Monday, November 30, 2009

Hanging in La Quinta

The lights of La Quinta just after the sun set.

Monday November 30, 2009
We spent the morning taking it easy and fixing up a few things for Mark in his house, then headed out to see what's to see in La Quinta. It was a perfect 25 degrees, with clear blue skies. We walked around "Old Town" La Quinta then drove down the main highway connecting the Palms.
After getting back home, we headed out again, this time on foot, to hike up on the trails above La Quinta Cove for an evening walk. The full moon was just starting to come up over the mountains and the air was still a very comfortable temperature. We hiked for about an hour and then headed back to the house for dinner.
Tomorrow we are going to Joshua Tree National Park.

La Quinta... Casa Santa Rosa

Sunday November 29, 2009
Trip mileage: 2775 km
We continued our trip south from Santa Maria, through Hemet and then on to La Quinta. The drive out of Hemet, along the Pine to Palm highway was beautiful. We passed quite a few cars coming down the mountain with 2+ inches of snow on their roofs. Although we did not run into any snow on the road, there was a bit on the sides between 4000 and 5000 feet high. Heading down the other side of the mountains, we stopped at a roadside vista and took the picture above. It reminded us of the Mazda "zoom zoom" ad on tv. The mountains were covered with very beautiful cacti and drought loving native plants such as the juniper pictured below.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Saturday November 28, 2009
We got an early start so that we would have lots of time to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and it was well worth the trip. We spent almost three hours looking at all their exhibits, and the special exhibit on right now is The Secret Lives of Seahorses, sooo cool!
After leaving the aquarium, we headed south again along the coast road and ended up spending the night in Santa Maria. Got some great pictures of the California coast along the way. So far, the car ride has been fun. We are stopping often to stretch, go for a walk or take pictures. And the traffic is not as bad as I imagined.
Tomorrow... La Quinta, Mark and Judy's new house.

Another day in Davis

The arboretum at the University of Davis California... the yellow is a Ginkgo tree.

Friday November 27, 2009
Today is Jerry's birthday and we are just going to take it easy, and explore around Davis and Sacramento. First we head over to the university to see where Mickey works and goes to school. He took us for a tour through the arboretum as well, really beautiful! Afterwards we stopped at a roadside fruit and vegetable market and bought a couple big bags of fresh walnuts and almonds. mmmmmm, they are so yummmy!
Then we stopped at a little local winery for a taste, and then on to Sacramento where we toured around Old Sacramento by foot. It is the original part of town, with cobble stone streets, etc, but too touristy for our tastes! Back to Davis, we stopped at Target and as you can see from the above picture, got special treatment in the parking lot because of our hybrid Prius!
We went out for dinner with Mickey and Michelle at a Thai restaurant, very nice!
Tomorrow we head to Monterey Bay Aquarium and then south.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Visiting Mickey and Michelle in Davis

Michelle, Mickey and Liam (one week old).
Thursday Nov 26, 2009
We hit the road this morning a little after 8 on a beautiful sunny day, although it was cold and a little frosty. Mount Shasta looked enchanting covered with snow. Once we had descended into the Sacramento Valley, the temperature started to warm up all the way to 13 degrees. Mickey and Michelle were waiting for us as we arrived about noon, had a cuppa tea and then on the road again to go to Napa for Thanksgiving dinner with Michelle's aunt Jeanette and uncle Dan and family. We had the pleasure of meeting her mom Linda as well.
Thanksgiving was wonderful, of course lots of food and fun and family.
We are now enjoying another cuppa tea with Michelle and Mickey back at their home.
Tomorrow we are planning to visit the university in Davis and then in the afternoon maybe go on a wine tasting (that would be a first for me!).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Goin to weed.... Weed California

Wednesday Nov 25, 2009
Trip: 1241 km
We enjoyed having breakfast this morning with Gabe at Slappy Jacks, a new restaurant that Gabe did some painting for (seen in background on wall). They have a very interesting way of serving pancakes.... you cook them yourself right at your table! The griddle is level with the table top and gets quite hot, they were really yummy!
After breakfast we got a chance to see Gabe's new studio, but it is not quite finished yet. He is hoping to be in soon. Another BEAUTIFUL day for traveling, the sun shone down on us all day, got to a high of 17 degrees! We arrived in Weed California at about 7:00. This town did not get it's name from marijuana as you might suspect, but from a fellow by the name of Abner Weed, who started a sawmill here in 1897. I am sure he would have appreciated the fact that there are a lot of people in northern California who now grow weed for a living!
Tomorrow... off to Davis and then Napa for Thanksgiving with Mickey and Michelle!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ladysmith BC to Portland OR.... Mexico here we come! Good bye rain!

Tuesday November 24, 2009
It has been a long day! We caught the 6:30 am ferry from Departure Bay, stopped to see Mary Beth and family in North Vancouver (she gave us some really yummy pumpkin bread and little mini oranges) and then on to see Mark to get our welcome package for his house in La Quinta (we managed to wrangle a cuppa coffee to go with our pumpkin bread!). Crossing the border was no hassle (except the confiscated our organic home grown apples!) and from Seattle on the weather was beautiful... sunny and 14 degrees! What a nice treat after all the rain we have had. Arrived in Portland about 4:30, checked into a motel then headed out to find Gabe. Unfortunately I had written down the wrong address and after knocking on a few doors, we decided it might be the best idea to go back to the hotel and see if we could get in touch with him on phone or email. We were only off by a few houses, I guess we would have found him if we had kept knocking! Ha ha! We had a great dinner out with Gabe at The Screen Door (Southern US cuisine).
At one point today, we both realized we have just undertaken to drive a very long distance (about 4800 km one way), and wondered if we are crazy!?? What were we thinking??!! But, the warm sun is beckoning, and the thought didn't stay around more than a few seconds.
Tomorrow morning we get to see some of Gabe's art and a local restaurant while we enjoy breakfast. Then on to California!

Monday, November 23, 2009

We're leaving...... on a jet plane..... well, not really!

Monday November 23, 2009
Tomorrow we start our next journey..... by car {Prius} to Ajijic, Mexico. We will be traveling through Portland, San Francisco, La Quinta, and then crossing the border at Nagoles. We expect to arrive in Ajijic (just south of Guadalajara) on December 7 or 8th. We'll be sure to keep our followers well informed about our trip with commentary and lots of pictures. Above is a parting shot of the marina close to our house at sunrise, this particular picture taken two weeks ago just before our weather turned rainy. But I am never one to complain about the rain! It is beautiful too.

Splendid Mane has been put to bed for the winter. We took the canvas off yesterday and put up a tarp over the boom to cover the dodger just in case it snows. All through hulls are closed up, and we have a little heater to keep temperature just above freezing.
Check back with us often to follow on our adventure south!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009