Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Today is the DAY!

We're heading south to the desert.  It will take us 2 days and, with luck, the Orange Grove RV Park in Bakersfield will be our layover for the night.  With even more luck, the trees will be laden with ripe oranges for the picking as in past years.  We are about 2 weeks earlier than usual this year leaving the Bay Area and family, but our 6 weeks were crammed with good times and oh so much food.  I think all the rain, wind, cold and a leaky slide, which makes for damp, smelly tight quarters with the slide in, has contributed to our early departure.

Today's drive-by shootings: 

Leaving Half Moon Bay, south on Highway One

Highway 101 near Paso Robles

The hills are green from all the rain

On Highway 46 heading East, I spy a face...

A brief summary of the last couple of weeks:

We were treated to a grand evening at Else and Kim's motorhome where Kim, in spite of the inclement weather, barbecued the best boneless leg of lamb alongside sweet potatoes.  I fixed a mixed greens salad with persimmon, walnut, and Gorgonzola which, I must admit, was also pretty tasty. We later devoured Kim's Fudge....with any luck this link will work which means I might now know how to embed a word document, and you can enjoy this healthy treat as well!

We had so much rain that the streets, especially those near the Petaluma River and its feeder creeks, were flooded and closed.  We donned our foul weather gear, we actually had some stashed away, and went out with just the cell phone as a camera to see what was going on.  Plus we were getting cabin fever!

This is the parking lot leading to Shollenberger Lake which was dry as a bone just a few weeks ago!

The downtown Petaluma waterfront

The Petaluma Marina at the Sheraton Hotel

We laced up our shoes and joined our 8 year old granddaughter, Christina, and her Sonoma County Girls on the Run 5K.  Well, Howard ran and Wendy and I walked.  There were many hundreds of participants of all age groups with family and friends representing the Sonoma County Club chapter.

Christina, #227, with her club above, and with a friend and grandpa, below

We stressed over the drive to Half Moon Bay but the weather gods smiled on us and we had a glorious, easy drive through San Francisco and along the coast to Half Moon Bay...

Very little traffic on the GG Bridge

Parked along the Great Highway in SF

Getting a shot of Seal Rocks which, on close-up, appears to be populated with pelicans!

Arriving at Devil's Slide near Half Moon Bay, we pull over for a quick shot...

We had our usual free parking in front of Terri and Clint's house for our 4-day stay.  Terri fixed a perfect, almost 18 lb. bone-in prime rib, for an early pre-Christmas family get-together.  The Petaluma family drove down, and Dave and Krissi (Dave is Terri's ex, and yes, they are best friends) joined us as well.  We were filled with Christmas cheer....

Damien helps me set up a tree shot...haha!

Terri's humongous perfectly medium rare prime rib roast... 

There's always one family clown!

For our grand finale, Terri, Liliana, and I went to the San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker performance at the War Memorial Opera House.  I managed last minute dress-circle seats for yesterday, Monday's 2 pm showing.  The day was cold and rainy, not good for doing much walking around the city, always beautiful at Christmas time.  This was Liliana's first ride on BART and my first in many years, and involved a lot of running through train stations, up and down steep escalators, many not functioning, stepping over homeless people driven inside for shelter from the weather, then hailing taxis to the restaurant for lunch and theater, and back to the train station.

The performance was magical, truly spectacular, and the 3 of us were mesmerized and on the edge of our seats with excitement.  I had taken Terri probably 30 years ago, so this threesome was special indeed! Liliana, at only 5 years old, was a trooper, and an adorable princess in her pretty dress.  This poor quality photo quickly snapped from an aging smart phone does not do justice.

Now, back to today:

Drilling rigs along Highwayt 46, East

Miles of dormant almond trees.....

We've arrived at our half-way point...

And the pickins' are good....

I wonder where we'll be tomorrow at this time?

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