Sunday, March 31, 2013

Visitors, Dinners & Departures....

It has been a couple of wonderful days spent with visitors.  It all began on Friday afternoon when Allen and Lolita Allen & Lolita's RV Journey rolled in to our park for a few days of R&R.  
Allen and Lolita's 5th wheel.
Only a few hours after Allen and Lolita had completed their site set up, Rick and Paulette Rick & Paulette's RV Travels rolled up to our site and, with Hector and Diane along, we enjoyed a wonderful visit, followed by dinner.

Jeanette had been looking forward to Paulette's visit, to present her with a special grandmother's quilt that she had recently made.
The official quilt presentation.
Paulette and Rick are excited about the June arrival of their new grandson and - remembering our own excitement with Easton's birth last April - it was pure fun to see the pleasure in Paulette and Jeanette's eyes when the quilt was unveiled.
This type of gift brings pure pleasure to grandmothers!
With the official presentation complete, we settled in around some finger foods while the chatter began in earnest.  It was another hot day but the shade side of our RV kept us all comfortable.
L-R    Lolita, Allen, Rick and Paulette
After a couple of hours of catching up on our news and views, the barbecue was heated up and, before long, we were digging into some good chicken burgers.
Rick and Hector with the chicken burger fixings...
Hmmmm!  It's always nice to eat outdoors on a nice, warm evening, isn't it?
The last time Rick, Paulette, Jeanette and I had been together was during our overnight stay at the 7 Feathers RV Resort and Casino, in Canyonville, Oregon, last December 30th, 2012.  Aware of our departure dates, we both booked reservations to meet at that stunning RV Resort.  We had dinner at the casino nearby.

It takes little time to catch up on our respective winter activities because our blogs paint our respective experiences and activities.  

Hector and Diane got to meet Allen, Lolita, Rick and Paulette for the very first time.  Hector and Diane only live about one hour north from Rick and Paulette's home on Vancouver Island.  

With warm good byes, we ended the evening with promises to meet up again, sometime in the future.

Saturday morning - ready to journey to the College of the Desert street fair.
It's easy to get Jeanette and Diane up early when they plan a half day outing to a street fair.  While they were enjoying that, Hector was busy readying their RV for their planned departure.  They are rolling north and into Las Vegas, today.  They have family there and have a planned visit for the week ahead.

College of the Desert - Palm Desert, CA.
On the road back to our site, Diane and Jeanette dropped into some of their favourite stores.  No surprise there!
Kelly and Ted - Over for Saturday dinner.
Ted is my older brother's youngest son

Regular readers may recall that one of our golf rounds was held at the Palm Desert Golf Course.  My nephew, Ted is the superintendent there.  He was recruited from the Northern Bear  Golf and Country Club in  Edmonton, Alberta, (a Jack Nicklaus signature course)  to Palm Desert, CA. It was last September that Ted officially took over his new duties here.  The year previous, he flew down here every few weeks to consult on the recovery and reopening of the course after it was purchased by new owners.

Diane, me and Kelly.....digging into dinner.
It had been several years since we had last seen Kelly and Ted so it was a thrill that they could find the time to come over to our site.   

Adventurous couple that they are, the opportunity to live a new experience, in a new country, made their decision to leave Alberta an easy one.  Good on them!
We sat out for the entire afternoon and evening.
The stuff on the table, in the photo above, are gifts from Diane and Hector.  With their departure for Las Vegas today, they showered Jeanette and I with all kinds of wonderful things. Wow!  Talk about surprise!

After Hector and Diane returned to their coach, Ted, Kelly, Jeanette and I spent the balance of our visit enjoying good conversion.  Ted and Kelly have a solid vision for their future.  It is fun to listen to their dreams.  Soldier on, you two.  Yours is a journey to live for.

What a pleasant evening we had!  In fact, what a couple of pleasant visits we've had, these past couple of days.  What's not to like about that.
Soon to hitch'n'roll
Our desert days are waning now.  We'll enjoy the sun and sand, for a few more days, before packing in earnest for our departure for home, this coming Wednesday.

Thanks for dropping by.

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Drive, Art, Old Town, Green Grass, Water & Wildlife!

The slug line, above, is a linear way to colour the past couple of days, in the beautiful Palm Springs area, under blue skies and great weather.
Readying for the drive.....
Wednesday was dedicated to driving Highway 74 - by El Paseo Drive (the expensive Palm Desert shopping district) - and up through the switchback road, over the San Jacinto Mountains, on our way into Anza, CA, and points further west.
Heading south on I-74
Diane (whom we called Mariette Andretti - Andretti being the famous race car drivers family) drove the switchback highway and managed to keep us safe.
A break  was taken at this wonderful vista that overlooks the Palm Springs/Palm Desert/Indio and Coachella Valley.
We took a bit of a break to enjoy the vista of the valley below and to allow Chico a chance to get some exercise.
A couple of golf courses could be seen from our vantage point.
Chico (the Portuguese Water Dog) was just as interested in having a look at the valley below.

Continuing along the route, towards Temecula, CA,  we saw these horses jumping over the cars...!
If they look real, they should.  This scene is gripping.  The artist who molds and welds the steel to make these horses is clearly talented.
Awesome view.....and a great distraction.
We knew that the stagecoach was not far from here.  Jeanette and I had been through this area before but, for Hector and Diane, this was all new to them.  The stagecoach, by the side of the highway, brought us to a stop.  
It is impressive metal and art work that had us transfixed on the intricate detail.
This is nothing short of marvelous!
That an artist can not only capture the reality of life size art, but can also shape, mold and weld it, with such detail, is stunning!   We spent a fair bit of time admiring the scene.
The stagecoach scene is only a few miles southeast from Temecula, on route 74.  I doubt that anyone who recognizes talent for the arts could not appreciate the brilliance it takes to produce these life size pieces.
Arriving into Old Town Temecula.
This historic town is a great place to visit.  It was our choice for a lunch break.  Once we had satisfied our food cravings, we walked the entire town.  There is something to see and to learn about this place.
Wednesday was a better day to play tourist.  Weekends are busy.  There was room to park and it was easier to navigate the streets and boardwalks.  This was our third visit here and we'll consider weekdays over weekends for future ones too.
A few hours after walking the Old Town Temecula, we loaded up the sport ute and headed north on I-15, towards the exit to Highway 79, north, and towards Hemet, CA.
I-79 north....towards Beaumont, CA, and soon to join I-10
Before long, we were on  I-10 heading east for the Palm Springs area.  We knew we were close when we saw Mt. San Jacinto (snow covered) and the thousands of wind generating electrical towers in the valley.
It was a fun day spent guiding Hector and Diane around a region of southern California they had not seen before.

Yesterday saw Hector and I re-join Fred, once again, for a day of surfing the green grass of Mountain View, Sun City Golf Resort, to enjoy another 18 holes, surrounded by palm trees, waterfalls and ponds.
Ah yes,.....such beauty......sculpted in the sand.
Throw a little bit of water on grass seed and it's amazing to see what happens on sandy soil.  The golf courses here are beautiful - pure and simple.
I caught a photo of Fred taking a photo.....
A couple of posterity photos taken, we gathered our golf tools, loaded the power carts and rode off to our starting tee-off hole.
Fred and I
Water, water, everywhere......but not a drop to drink  (certainly not this recycled water)!  Anyone remember the 'Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner'?
I always appreciate the sculpting and landscape architecture used to design and build these desert golf courses.  Sand is moved, cement is poured, rocks are placed, flower beds are built and - with lots of labour to maintain them - these awesome grounds become works of art and beauty.  This golf resort included many lakes, ponds and waterfalls.
Simply stunning!
Unknown to us, when the Tee-time was booked, our 11:00 start was to be a 'shot gun' start.  It meant that 144 golfers headed for their assigned golf hole, to start their round at 11:00 am precisely.
It proved to be a great day on the links.
A final photo for the golfing or horticulture aficionados out there in blog land.
Our round completed found us back at the club house for the customary 19th hole.  A well earned brew was enjoyed, in the great outdoors, while enjoying the little fella below who kept running around, from table to table, looking for handouts.
I love to watch the roadrunners.  It is one of Jeanette's favorite birds; mine too I might add!
I managed to capture these shots but it took many attempts to do this.  These roadrunners seldom stay still.
That was our last round of golf here for this winter season.  The clubs are packed away.  They'll return to play once we get back home.

This afternoon will see two couples join us for a typical RV visit and barbecue.  Rick and Paulette  Rick & Paulette's RV Travels  will be driving a couple of miles east form their spot at the Sands RV and Golf Resort to join Allen and Lolita -  Allen & Lolita's RV Journey - who are arriving at the Caliente' Hot Springs and RV Resort today - at our site for what should be a fun afternoon and evening.  The weather is great, the invited company even greater and we look forward to sharing it all with interested bloggers in the days ahead.

Thanks for dropping by.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Some Golf & Special Visit with Neighbours

If our blog readers are not golf fans, they are likely to enjoy the beautiful photos from our round of golf, held at the JW Marriott Resort, this past Monday.  It is not so much about the golf but more about what can be built in desert sand.  This resort golf course is incredibly beautiful.
Pristine and inviting.....
Fred, who winters in the Palm Desert area with his wife, Pat, is a member of our mens golf group back home.  We have golfed together for over 20 years.   He is the master at finding and booking discount golf.  That said, we were booked in at this beautiful resort course last Monday.
The resort operates a passenger tour boat on this lake.'s true!
The resort course, located in  Palm Desert, is dotted with many, many waterfalls.  To see and hear waterfalls in the desert seems odd....but it goes to show that anything can be built.  It simply requires human ingenuity and human effort.
And...this resort was busy.  Behind the flowers were scores of tourists enjoying the numerous pools.
One of the many waterfalls on the golf course.
Joining Hector, Fred and I was a good fellow golfer from the Los Angeles area.  He fit right in with our group and a good round was had.
Dave (from LA) Fred and Hector.....waiting on the group ahead.
Another pretty photo.....
This golf course can be distracting.  That's how beautiful it is!  The beauty is calming though  and we were able to focus on our golf shots. A good round was had!
A couple more waterfalls....
A posterity photo:  Me, Hector and Fred.
We have one more round planned for tomorrow (Thursday) before Fred/Pat head for home, Hector/Diane head for Las Vegas and Jeanette and I plan our return for home.
The signature - No.1 rated -  # 17 golf hole at the JW Marriott.  Golfers have to hit over the water and onto the Par 3 green.
....and here is the evidence that lakes are built in the desert and that boats do take tourists around.
Our post round refreshments.  Pat (Fred's wife) dropped by to collect Fred, following our round.
Yesterday was customer appreciation day at our RV resort.  Barbecued hamburgers (with all the trimmings) were offered up.  We took in the free lunch and it was very good.  
The resort clubhouse at our RV park.
In the early afternoon,   Allen and Lolita ( Allen & Lolita's RV Journey ) dropped by our site to inform us that they were planning to roll in with their 5th wheel, later this week.  They drove in to take a first hand look at the sites and check out the resort facilities.  So, we'll be seeing them in a few days.

While we were out golfing, Jeanette and Diane were busy too......getting pedicures....and colouring their nails in funky fluorescent colours.  Jeanette's feet (middle) feature green and yellow.  There is good reason for this!  Our grandson, Easton, is celebrating his 1st birthday, this April 10th, and his mom (our daughter) informed us that the birthday theme is John Deere green and yellow.  Everyone is to dress in yellow and why not have coloured John Deere toe nails?  Diane got into the Easter mood with her choices.  So....that's what they do while we are golfing????????
A visit with long time neighbours from back home, on the BC coast.
We made plans to visit our long term, former neighbours, from back home, who winter in Palm Springs.  Al and Joan were our neighbours for  20 years, when we lived in the oceanside community of White Rock, BC.
We motorcycled over to their winter place.  Joan comes out to welcome us.
True to form,  it was a wonderful mid-afternoon visit.  We do see them back home too but it was nice to drop by for a Palm Springs style visit. The gracious hosts that they are made for a very nice visit.
Al had joined us for a round of golf, last week, that was featured in an earlier blog.
 A nice visit had, and the customary group photo snapped, Jeanette and I hopped on the motorcycle for the ride back to Desert Hot Springs.
L-R   Al, Jeanette and Joan  -  They head back for home this Saturday.
That's about it from here, for now. 

Thanks for dropping by.