On the Road With Doris & Ez

We're going on a road trip!!!! Could be three weeks could be three years, we'll see. Read below to see where we are now.....

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

California & Arizona - November 2006 - January 2007

Well, did you miss us?? Yes, the blog was on hiatus for a few months, but we are still alive and well. Since our last entry we have traveled down the California coast, spent Thanksgiving with friends near Yuma, and landed back in Phoenix where we are golfing, hiking, and catching up with family and friends. Here I am hiking near Phoenix this week.

After leaving the Bay Area we headed for Salinas, California. This is one of the first places where we were amazed by the miles and miles of green fields – or as I dubbed it – “one giant salad.” We were puzzled by the acres of strange green plants we drove by, until we later discovered they were artichokes.

We also saw some of the most beautiful scenery of our trip when we made drives to nearby Monterey, Pebble Beach and Carmel. We spent a day exploring the Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the best in the country. We both sat for hours watching an amazing variety of fish swimming in the huge tanks and watching the tiniest of sea creatures with our noses almost pressed against the glass. The weather was perfect on the day we drove the famous 17 Mile Drive. We stopped at all the spectacular ocean viewpoints, spent some money in the golf shop at Pebble Beach, and ended the day with a great meal and a glass of wine in Carmel.

We were treated to more spectacular scenery as we worked our way down the coast through San Luis Obispo to the Ventura area where we spent several great days visiting with Ez’s sister Louise and her family in Camarillo. This pic was taken in Pismo Beach where Ez sampled another entry in the "Best Clam Chowder Contest."

From there we drove one of the most harrowing legs of our trip so far from Los Angeles to San Diego – ACK! Once we were safely in San Diego, we had a great time seeing the sights and visiting with son Matt, his delightful girlfriend Amy, and his kids Hannah and Jacob. Matt and Amy share our enthusiasm for wine and we spent a couple of great evenings sampling the fruit of the vine.

We spent another fun day seeing all of the wild life at the San Diego Zoo. We especially liked the giant aviary, the pandas and the hippos, and of course, all of the little babies! Here's a photo of one of the polar bears checking out the zoo visitors.

San Diego was also the jumping off point for a quick trip back to Portland to see our daughter Jennifer and her husband Eric who were visiting from their home in Ireland. Todd and Stephanie and Ez's Jennifer also joined us for the long weekend. We spent a couple of days exploring Portland before heading to their cabin in Dufur, Oregon. In addition to visiting, playing games and exploring the nearby mountains, we were surprised by a sudden snowstorm that blanketed the area - a nice change from the sunny weather we've had for several months.

By now we were starting to look forward to seeing the familiar faces and places in Phoenix. But not before spending a few enjoyable days with friends Joe and Mary Jane at their home in Wellton, about 30 miles east of Yuma. Like many of their neighbors, Joe and MJ have built a small “casita” on the lot where they park their motor coach. While they spend most of their time in the coach or on their sunny patio, the casita has a full bath, laundry room, kitchen, and a big garage where they keep all their toys. They also have a second set of hookups so they can accommodate visitors (like us) with RVs. We enjoyed a great Thanksgiving with Joe, MJ and a host of their friends from the neighborhood. This lively group likes to get together for happy hour almost every night – our kind of folks! Here we are out enjoying the desert with Joe and MJ.

A few days later we spent both Ez’s birthday and our 20th wedding anniversary in Lake Havasu City on the Colorado River. Luckily we spent our anniversary golfing, because the next two days we endured 50 mile an hour winds and frigid temperatures. Here we are celebrating 20 years on the beautiful Refuge Course in Lake Havasu. On December 1st we rolled back in to Phoenix, seven months after we left on our motorhome adventure.

Our temporary home is a park in northeast Phoenix. Most of our neighbors are seniors (ie. “older than us”) living in park model homes. There’s a big clubhouse with lots of activities, but so far we’ve been too busy to join them for line dancing lessons or shuffleboard. We’re both golfing regularly – Ez has his weekly men’s league and I’ve been golfing with him or my girlfriends. We both recently splurged on new golf clubs, so we’ll see if our scores improve as a result.

Our son and daughter-in-law recently moved into a new house and we spent some time helping them get settled in before they hosted everyone for a big Christmas celebration. In addition, we’re both at serious risk for gaining more weight since we’ve been enjoying lots of dinners with family and friends. We’ve tried to combat this by working out in the exercise room or taking hikes in the desert, but so far the dinners are taking their toll! We’ve made several trips to visit our lot in Tonto Verde (a.k.a. the piece of dirt with a cactus on it!) and agree that even though we’ve seen some beautiful country on our trip, we still like it here best.