Sunday, March 27, 2011

Road Trip to Monterey

Time for a road trip photo shoot to Monterey.  Actually, I wanted to find a needlepoint shop in Carmel to look for canvases.  Best laid plans however, don't always have the desired results.  We spent so much time shooting, there were not enough hours in the day.  Next time I'll find the shop.  My friend Chris Cook went with me ... another very talented photographer who always has a "different" point of view.  Never having had the Monterey tour, I took her around the Wharf and Cannery Row.  Again, there were not enough hours to do all we wanted.  We started off at San Carlos Beach.  These beautiful protea are everywhere in Monterey.  Usually found only in Hawaii, they seem to thrive here.
On the walk to the wharf, we passed hundreds of beautiful flowers.  Daisys are my favorite ... course since I'm not a "flower" person, these may have a different name!!  If you ever travel there, be sure and park at San Carlos Beach and walk to the wharf.  After a great crab sandwich at the Fisherman's Grotto and photo opps in the candy shop, we headed back to Cannery Row.  Unfortunately most of the good access points have been fenced off due to safety reasons.  A little rocky road ice cream fortified us for a trip around the point to watch the sunset at Pacific Grove.
The recent storm made for nice waves.  I think Chris and I took 200 photos of the waves crashing on the rocks.  It was soooo gorgeous.  Yup, it looked just like this.
The sun is starting to set making for spectacular photography ... I love this one because you can see how windy it was ... the wind is blowing the water from the top of the waves.

The sun was setting for this photo and the light reflected nicely off the water.  Being 5:00, we needed to leave in order to get back at a reasonable hour.  We decided our next trip would be for at least two days and we would definitely need more photo cards.  We both took almost 300 images, but with results like these, how could we do less?

Monday, March 14, 2011

RV Upgrades

While we were in Yuma, Patty and Dan took me to Sams Club.  It was there that I spied a very compact wireless printer/copier/fax machine on sale.  How could I resist?  By the way, it is more expensive at Costco (I checked) ... while I was shopping for a table that would fit in this corner of my RV.  Perfect huh?  I know, I know, it's a shoe rack, but who cares.  It's rather low, very stable (matches the decor), and will hold all my office supplies.  Definitely a must when on the road.  We used their copy machine a couple of times.  Also at Costco I found an external hard drive (recommended at the rally) on sale.  The bank account is at zero now!!!

Next up was the installation of coat hooks in the bedroom/bath area.  A trip to Target yielded this beauty which I installed myself.  Ok ... so I never said I was handy.  It's an over-the-door model that works perfectly!!  I'm on the lookout for two Honda 2000 generators which, when hooked together, will run my A.C. when needed for the dogs.  Yup, that's a pricey one and will have to wait a couple months. 
For those who know I am a photography nut, here is an image I captured in Yosemite ... Merced has an Art Hop every few months, and 3-4 of us gather up all our best stuff and display it for all to see.  Can you tell this photo was taken by one of our group?  She's an artist, and just can't seem to take a normal, boring photo!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lake Havasu Trip

  • After about 12-15 years, I located some old friends on Facebook, Patty and Dan Chance.  Seems they moved to Lake Havasu Arizona and were going to the Gypsy Rally in Yuma.  Since I recently purchased the "Kissack Kastle" (a Keystone 5th-wheel R.V.), they invited me along.  My first long trip with Cooper and Jessie in tow.  This is their back yard ... my rig is parked out of site to the left, where they have a full hookup!!  And in case you didn't notice, they have no grass to mow!!!!!!!
  • This is their dog, Sami.  What a sweetheart.  I did not get a picture of Gracie their cat.  Both travel  in the RV everywhere they go.  Unfortunately, my dog Cooper escaped through the gate as Dan and I were discussing my RV.  After 3 hours of searching, he was not to be found.  I was heartbroken.  As I was posting his picture on a website for lost animals, the neighbor banged on the door saying Cooper had returned.  We all ran outside .. Patty saw him run behind a house, so I took off with Jessie in tow.  Thankfully he saw Jessie and came to me.  You cannot believe the relief we all felt.  Thank you Patty and Dan for driving around for 3 hours looking for him.  Only "animal people" would go so far out of their way to help me find him. 
  • Our plan was to go out on Lake Havasu in Dan and Patty's new boat.  A little late because of Cooper, we took off in the afternoon for a tour.  Around the lake are these Lighthouses, copies of those found all around the United States, built by the locals.  
  • Here is part of the lake.  It is huge ... from river to lake, back to river.  The water is crystal clear and just as blue as the sky.  Amazing that out in the middle of all that sand and cactus, there is this gorgeous lake. 
  • And crazy as it sounds, Mr McCullough bought the London Bridge and moved it to Lake Havasu.  Here is one side.  It is absolutely beautiful ... and crazy that it stands in the middle of the desert! 
  • After spending a couple of days at their house, we headed off to Yuma.  The rally had seminars that provided me with a wealth of information on RV'ing.  Dan SAID he would be really good at spending my money ... and so he was right!!  But only for necessities.  I had a satellite Traveler TV dish installed so I can watch TV anywhere .. even in my back yard.  After Jessie broke through my screen door trying to eat Dan the burglar ... he was kind enough to install a pet screen, with much modification.  He did such a great job, it looks like it came that way.  Another worry I can forget about. 
  • The Rally closer was the Cactus Queen Contest.  These "ladies" provided great entertainment and kept us all laughing.  The "winner" (front center) wore his, uh I mean HER crown proudly.  The next morning, we packed up and headed back to Lake Havasu, where I said my goodbyes and headed home.  Unfortunately, I decided to spend the night in Mojave, having driven over 8 hours that day.  DO NOT spend the night in Mojave.  Between the wind rocking and rolling the RV and the trains banging around changing engines, needless to say it was a sleepless night. 
    All in all, it was a GREAT trip that I will never forget.  Getting in touch with old friends and laughing about our previous escapades was priceless.  I'm planning on heading back that direction towards the end of the year ... and who knows ... I may run into Patty and Dan at the Grand Canyon this summer.