Category Archives: West Coast

March, 2018

Can’t believe that we have been at home for this long!  The time has been filled as usual with Pickleball (ran a 32 person Tournament last weekend; lots of fun), Ukulele and Guitar jam sessions, and friends.  I, Cheryl have been really enjoying getting back to singing and gaining confidence.  I’m also back to writing; sending out a weekly Newsletter to 200 Pickleball players and fans.  Makes me feel like I’m back in highschool, LOL, not physically, however.  The ortho surgeon says I definitely will need a right shoulder replacement.  However, he wants me to wait 3 or 4 years.  Meanwhile, I am learning to do more with my left hand and arm.  I am playing Pickleball mostly left-handed; still serving with the right.  I even am able to win a few games, with a good partner’s help!

Speaking of health issues, we have been catching up on doctor appointments in anticipation of our 6 week trip, starting next week.  Jim is seeing the acupuncturist again for sciatic pain (left, not right side this time).  Hopefully it will help since we will have long plane and train rides.  The spot on his cheek from removal of the squamous cancer is healing nicely.  His health, otherwise is good, and mine too.

We had some sad news about loved ones, however.  My Aunt Betty (wife of my mother’s brother) died a few days ago.  She turned 85 in early March and was in a private nursing home.  I had hoped to see her when we are in Florida, next week, but didn’t get there in time.  Also, good friend (and former sister-in-law) Angie lost her husband, Scott at the young age of 53.  It was a freak accident and so tragic.  So difficult to lose the ones you love.

I am going to attach our Itinerary for our TA Cruise and Spain trip here.  It is on Microsoft Word, hopefully it will work.  I’ll copy and paste on another post, just in case.  Love to all and best wishes.

TA Cruise and Spain 2018 Itinerary


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Anacortes, WA with Joe and Sheri

Joe and Sheri Rowe picked us up at the Cruise Terminal in Seattle on May 31.  They live part time in Corona, CA (our neighbors) and the rest in Anacortes, WA.   Their home is on a hill overlooking the Puget Sound and the house and views are beautiful.  We spent 3 days with them and, despite cold and some rain, had some fun touring Anacortes, the surrounding area, and Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, via ferry.  June was a little early for good weather, but one day we did get some sunshine and a pretty sunset!  Thanks to them for a great end to our travels; flew home June 3.

Cheryl’s BD, Morro Bay and more Flowers

For my birthday, we decided to take a short road trip to visit the Central CA coast at Morro Bay and Pismo Beach and then continue east to see the “Super Bloom” in the central valley.  We saw some lovely scenery, ate some good seafood, and enjoyed more of the fantastic wildflower display that happened in 2017.

We spent the first night, April 5 in Morro Bay.  On the 6th, my birthday we toured that area.  Montana del Oro State Park was new to us and worth the drive.  We also found a cultivated bush with purple cone shaped flowers, that we really loved.  Had to stop at a nursery to get the name, “Pride of Madera” (knew they looked familiar, we’ve been there) or Echium.

One of our favorite spots in Morro Bay is Giovanni’s Cafe.  It’s right by the bay and close to the Morro Rock.  We ate outside with a quart of fantastic clam chowder and a bottle of some decent white wine.  Very nice Birthday lunch!!  Then we drove to San Luis Obispo and enjoyed a driving tour of Cal Poly.  We stayed that night in Pismo Beach and went to another place that we knew, Scotty’s Bar and Grill.  Good food and drink.

Scotty's Bar and Grill

Birthday dinner at Scotty’s in Pismo Beach

On Friday, the 7th, we headed east on CA 58 to find the Central Valley “Super Blooms”.  They were definitely that.  Hills and fields full of flowers in many shades.  Botanists say that the seeds for all these plants had been laying dormant throughout all the drought years.  Then, since 2017 was very rainy, they all burst forth at once.  The recommended spot was Carrizo Plain National Monument, also new to us.  Really awesome.

After an overnight in Bakersfield, on April 8th we went further east to Tehachapi and then south on Willow Springs Road; on the way to the Poppy Preserve near Lancaster.  We saw many Joshua trees and more Wind Turbines than the I-10 corridor near Palm Springs.  They also had many solar panels; great to see natural power being harvested.  As we got closer to Lancaster, we started seeing many Poppy fields around Ave. I and 110th St.  Golden California Poppies mixed with blue/purple phacelia along with goldfield were all around us.  So glad that we were able to see this display on our way home!

We arrived home to find one of my most beautiful Iris’s had bloomed!

Beautiful Iris

Lavender and pink with orange, Iris

Visit with Aussie Friends

Some good friends from Australia, who we met cruising came to visit March 3 -6.  Marty and Janine had been traveling in USA, Canada and Europe for over a year.  They mostly toured on a motorbike (the bumblebee, because it was yellow) with a very cute camper trailer.  However, they also took 4 cruises and flew to a few of their destinations.  So adventuresome!

We picked them up at LAX, Friday night and they spent 3 nights with us.  Before hand, we had discussed what to see in So California.  Since we have had winter rains and lots of warm weather, we knew the wildflowers should be good.  So, the first day, we headed to Anza Borrega State Park, where there are many varieties.  We were a little early, but able to see quite a few.  However, the traffic, being a Saturday, was horrendous; took double the time to get there.  We enjoyed the scenery and visited the metal sculpture’s open-air shop that we had found with granddaughters, last summer.  Ricardo Breceda is really a very talented artist and has hundreds of animals, western motifs and more.  Check him out at  It turned out that the best wildflowers were near our home, I posted the pictures of poppies a few days ago.

National Park display

Cacti in bloom at Visitor’s Center

On Sunday, we went to Joshua Tree National Park.  They had requested this visit and we love going there.  We took our daughter there many times and later she and husband, and then grandson lived nearby in Twenty-Nine Palms.  It was very windy, so we didn’t do the whole loop of the Park road, but got to see the Jumbo Rocks, which are amazing.

On our last day with them, we visited Huntington Beach and walked the Pier.  This is one of our favorite things to do and they were glad to experience it on their last day in the USA.

Coast Highway

We took a couple of days to get back to Corona and drove the Coast Highway, No. 1. Stopped in Carmel, Pfieffer Beach in Big Sur area and San Luis Obispo. We have done this trip many times; usually in an RV, but still breathtaking to see the rugged coast. Half the time we could not see the ocean due to fog, but then the views popped out at us, bathed in sunlight. It was cool, which we enjoyed, averaging 60 degrees.

San Francisco Visit

After a couple of fun nights visiting with Jim’s cousin Dale and wife Diana, we were in San Francisco today

View of San Francisco from Teasure Island

. It was cool with some fog, but pleasant and we enjoyed visiting Fisherman’s Wharf and the Marina area.

Jim with Chowder Bowl on Fishermans Wharf

It was a quick visit and other than people watching, we didn’t contact any family or friends. (Please forgive)

People scene at Fishermans' Wharf

We can’t believe that it has been over 4 years since we have visited this wonderful city.

Marina area, view of Golden Gate Bridge with Fog

Such a blend of lifestyles and nationalities and a beautiful setting.