Tuesday, 30 August 2011


How could I have forgotten the Giant Redwoods in California!  They were spectacular!  Love the trees.  This is one place that Gerry and I would go back to for sure!  Could not see the top of the trees.  The tops have there own eco system.  Most of the trees are 1000 years old!  Thanks to John D Rockefeller JR for saving these trees for all to enjoy!


We made it home on Friday after a very long three days of driving.  The weekend was made up of unpacking and getting settled in.  People have been asking me what the highlights of the trip have been.  There have been very many.  My best ones are  (in no particular order)
  • Spending time with Gerry. Which is the point of my retirement. We had a GREAT time together!
  • Being able to spend my 60th birthday with Dan.  It is so rare that we see each other on special occasions so this was extra special.  The camping trip with Dan and Carina was fabulous.  We got them all to ourselves for three days!
  • The Italian food we had on my Birthday in a LA restaurant.  The best ever!
  • The Thai food in LA.  The best ever!
  • The Japenese noodle dish.  The best ever!
  • Carina's English breakfast.  Beans and poached egg on toast.
  • Camping food.  Kraft dinner with Broccoli, french toast with dark chocolate almond butter.
  • California wine.
  • Swimming in a Mountain fed lake in Custer Park on a HOT day.
  • Riding a bike from Santa Monica to Venice Beach.
  • Crazy Horse
  •  Wild life.  The elephant seals, deer, eagles, whales and all the diffent types of squirrels and chipmunks.  Buffalo, elk..and many many more.
  • The scenery while driving.  Spectacular!
  • Crazy Horse
  • Grand Canyon and of course, the Arches
  • The Rocky Mountains in Colarado..


Yesterday while I was with my good friend Pat, she asked me what I was going to do now that I was retired.  She suggested I write a book.  Ha ha I said.  What would I write about?  Her words stuck with me and I decided that I would keep on with this blog.  Retirement is a whole new life.  I have no deadlines to meet, no special time to get up in the morning, and no pay check!  For the next couple of weeks I plan to be quiet, spending time at home and hopefully visiting with my daughter and good friends.  I have started a list for September.  I plan on joining Tia Chi again, do all the walks of hope for Sept., hit a few golf balls, learn how to get my pics organized, read, walk, ride my bike, make soup, and garden.  Other than that I would like to go camping somewhere close during the good weather.  My challenge will be to NOT to take on any committments for a few months so I can get to know who I am without my career.  After that, I will be able to lead a more balanced life and be able to give of myself again.  The door is wide open to see where I will go with it.  My other challenge will be to live more simply.  I see that as a positive challenge because I worry about money all the time.
 I thought that this blog might be a sign of being self absorbed but I will use it as a tool for myself and if anyone has any suggestions for me than I would appreciate it.  Look at what has happened to some people who wrote blogs.  Maybe someone will want to publish this as a book and/or make a movie!  That would take care of my money worries!!!

Playtirement has a new beginning of today!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Today in Colorado!

It was great to get on the road and out of the desert.  The change in scenery is such a short drive was incredible and mind boggling.  Also the temperature.  We went from red rock and sand to lush mountain meadows and much cooler temperature in a period of about 6 hours!  It is great to be in a motel room for two nights also.  We definitely loved camping but have had enough of it.  The heat got to us.  The days and nights were HOT in Utah. Thank God we were smart enought to bring a fan.  As I write I am looking out the window at snow capped moutains.  Here are some pics from Dillion Colarado near Breckinridge and Vale.

And to top it off....we did not go on too many shopping trips but this one ended it all!  Our motel is right across the road from those wonderful outlet malls they have down here in the States.  We did some great shopping at Columbia. 

We have booked motel rooms for Wed and Thursday.  Plan to be home by Friday evening.  I can't imagine what the scenery will be like through Nebraska and Iowa.  I know that Illinois and Michigan will not be exciting.  Looking forward to coming home. ( I think.) 

OOPS! More of the Arches!

WOW!  This blog thing it tricky!  Please be patient with me.  Here is some more great photos.  We have so many of our time here it is hard to choose!

The Story.


There are so many more!

We also did a drive down the Columbia River.  I learned that Gerry loves rivers.  This particular one was most facinating because we also viewed it from the Grand Canyon.  It found it's way through all this rock.
Here is some fun photos of the drive.

Off to Colorado!

The Arches National Park, Utah

The drive here from the Grand Canyon was only 6 hours and the scenery was spectacular!  We felt like we were on a whole different planet.  The elevation is high but it was a desert!  It was very HOT!  The day we had the blowout was 108!  Still worth the experience.  It was like being in a Museum of Nature.  Not one thing man made but made by Mother Nature.  A very spiritual place.  Both Gerry and I had very strang dreams while we were there.  This place is where many of the Indiana Jones movies were made.
The town of Moab where the Arches is located is also very different.  Since it is a tourist area, people are very friendly and efficient.  I have never seen anything like it!  On Monday morning when we got our tire fixed, it took all of half an hour.
The trick to being in a desert we learned was to drink a gallon of water every day.  You have to drink before you feel thirsty or you can dehydrate very quickly.  As you will see from a few of the pics I added, it is very beautiful.

The balanced rock!  (How did this last pic get on here twice?  That is Gerry waiting for the rock to fall on his head!)

The Grand Canyon, Arizona

We left LA and drove through the Mojave Desert past Les Vegas and into Utah.  Nice drive but the HOTTEST yet!  Went up to Utah and drove through Zion National Park and then to camp in Jacobs Lake which is just a few miles from Grand Canyon National Park, North rim.  We had met a woman in Half Moon Bay that said that it was not that hot at the North Rim so we decided to do the trip.  The days were hot but manageable and the nights were cool for sleeping.  This experience was spectacular.  We both are so glad we went although the drive was very long!  Spent two days visiting the Grand Canyon.  The first day our legs were very wobbly.  In many parts you cannot see the bottom!  The second day we were a bit braver.  We visited many view points.  People that we spoke to said that the North rim was less crowded and less touristy than the South Rim.  We had a mavelous experience!

On to Arches National Park in Utah!

Last day in LA

We had such a great day!  I rented a bike, Dan rode Carina's, and Gerry was on Dan's roller blades.  We went to Santa Monica and rode to Venice Beach along the bike path.  That evening we visited with friends of Dan and Carina's.  It was very difficult to leave but we had an awesome time.  Thank you Dan and Carina.  Love you both!

A Santa Monica dog. 

Venice Beach

I got a chance to play with a toddler!  Our new friend Jasper, son of Sierra and Matt.

Update from Dillion Colorado

In my last blog, I said that we were staying in Utah for 3 days.  It ended up to be 4 because we blew a tire on the trailor on the way out.  Since it was Sunday, no place was open to get if fixed.  That evening, I wrote and included many photos.  It was about an hours worth of creating and then a huge thunderclap came and wiped out the whole thing.  So, I will create a few new blogs this evening.  We are on our way home tomorrow.  Will make it by Friday if all is well.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Hello from the Grand Canyon

Had a long trip from LA through the very hot desert, ZION National Park and then to the Grand Canyon North Rim.  It is spectacular here!  Weather has been beautiful. Sunny and warm in the day and cool at night.  Will send pics later.  Tomorrow we are off to the Arches in Utah for three nights and then to a motel room before we head to Colorado for a couple of nights.  After that, heading home.  Been difficult to access wi fi.  I will send more when we reach the motel.  Still having a fabulous unbelieveable time.  However it was difficult to leaven sunny California and Dan and Carina.  Love them lots!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Hello from California!

Still having a great time.  Gerry and I went to Santa Monica last Monday.
On Tuesday we went camping to San Simeon on the coast about 4 hours north of here.  We had a great time cooking, going to the beach and on a fab wine tour!  Also saw the elephant seals.  A great time was had by all.  The highlight of the food experience was hot dogs done over the fire and kraft dinner with broccoli.

We are now planning our trip home.  Looks like we will be there by the end of August'  We are headed to the Grand Canyon an Zion in Utah.  Then we are going off to Arches National Park in Utah and off to Rocky Mountain Park in Colorado.  That will take up about 9 days and then we will take about two days to get home.  I will keep in touch to let you know.  I am very sad about leaving the California.  Our time with Dan and Carina has been awesome!

Here are a few pics of California.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Made it to LA!

We made it!  Had a flat tire three hours north of here but a nice California State police officer helped us out.  That is a whole story to tell!
Since my last blog, we have had many many experiences.  The giant redwoods in Humbolt red wood forest state park.  It was a fantastic experience!  Beautiful weather, a little cool but nice, a great camp site and hikes.  We met two people camped next to us from TO.  On our last night, the camp host reported that there had been three bears roaming our camp site looking for Goldilocks and some porridge!  The other thing I didn't know was that we were in Big Foot country.

On one of our drives, I saw a whale, two eagles and lots of deer. 
The drive to Half Moon Bay was treacherous!  It was beautiful but miles of feeling like we were on a roller coaster!  Now we can say we did it and won't do it again!  We were camped right on the ocean but it was very misty and the fog did not lift.  Only bad weather we have had on the trip.

Sara, we have seen a lot of redwoods but only two red heads on our whole trip!

It is great to be in LA.  Yesterday we went to The Grove and the Farmers Market, today for my birthday we will go to a park and have lunch out.  It is a beautiful day here.  Tuesday we are off camping just north of LA in wine country with Dan and Carina.  Looking forward to that for sure.  Then we plan our trip back home!