishop's head and knock the guy unconscious.  Steinbeck left the church as a result, never to return.

Yes, I did eat this. It was okay.


There's an organic strawberry stand on the way home from Gilroy (garlic capital of the world) and we had been trying for days to get there in time and with cash. Nothing but cash accepted.

Finally, we got there just as they were closing. Jenny asked for a half flat and the woman gave her a full one for the price of a half.

Huge, juicy, delicious. And way too many for us to eat. So Jenny drove around giving half the flat away, one box at a time. We must have looked questionable because some people wouldn't take them.

We finally finished the half flat today. Time to get more.

More Beach Sights


All that's left of the See Vue in Yachats
What there is now at the old See Vue site.

A sign on a toad. Says "Be Patient, I'm Pushing a Big Motorhome

Jenny made me take this.

Blessings and Beer

Above is the Reverend Patti Hale, of St. Mattress Church in Eugene (damn you, spellchecker). She came over while we were trapped in Junction City and exorcised our RV. She then cast aspersions on it. 

At the Rogue Gallery in Newport, I asked what exactly a Dead Guy Growler was. This is it.

One of these is the men's room. The other is the women's. You have to guess.

This Is For Our Granddaughter, Princess Stegasaurus

San Juan Bautista

Those of you who know Jenny know that she would be fascinated by old California missions. We spent one morning wandering around San Juan Bautista. Here's pictures:

I'm pretty sure this guy is doing a sun salutation.

This is the holy water thing. I love the colors and folk art.

This is the BVM, Mary to those of you who don't speak Catholic. She's wearing a prom dress. In some churches, they change her dress every day.

On the way home, we drove through a local park and saw this sign:

There was a huge barbecue spit nearby. Coincidence? I don't think so.

We also met this guy:

His name is Dan and he and his wife are the caretakers of the park. Apparently, the boars come down from wherever they come from up in the hills and root around in the ground when it's wet. Since there is a drought here, we didn't see any. But we did see this sign while in San Juan Bautista.

As you can see, boars are among the things not allowed. Nor are dogs. Or people.

Back in camp, I took this picture. These woodpeckers are all over the place.

So, onward.

Adventures In and Around Monterey

With not much else to do except wait for repairs, we've spent our time exploring.
Our first day out, we went to Monterey for lunch. Naturally, with all the great seafood around, we went to an English pub, sort of like the Highland Still House back home. We chose this place because of the view.

Jenny got totally absorbed in this thing:

This is a thing used to lower sailboats from the dock into the water. The sailboat is suspended in a sling of sorts, this boom thing, then swings and lowers it into the bay. We watched them lower a boat, then the guy who owned the boat made a bad jump from the boat to the dock and embarrassed himself. We did not laugh. I am becoming better behaved.

Then we went to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.

Stuck In Hollister, Maybe Forever

We are currently at the Thousand Trails property in Paicines (pop. 240) which is near Tres Pinos (pop. 500 plus three excellent restaurants) which is also near Hollister (pop. 40,000) which has a laundromat and lots of the usual city stuff like Starbucks and fast food.

We've been here almost two weeks, and will be here a couple more most likely because, as usual, we are learning IMPORTANT lessons.

New Lesson: Only get gas at truck stops when hauling a fifth wheel.

We made the mistake of trying to go to a regular gas station in Sacramento. Sacramento has long been considered my nemesis so this story is not that amazing. They planted landscaping trees in this gas station. We hit one. Although we didn't know it at that time.

When we got to camp (here in the lovely San Benito Valley) we discovered this.

Yes, that is a broken window. There was glass all over the place, inside the RV, which took forever to clean up and we are still finding little shards in odd places.

We were able to set up, spent several days, and were ready to move on when we discovered our kitchen slide would not close. It opened just fine, but putting the dang thing back in was not going to happen. Here is why:

Do not ask me how this happened. I don't know. What I do know is that we called the insurance company last Saturday. They couldn't take our claim because it was Saturday. We called again on Monday. The adjuster finally called on Wednesday, and can be here next Tuesday. And of course, we can't a) take it to a repair shop until he approves and b) take it anywhere until it's somehow back in the RV where it belongs and c) can't make an appointment until he tells us we can.

Just for kicks, we called a shop and found out that as of last Monday, their next available appointment is in June. This could be a very long sojourn in Hollister.

Spanish word of the day: Joyeria. No, after my mistake thinking a ferreteria is a place to eat ferrets, I've learned not to jump to conclusions. So I figured this probably was not a place to eat joy.  I looked this one up and it's a jewelry store. 

Ha! I bet my 3-year-old granddaughter doesn't know that one. However, I'm pretty sure that after some time in a Peruvian pre-school, she can probably form a good sentence. I can say "Donde es los banos," a profoundly useful sentence, but not what I'd call great conversation.

More later.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Playing Catch Up

So, this may be a series of random posts. We've made it as far as Hollister (earthquake capitol of the world, if Jenny is to be believed) and tomorrow we plan to head down to the LA area. I've got photos, and stuff, and things to say.

We've been here for four days, visiting Monterey, Gilroy (garlic capitol of the world), Castroville (artichoke capitol of the world...either there is a theme here or California (8th largest economy in the world) is out to take over the entire world one vegetable and one economy at a time).

So, first some good news. Jenny and I have lost a combined total of 29 pounds. That's fifteen for her, fourteen for me, but who's keeping score. We're already discussing the need for new clothes. In case you want to know how, we're doing the Whole30, sort of, and living in a fifth wheel involves lots of physical work.

We spent a couple days in a Thousand Trails outside of Oregon House (which is in California), north of Sacramento. Driving from Ashland to Oregon House, we noticed that Lake Shasta is REALLY low. The lowest we've ever seen it, and we've done this drive many times. We're used to seeing the sides of the lake bare, but this time we saw the lake bottom in spots.

And just in case we didn't get that California is experiencing a severe drought, there are electronic highway signs every few miles reminding of us this fact and telling us to conserve water. Now, can you find a rest area in California? Of course not. (Maybe they got rid of them so they could save water?) But if you need drought reminders, they are everywhere.

Lots of empty, and by empty I mean NO water, creek and river beds. The eucalyptus trees are dying, apparently due to lack of water although it could be some plague, and NO rest areas. (We did find one just across the border, and another south of Sacramento, but that's a long way between toilets.) And just try to get a glass of water in San Juan Bautista. We did. You can't.

Anyway, I digress. I'll post this, download some photos from the camera, and get on with the story.

And, yes, we've had adventures. See you round the bend.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Still in Oregon

Well.  We've been gone almost a month and still haven't made it out of Oregon. A week in Newport, waiting for our appointment with Guaranty RV. Another 12 days in Junction City while Guaranty made several stabs at fixing the RV. So far so good. Then most of a week in Florence, where we could camp for free, while waiting for some money to arrive. Now due to time constraints, we're back in the I-5 corridor, near Ashland, preparing to head south on I-5.

Repairs on the RV and a new pair of glasses for Jenny set us back about $800 we hadn't budgeted for. After all, when your new RV spends six months at the dealer, you sort of expect that it won't fall apart right out of the gate. But it did. Things the dealer said weren't a problem were, the gas leak the dealer said didn't exist did, the stabilizers they said they fixed, they didn't. "Nuff said about the dealer. We will not return there. (Curtis RV in PDX. AVOID.)

Guaranty managed to fix it all, for much less, and so far it's all working. Tomorrow we may actually make it to California.


We sold our house, effective May 1. We hired a company to do the estate sale and clean up. Somebody started breaking in in mid-April stealing things. The people we hired are as baffled as we are because they are very careful about locking up.

The first night, a large screen TV and some jewelry disappeared. The next night, they took the upright freezer. Then the dryer, followed by the washer. Every night, another missing item. We are now up to several thousand dollars worth of stolen stuff.

We have a pretty good idea who is doing this, and the locks have been changed, but the culprit (suspected) never had a key anyway.  I'm not going to say more because there is a police investigation underway. Eventually, I may tell the whole story.


Our second night in Junction City, our cat Buddy ran away. We kept trying to find him but finally gave up when we left for Florence. So far, Abby and Zee are around, although Zee likes to go on walkabout so we're never sure when he'll be back. Needless to say, we are saddened by the loss of Buddy.

I promise more photos and stuff once we get out of Oregon and start finding better Internet. Junction City and Florence had none.