Monday, November 17, 2014

We're back, safe and sound, enjoying the delights of Petaluma~~

Playing catch-up is never fun after a long hiatus between journal postings.  We arrived in Sacramento on Halloween Eve, an hour late in a torrential downpour of much-needed rain. Dear daughter Steph picked us up after a long day of work and navigated us safely back to our lovely little home.

We spent a wonderful weekend with our Loomis family; unpacking, washing, sleeping unencumbered by roosters and church bells, eating more wonderful meals, sharing our experiences on the trip to Granada. We had a marathon of watching Homeland Season 4 episodes to bring us current.  We thought about the holidays and travel.  We both got sick!

No, not Ebola-type sick, just yucky cold, congestion stuff.  We ran out of our miracle immune booster, EpiCor, about two weeks ago, and Voila!  Neither of us had had colds or flu for the 6+ years we've been taking since meeting our friend Walter, another RVing buddy, out in the Anza Borrego Desert all those years ago.  Walter is a bit of a health nut and preaches about the benefits of supplements and holistic practices.  However, I obviously did not pay enough attention to the seminar on gut issues, as this is becoming more of a re-occurring condition for me.  More on that later...

The following Monday we drove the 90 or so miles to Petaluma and our parking for the month of November.  We were greeted by Janis, the best Park Host and super good friend, and long-time buddy/full-time RVer Al, who was spending a few days here in transit. Al came bearing goodies of the best kind, thick rib-eye steaks and a bottle of my favorite Bogle Cabernet.  Son Norm stopped by for a visit on his way was a good day.

We are surrounded by Autumn colors

We soon got back into Petaluma mode!  Walks around Shollenberger Lake, now dry as a bone, visits with the family...I even fixed them a Nicaraguan dinner one night; steak churrasco, spicy cole slaw, and rice and beans, of course, and they reciprocated with delicious, juicy chickens prepared in their smoker.  Rusty and the boys (his yellow labs) arrived for several days, en route from Anacortes to San Diego.  We had dinner with Patrick at a wonderful, new (to us) restaurant, Aqus Foundry Wharf, and we met new friends Kim and Else.

Shollenberger (dry) Lake bed, once fed by Ellis Creek

Adjacent to the Petaluma River & tidal marshlands (high tide)

We became fast friends with Kim and Else, also full-time RVers, who plan to stay here through December. Kim is a walking, talking hunk of probiotics who soon infected us with bacteria of the fermented kind.  We are rapidly becoming Cultured Food fanatics and eager students to Kim and Else's teachings.  Their motorhome is a living laboratory of yummy stuff brewing and I have sampled the best kefir, kimchee, kefir cheese, and sodas made from kefir whey.  We plan to soon start making our own and will be getting together with Kim for a step-by-step demonstration of his kefir process, hopefully documented here.  I think my grumpy guts are in for a makeover!

Petaluma is packed with good restaurants, organic markets, and sustainable family farms and dairies. Thistle Meats, a whole animal butcher shop serving only locally-sourced products, became a much too frequent stop.  There have been many visits to farmer's markets and local farms for seasonal, fresh produce.  We took a few pictures along the way....

At Green Stings Farm, featuring pomegranates & squashes

The East-side Tuesday market

We are now looking forward to more visits with friends, a birthday party for youngest granddaughter, Liliana, just turning 5, next weekend in Half Moon Bay, and a big family Thanksgiving celebration at Norm and Wendy's before leaving for the desert.  The temps are falling fast and the furnace is burning longer, and these tires need to be rotated!

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