Thursday, March 14, 2019

Lots of Fun - Little Proof

February 16 - March 6, 2019
Valencia, California

Our stays in Valencia always last longer than "planned" to take care of all our appointments and gatherings. This time our four weeks extended to seven to cover an engagement party, parts for the motorhome, and sadly a memorial service.

We see lots of family and friends, but I take very few photos so there's not a lot of proof. 

A quick trip to Fresno to see Bill's mom and extended family is marred by our having colds. I spend most of my time in the hotel room bed :-( The drive over the Grapevine is beautiful in the snow - they close the road an hour after we get through. While we're there the motorhome is in the shop for new AGM batteries, an oil change, and a handful of minor repairs which "mostly" get completed. Whew - $$$$$! 

We meet our good friends Steve and Lori to pick up our mail, and learn they're looking at property and "we" may be moving to the Central Coast! We meet up with a couple of the kids for some brews. Ezra hangs out with us every other day. Rain limits time outdoors - I can't remember the last time we've had so much wet.
Briews with Bill, Richie, Corey and Christie.

Breakfast with Ezra and Daddy.

Rain, rain, go away!
A major highlight of this stay is Ezra's sleep-over. It's his first time spending the night away from home, and is a huge success. He's so well adjusted and feels right at home in "PopPop's Bus". Can't wait until he can travel with us to lots of fun places!

He ends up on the couch, and Tessa stays in the chair next to him all night.
Ezra breakfast faces.
Tessa has a couple appointments with the vet, and while there we "meet" a chocolate brown dog named Lillian who is wearing a cone. Imagine our surprise when we get to Corey and Christie's engagement party a few days later and Lillian answers the door!! Her owner Tom is hosting the party, and we both laugh at this small world we live in!

Engagement pic - Christie and Corey.

Crazy Gravel boys plus two.

Gravel boys and girls

Thinks the party is for her.....

"Taco 'bout love!"
There is even a surprise visit from niece Jessica and her family on their way to Universal Studios - but of course no pic to prove it :-( As is the case for our fun dinner with my borrowed-daughter Megan and hubby Chris. 

In the last post I mentioned that we were especially glad to have made the stop for dinner with friends in Banning. Two weeks later we lost our dear friend Tommy to his battle with cancer. I was so sure he was going to beat it. The memorial keeps us here a few more days and we meet many other high school friends in Moreno Valley to celebrate the life of a wonderful, generous man.

The lovely service is well attended.

Tommy's wife releases a dove - 20 more join him in flight.

Back at their home, we make a final toast.
Losing friends makes us even more committed to seeing as many as we can in our travels.

We're so happy to get more time with Maximus one morning while Mommy took Mason for an appointment. And then Maximus invites us to come over again for a final visit with he and Mason - actually he invited Tessa, but we went with her :-)

So happy to be taking Tessa for a walk.

Maximus age two.

Mason, age 6 months.

Another chance to walk the doggie.
We prepare to head out once more, sad to be leaving the grands and our kids, but very excited to be back on the road. I'm still having some tooth pain and we have to get the delayed part shipped to us, but we're ready to go!

Next we're back in the desert with friends and flowers.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Necessities Wrapped in the Joy of Little Boy Love

February 1-15, 2019
Valencia, California

February begins with a rare visit with the other grandsons. Maximus and Mason are Nick's sons (Bill's oldest, our number two). We meet them in the park on a cloudy and chilly day, but with all the rain we're having Maximus is very ready to get some time outside. He and I take Tessa for a walk around the grounds while Mason and PopPop hang out with the parents. A quick lunch, and too soon this time with them is over. Hopefully there will be more in the next few weeks.

Maximus, age 2

Maximus with Daddy on the big-boy swing.

PopPop and Mason getting to know each other.
Saturday it pours rain and we forego The Accidentals house concert down the hill. We're big fans so don't mind that we "donated" the price of a couple tickets to this talented trio. Still bummed we didn't get to see them again.

Super Bowl Sunday the rain continues, but we make the drive to our good friends in Lake Elsinore for the game. We're meeting up with more high school friends there as well.

Lousy game, good commercials, enjoyable half-time, and really, really great time with our friends. We return home not long after the game ends. More rain but the traffic isn't too bad. 

We love getting together with these life-long pals. Jodee, Kevin, Bridgette, Anna, Jimmy, Bill, Donnie, Marc and Maggie.

Sharing laughs over stories old and new.

Bridgette and Anna find something more interesting than the game.

Lizzie shares my opinion.

Maggie and Tessa share some cuddle time.
The next couple weeks blur into dentist and doctor visits, lots of time with Ezra, a surprisingly quick visit to DMV, an afternoon with friends, and lazy days inside while we get more rain. We enjoy dinner with Travis (Bill's number three, our number five) and Emily who married last June. Ezra joins us as they are his favorites.

Chuck E Cheese on a Monday because we can :-)

Dancing with the big mouse. Afterwards, Ezra is the only one who thanks Chuck E. Love this kid!

Loving the clock "ride".

Always crowded, but our DMV moves people quickly.

Cold but sunny day at the playground.

Such a happy boy!

Ezra having fun with his Auntie Em.

Travis wonders where Ezra gets all that energy!

On Saturday Ezra, Daddy and I pick up his new big-boy bed from IKEA. He doesn't know how long the line will take :-)

Practicing patience.

Later we get pics of his fun new bed.

Complete with "under there" play space!

Another day playing outside.

You're getting too big sweet boy!
Bill's former boss reaches out to get together at their lovely home in Burbank. They're retiring in a few months and want to pick our brains about the RV-life. I naturally forget to take any pics while there, but we enjoy a very fun Sunday afternoon with Rick and Sue.

Back in October I broke a tooth that was annoying but never caused me any problems. Then a few weeks ago I noticed that the tooth next to it had also chipped off. I swear I don't eat rocks! Tuesday I get my first crowns. My dentist is amazing and although it's a lengthy process, the procedure is pain and stress-free. One more thing off the list!

Friday we drive into Hollywood for lunch at the iconic Canters Deli. I have wonderful memories of eating here with my mom over several years. When we walk in I nearly start crying as the smell is exactly how I remember it! Even better, my borscht, knish and stuffed cabbage taste the same as well. Prices have increased to the ridiculous, but I'm so happy we made the day trip for this tasty memory.

No changes in 50 years!

Cold beet borscht - heavenly!


Early preparations for the Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland.

Hollywood and Vine where Lana Turner was discovered, and where I met Sammie Davis, Jr.
We're both getting hitch-itch, but having so much Ezra time around all our necessary appointments makes our stay in one place enjoyable. I already know how hard it's going to be to leave him this time :-(

Table cars with PopPop has all three of us laughing. Life is good.